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Author Topic: MAGNA GRAECIA  (Read 7494 times)
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« on: September 25, 2008, 11:06:51 am »

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

MAGNA GRAECIA µey tXi `EXX6), the name given (first, apparently, in the 6th century B.C.) to the group of Greek cities along the coast of the "toe" of South Italy (or more strictly those only from Tarentum to Locri, along the east coast), while the people were called Italiotes ('IraXeivrac). The interior, which the Greeks never subdued, continued to be in the hands of the Bruttii, the native mountaineers, from whom the district was named in Roman times (Bperrfa also in Greek writers).

The Greek colonies were established first as trading stations, which grew into independent cities.

At an early time a trade in copper was carried on between Greece and Temesa (Homer, Od. i. 181).

The trade for a long time was chiefly in the hands of the Euboeans; and Cyme (Cumae) in Campania was founded in the 8th century B.C., when the Euboean Cyme was still a great city.

After this the energy of Chalcis went onward to Sicily, and the states of the Corinthian Gulf carried out the colonization of Italy, Rhegium having been founded, it is true, by Chalcis, but after Messana (Zancle), and at the request of the inhabitants of the latter.

Sybaris (721) and Crotona (703) were Achaean settlements; Locri Epizephyrii (about 710) was settled by Ozolian Locrians, so that, had it not been for the Dorian colony of Tarentum, the southern coast of Italy would have been entirely occupied by a group of Achaean cities.

Tarentum (whether or no founded by pre-Dorian Greeks - its founders bore the unexplained name of Partheniae) became a Laconian colony at some unknown date, whence a legend grew up connecting the Partheniae with Sparta, and 707 B.C. was assigned as its traditional date.

Tarentum is remarkable as the only foreign settlement made by the Spartans. It was industrial, depending largely on the purple and pottery trade.

Ionian Greeks fleeing from foreign invasion founded Siris about 650 B.C., and, much later, Elea (540).
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