Ancient History: Greece : Minoan Civilization

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for Ancient History: Greece

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Minoan Civilization

The geography of ancient Greece shaped its customs, traditions and culture.  Greece was located on a mountainous peninsula extending into the Mediterranean Sea.  It consisted of 2000 islands in the Aegean Sea and the Ionian Sea.  The lands on the eastern edge of the Aegean Sea were considered part of the ancient Greek empire. The Greeks became skilled sailors using the Aegean Sea, Ionian Sea and the nearby Black Sea as transportation routes.  Historians estimate that the ancient Greeks lived not more than 85 miles from the sea.  The ease of sailing and their vast transportation routes linked the Greeks with other ancient societies. The transportation routes became an important part of their lives.  Ancient Greece consisted of three-quarters rugged mountain ranges running northwest to southeast along the Balkan Peninsula dividing the land. The land was stony and uneven with the exception of a few valleys.  There were no roads only dirt paths turning travel into a journey of several days to complete.

Which of the following is the best explanation for the ancient Greeks desire to open sea routes?

Possible Answers:

The ancient Greeks were explorers who wanted to see other lands and cultures

They lived a luxurious life and sea travel opened the opportunity for adventure and victorious battles.   

They lacked natural resources to sufficiently support themselves and sought trade with other empires to help their culture survive

They were good fishermen

The ancient Greeks wanted to conquer other lands

Correct answer:

They lacked natural resources to sufficiently support themselves and sought trade with other empires to help their culture survive

Explanation:

The land of ancient Greece was not suitable for framing. It was stony and lacked fresh water for irrigation. Only a quarter of Greece consisted of tiny, fertile valleys suitable for farming. Thus, the Greeks needed a source of natural resources such as timber for building, precious metals for adornment of their cities and sources of arable land and food. Sea trade with other Mediterranean empires enabled them to easily trade and transport goods. The ancient Greeks were not interested in conquering other lands, having adventures or seeing other lands and cultures.

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