Were There Farmers in Ancient Greece?

Ancient Greece is known for its rich history, culture, and advancements in philosophy, art, science, and politics. However, when it comes to agriculture, many people wonder if there were farmers in Ancient Greece.

The answer is yes! In this article, we will explore the role of farmers in Ancient Greece.

The Importance of Agriculture in Ancient Greece

Agriculture was a crucial part of the economy and society of Ancient Greece. Farmers were responsible for growing crops such as wheat, barley, olives, grapes, and figs. These crops not only provided food for the population but also served as trade commodities with neighboring civilizations.

The Life of a Farmer

Farming was hard work in Ancient Greece. Farmers had to plow fields with oxen or mules and sow seeds by hand. They also had to irrigate their fields using channels and ditches to bring water from rivers or underground sources.

Once the crops were grown, farmers had to harvest them by hand using sickles or scythes. They would then thresh the grain to separate it from the chaff before storing it in granaries for later use.

The Role of Agriculture in Greek Society

The importance of agriculture extended beyond just providing food for the population. It was also an integral part of Greek mythology and religion. Demeter was the goddess of agriculture and fertility, while Dionysus was the god of wine-making.

Furthermore, agriculture played an essential role in politics as well. In Athens, for example, only farmers were allowed to hold public office because they were considered to be more grounded and connected to the land than other citizens.

The Decline of Agriculture in Ancient Greece

Despite its importance, agriculture declined during the Hellenistic period (323-31 BCE) due to several factors such as land exhaustion, soil erosion, and deforestation. The rise of urbanization and the growth of trade also contributed to the decline of agriculture as people began to rely more on imported goods.


In conclusion, farming was a vital part of Ancient Greek society and economy. Farmers were responsible for growing crops that provided food and trade commodities for the population. Although agriculture declined during the Hellenistic period, its importance is still evident in Greek mythology, religion, and politics.