The Archaic expansion differed from the Iron Age migrations of the Greek Dark Ages, in that it consisted of organised direction (see oikistes) away from the originating metropolis rather than the simplistic movement of tribes, which characterised the aforementioned earlier migrations. Many colonies, or apoikia (Greek: ἀποικία, transl. "home away from home"), that were founded during this period eventually evolved into strong Greek city-states, functioning independently of their metropolis.
The reason for the Greeks to establish colonies were strong economic growth with the consequent overpopulation of the motherland, and that the land of these Greek city states could not support a large city. The areas that the Greeks would try to colonise were hospitable and fertile.
The founding of the colonies was consistently an organised enterprise by the metropolis (mother city), although in many cases it collaborated with other cities. The place to be colonised was selected in advance with the goal of offering business advantages, but also security from raiders. In order to create a feeling of security and confidence in the new colony, the choice of place was decided according to its usefulness. The mission always included a leader nominated by the colonists. In the new cities, the colonists parceled out the land, including farms. The system of governance usually took a form similar to that of the metropolis.
Greek colonies were often established along coastlines, especially during the period of colonisation between the 8th and 6th centuries BC. Many Greek colonies were strategically positioned near coastlines to facilitate trade, communication, and access to maritime resources. These colonies played a crucial role in expanding Greek culture, trade networks, and influence throughout the Mediterranean and Black Sea regions. While some colonies were established inland for various reasons, coastal locations were generally more common due to the Greeks' strong connection to the sea.
The Greeks started colonising around the beginning of the 8th century BC when the Euboeans founded Pithecusae in Southern Italy and Olynthus in Chalcidice, Greece. Subsequently, they founded the colonies of Cumae, Zancle, Rhegium and Naxos.
At the end of the 8th century, Euboea fell into decline with the outbreak of the Lelantine War but colonial foundation continued by other Greeks such as the Ionians and Corinthians. The Ionians started their first colonies around the 7th century in Southern Italy, Thrace and on the Black Sea. Thera founded Cyrene and Andros, and Samos founded multiple colonies in the Northern Aegean.
Macedonia and Thrace edit
Chalcidice was settled by Euboeans, chiefly from Chalcis, who lent their name to these colonies. The most important settlements of the Euboeans in Chalcidice were Olynthos (which was settled in collaboration with the Athenians), Torone, Mende, Sermyle, Aphytis and Cleonae in the peninsula of Athos. Other important colonies in Chalcidice were Acanthus, founded by colonists from Andros and Potidaea, a colony of Corinth. Thasians with the help of the Athenian Callistratus of Aphidnae founded the city of Datus. During the Peloponnesian War, the Athenians with the Hagnon, son of Nikias founded the city of Ennea Hodoi (Ἐννέα ὁδοὶ), meaning nine roads, at the current location of the "Hill 133" north of Amphipolis in Serres.
Numerous other colonies were founded in the region of Thrace by the Ionians from the coast of Asia Minor. Important colonies were Maroneia, and Abdera. The Milesians also founded Abydos and Cardia on the Hellespont and Rhaedestus in Propontis. The Samians colonised the island of Samothrace, becoming the source of its name. Finally, the Parians colonised Thasos under the leadership of the oecist and father of the poet Archilochus, Telesicles.
Magna Graecia: mainland Italy and Sicily edit
Magna Graecia was the name given by the Romans to the coastal areas of Southern Italy in the present-day Italian regions of Calabria, Apulia, Basilicata, Campania and Sicily which were extensively settled by Greeks.
Greeks began to settle in southern Italy in the 8th century BC.
The first great migratory wave directed towards the western Mediterranean was that of the Euboeans aimed at the Gulf of Naples who, after Pithecusae (on the isle of Ischia), the oldest Greek settlement in Italy, founded Cumae nearby, their first colony on the mainland, and then in the Strait of Messina, Zancle in Sicily, and nearby on the opposite coast, Rhegium.
The second wave was of the Achaeans who concentrated initially on the Ionian coast (Metapontion, Poseidonia, Sybaris, Kroton), shortly before 720 BC. At an unknown date between the 8th and 6th centuries BC the Athenians, of Ionian lineage, founded Scylletium (near today's Catanzaro).
In Sicily the Euboeans later founded Naxos, which became the base for the founding of the cities of Leontini, Tauromenion and Catania. They were accompanied by small numbers of Dorians and Ionians; the Athenians had notably refused to take part in the colonisation. The strongest of the Sicilian colonies was Syracuse, an 8th-century BC colony of the Corinthians.
