By Gustave Glotz
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Extra resources for Ancient Greece at Work: An Economic History of Greece from the Homeric Period to the Roman Conquest (History of Civilization)
On the island itself the royal eschatie is so vast that a stranger cannot cross it without a guide ; over all this area the crofts and the herdsmen belong to the king, and everything indicates a permanent establishment. Already the owner of these pastures has even made his men put the more fertile parts under corn, so true is it that his right appears to be incontestable. This progressive appro priation of pasture-land takes place everywhere. Every suitor has his eschatie, and one of them has made an enclosed orchard in it.
Among the " carpenters " there is mention of Epeios, the constructor of machines in the Greek camp, Phereclos, the boat-builder in Troy, and Icmalios, the cabinet-maker in Ithaca, among the " smiths " there is Laerces, the goldsmith at Pylos, and among the " leather-workers " there are Tychios, the maker of shields at Hyle, and Polybos, who makes balls at Scheria. The fame of craftsmen goes beyond the bounds of their city. They are summoned from one town to another to do a single j ob or to settle permanently.
What can they do if the master does not keep his word ? When Apollo and Poseidon have com;. plet�d their year of service Laomedon refuses them any salary and threatens, if they do not clear off as fast as they can, to cut their ears off ; the two unfortunates go away with bitter hearts and empty hands. What precaution ca� they take ? Heracles, it is true, secures his three years' wages in advance from Omphale by the device of a fictitious sale, but his case is exceptional. The Thetes have to trust to a good faith which frequently fails.