I found this book a beautifully extended synopsis of the ancient Greek economy. It was not that I knew much to start off with but a book like this at less than 180 pages was a "perfect" introduction. There are 4 main topics: an overview of Greek cities and their economies, then three detailed sections on Agriculture, Craft and Trade. Each section provides enough material in a concise and readable style. For example, under Agriculture, I was able to learn who labored, what they grew, what stock they raised, their cropping seasons, what technology was used and so on. Yet there is nothing dry about all of this as this is just the sort of knowledge I crave when reading history. It's good practice I think to learn not just about wars and kings but also to try and understand how people lived, what myths they believed, what literature they read (if) and so on.
I enjoyed envisioning a middle class family (obviously) settling down to a meal of red mullet and wine even as I suspected their supper plates weren't exactly like those in our photoshopped glossy magazines. Red mullet and wine! Where are the olives and the cheese and the wild boar meat and grains and spices and fruits? I felt or more imagined the deep connection between the people I was reading about and nature. I'm not rosy-eyed thinking it was an easy life on the farm because apparently it wasn't. The other angle for reading this book was to learn how they conducted business, did they have money, how was it used, how were people paid, what taxes were raised, what public expenditures were carried out, how did the Greeks resolve the tension between the rich and the poor? [Not better than we have]. All fascinating questions and discussed or touched upon in this portable volume. Highly recommended.