What Did They Sell in Ancient Greece?

In Ancient Greece, a wide variety of goods and commodities were sold. The ancient Greeks were known for their flourishing trade and commercial activities, which played a vital role in their economy and culture.

Food and Agricultural Products


  • Grains: Wheat, barley, and oats were staple crops in Ancient Greece. They were used to make bread, porridge, and various other food items.
  • Fruits and Vegetables: Olives, figs, grapes, pomegranates, apples, onions, garlics, and various other fruits and vegetables were grown and sold.
  • Dairy Products: Cheese made from sheep’s milk or goat’s milk was a popular commodity.
  • Honey: Honey was widely produced by beekeeping in Ancient Greece. It was used as a sweetener and for making various dishes.

Agricultural Products:

  • Olive Oil: Olive oil was one of the most important products in ancient Greek commerce. It was used for cooking, lighting lamps, religious ceremonies, and as an ingredient in cosmetics.
  • Wine: Wine production was significant in Ancient Greece.

    Various regions produced different types of wine that were traded extensively.

  • Horses: Horses were bred for transportation purposes as well as for military uses. They were highly valued commodities.

Craftsmanship and Artisans

Ancient Greek craftsmen excelled in producing exquisite items that were sought after both within Greece and beyond its borders. Some popular goods include:

  • Pottery: Greek pottery was highly regarded for its quality and intricate designs. Different regions had their distinctive styles.
  • Textiles: Fine textiles, including silk and linen, were woven into beautiful garments and tapestries.
  • Jewelry: Greek artisans created stunning jewelry using precious metals like gold and silver, adorned with gemstones.
  • Statues and Sculptures: Marble statues and sculptures, depicting gods, goddesses, athletes, and mythical creatures, were in high demand.

Trade in the Marketplace

Ancient Greece had bustling marketplaces where merchants from various parts of the Mediterranean would gather to trade their goods. These marketplaces were known as agoras. Common items traded included:

  • Spices: Spices such as cinnamon, pepper, saffron, and cloves were imported from distant lands.
  • Metals: Copper, bronze, iron, and silver were traded for crafting tools, weapons, and other metalwork.
  • Glassware: Glassware was traded for its decorative as well as functional purposes.
  • Perfumes: Perfumes made from flowers and aromatic plants were popular luxury items.

The Role of Slavery

In Ancient Greece’s economy, slavery played a significant role. Enslaved individuals worked in various sectors such as agriculture, household chores, manufacturing goods like pottery or textiles. They also served as domestic servants or even tutors for children of the wealthy.

In conclusion, Ancient Greece’s economy revolved around a diverse range of products that catered to daily needs as well as luxury desires. Their trade networks extended far beyond Greece’s borders and contributed to the cultural exchange between different civilizations.