What Does Economy Mean in Ancient Greece?

Economy in Ancient Greece:

The economy of Ancient Greece was based on agriculture and trade. The Greeks lived in city-states, which were self-sufficient communities that relied heavily on trade with other city-states. The economy of Greece was divided into three main sectors: agriculture, manufacturing, and trade.


Agriculture was the backbone of the Greek economy. Most Greeks lived in rural areas and depended on farming for their livelihood.

They grew crops such as wheat, barley, olives, and grapes. The Greeks were known for their olive oil and wine production, which they exported to other city-states.


Manufacturing was also an important sector of the Greek economy. They produced a variety of goods such as pottery, textiles, and metalwork. The Greeks were renowned for their pottery and metalwork, which they traded with other city-states.


Trade was an essential part of the Greek economy. Because each city-state was self-sufficient in its own way, they relied heavily on trade to obtain goods that were not available locally. They traded goods such as olive oil, wine, pottery, textiles, and metalwork with other city-states.

The Greek Economy in Action:

A good example of how the Greek economy worked can be seen in Athens during the 5th century BCE. Athens was a bustling city-state with a large population that relied heavily on trade to sustain itself. They imported wheat from Egypt and grain from southern Italy to feed their citizens.

In return for these goods, Athens exported their own products such as silver from their mines in Attica, pottery from their workshops, and olive oil from their groves. The Athenian navy also played a significant role in the economy by protecting Athenian ships that transported goods across the Mediterranean Sea.


In conclusion, the Ancient Greek economy revolved around agriculture, manufacturing, and trade. Each sector was essential for sustaining the Greek way of life.

The Greeks were highly skilled at producing goods that were in demand by other city-states. Their economy was a model for other civilizations that followed, and it continues to influence economies around the world today.