The  Mediterranean  Sea

-  a brief history  Page 4  -


 The Egyptians

The twice annual flooding of the enormous Nile delta, was considered a god-sent gift by the Egyptians, as it brought precious water and nourishing lime to the plains, that guaranteed them a rich harvest. These people flourished under this constant supply of food and their civilisation grew and prospered and developed into one of the most long-lasting civilisations of the Mediterranean, for fully 3000 years, commencing 5000 years ago. They developed an illustrative form of writing, called hieroglyphics and worshiped many gods, which gave them a certainty in the after-life. In fact the construction of the pyramids, served to protect the mummified bodies and the preserved utensils, that would be needed in the after-life.

 The constant winds blowing up-stream, favoured the Egyptians in extending their influence up the Nile River, rather than out into the Mediterranean sea, or along its arid shores. They would also certainly have found that their flat-bottomed river-boats were most unsuitable for navigation in the sea.

 The Mesopotamians

The City-State civilisations that developed in Mesopotamia, were the Sumerians (their capital Ur), the Babylonians (Babylon) and the Assirians (Nineveh). They invented a cuneiform type of writing on clay tablets and prospered from 3000 BC, to 550 BC. Their dedication to astronomy gave us the present names of the days of the week. The hanging gardens of Babylon were one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.

Successively, the nearby Persians in central Iran, from their capital Persepolis, began to spread their influence to the whole area. With their abundant wares and foods, the Persians commerced both down-river towards the Indian Ocean and across the desert to the shores of the Mediterranean, where they encountered the Phoenicians. They ruled an empire including all of Mesopotamia, Syria, Egypt and parts of Asia Minor and even attacked the Greeks, but with little success, until they finally encountered their downfall with Alexander the Great in 331 BC.

The Palestinians

Palestine, situated on the Mediterranean coast, was a land of shepherds, the Hebrews, who preached only one god, when all peoples so far worshiped many gods. Abraham and Moses, were two of their more noted leaders, at around 1000 BC. This small area was to give birth to three main religions, Hebrew, Christianity and Islam, that were to have three billion followers throughout the world. The city of Jerusalem was to be contested by each religion as its own capital and this has ever since been the cause of conflict, right up to the present day.

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  The Mediterranean Sea
     Copyright L. Camillo 2000