The Greek Merchant Empire

Eli Whitney Museum

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2012 Summer Program

Greece is a mountainous land with coast on three sides and many near islands. Her soil produced grapes and olives, but not much wheat. Trade was essential. Her early city states connected and competed by sea. Greek merchants carried wine, olive oil and beautiful pottery to exchange for wheat, spices, papyrus and shipbuilding materials. As the Greeks traveled they built trade Colonies and temples and their myths absorbed new ideas and chapters. It’s no accident that Greek epic tales are about the sea adventures of the seafaring heroes Jason and Odysseus.

Construct a Greek Merchant ship and her crew. Make pottery and metal work to exchange. Strike the first coins from Lydia. Construct a small Greek Temple to honor a god or goddess in a far off land. Learn the basics of trade from the land that gave us the word for economics which explains the necessity of trade.





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