Refugees from Sparta founded Taranto which evolved into one of the most powerful cities in the area. Megara founded Megara Hyblaea and Selinous; Phocaea founded Elea; Rhodes founded Gela together with the Cretans and Lipari together with Cnidus; the Locrians founded Epizephyrean Locris. According to legend, Lagaria which was between Thurii and the river Sinni River was founded by Phocians.
Many cities in the region became in turn metropoleis for new colonies such as the Syracusans, who founded the city of Camarina in the south of Sicily; or the Zancleans, who led the founding of the colony of Himera. Likewise, Naxos, which founded many colonies while Sybaris founded the colony of Poseidonia. Gela founded its own colony, Acragas.
With colonisation, Greek culture was exported to Italy with its dialects of the Ancient Greek language, its religious rites, and its traditions of the independent polis. An original Hellenic civilization soon developed, and later interacted with the native Italic civilisations. The most important cultural transplant was the Chalcidean/Cumaean variety of the Greek alphabet, which was adopted by the Etruscans; the Old Italic alphabet subsequently evolved into the Latin alphabet, which became the most widely used alphabet in the world.
|City||Year (BC) of foundation - by author|
Ionian Sea, Adriatic Sea, and Illyria edit
The region of the Ionian Sea and that of Illyria were colonised strictly by Corinth. The Corinthians founded important overseas colonies on the sea lanes to Southern Italy and the west which succeeded in making them the foremost emporia of the western side of the Mediterranean. Important colonies of Corinth included Leucada, Astacus, Anactoreum, Actium, Ambracia, and Corcyra. The Corinthians also founded important colonies in Illyria, which evolved into important cities, Apollonia and Epidamnus. The fact that about the 6th century BC the citizens of Epidamnus constructed a Doric-style treasury at Olympia confirms that the city was among the richest of the Ancient Greek world. An ancient account describes Epidamnos as 'a great power and very populated' city. Nymphaeum was another Greek colony in Illyria. The Abantes of Euboea founded the city of Thronion at the Illyria. The island of Paros founded the colony Pharos on the island of Hvar in the Adriatic.
In 1877, archaeologists discovered in Lumbarda on the island of Korčula, in modern-day Croatia, a Greek inscription that writes about the founding of an Ancient Greek settlement on the island. The artifact is known as Lumbarda Psephisma. Evidence of coinage on the Illyrian coast can be dated back to around the 4th cent. BCE. The locations of these coins were founded to minted in Adriatic colonies such as Issa and Pharos. These coins were used for trade between the Illyrians and the Greeks.
Black Sea and Propontis edit
The Greeks had at one point called the Black Sea shore "inhospitable". According to ancient sources, they eventually created 70 to 90 colonies. The colonization of the Black Sea was led by the Megarans and some of the Ionian cities such as Miletus, Phocaea and Teos. The majority of colonies in the region of the Black Sea and Propontis were founded in the 7th century B.C. In the area of Propontis, the Megarans founded the cities of Astacus in Bithynia, Chalcedonia and Byzantium in which they occupied a privileged position. Miletus founded Cyzicus and the Phocaeans Lampsacus.
On the western shore of the Black Sea region the Megarans founded the cities of Selymbria and a little later, Nesebar. A little farther north in the region of today's Romania the Milesians founded the cities of Istria and Orgame. And Miletus also founded a city on the western shore of the Black Sea, Apollonia. In the south of the Black Sea the most important colony was Sinope which according to prevailing opinion was founded by Miletus. The precise chronology of its foundation is not known at present but it appears that it was founded some time around the middle of the 7th century B.C. Sinope was founded with a series of other colonies in the Pontic region: Trebizond, Cerasus, Cytorus, Cotyora, Cromne, Pteria, Tium, et al. The most important colony founded on the southern shore of the Black Sea was likewise a Megaran foundation: Heraclea Pontica, which was founded in the 6th century B.C.
On the north shore of the Black Sea Miletus was the first to start. The colonies of Miletus in this region of the Black Sea were Pontic Olbia and Panticapaeum (modern Kerch.) Later in the 6th century B.C. the Milesians founded Odessa in the region of modern Ukraine. Further north from the Danube delta the Greeks colonised an islet, modern Berezan (probably then a peninsula). That location is found at the confluence of the Bug estuary (the River Hypanis to the Ancient Greeks) and the Dnieper (the Barysthenes to the Ancient Greeks) The islet or peninsula itself was called by the ancients Barythmenis; across from this, they found the site that would be settled later as Olbia. Next to Olbia was another Greek colony that had Istria as its mother city.
