Financial Administration

Ancient Greece boasted a vibrant economy, fuelled by trading between its poleis. Most city states encouraged trading, notably Corinth, planted as it were on the Isthmus, controlling trade and communications between Attica and the Peloponnese. An exception, however, was Sparta: its leadership regarded trade, and to an extent all foreign affairs, as dangerous and able to unsettle internal affairs.

The Spartan argument regarding Athenian democracy and trade, and by association wealth, was as following:

“Wealth [is] the prime cause and creator of vice”;

(Gerald of Wales, the Journey Through Wales)


“We’ve got money in plenty, and with it comes care,

We always want what is more than our share”

“However great our wealth may wax,

It seems too little, still something lacks.”

(Horace, Satires)

democracy developed from trading cities; trading brings wealth; therefore, democracy causes vice.

However, most oligarchies did trade as other poleis and function “normally” in their financial administration. Though arguably Athens prospered on it Attic silver mines, there is not enough justification for Athenian democracy in fact sprung forth from trading