The “Art of Commerce”: An Outline of Commercial Education in Twentieth-century Greece
Chatziioannou, Maria Christina
The first half of the twentieth century in Greece was marked by consecutivemilitary and civil conflicts that caused profound territorial, demographic and socialchanges. The movement of vast numbers of young peasants from rural areas to the capitalcoincided with the broadening of internal trade, a proliferation of industrial investmentsand the intense urbanization of Athens and other Greek cities, especially during theinterwar period. This article examines education concerning the “art of commerce”, amore flexible type of training in comparison with its strictly technical equivalent; a formof education that was associated with a completely different outlook compared to thetraditional apprenticeship guilds of the nineteenth century. In this context, the essay seeksto emphasize the ways in which a professional group, recognized by the state through its ownassociations, was specifically created and developed and how this group envisaged creatingthe sole educational opportunity for its own members, those working in the field of retail.