Work of the ancient era - Sociology of Labor

Work of the ancient era

The ancient economy opens with the history of Crete (III millennium BC - 1200 BC) and differs from the Asian economy of the early empires, first of all, the lack of irrigation farming, the invention of the market and money. Pastoral tribes of Crete, practicing farming on the slopes of the mountains, where not only barley, but also olives and grapes were grown, were forced to master the sea due to their island position. Soon the Minoan culture arose (its hieroglyphic writing, the Festa disk, which is still not deciphered) and its trade-and-sea economy connecting the trade of Egypt and mainland Greece.

The main invention of this period was the Cretan barge - the type of vessel with a high nose and low sides. Maritime trade was accompanied at that time by piracy and colonization of neighboring islands. In general, the seizure of booty by force was considered valor, it was a military enterprise (the war was perceived as an ordinary economic, rather than a political matter).

Among the cities of Crete, Kioss was separated, where the ruins of the palace of mines still exist; The difference between this structure and our notion of architecture is that the richest rooms are below, under the ground, and the auxiliary rooms are at the top. Subsequently, the Cretan maritime trade economy was inherited by Greek policies, including Athens, and from the Phoenicians the Greeks borrowed the invention of the monetary economy. If initially the Athenian economy was distributive, then after Pericles to promote the market, distributions were no longer in kind, but in cash. In Athens, there were markets for food, handicraft goods and slaves. Although mainly the economy was an oikosi type, the market also became an essential feature of the economy. The production was now oriented not to the needs, but to the market demand. In addition, maritime trade over long distances made it possible to obtain substantial profits due to price differences.

An interesting fact.

Along with the landed aristocracy, ordinary peasants and artisans in Athens, a new class of merchants and merchants possessed movable property (ships). The trading class (always simultaneously military) was engaged not only in trade, but also in colonization. While in Babylon the merchants represented only a marginal class, the Greeks, in contrast to the old landed clan aristocracy, created a new merchant aristocracy - the "new people".

However, not only trade contributed to the development of money and private property. The transition to the cultivation of grapes and olives led to the fact that the productivity in these areas was directly proportional to the quantity and quality of labor, so the old communal way of just redistributing land was replaced by the principle of private (as yet patrimonial, and not individual) ownership of land.

Aristophanes, for example, distinguished five classes of ancient society: farmers, traders, artisans, meteki (immigrants) and visitors. Within the framework of the craft, the Greeks developed specialization (intra-branch division of labor). Popular in Athens was the profession of a cook, who was hired on the market by day to prepare a festive dinner. The craft of the chef soon began to be considered art (for example, half the piglet is fried, the second is cooked, and its stomach is filled with thrushes, pork rams, egg yolks, etc.). There is a specialization of cooks: now some cook only fish, others - sausages, and still others, like the gods, know how to fry an omelet.

The development of crafts in Greek cities required additional labor, which became the newcomers and, of course, slaves. The Athenian economy was truly based on slave labor both in large agricultural estates and in craft workshops. Initially the slave, especially possessed by skill and skill, was expensive, but the more conquests took place, the cheaper the slaves became. Soon the latter became just a "talking tool".

It's important to remember! It's important to remember!

Thanks to slave labor, a special system of attitude to work has developed: physical labor has only been considered the lot of slaves, and the mental has acquired a higher character. So there was a division of mental and physical labor.

Even more largely based on the labor of slaves of Roman society. The ratio of free and slaves reached at some times 2: 1. With such a cheap labor force, there was no incentive to develop technical means. An exception was the Pompeii mill, which used the power of draft animals, which turned into a rotational movement. Water mills for grinding grain were also used. In the field of agriculture, the technical advance was in the use of the wheeled plow and the Gallic header, and a screw press was used to produce wine and oil. In the field of construction, the Romans deserved the glory of the most skillful builders of bridges and aqueducts (the main technical innovation is the vaulted spans), roads, public buildings (it is enough to cite the example of the Colosseum, some temples have remained unchanged until now, for example, the Pantheon in Rome). Until now, the main Roman invention in construction is used - concrete, which now adds metal for strength.

The Roman economy was already dependent on both the division of labor in cities and the international division of labor. Rome produced only wine and oil, and grain was supplied by the African provinces, vegetables - Spanish, meat - Gallic. In the cities, residents every day went to the market, for example, to a baker, because in the houses there were no stoves for bread. In Rome, several markets functioned: the meat market

{{forum boa pit), the vegetable {{Jorum holitorium), the fish {{forum piscatorium) and the delicious {{forum cuppedinis - fruit, honey, flowers).

Rome in the number of its citizens reached an unthinkable figure - about a million people. Only a constant and smooth system of the market could provide it with everything necessary. However, the market in Rome was a mechanism subordinated to distribution. The entire economy of the Roman Empire depended on the supply of slaves to the market. Labor began to be considered the lot of slaves: free plebeians demanded not work, but bread and circuses, i.e. distribution system, they did not need a market. As soon as the political and military might of the Romans weakened, the source of slaves, and consequently of labor, disappeared, there was no commodity in the labor market.

It's important to know!

The cities of Antiquity, especially in the era of the early empires, were administrative rather than economic centers. They concentrated in themselves, in contrast to medieval cities, a sphere of consumption, not production.

So, in the V in. the ancient economy ended its existence. The reasons for its collapse are numerous and ambiguous, as M. Weber and F. Braudel rightly believed, but at the same time the ancient economy is the first step towards the emergence of modern economic domination. It was then that there was trade and market, the state learned to manage, money turned into the most effective tool of the economy, there were some forms of capitalism that flourished in Europe already in the era of the late Middle Ages. Although we consider Antiquity to be traditional societies, it is much closer to us than the primitive societies of hunters and gatherers. In time, in comparison with the many thousands of primitive states, antiquity is an instant bright flash on the historical horizon, which almost dies out in the era of the dark Middle Ages. The slave system of work of Antiquity is also not lost in the past, but for a while it revived in the epoch of capitalist slavery. However, the ancient society in which agricultural labor prevailed was still labor, its success (as well as failure) depended on the existing social form of the division of labor.

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