Despite the obvious economic benefits brought about by property and entrepreneurship, many ancients remained skeptical of private property.
They believed that property had a certain corrupting influence, because as they thought, the citizens would spend more time in managing their properties rather than the city’s affairs. Gradualy that would lead to the alienation between the citizens and the “polis”.
Depending on the size of their land, owners produced a surplus of goods which could be exported at a high price. This trend caused many democracies to turn into to oligarchies over time.
Rhodes stands as a good example. Rhodian wine was very famous, and very expensive. The owners of large parts of land managed to make great fortunes, and using this power, somehow managed to rise to power and abolish democracy.
It may be argued that the legal system in ancient Greece was imperfect and fragmentary. Yet one must bear in mind that for its time it was a fairly functional system. Even though there was room for development, those first steps were taken to the right direction.
The cities and the temples had many utilities which were public property. The main example were the ports and docks of a city. A private constructor built the docks, and the city administered the services. Other examples include the quarries and the mines, which, in the Hellenistic era became property of the king, which cannot be characterized as private or public ether. In the Roman times, all these became imperial property.
As it concerns forests, some were private, but most of them belonged to the city-states: stone and timber were the basic building materials. Marble was used mostly for public buildings. A case worth mentioning is the silver mines of Laurion in Attica.