Work In Athens

  • Created by: MaaB
  • Created on: 03-06-16 11:10

Kyrios' Role

  • He needed to ensure his wife was running the domestic affairs/finances effectively
  • Speak to the paidagogos about his son's progress.
  • Slaves would have to be bought from the slave market.
  • He was the main representative of the family at weddings, funerals, festivals etc.
  • His image would improve if he had a successful symposium for friends and associates.
  • The kyrios would also have to be the role model for the family - especially his sons.
  • As a male citizen, the kyrios would be involved in running the city.
  • If a man was wealthy he wouldn't have to work so much and would be able to attend meetings, debates and votes.
  • Athenians who had to work hard were often looked down upon because it ruined them both mentally and physically according to Xenophon.
  • Social and political life was important so if a man was not at work he was likely to be found socialising in public places.
  • However, most citizens had to work to some extent to provide for their families.
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  • A large number of citizens were farmers who owned small estates outside the city.
  • These estates ere a crucial part of providing self-sufficiency for the oikos.
  • Most important crop was the olive as believed the olive tree was a sacred gift from Athena.
  • Used: cooking, lighting lamps, preserving food, making perfumes/medicines, washing body.
  • Some olive trees protected by law and anyone found guilty of digging one up could die.
  • Olive oil was highly prized and families would store it in large pottery jars.
  • Important fruits: grapes, apples, pears, figs, pomegranates and grain: barley, rye, wheat.
  • Some estates reared animals: cattle, sheep, and goats providing meat, dairy products and wool.
  • Beekeeping was important as honey was the main way of sweetening food and drinks.
  • Fertile land was sun-drenched and close to the large market in the city.
  • It was close to the harbour which meant it was a good location for importing/exporting goods.
  • There was a threat of drought as the soil was thin on the mountainous ground and goods often harmed the crops.
  • Athenians got many foods from oversees.
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Crafts And Trades

  • The majority of Athenians were employed in trade/craft.
  • There was a myriad of smaller businesses which used stalls/workshops and worked as bronze-smiths, potters, tanners, shoemakers, bath-attendants, corn-merchants, lyre-shapers and shield-makers.
  • Most workshops and shops were rooms hired out at the front of private houses where just a handful of people could work.
  • The largest known factory employed 120 slaves to make armour.
  • But workshops were usually smaller with 20-30 employees.
  • One of the problems they faced was that charcoal fuel was used for furnaces so high temperatures could not be achieved so the metal was impure and brittle.
  • Main trading point was the market place (agora).
  • Nearby was the kerameikos (pottery area).
  • Athens was famed for the quality of its pottery.
  • Athenians used pottery for: storing food/drink, ornaments, votive offerings to gods, ceremonies, and prizes.
  • Pottery was one of Athens main exports along with silver, oil and wine.
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