The same Mediterranean that provided the Cretans with protections also provided them with a means to wealth, power, and influence: commerce.
Rather than conquerors who built large armies and advanced the development of weapons technology, the Cretans were commercial traders who built what might have been the regions first merchant marine fleet, advancing the technologies of seafaring, harbor building, and commercial transactions. Because of the central role these things had in Greek culture, he is often identified with Greek mythology in its entirety. Because of the common epithet Phoebus Apollo (Apollo, God of the Light), he is sometimes confused with the sun god Helios, but they never merged in the ancient myths.
According to stories Greeks discovered a sanctuary to Artemis in the area of Ephesus and here they later built a great temple to her, one that would eventually be listed as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
Militarily it was surrounded on all sides by war, providing its people with a natural defense unavailable to the other major civilizations in the region like Egypt.
Evidence suggests that the Cretan ships were far superior to anything else in the Mediterranean at the time, allowing them to sail more safely and with more cargo than the ships of other civilizations. Perhaps because of this the cities built here were not constructed with the same massive fortifications that can be found with so many other cities of the same era. From here they could participate in the major trade routes with all three and even establish new ones reaching westward toward Sicily.
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