On the Crimean peninsula (the Greeks then called it Tauric Chersonese or "Peninsula of the Bulls") they founded likewise the cities of Sympheropolis, and Nymphaeum and Hermonassa. On the Sea of Azov (Lake Maiotis to the ancients) they founded Tanais (in Rostov), Tyritace, Myrmeceum, Cecrine and Phanagoria—the last being a colony of the Teians. In 2018, archaeologists discovered a previously unknown ancient Greek settlement of the 4th-3rd centuries BC near the town of Baherove in Crimea. According to the researchers, the settlement was called Manitra.
On the eastern shore, which was known in ancient times as Colchis and in which today for the greater part is in Georgia and the autonomous region of Abkhazia, the Greeks founded the cities of Phasis and Dioscouris. The latter was called Sebastopolis by the Romans and Byzantines and is known today as Sukhumi—the ruins of the ancient and Byzantine foundations are now found principally below the waterline.
Wider Mediterranean edit
In North Africa, on the peninsula of Kyrenaika, colonists from Thera founded Kyrene, which evolved into a very powerful city in the region. Other colonies in Kyrenaika later included Barca, Euesperides (modern Benghazi), Taucheira, and Apollonia.
By the middle of the 7th century, the lone Greek colony in Egypt had been founded, Naukratis. The pharaoh Psammitecus I gave a trade concession to Milesian merchants for one establishment on the banks of the Nile, founding a trading post which evolved into a prosperous city by the time of the Persian expedition to Egypt in 525 B.C.
2023 archaeological findings in Thonis-Heracleion at Egypt, suggested that Greeks, who were already allowed to trade in the city, "had started to take root" there as early as during the Twenty-sixth Dynasty of Egypt and that likely Greek mercenaries were employed to defend the city.
Similar to the emporion established in the Nile Delta it is possible there was a Greek trading colony established by the Euboians along the Syrian coast on the mouth of the Orontes river at the site Al-Mina in the early 8th century BC. The Greek colony of Posideion on the promontory Ras al-Bassit was colonised just to the south of the Orontes estuary later in the 7th century BC.
Rest of the Mediterranean edit
On the north side of the Mediterranean, the Phokaians founded Massalia on the coast of Gaul. Massalia became the base for a series of further foundations farther away in the region of Spain. Phokaia also founded Alalia in Corsica and Olbia in Sardinia. The Phokaians arrived next on the coast of the Iberian peninsula. As related by Herodotus, a local king summoned the Phokaians to found a colony in the region and rendered meaningful aid in the fortification of the city. The Phokaians founded Empuries in this region and later the even more distant Hemeroskopeion.
Greek colonies before Alexander the Great (pre-336 BC) edit
BUL1. Mesembria BUL2. Odessos BUL3. Apollonia / Antheia BUL4. Agathopolis BUL5. Kavarna BUL6. Pomorie BUL7. Naulochos BUL8. Krounoi BUL9. Pistiros BUL10. Anchialos BUL11. Bizone * BUL12. Develtos BUL13. Heraclea Sintica BUL14. Beroe
- Abkhazia is recognised only by Russia and a small number of other countries.
