Why was maritime trade more important than land trade in Greece?
Depictions of these ships are scarce, but when combined with the remains found by archaeologists, historians today have a fairly accurate idea of the characteristics of these ships. They are often referred to as “round” ships as opposed to warships, or “long” ships” (in Latin, navis longa). These ships were heavy and rounded, and were often called “long” ships (in Latin, navis longa). These ships were heavy and round.
These ships were heavy and round: Homer evokes a “great merchant ship”” of this type, whose shipwreck can be dated to the 13th century BC, 6] They had decks and were high above the waterline. 7] These characteristics gave them remarkable stability even in heavy seas and, unlike the long warships, allowed them to carry large cargoes over long distances and without having to beach, since it was not necessary to take them out of the water every night, like the Athenian triremes for example. Due to the long immersion of the hull, however, it was usual to cover them with thin lead sheets to protect them from the jest (xylophagous marine mollusk). The hulls of these ships were also covered with a thin sheet of lead.
Why the colonies were established
The navy in Ancient Greece, which cannot be generalized to all Greeks, but only to some Greek polis, remained directly subject to territorial expansion, which was both the end and the necessary condition.
From the point of view of its instruments, war at sea had its own requirements, completely different from those of combat on land. Hence there are some contradictions between the technical originality of maritime activities and their subordination to land activities; contradictions that are obvious in the sections of warships, in military fleets and in naval tactics.
In the first place, they differed from merchant ships by their elongated shape, which always earned them the nickname of “long” ships. Fast, and generally endowed with great maneuverability, they were on the other hand very unseaworthy, which often made them the prey of storms, although it was customary not to make use of them during the bad season. In short, they were a harmonious but fragile constructions..
Greek colonization causes and consequences
This choice was mainly due to strategic reasons. The Greeks preferred to settle at first in a more easily defensible position – the islands were only accessible by sea – until they had acquired a better knowledge of the area and checked the reaction of the indigenous population.
In some places, the colonists encountered stiff resistance from the indigenous population and had to subdue them by force. In other colonies, the locals were tolerant and even cooperative with the newcomers and were progressively Hellenized. Often contributing to assimilation was the fact that most of the settlers were men and took wives among the indigenous women.
The colonies were governed in a first stage by the families of the founders, who constituted a local aristocracy. Later, tyrants would emerge: men, whether or not from the nobility, who took power by force. Many were competent rulers, who improved the condition of the peasants and stripped the aristocrats of some of their privileges, and thus enjoyed the support of the people.
Ancient Greek Ships
Gods, mysteries, oracles…Read article The privileged condition of these territories bordering the ocean appeared to be compensated by the monstrous condition of many of their inhabitants. In fact, the Olympian gods had expelled to these confines the primordial beings they had defeated after their dispute for the domination of the universe: titans, monsters and giants.New worldsIn the archaic period, between the eighth and sixth centuries BC, the limited geographical horizon of the Greeks expanded thanks to colonizations, which led them to the shores of the Black Sea to the East and to the Iberian Peninsula to the West. Some mythical scenarios, such as the fate of the Argonauts or the abode of Geryon, previously located in a diffuse way in the confines of the globe, were located in specific territories such as the eastern coast of the Black Sea (today’s Georgia) or the islands near the Phoenician city of Gades (Cadiz).