How did geography affect the development of Greece?

Geography affected the development of the Greek culture and civilization in quite a few important ways. Perhaps most importantly, the rugged terrain and isolated islands of Greece prevented any easy unification of the distinct Greek societies, which led directly to the formation of hundreds of distinct city-states and cultural regions. While this fragmentation was adverse, it was also positive: it led directly to a spirit of independence that was distinctive among Mediterranean civilizations and allowed for a society such as Athens to achieve artistic and scientific wonders that became a model for the rest of the world to admire and learn from. Greece consists mostly of mountains and forests. In antiquity that meant that there was little arable land to feed the population. This again meant that many Greeks sought their fortune elsewhere: either at sea by becoming tradesmen to the middle East and Egypt; and by starting colonies elsewhere. At some point they had established cities all over present-day Turkey's southern coast, and they were the dominant presence in southern Italy at the time of the rise of Rome.