What Sea Was Closest to Ancient Greece?

Ancient Greece was a civilization that thrived from the 8th century BCE to the 6th century CE. It was located in the eastern Mediterranean basin and bordered by several seas. However, one sea stood out as the closest and most important to the Greeks – the Aegean Sea.

The Aegean Sea

The Aegean Sea is an elongated embayment of the Mediterranean Sea, located between Greece and Turkey. It covers an area of approximately 214,000 square kilometers and has a maximum depth of 3,544 meters. The Aegean Sea is named after the Greek island of Aegae, which was an important center of Mycenaean civilization.

Ancient Greek Civilization

Ancient Greek civilization was centered around the Aegean Sea, which provided many advantages for trade, fishing, and transportation. The sea was also home to numerous islands that were part of ancient Greece, including Crete, Rhodes, Santorini, and many others.

Importance of the Aegean Sea

The Aegean Sea played a vital role in ancient Greek history. It facilitated trade between different regions of Greece and other civilizations such as Egypt and Persia.

The Greeks were skilled seafarers who built large ships to transport goods across long distances. They also used their naval prowess for military conquests in various parts of the world.


The Aegean Sea is also significant in Greek mythology. It is said that Poseidon, the god of the sea, had his palace beneath its waters. In addition, several myths and legends are associated with different islands in the Aegean Sea.


In conclusion, while there were several seas that bordered ancient Greece such as the Ionian and Mediterranean seas, it was the Aegean Sea that was the closest and most important to them. The sea played a crucial role in their economy, culture, and history, making it an integral part of the ancient Greek civilization.