After the Persian wars Greece conquered an absolutely dominant position in the eastern basin of the Mediterranean, and passed to the fore in the progress of the economy, as well as of civilization in general, since the Greek colonies of Asia Minor had already suffered a lot under the domination Persian, nor, freed that they were from this, could regain the previous primacy. The main centers of trade, particularly through the western colonies, become Corinth, Aegina, Piraeus, but then, after Aegina is destroyed, Piraeus becomes more and more important. Industries felt a similar momentum, inducing an enormous increase in the servile labor force, which in Attica rises to 70-80,000 slaves, and in Corinth a little less. At the same time the population of the most conspicuous city centers grows; according to Beloch, in fact, Athens, at the beginning of the Peloponnesian war, it reached 100,000 residents; as many Syracuse and a little less Corinth; and between 20 and 30,000 they reach Sparta, Argos, Thebes, Aegina, Sicyon, Megara, Corcira, Pagase. The whole population of Attica can be estimated at about 200,000 souls, that of Argolis at about 300,000 (equal to about 80 residents per sq km), that of Boeotia at 150,000 (about 60 per sq km), that of the whole Peloponnese to about 1 million. Adding the islands, Thessaly and the mountainous regions of the North, it seems that 304 million residents can be reached for the whole Greek peninsula and the islands. The same can be roughly assigned to colonial territory in the West and the East. that of the whole Peloponnese to about 1 million. Adding the islands, Thessaly and the mountainous regions of the North, it seems that 304 million residents can be reached for the whole Greek peninsula and the islands. The same can be roughly assigned to colonial territory in the West and the East. that of the whole Peloponnese to about 1 million. Adding the islands, Thessaly and the mountainous regions of the North, it seems that 304 million residents can be reached for the whole Greek peninsula and the islands. The same can be roughly assigned to colonial territory in the West and the East.
According to Rrrjewelry, the demographic increase increased the need for supplies from abroad, especially wheat (in the 5th century the import into Attica must not have been less than that of 800,000 medimni, equal to 400,000 hl., Ascertained for the times of Demosthenes; for the whole peninsula it must be estimated at several million medimni).
The economy in nature disappeared, apart from some out-of-the-way areas, and the monetary one extended, perhaps starting with Cyrus, to Persia. The Attic silver coin definitely took over, and became the prevailing currency throughout the Aegean basin and beyond. The needs of coinage were especially satisfied by the silver mines of Laurium and those of the lower Strymon, and, although a considerable part of the metal supplies were withdrawn from traffic through hoarding in the major temples, in Attica, Delos, Olympia, the quantity of the noble metal in circulation was always such as to determine a considerable increase in prices (2 drams a bushel of barley, 3 a bushel of wheat, 10-20 a sheep, 50-100 an ox). Correspondingly, the rate of interest on loans both in products and in money, but not too much, due to the great need for capital felt by industries, so that it seems that it can be valued at around 13%. Therefore still high interest, which presupposes great industrial productivity, and, therefore, as well as high prices, low wages. Capital investment in industrial slaves yielded about 30%; in maritime trade almost the same, if limited to the Aegean, and much more, due to the greater risk, in longer voyages; in landed properties and less buildings (in the following century from 8 to 12%). At 2 0 3 donations a day the average wages of a coarse worker can be estimated, a drama that of expert workers, as much as that of a subordinate officer, while the intellectual work (of doctors, poets, dramatists, philosophers and rhetoricians) was much more rewarding. Large property prevailed in Laconia and Thessaly and was also widely represented in Boeotia, Macedonia and Sicily; on the other hand in Attica land ownership was very fragmented; in fact the nobles generally owned no more than thirty hectares, and on a total movable and real estate property which, at the beginning of the Peloponnesian war, must have greatly exceeded the 5750 talents of the land register of 378-7 BC. C., a single property of eight or ten talents was worth considerable, and the greatest wealth did not exceed 30-40 talents.
The economic conditions of the century. IV up to Alexander the Great mark a further progress, despite the frightening destruction of goods wrought by the continuous wars, because the vital force of the nation was still such as to compensate for the losses by usury. While agriculture is stagnating, the country is industrializing more and more, with new impetus of the textile and metal industries, of the manufacture of furniture, leather goods and ointments, with extensive use of labor, mainly servile, but also free. In some companies the workers exceeded a hundred, although generally they were around 20 or 30. The current rate of interest is 12% in Athens (higher in other locations), while industrial profit reaches 17 and even 18.. Not long after the Peloponnesian War the major industrial center returned to being Athens; Corinth, Megara, Sicyon, Argos, Sparta follow it in order of importance; in the East, Miletus, Samo, Chios and Mytilene; in the West, Syracuse and Taranto. The need for imports increased, as did raw materials, as well as slaves and food, especially wheat, purchased mainly from Pontus, Egypt and Sicily (around 400,000 hl. 350 BC). The import was roughly compensated by the export, especially of industrial products (the commercial movement of Piraeus in 399-8 BC can be valued at 2000 talents, of which a thousand must belong to imports, half of food, half of materials raw and slaves, and a thousand for exports). Athens also remained the main center of monetary traffic, and the need for money, which was in industries and businesses, gave rise to the formation of real banks, which kept the name of the primitive companies of simple money changers (τράπεζαι), but they developed into ever larger and more powerful depository and credit organizations, generally run by several capitalists associated together; they had particular importance for the contracting out of the collection of taxes. The rise in prices continued, the bushel of wheat growing during the century. IV from 3 to 6 drama in normal time, and that of wages, which pass from the measure of 3 oboles -1 drama to that of 1 ½-2 ½ drama. The distribution of the property underwent modifications, not so much in Athens, where, despite the formation of great wealth, the middle class did not decrease too much, but especially in Sparta, where many of the small properties disappeared and the number of full-fledged citizens decreased by 50%, and in the other substantially agricultural regions. Therefore, driven by need, thousands and thousands of individuals gave themselves to the service of mercenaries, and thousands and thousands left their homeland in the alternative of political struggles. The revolution was knocking on the doors; the only salvation could be in a process of political unification and in the opening of new outlets for demographic surpluses. These were urgent, more for the economic reasons, which we have mentioned, than for the increase of the population, because there was an increase in this, but slight. In fact, according to Beloch’s calculations, the population of the peninsula around 400 BC. C. seems to be around 3 ½ million (namely: Peloponnese 1,150,000, Attica with Megaride and Oropo 190,000, Euboea 120,000, the rest of central Greece 500,000, Ionian islands 180,000, Thessaly 600,000, Epirus 250,000, Macedonia 500,000); and at the time of Alexander around 4 million. The most populous city was always Athens. Attica fell from 200,000 to 150,000 residents due to the Peloponnesian war, and upon Alexander’s death it must have returned to its primitive number, more than half of which concentrated in Athens. Second came Corinth with about 100,000 residents, of which more than half represented by slaves.