Greece and Greek History
Geography had profound impacts on Greek History. On the mainland of Greece land communications were poor due to the partitioning of the land by mountains, the soil in the valleys tended to rocky, and grain production weak. Consequently, trading by sea came into fashion with grain being imported from places as far away as the Black Sea, and people being exported to colonies as far away as the Western Mediterranean.
The poor communications undoubtedly had to do with the formation of many, small city states, and the need to maintain sea-commerce undoubtedly had an influence on both the generation of wealth in such cities as Athens and Corinth and the cosmopolitanism of the Greek world. The fact that part of the Greeks occupied the Ionian Islands off the coast of Asia Minor made problems with the Persians virtually inevitable and the strategy of the Persians in their attempts to invade Greece were very much constrained by the nature of Greek geography.
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