GR1. Potidaea GR2. Stageira GR3. Acanthus GR4. Mende GR5. Ambracia GR6. Corcyra GR7. Maroneia GR8. Krinides GR9. Olynthus GR10. Abdera GR11. Therma GR12. Arethusa GR13. Leucas GR14. Eion GR15. Sane GR16. Amphipolis GR17. Argilus GR18. Sane GR19. Akanthos GR20. Astacus GR21. Galepsus GR22. Oesyme GR23. Phagres GR24. Datus GR25. Stryme GR26. Pistyrus GR27. Rhaecelus GR28. Dicaea GR29. Methoni GR30. Heraclea in Trachis GR31. Heraclea in Acarnania GR32. Anactorium GR33. Sale GR34. Drys GR35. Toroni GR36. Amorgos GR37. Actium GR38. Scabala GR39. Philippi GR40. Colonides GR41. Oliarus GR42. Potidaea GR43. Thera GR44. Myrcinus GR45. Tarphe
I1. Olbia I2. Adria I3. Ancona I4. Parthenope I5. Cumae I6. Procida I7. Dicaearchia I8. Neapolis I9. Poseidonia I10. Metapontum I11. Sybaris I12. Thurii I13. Taras I14. Siris I15. Crotona I16. Gallipoli I17. Elea I18. Messina I19. Kale Akte I21. Syracuse I22. Didyme I23. Hycesia I24. Phoenicusa I26. Therassía I27. Lipara/Meligounis I28. Epizepherean Locris I29. Rhegium I30. Lentini I31. Selinountas I32. Megara Hyblaea I33. Naxos I34. Tauromenion I35. Acragas I36. Himera I37. Gela I38. Catania I39. Leontini I40. Ereikousa I41. Euonymos I42. Kamarina I43. Medma I44. Hipponion I45. Heraclea Minoa I46. Caulonia I47. Trotilon I48. Pyxous I49. Mylae I50. Laüs I51. Terina I52. Rhegion I53. Tindari I54. Macalla I55. Temesa I56. Metauros I57. Krimisa I58. Chone I59. Saturo I60. Heraclea Lucania, Siris I61. Scylletium * I62. Agathyrnum I63. Adranon I64. Akrillai I65. Casmenae I66. Akrai I67. Engyon I68. Thapsos I69. Pithekoussai I70. Castelmezzano I71. Licata I72. Avella I73. Ortygia I74. Lagaria I75. Hydrus I76. Mactorium I77. Helorus
Modern Montenegro edit
Modern North Macedonia edit
- Some historians believe that it was near the modern Resen (North Macedonia) while others believe that it was near the modern Vranje (Serbia).
- Some historians believe that it was near the modern Resen (North Macedonia) while others believe that it was near the modern Vranje (Serbia).
SE1. Damastion *
TR1. Selymbria TR2. Heraclea Pontica TR3. Cius TR4. Ephesus TR5. Dios Hieron TR6. Iasos TR7. Myndus TR8. Selge TR9. Priene TR10. Halicarnassus TR11. Miletus TR12. Tralles TR13. Phaselis TR14. Aspendos TR15. Side TR16. Sillyon TR17. Zephyrion TR18. Kelenderis TR19. Mallus TR20. Amos TR21. Byzantium TR22. Amaseia TR23. Amastris TR24. Ainos TR25. Berge TR26. Perinthos TR27. Cardia TR28. Chalcedon TR29. Nicomedia TR30. Abydos TR31. Sestos TR32. Lampsacus TR33. Panormos TR34. Cyzicus TR35. Ilion TR36. Sigeion TR37. Sinope TR38. Tirebolu TR39. Amisos TR40. Tripolis TR41. Cotyora TR42. Polemonion TR43. Pharnakia TR44. Kerasous TR45. Trapezous TR46. Themiscyra TR47. Astacus in Bithynia TR48. Assos TR49. Pitane TR50. Phocaea TR51. Smyrna TR52. Pergamon TR53. Teos TR55. Colophon TR56. Patara TR57. Canae TR58. Bargylia TR59. Madytus TR60. Elaeus TR61. Tieion TR62. Apamea Myrlea TR63. Klazomenai TR64. Notion TR65. Parion TR66. Heraion Teichos TR67. Bisanthe TR68. Erythrae TR69. Priapus TR70. Alopeconnesus TR71. Limnae TR73. Crithote TR74. Pactya TR75. Perinthus TR76. Tium TR77. Teichiussa TR78. Triopium TR79. Placia TR80. Scylace TR81. Arisba TR82. Apollonia TR83. Apollonia ad Rhyndacum TR84. Myrina TR85. Pythopolis TR86. Cytorus TR87. Armene TR88. Kolonai TR89. Paesus TR90. Scepsis TR91. Myus TR92. Mallus TR93. Mopsus TR94. Caryanda TR95. Athenae TR96. Syrna TR97. Cyme TR98. Marathesium TR99. Chrysopolis TR100. Neonteichos TR101. Artace TR102. Semystra TR103. Cobrys TR104. Cypasis TR105. Kydonies TR106. Coryphas TR107. Heraclea (Aeolis) TR108. Gargara TR109. Lamponeia TR110. Elaea TR111. Mariandyn TR112. Claros TR113. Knidos TR114. Prusias ad Hypium TR115. Dardanus TR116. Pygela TR117. Temnos TR118. Gryneium TR119. Aigai TR120. Rhoiteion TR121. Cadrema TR122. Daminon Teichos TR123. Hydrela TR124. Athymbra
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Further reading edit
- Zuchtriegel, Gabriel (2020). Colonization and Subalternity in Classical Greece: Experience of the Nonelite Population. Cambridge University Press; Reprint edition. ISBN 978-1108409223.
