34 Pages

Traders and Craftsmen

WithVictor Ehrenberg

It is perhaps our chief task, when explaining the structure of Athenian social life, to discover the occupations followed by those members of the population who were not peasants. They were the majority, though perhaps not of the citizens, certainly of the townsfolk who were the most influential section of the people. The sources, especially of the fourth century, make it clear that they were engaged in trade, or in some form of industry or manufacture. It is of great importance for our purposes to discover the meaning, in fifth-century Athens, of those two terms, traders and craftsmen, and to understand the social position of the two classes.