funeral mourners are wending their slow way
homeward we have time to examine certain phases of Athenian life at
which we have previously glanced, then ignored. Certain it is, most
"noble and good" gentlemen delight to be considered persons of polite
uncommercial leisure; equally certain it is that a good income is about
as desirable in Athens as anywhere else, and many a stately "Eupatrid,"
who seems to spend his whole time in dignified walks, discoursing on
politics or philosophy, is really keenly interested in trades,
factories, or farms, of which his less nobly born stewards have the
active management. Indeed one of the prime reasons for Athenian
greatness is the fact that Athens is the richest and greatest commercial
city of Continental Hellas, with only Corinth as a formidable rival.
To understand the full extent of Athenian commercial
prosperity we must visit the Peiraeus, yet in the main city itself will
be found almost enough examples of the chief kinds of economic activity.