Matt Salgot Week 7 Post

For the final blog post I wanted to examine the relationship that developed between the Greek world and Egypt. There are several key events that help to strengthen and develop this peaceful coexistence. The first of these is due to the activities of the Persian Empire. Both Greece and Egypt viewed Persian as a threat and this provided them with a mutual interest to support each other.This growing alliance can be seen from the shift of the Egyptian capital to the western portion of the Delta. In a sense this can be viewed as a shift in the main trade partners of Egypt. They were no longer as interested in trade with their neighbors to the east.

The second major event to shape this relations ship resulted from the empire building of Alexander the Great. With his help Egypt was freed from the Persian Empire and would become even more closely linked with the Greek world. Even before this liberation was completed Egypt was receiving military assistance from the Greeks as Greek citizens and mercenaries were become more common in the Egyptian army. The strength of the Persian Empire was great and this caused Egypt and other states to ban together in order to deal with such a powerful neighbor.

The last important factor was simply the death of Alexander the Great. With his death his recently created empire was divided up and Egypt would enter the Ptolemaic Period. Since Egypt was controlled by foreigners from the Greek World, the political and economic partners of Egypt would become focused on Greece. Also during this time Egypt increased its already massive agriculture yields and this made Egypt an important region to control or be allied with. This increased amount of wheat production resulted in Egypt conducting most of its trade in food stuffs and shifted away from trade in elite goods like gold.

2 thoughts on “Matt Salgot Week 7 Post

  1. Hey Matt, I was drawn to your post because I too was interested in the relationship between Egypt and Greece. It feels as if Egypt is always in the process of being controlled by someone new, or undergoing some sort of new empire. They never just relax, or so it feels. Now, from this week’s lecture and readings I’m still a little bit confused. Egypt and Greece never really were allies, were they? As you stated though, “Egypt was receiving military assistance from the Greeks as Greek citizens and mercenaries were becoming more common in the Egyptian army. The strength of the Persian Empire was great and this caused Egypt and other states to ban together in order to deal with such a powerful neighbor.” After Alexander the Great, Greek culture was the standard of the ancient world, even after the Roman conquests you might have done business in Latin but the scholars and literary class spoke Greek. I find the whole history behind Egypt and Greece fascinating. Today the Greek community is rising in Egypt. Now, Egypt is the center of many Greek investments in banking, tourism, and so on. So what happened? Why did Egypt stay so focused on Greek life?

  2. It is interesting how trade develops as a reflection of Egypt’s relationship with its neighboring states. Early in Egyptian history when Egypt was emerging as a pristine civilization, they had access to greater bureaucratic resources which resulted in a militaristic power greater than nearby powers who were not so developed in their statehood. During this time Egypt is seen in the market for elite luxury items. There is significant trade with Nubia for raw materials to be used as elite grave goods and this demand is so substantial that the Egyptians engage in multiple attempts to conquer the area to have unlimited access to these resources. Interestingly, when Egypt is in turn conquered many of their beliefs become repressed or diluted by the presence or oppression of foreigners and there is less emphasis on these sorts of materials. As other civilizations spring up around them, the organizational complexities of the new city states allow them to support a greater population. No longer the only major polity in the area, Egypt becomes a valuable trading partner not only for their gold and material goods, but for their ability to provide agricultural goods. With the introduction of an alternative to emmer wheat, free thresher wheat, which required vastly fewer resources to process, Egypt is able to provide for a populace outside their own borders, making them good neighbors for the Greeks and helping to foster that as a more mutually beneficial relationship.

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