This chapter describes major new developments in Hellenistic business. The Hellenistic kingdoms formed a large new market for goods and services. In trade, an enthusiastic expansion of international procurement inspired trade routes to Yemen, the Sudan, India, and China. Farms became agribusinesses where conditions in Egypt, Greece, and Pergamum created reliable access to the cash purchasing power of urban markets, to landowners eager to increase their wealth, and to opportunities to regulate or coerce farmers into a more cash crop orientation. The Hellenistic Era also provided expanded opportunities for the professions; in banking the Bank of the Ptolemies became the ancient world's first and only branch banking system.
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