• Government
  • Egyptian Commerce

  • Comparison Between Egyptian and Greek Trade

    Criteria Egyptian Trade Ancient Greek Trade
    ImagesEgyptian Trade Ancient Greek Trade
    Importance - Egypt was a self sufficient country in the ancient world.
    - Trade was an auxiliary economic activity, consisting of sporadic expeditions set up by Pharaohs for the purpose of exchanging luxury goods and commodities. One of the most famous trade expeditions in Egypt was Queen Hatshepsut's expedition to Punt.
    - Egyptians did not travel often, because they had fear of dying in a foreign country and getting an improper burial
    - The Ptolemaic Period saw a booming in trading activities and Alexandria became a world trade center
    - The necessity of importing wheat forced the Greek world to engage in large scale maritime trade
    - Greeks were skilled sailors and traders
    Trade Partners - Egyptians set up trade routes to Greece, Palestine, Punt, and Nubia - The areas which provisioned Greece with wheat were Cyrenaica, Egypt, Italy, and regions surrounding the Black Sea.
    Patron god - Due to the minor importance of trade in Egypt, there was no patron associated with this activity from the nearly 2000 Egyptian gods - Mercury (Hermes) the son of Zeus and Maia, was god of commerce,
    Imports - Commodity items such as leopard skins, giraffe tails, monkeys, cattle, ivory, ostrich feathers
    - Cedar wood from Lebanon since Egyptian trees were rare and did not produce good lumber.
    - Luxury items such as Minoan oil containers came from the Aegean.
    - Precious stones such as lapis lazuli, were imported from Afghanistan.
    - Essential food such as wheat and flour
    - Other imported products included papyrus, spices, fabrics, metals, and wood
    Exports - Essential items such as food and papyrus sheets - Commodity items such as Pottery, olives, and wine.
    - Individual city-states became known for certain products
    Athens - decorated pottery
    Corinth - jewelry and metal crafts
    Traders - The government controlled Egyptian commerce until the Late Kingdom
    - During the Late Kingdom and Ptolemaic Period, Egyptian trade was in the hands of Phoenicians and Greeks, who had settled in the Delta.
    - A free class of traders known as emporoi were involved in trading
    - City states collected taxes on the trade cargoes