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Overseas Shipping In The Mediterranean

Aug 6, 2008
The Mediterranean Sea is where overseas shipping actually began. Three world empires have been born on this inland sea. All of them used naval superiority to expand and trade to hold the rest of the countries in the region. The Egyptians built their fleet inland on the Nile and emerged on the southern shore of the Mediterranean. The Greeks and Romans came from the north. All three, because of their geographical location on this body of water that connects three continents, were able to become overseas shipping giants in their respective ages.

For centuries, the Mediterranean has been the central focus of most of the world because of its value as an overseas shipping route. The oldest evidence of human life has been found in the region and it is believed that Egypt and Sumeria were the first civilized nations on earth. Part of the equation that classifies a people as civilized is the ability to barter and trade. The merchants of these ancient nations realized over time that their proximity to the river and the sea gave them an opportunity for overseas shipping of grain and weapons that could be sold for a profit. International commerce was born soon after.

When the armies of Alexander began to fan out across Asia and Africa the Mediterranean became a vital link in his supply chain. He crossed the water and invaded Egypt, building a city that bears his name at the mouth of the Nile, and then used overseas shipping to keep a constant stream of men and supplies coming to him as he invaded what was then called Persia.

The Romans also used the Mediterranean as a supply line for their armies. The Roman Empire stretched even farther than Alexander had dreamed but its lifeblood was overseas shipping and trade on the Mediterranean. Italy has a commanding position in the Mediterranean; its well known boot peninsula juts out almost dead center between the Straights of Gibraltar and the west coast of Syria.

Today, the Mediterranean is still a coveted possession by many nations and seems to be in a constant state of transition. In addition to its strategic position for overseas shipping, the area around the Mediterranean contains one of the most valued natural resources on earth: oil. The nations that have been fortunate enough to contain this black gold have been the target of conquerors for decades and will likely remain that way until alternate power sources become practical and available to everyday consumers.

Egypt, Persia, Greece, Rome and Spain all realized the value of using the Mediterranean as a primary route for overseas shipping and all of them have taken their turn dominating its waters. Great Britain went one step further and initiated the building of the Suez Canal to connect the Mediterranean to the Red Sea, which gave them a route to the Indian Ocean and the Southeast Asia. Overseas shipping companies can now cross from Europe and Africa to Asia without going around the world like Columbus tried to do.
About the Author
Nir Dotan is a writer and promoter of
Overseas Shipping services,
Overseas Shipping
Local as well as International Moving.
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