What Impact Did the Nearness to the Sea Have on the Development of the Ancient Greek Civilization?

The ancient Greek civilization is renowned for its contributions to art, science, philosophy, and politics. This civilization was situated near the Aegean Sea, which played a crucial role in its development. The proximity to the sea had a significant impact on the ancient Greeks’ lifestyle, economy, and culture.

The sea had a profound impact on the ancient Greeks’ lifestyle. They were seafarers and fishermen who depended on the sea for their daily sustenance.

The Greeks built their homes close to the sea so that they could easily access it for fishing or transportation purposes. As a result, they developed skills in boat building and navigation that allowed them to explore new territories and establish colonies in distant lands.

The sea was also essential for the Greek economy. It provided them with an abundant supply of fish and other seafood that they could trade with other civilizations.

Fishing was not only a source of food but also an opportunity for commercial gain. The Greeks established trade routes along the Mediterranean Sea that allowed them to exchange goods with other civilizations such as Egypt and Persia.

  • The proximity to the sea also allowed them to develop maritime commerce, which helped them become wealthy merchants.
  • Their naval power allowed them to control trade routes and protect their interests in the Mediterranean region.


The nearness to the sea played a vital role in shaping Greek culture. The Greeks believed that life originated from the sea, which explains why many of their gods and goddesses were associated with water bodies such as Poseidon – god of seas or Amphitrite – goddess of oceans.

The closeness to the sea influenced Greek architecture as well. They built structures with natural materials such as stone, wood, and clay that were readily available in coastal areas. The Greeks developed architectural styles such as the Ionic, Doric, and Corinthian orders that emphasized simplicity, symmetry, and functionality.


In conclusion, the proximity to the sea had a profound impact on the development of ancient Greek civilization. The sea not only provided them with a source of livelihood but also influenced their culture and architecture.

The Greeks’ dependence on the sea allowed them to establish trade routes, become wealthy merchants, and control maritime commerce. Therefore, it is safe to say that the nearness to the sea played a crucial role in shaping ancient Greek civilization.