- Lucas, Jason; Murray, Carrie Ann; Owen, Sara (2019). Greek Colonization in Local Context: Case Studies Exploring the Dynamics among Locals and Colonizers. University of Cambridge Museum of Classical Archaeology Monographs. Oxbow Books. ISBN 978-1789251326.
- Tsetskhladze, Gocha R.; Atasoy, Sümer; Temür, Akın; Yiğitpaşa, Davut (2019). Settlements and Necropoleis of the Black Sea and Its Hinterland in Antiquity: Select Papers from the Third International Conference 'The Black Sea in Antiquity and Tekkeköy: An Ancient Settlement on the Southern Black Sea Coast', 27-29 October 2017, Tekkeköy, Samsun. Archaeopress. doi:10.2307/j.ctvwh8bw7. S2CID 241412939.
- Bosher, Kathryn (2016). Theater outside Athens: Drama in Greek Sicily and South Italy. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-1107527508.
- Irad, Malkin (2013). A Small Greek World: Networks in the Ancient Mediterranean. Oxford University Press; Reprint edition. ISBN 978-0199315727.
- Tsetskhladze, Gocha (2011). The Black Sea, Greece, Anatolia and Europe in the First Millennium BC. Peeters Publishers. ISBN 978-9042923249.
- Rhodes, P. J. (2010). A History of the Classical Greek World: 478 - 323 BC. Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN 978-1405192866.
- Dietler, Michael; López-Ruiz, Carolina (2009). Colonial Encounters in Ancient Iberia: Phoenician, Greek, and Indigenous Relations. University Of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-0226148472.
- Tsetskhladze, Gocha (2008). Greek Colonisation: An Account Of Greek Colonies and Other Settlements Overseas: Volume 2. Brill Academic Publishers. ISBN 978-9004155763.
- Tsetskhladze, Gocha (2006). Greek Colonisation: An Account Of Greek Colonies and Other Settlements Overseas: Volume 1. Brill Academic Publishers. ISBN 978-9004122048.
- Kirigin, Branko (2006). Pharos. The Parian Settlement in Dalmatia: A study of a Greek colony in the Adriatic. British Archaeological Reports. ISBN 978-1841719917.
- Hall, Jonathan M. (2006). A History of the Archaic Greek World: ca. 1200-479 BCE. Wiley-Blackwel. ISBN 978-0631226680.
- Cerchiai, Luca; Janelli, Lorena; Longo, Fausto; Edward Smith, Mark (2004). The Greek Cities of Magna Graecia and Sicily. J. Paul Getty Museum. ISBN 978-0892367511.
- Tsetskhladze, Gocha (2004). The Archaeology of Greek Colonisation: Essays Dedicated to Sir John Boardman. Oxford University School of Archaeology; 2nd Revised edition. ISBN 978-0947816612.
- Tsetskhladze, Gocha; Snodgrass, A. M. (2002). Greek Settlements in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea. British Archaeological Reports. ISBN 978-1841714424.
- Graham (2001). Collected Papers on Greek Colonization. Brill Academic Publishers. ISBN 978-9004116344.
- Dominguez, Adolfo; Sanchez, Carmen (2001). Greek Pottery from the Iberian Peninsula: Archaic and Classical Periods. Brill Academic Publishers. ISBN 978-9004116047.
- Boardman, John; Solovyov, Sergei; Tsetskhladze, Gocha (2001). Northern Pontic Antiquities in the State Hermitage Museum. Brill Academic Publishers. ISBN 978-9004121461.
- Boardman, John (1999). The Greeks Overseas: Their Early Colonies and Trade. Thames & Hudson. ISBN 978-0500281093.
- Tsetskhladze, Gocha R. (1998). The Greek Colonisation of the Black Sea Area. Franz Steiner Verlag. ISBN 978-3515073028.
- Isaac, Benjamin H. (1997). The Greek Settlements in Thrace Until the Macedonian Conquest. Studies of the Dutch Archaeological and Historical Society, Vol 10. Brill Academic Pub. ISBN 978-9004069213.
- Cohen, Getzel M. (1996). The Hellenistic Settlements in Europe, the Islands, and Asia Minor. Hellenistic Culture and Society. University of California Press. ISBN 978-0520083295.
- Irad, Malkin (1987). Religion and Colonization in Ancient Greece. Brill Academic Publishers. ISBN 978-9004071193.