Economy of Ancient Athens during Hellenistic Period Name: University: Course: Tutor: Date: Economy of Ancient Athens Introduction The geographic location of Athens made it a major import and export hub. The regions that supplied Athens with grain and wheat included Italy, Egypt and Sicily and areas that surrounded the Black sea (Amemiya, 2007)…
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Hellenistic period corresponds with the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC and the annexation of the original Greek by Rome (Oliver, 2007). Athens is considered as the cultural centre of the Ancient World. During this period, Athens city was no longer in imperial power and struggled to maintain the existing territory overseas in Cleruchies and Attica (Amemiya, 2007). Military and political dynamics influenced the economy of Athens during this period by making it more fragile. The ongoing war in Attica required the Athenians to protect their grain reserves. The Athens significantly contributed to financing the city and defense from enemies (Oliver, 2007). Thesis statement: the Ancient Athens economy had a dual system of financing that included taxation and private contributions that were geared at financing the grain supplies during famines and wars. The Hellenistic period in Athens ranges between 322 BC and lost of the Athenian naval power in 229 BC during the Lamian war. The Lamian war (323 B.C – 322 B.C) was fought by a coalition of cities including Athens and led to the Macedonian victory and death of Alexander the Great. ...
The loss of the Athenian naval power and subsequent loss of Mounychia during early Hellenistic period shifted the available resources to the defense of the rural areas in order to protect the local grain production (Rostovzeff, 1967). The defeat also limited the capability of Athens to import grains due to diminished revenues and increasing aggression with the neighboring grain producing states and cities. The Athenian authorities were eager to develop a military with a clear command, infrastructures and enough manpower to counter any threats to the countryside grain reserves (Amemiya, 2007). In this case, the defeat limited the grain production capacity since many men were forced to join the military and defend the local grain production (Jones, 1940). The trade policy was aimed at securing vital commodities such as timber and grain and also providing revenue. The Ancient Athenian state was closely intertwined in political, social and economic circumstances and sought to promote trade in order to secure imports (Amemiya, 2007). Athens started honoring elite native citizens and also foreign potentates who provided large scale trade thus declining the power of the demos (Jones, 1940). Majority of the people were small scale farmers that were largely subsistence but they bought goods like metals which they could not produce. The agricultural foods produced were grains, vegetables and olives (Rostovzeff, 1967). The Hellenistic monarchies in Athens raised enough grains for their own consumption and also export. However, natural disasters and droughts sometimes damaged the harvest thus leading to a severe shortage of grain. The Athens paid for their grain through exporting olive oil and wine that found a lucrative market in
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