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Author Topic: MAGNA GRAECIA  (Read 7540 times)
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« on: September 25, 2008, 09:39:48 am »


                                                      M A G N A   G R A E C I A

Magna Graecia around 280 BCEMagna Graecia (Latin for "Greater Greece," Megalê Hellas/Μεγάλη Ἑλλάς in Greek) is the name of the area in Southern Italy and Sicily that was colonised by Greek settlers in the eighth century BCE, who brought with them the lasting imprint of their Hellenic civilization.

In the eighth and seventh centuries BCE, for various reasons, including demographic crisis (famine, overcrowding, climate change, etc.), the search for new commercial outlets and ports, and expulsion from their homeland, Greeks began to settle in southern Italy (Cerchiai, pp. 14-18). In this same time, Greek colonies were established in places as widely separated as the eastern coast of the Black Sea and Massalia (Marseille). They included settlements in Sicily and the southern part of the Italian peninsula. The Romans called the area of Sicily and the foot of the boot of Italy Magna Graecia (Latin, “Greater Greece”), since it was so densely inhabited by Greeks. The ancient geographers differed on whether the term included Sicily or merely Apulia and Calabria — Strabo being the most prominent advocate of the wider definitions.

With this colonization, Greek culture was exported to Italy, in its dialects of the Ancient Greek language, its religious rites and its traditions of the independent polis. An original Hellenic civilization soon developed, later interacting with the native Italic and Latin 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.

Many of the new Hellenic cities became very rich and powerful, like Kapuê (Capua), Neapolis (Νεάπολις, Naples), Syracuse, Akragas, Subaris (Σύβαρις, Sybaris). Other cities in Magna Graecia included Taras (Τάρας, Taranto), Epizephyrioi Lokroi or Locri (Λοκροί), Rhegion (Ρήγιον), Kroton (Κρότων, Crotone), Thurii (Θούριοι), Elea (Ελέα) and Ankon (Αγκων, Ancona).

Following the Pyrrhic War, Magna Graecia was absorbed into the Roman Republic
« Last Edit: September 25, 2008, 10:02:02 am by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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