National Geographic : 1954 Jan
peristyle villa in the Roman traders' quarter of Delos, the "heights" of the sacred city. Then, among the stone epigraphs of Delos, Benoit found an inscription setting forth that Marcus Sestius had received honorary citizen ship (isopoliteia) in Delos in 240 B. C. This form of naturalization was often given to a distinguished foreigner by Greek cities; some times whole cities exchanged honorary citizen ship for their populations. Greek Sailors Kept Their Trade a Secret With the date 240 B. C. to show that Sestius was already established on Delos, Benoit placed the sinking of the galley at some 10 years later. It may be incorrect by a few years. Benoit's findings throw a beam of light on blank pages of early commercial history. Al- though the Greeks wrote volubly on almost every subject under the sun, few descriptions have been found of their maritime commerce. Perhaps they did not think it important, but it is more likely that they maintained secrecy on their navigational arts to discourage com petitors. Their rivals, the Phoenicians, carried secrecy to the point of deliberately running a ship on the rocks to wreck a competitor who was closely following them, trying to learn the Phoenician routes. The Phoenicians also invented terrible sea monsters, rocks, and whirlpools to scare off rival traders. Pieces of amphorae carrying Marcus Ses tius' trademark have been found in Burgundy and Alsace, showing that Marseille was a dis tribution point for Greek wine, which was carried up the Rhone Valley to remote and rude parts as early as the 3rd century B. C.