The ancient Greeks were the original economists. They believed in good strife, which encouraged competition to be the best craftsman and developed the cult of the individual.


  • Ancient Greeks may have been the original “rugged individualists.” They believed in “good strife,” which encouraged competition and championed traits such as hard work, education, and innovation.

    Ancient Greeks thought that the success of an individual, assuming a level playing field, also meant success for the community. Today, this idea can be seen in the work of philanthropists who share their wealth with others.

  • Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    ancient Greece Noun

    loosely united civilization founded on and around the Peloponnese peninsula, lasting from about the 8th century BCE to about 200 BCE.

    capitalism Noun

    economic system where the free exchange of goods and services is controlled by individuals and groups, not the state.

    democracy Noun

    system of organization or government where the people decide policies or elect representatives to do so.

    economy Noun

    system of production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services.

    innovation Noun

    something new.

    philanthropist Noun

    person who donates money, goods, or services to those in need.