What Kind of Trade Did Ancient Greece Have?

Ancient Greece was a hub of trade and commerce, with its strategic location at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and Africa. The Greeks traded with various civilizations across the Mediterranean, including Egypt, Rome, and Persia. In this article, we will explore the different types of trade that existed in ancient Greece.

Maritime Trade

Maritime trade was the backbone of ancient Greek commerce. The Greeks were skilled sailors and built advanced ships that could travel long distances. They traded goods such as olive oil, wine, grain, pottery, and metals across the Mediterranean Sea.

The Greeks established colonies along the coastlines of the Mediterranean to facilitate trade. These colonies provided safe harbors for ships to dock and also acted as trading posts where merchants could buy and sell goods.

Black Sea Trade

The Black Sea was an important region for Greek trade as it provided access to valuable resources such as timber, grain, and fish. The Greeks established colonies on the shores of the Black Sea to support their trade activities.

The Greeks also traded with the Scythians who were nomadic tribes living in modern-day Ukraine and southern Russia. The Scythians provided horses in exchange for Greek pottery and other luxury goods.

Red Sea Trade

The Red Sea was another important region for Greek trade as it connected them with India and East Africa. The Greeks traded spices such as cinnamon, pepper, and cloves from India while also importing ivory from East Africa.

Land Trade

While maritime trade was dominant in ancient Greece, there was also a significant amount of land-based trade that occurred. The Greeks used pack animals such as mules and donkeys to transport goods overland.

The Greeks traded extensively with Persia which provided them with luxury goods such as silk and precious metals. In return, the Greeks exported wine and olive oil to Persia.

Internal Trade

Internal trade was also prevalent in ancient Greece. The Greeks traded goods such as pottery, textiles, and food items with each other. Local markets were established in cities and towns where merchants could sell their goods.


In conclusion, ancient Greece had a diverse range of trade activities that spanned across the Mediterranean region. Maritime trade was the most significant form of trade, but land-based trade and internal trade were also important.

The Greeks traded with various civilizations and established colonies to support their trading activities. These trading activities played a crucial role in the growth and development of ancient Greek civilization.