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In 431 BCE, Markos, a friend of the Spartan misthios Kassandra, bought the yard using money he borrowed from the Cyclops of Kephallonia. Seeing the business venture as a get-rich-quick scheme that would easily recuperate the initial investment, Markos intended to repay the loan after a few sales.
However, his poor business acumen and lack of knowledge on winemaking quickly proved disastrous. Defaulting on his loan installments early on, he soon earned the wrath of the Cyclops and his enforcers, who threatened seizure of property if he did not pay in a timely manner. After learning about the vineyard from Phoibe, Kassandra travelled to the garden to talk to Markos. There, Kassandra was tasked to help him collect a debt from Duris, a merchant in Sami.