What Was Agriculture Like in Ancient Greece?

Agriculture was an essential part of life in Ancient Greece. The Greek economy was largely based on agriculture, and farming played a significant role in the development of Greek civilization. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what agriculture was like in Ancient Greece.

The Importance of Agriculture in Ancient Greece

Agriculture was crucial to the survival and growth of Ancient Greek society. The Greeks relied heavily on agricultural production to sustain their population and support their economy. Most Greeks were farmers, and the land provided them with food, clothing, and shelter.

The Types of Crops Grown

The Greeks grew a variety of crops, including wheat, barley, olives, grapes, and figs. Wheat and barley were staple crops that provided the foundation of the Greek diet.

Olives were used for cooking oil and fuel for lamps. Grapes were used to make wine, while figs were eaten fresh or dried.

Farmers’ Tools

Farming tools in Ancient Greece included plows pulled by oxen or horses. Farmers also used sickles to cut down crops such as wheat and sickles with curved blades for harvesting grapes. Other tools included hoes for weeding and pruning knives for trimming trees.

Land Ownership

Land ownership was critical in Ancient Greece as it determined one’s social status. Wealthy families owned large estates worked by slaves or tenant farmers called “thetes.” These estates produced most of the food consumed by the wealthy class.

The Role of Religion in Agriculture

Religion played a significant role in agriculture in Ancient Greece. The Greeks believed that some gods controlled nature’s elements such as sun, rain, wind that affected crop growth. They honored these gods through rituals such as sacrifices during planting seasons seeking favorable weather conditions for farming activities.

The Challenges Faced by Farmers

Farming wasn’t always easy in Ancient Greece. Farmers faced several challenges, such as unpredictable weather conditions that could cause crop failures. Insect infestations and soil depletion were also common issues that farmers had to deal with.


In conclusion, agriculture was a vital part of Ancient Greek life. It provided people with food, clothing, and shelter while supporting the economy.

The Greeks grew a variety of crops and used various tools to cultivate the land. Religion played a significant role in agriculture, and land ownership determined one’s social status. Despite the challenges faced by farmers, they persevered and contributed to the growth of Greek civilization.