What was the basis of wealth in the Hellenistic World?



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Just as now, people obtained wealth in varying ways in the Hellenistic world. In general, though, wealth was less tied to abstract instruments of exchange and a monetary economy than to land. Although cities did mint coinage, and there was an elaborate system of banking, supporting complex long distance trading endeavors, most wealth was material. Most members of the provincial elites had vast estates and drew a substantial amount of their wealth from farming, including the production of olives, grain, and wine. Many estates also engaged in other types of industry, such as the manufacture of pottery. Loaning money for interest was another major source of wealth.


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