The economy has no life of its own, it is not a rigid and unchanging entity. On the contrary, it is inextricably intertwined with the specific era and the social conditions of any given place. Therefore, as mankind has evolved through the ages, so have the various economic theories, and the economy itself. This might seem obvious, but experts have always had a tendency to view the economy as a single block which is not influenced or changed by external stimuli. There is in fact a certain resistance by many economists to adapt learned theories to the changing times. And this is a big mistake.
The transitory nature of the economy, among other things, makes the study of its economics (which at first tends to be considered difficult and rather boring) even more interesting. When it is placed it in a precise context and linked to a certain period in time, however, it turns into a living entity, and becomes more and more fascinating.
The author refers to the Greek city-states and Roman times saying that, in those days, there was no industrial level production, but only markets and small artisans. Consumer goods, i.e. products intended for widespread use, such as food, drink and clothing, were rare; only those who wielded power could afford them. In those times, the economy was not at the centre of people's lives, as it is today. At that time, much more importance was given to ethical issues. Trade did not take up much space in the minds of the great philosophers such as Aristotle, who was much more interested in the subject of slavery, among many others. So, there was a time when the economy was given very little importance, which is interesting for modern day thinkers who have always given it a key role, both collectively and individually.