The Hellenic Merchant Marine development took place from around the middle of the 18th Century. The Greek merchants exploited international opportunities due to the vacancy left by the Anglo-French wars in the commercial routes.Initially as agents and brokers and later on as independent merchants and seamen, they were spreading to Eastern Mediterranean starting mainly from the islands of the Aegean Sea, especially Santorini.Thus they little by little established their Maritime position, trading mostly the surplus agriculture products (wine, wheat, cotton) and investing in Shipping Company's and Transportation Trade.On the eve of the French Revolution (1789) the Greeks reported that they owned 400 vessels and had the monopoly in South Russia and the Black Sea.It traded directly with Russia with the total wine production being exported there. From Russia they traded wheat with France, Italy and England. Thira( Santorini) was in the middle of it all.
© Ramdas Iyer Photography