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MAGNA GRAECIA

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Author Topic: MAGNA GRAECIA  (Read 6433 times)
Bianca
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« on: September 25, 2008, 09:46:52 am »


            

              Temple of Hera in Metaponto,
              Matera, Italy









The Middle Ages



During the Early Middle Ages, following the disastrous Gothic War, new waves of Byzantine Christian Greeks came to Magna Graecia from Greece and Asia Minor, as Southern Italy remained loosely governed by the Eastern Roman Empire. The iconoclast emperor Leo III appropriated lands that had been granted to the Papacy in southern Italy and the Eastern Emperor loosely governed the area until the advent of the Lombards then, in the form of the Catapanate of Italy, superseded by the Normans. Moreover the Byzantines would have found in Southern Italy people of common cultural root, the Greek-speaking eredi ellenofoni of Magna Graecia.

Although most of the Greek inhabitants of Southern Italy became entirely Italianized (as Paestum had already been in the 4th century BCE) and no longer spoke Greek, remarkably a small Griko-speaking minority still exists today in Calabria and mostly in Salento. Griko is the name of a language combining ancient Doric, Byzantine Greek, and Italian elements, spoken by people in the Magna Graecia region. There is rich oral tradition and Griko folklore, limited now, though once numerous, to only a few thousand people, most of them having become absorbed into the surrounding Italian element. Records of Magna Graecia being predominantly Greek-speaking, date as late as the eleventh century (the end of Byzantine domination in Southern Italy).
« Last Edit: September 25, 2008, 09:58:36 am by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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