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Colaeus is a Classical Era Great Merchant in Civilization VI.

Unique Ability

Grants 1 free copy of the Luxury resource on this tile to your capital city. Gain 100 Civ6Faith Faith.

If possible, send Colaeus to a faraway continent. This will increase the chances of finding a Luxury resource not present in your home territory so you won't have to bother trading for it with a potential future rival.

Civilopedia Entry

According to the 'Histories' – although Herodotus’ accounts are as much fiction as fact – Colaeus of Samos was a merchant blown off course from the Mediterranean into the Atlantic, and so arrived at Tartessos c. 640 BC. There, beyond the Pillars of Herakles in southwestern Spain, he found a tribe of Celts working rich silver mines in the region. He traded his cargo of goods originally intended for Egypt – likely foodstuffs, pottery, tools, and cloth – to the barbarians for such an amount of silver (a stunning 60 talents) as to make him wealthy beyond the legendary Midas.

When Colaeus returned to Greece, he supposedly commissioned a great bronze vase and dedicated it and one-tenth of his profits – past and future – to the goddess Hera in thanks for his safe return to civilization. Whether he retired after this voyage or continued to travel to the Tartessos mines to bring silver back to Samos is unknown. However, later Greek historians claim that the story of the storm was merely an invention of clever Colaeus, intended to hide his route from competitors since the rewards from the previously untapped source of silver would have been immense. However, the profits were enough to draw other Greeks and Phoenicians to search for the silver source. By a century later the Phoenicians had established a regular route, bringing out tin as well as silver.

Herodotus, himself a merchant and traveler, mentions only two “traders” in his writings – Sostratos and Colaeus. So they must have been quite successful to have drawn his notice. Needless-to-say, nothing else is known of this nigh-mythical merchant named Colaeus…

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