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The sea has always played an important role in their history. They are always seafarers seeking opportunities for trade and finding new cities across the Mediterranean sea.(History…
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Herodotus Herodotus According to Herodotus, Greeks live in a country surrounded with water. The sea has always played an important role in their history. They are always seafarers seeking opportunities for trade and finding new cities across the Mediterranean sea.(History 101, lecture 4) Their lower population and increased population greatly declined in commercial ties. The Greeks were also involved in warfare’s hence they developed phalanx which signified an organize dense line of battle and their heavily armed infantry soldiers were known as hoplites.
The ancient Greeks were active seafarers seeking opportunity to find new independent cities to trade with at the coast across Mediterranean Sea. These new cities act as their trading station. In these stations Greek goods such as pottery ( 2009.529), bronze, silver, gold vessels olive oil, wine and textiles were exchange for luxury items and toxic raw materials that were in turn worked by Greek craftsmen. They established trading enclaves within existing local communities. The port town of Naukratis (1972.118.142) served as a commercial headquarters for Greek traders in Egypt.
A well established maritime trade routes around the Mediterranean basin enable foreigners to travel to Greece. After the military campaign of Alexandra the great (336_323 B.C.), more extensive trade routes were opened across Asia and extending towards Afghanistan and Indus River Valley ( History 101, lecture 4). The population of the Greeks and their interaction with other societies greatly increased due to trading activity they were involved in. They also had no wring emphasis they only had oral forms of interaction.
Since early Greeks had no political administration and institution, local communities were dominated by “big man” (History 102, lecture 4). The big man was not a king or official or someone with inherited position within an institution but a popular guy and a good warrior who attract followers. The Greeks were greatly involve in warfare unlike other society. They were notoriously aggressive warriors (Drews & Robert, 2009). They “fought to live and lived to fight” and ‘drunk the blood of their enemies and used the scalps as napkins”.
The heavily armed soldiers were standing in a long, parallel lines close to each other. Every soldier carrying large round shield which covered his own left side and right side of the man on his left. The phalanx was densely packed and could not easily turn to left or right. Once they were victorious, the losses on the other end were extremely heavy as the victors would use their swords to kill the defeated enemy. The Greek soldiers were very strong men and they were note by foreigners as “ men of bronze” (Herodotus , Histories , 2.152)
In conclusion, according to Herodotus, it is clearly evidence that the Greeks really participated in trade which enabled them to expand their territory and acquire wealth. Their worriers were men who were highly respected and admired since they have no organized political system or institutions.
References
Boardman, J. (1999). The Greeks Overseas: Their Colonies and Trade.4th rev. ed., London:
Hudson
Drews, R. (2004) early readers: The Beginning of Mounted Warfare in Asia and Europe.
London: Prentice Hall.
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