How did geography influence Greek history ?

Expert Answers
mrkirschner eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are basically two geographical features of Greece that had a profound effect on how Greeks lived. The important geographical components are the seas and mountains of Greece. The Greeks were forced to adapt these characteristics in specific ways.

Mountains played a significant role in the development of Greece. The fact that the soil of Greece is rocky had a lot of implications. It limited the population because agricultural output was so low. It also caused the Greeks to look outside of its peninsula for colonies that possessed arable land. The mountains also worked as barriers to separate different areas. This created regionalism, meaning different cities developed independently of one another. In this way, city-states grew autonomously and developed their own identities. This would explain the marked contrast between the city-states of Sparta and Athens.

The Greeks, living on a peninsula, looked to the seas to expand their populations. The development of advanced shipbuilding techniques enabled the Greeks to travel. The Greeks, having improved their ability to navigate the seas, established colonies in far-away places in the Mediterranean. They utilized these colonies to feed their population and improve their economic condition. The culture and technologies of the Greeks were shared with the peoples that resided near colonies.

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question