A new civilization that was born in the eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea basin had much to be indebted for to Aegean and Middle East traditions.It was never monolithic, but it became very diverse at the end of its existence. Its outside borders were determined by foreground of Asia, Africa, barbarian Europe and steppes of southern Russia.
Although dissimilarity of the Mediterranean culture was undisputed, it was always influenced by other traditions that shaped it to a great extent. The Mediterranean civilization demonstrated always a great variety of forms of political life and inspired experiments.
Other cultures maintained continuity of their religion and ideology. The Mediterranean civilization started from a tradition of its native paganism and finished under the influence of an exotic import – Christianity. That transformation of the Mediterranean civilization had the biggest impact on its future.
The shape of the Mediterranean civilization was mainly determined by its geographical location.
Although the area of the Mediterranean Sea is quite big and it is inhabited by various peoples, it is rather geographically uniform. The sea was the main link. On its coast a civilization developed that used a couple of languages.
Economy was based mostly on growing wheat, barley, olives and grapevine that were mainly consumed.
Ship transport facilitated transport of goods and this is why specialized commercial centres arose at the Mediterranean Sea. It also was a great facilitation for export of metals.
The expansion of littoral peoples created a new world. New born civilizations made conquests but they were not concentrated on colonization. They were mainly concentrated on how to satisfy their most important need.
As far as the Mediterranean civilization is concerned, we can clearly see pace and dynamics of its development that caused that Greeks grew wheat on Russian territory, imported tin from Cornwall, built roads in Balkans, used spices imported from India and silk imported from China.
Historical writings came into being for the first time in the ancient world. In 500 BC literary tradition was fully developed. It is represented by narrative literature, lyric poetry, historical writings and epigrams.
All literature is written in two languages commonly used in the Mediterranean world: Greek and Latin. Thanks to Greek and Latin literature people from subsequent ages got to know this civilization and called it "classical culture".
Splendour and power of the classical Mediterranean civilization has been always fascinating. Also some of its representatives perceived their times and culture as something special.
The classical civilization was something extraordinary. It set standards and shaped ideas, techniques and institutions on which it was to built the future.
In general, unity of the Mediterranean civilization, discovered by its heirs, had a spiritual nature.
Achievements of the classical age create the entirety that originated modern states. That is why the classical age is something perceptible and comprehensible for us.
Greeks played the main role in formation of this world, they decided on its dynamics and created its heritage. Looking for perfection they determined how people from subsequent ages would understand it. Their achievements are hard to overestimate and are the most important process that shaped the Mediterranean civilization.