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Its auction marts for sheep and cattle sales are the largest in the south-west of Scotland; at an autumn sale as many as 15,000 sheep and 1400 cattle are disposed of in one day.
Athens was an important slave market, and the state profited by a tax on the sales; but the principal marts were those of Cyprus, Samos, Ephesus and especially Chios.
Moliere made large use of the Phormio in Les Fourberies de scapin, and the subject of l'Ecole des marts is taken from the Adelphoe.
In Levantine waters connexions grew up with the great marts of Chalcis and Miletus, with the rulers of Lydia, Phrygia, Cyprus and Egypt.
It is a flourishing distributing centre and has an important corn market and auction marts.