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INTRODUCTION REVISITING ANCIENT GREEK COLONISATION pp.XXIII-LXXXIII Gocha R.

Tsetskhladze

The major Greek expansion around the Mediterranean and Black Seas in the Archaic period has been called in academic literature ‘Greek colonisation’. Migration feature in every period of Greek, Roman 1 and Near Eastern history 2,but Archaic Greek colonisation is distinguished from most of the rest by its scale and extent—some comparisons may be made with Alexander the Great’s campaign in the Near East and the Hellenistic period 3,3 but the nature and character of these events are different. Greece itself (both the modern mainland and ancient East Greece) had witnessed migration before the Archaic period: in the late 11th–10th century B.C. the Ionians (and subsequently the Dorians and Aeolians) migrated from mainland Greece to settle the Aegean islands and the western coast of Asia Minor, where they founded 12 cities. Earlier still, the Mycenaeans had established settlements around the Mediterranean 4. The study of Greek colonies and other settlements overseas has a long history. Notwithstanding this, as C.M. Antonaccio recently remarked:
The phenomena that made up Greek settlement ‘abroad’, usually characterized as colonization, are clearly an integral part of Greek history and the development of Greek culture(s). Yet, although the so-called Western Greeks fully participated in panhellenic cult, politics and economics, and culture the colonies are often not integrated into the master-narratives of Iron Age and Archaic Greek history. This is starting to change with an expressly comparative archaeology of colonization or colonialism that is now coming to the fore and making its way into Classical Studies.... 5

She continues:
Excavating colonization has also occasioned digging into the history of the study of Greek colonization and into the relevance of other colonialisms, and led to a long-overdue dialogue between Anglophone and European scholars with their respective perspectives and agendas 6.

The state of our knowledge is frequently analysed. In one such attempt, made in 1984, J.-P. Morel concluded:
See, for example, Cornell 1995; Millar 1981; Alcock 2005; Terrenato 2005. For a recent overview of the ancient Near East, see Snell 2005. See also Stein 2002; 2005a. 3 See Shipley 2000; Rotroff 1997. For a recent overview of the period, see Erskine 2003. 4 See the two chapters by J. Vanschoonwinkel in the present volume (pp. 41–142). 5 Antonaccio 2005, 97. Her observation is addressed specifically at southern Italy and Sicily. These regions have been more or less incorporated in the general discussion about Archaic Greece; other regions, such as Spain, the south of France, the Black Sea, etc., were virtually ignored, although this is now starting to change (see, for instance, Osborne 1996; Pomeroy et al. 1999; Whitley 2001; Hansen and Nielsen 2004; Morris and Powell 2006). 6 Antonaccio 2005, 97. The term ‘the archaeology of Greek colonisation’ was used first in the title of a book in 1994 (Tsetskhladze and De Angelis 1994). In 1997, one of the reviewers of this book was so surprised by the term that he asked himself ‘The archaeology of what?’ (Antiquity 71.272, 500). It is very interesting to see how scholarship has developed since the appearance of that book. C.M. Antonaccio not only called her 2005 paper ‘Excavating Colonization’; it is the title of her forthcoming book (University of Texas Press) (Antonaccio 2005, 112). See also Dietler 2005.
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. 750–c. London and chapters in the present volume by E. by which Greek cities were spread round the coasts of the Mediterranean and Pontus. focus mainly on Magna Graecia and Sicily. Di Vita 2002. then what? The Second Edition of the Oxford Classical Dictionary. De Angelis 2001. Nevertheless. [3] the motives of Greek colonization accompanied by the debate between the agrarian and commercial hypotheses. . d’Agostino (pp. 201–38). Snodgrass 1994.C. especially in an introductory piece such as this. [5] the political history of the cities of Magna Graecia and particularly the disputes between them 7.g. See also several volumes published by the Accordia Research Institute. the most recent literature can be found in Hansen and Nielsen 2004. Bispham and Smith 2000. Ridgway 2002.: [1] the Myceneans in the western Mediterranean and especially the question of continuity or discontinuity of a Greek presence between the Bronze Age and the eighth century. Gleba 2003. Greco (pp. Burgers 2004. this had changed to: ‘Colonization’. If I seem to be making heavy use of quotations. and there was much colonization in Asia under Alexander and in the Hellenistic period. gives the following definition of Greek colonisation (A. [2] the foundation dates of the colonies and secondary colonies (one may recall the heated discussions which until very recently took place over the relative and absolute chronology of Syracuse and Megara Hyblaea and of Megara Hyblaea and Selinus). By the Third Edition of the same work. in the language of a former imperial power. Here I shall concentrate mostly on general matters. These remarks. Graham. 8 Many issues are discussed in the following chapters. c. This at least emerges with relative clarity from both the historical and the archaeological evidence. p. the greatest colonizing achievement. See also Graham 1982 and ‘Epilogue’ in Boardman 1999a. In fact. at Miletus). see Menéndez Varela 2003. [4] the relation between mother cities and their colonies. is that of the archaic period. it is still only too true that archaeologists and ancient historians do not always appreciate each other’s aims and methods—a problem that is exacerbated by the Morel 1984. 734 and 580 B. For the rest. 550. the mass of general and particular information that has accumulated under these two headings is only rarely susceptible to a single uncontroversial interpretation.J. . It must be emphasised that southern Italy and Sicily continue to be at the forefront of our investigations. my view is that presenting an author’s arguments in his own words provides greater clarity than any paraphrase. For other regions. 2005. I shall also provide literature (mainly in English) covering the whole spectrum of issues which has appeared in between the completion of the various chapters and publication (see my ‘Preface’). In addition to the literature cited later in the present volume. published in 1970. published in 1996 (D. Gassner 2003. p. Krinzinger 2000. . living in a poor country. etc. Skele 2002. once again. Holloway 1981.Some subjects of research have become or are becoming less important. Smith and Serrati 2000. but the same issues exist/have always existed for other areas. Page 2 of 3 7 . 2002. 169–200) and B. Although the position has greatly improved since the 1930s. How far has modern scholarship advanced in the study of different aspects of Greek colonisation 8? If not Colonisation. Attema et al. Ridgway. 123–4. Bonfante 2003. Mycenaean colonies of the Late Bronze Age have been revealed by archaeologists (e. Greco 2002. cf. 264): Colonization was always a natural activity for Greeks. the process itself was not so much ‘Greek’ as directed in different ways and for different reasons by a number of independent city-states . the coast of Asia Minor and the islands off it were settled at the beginning of the Iron Age. Attema 2004. is a somewhat misleading definition of the process of major Greek expansion that took place between c. 362). 267–82. . D.

they should certainly not be regarded as somehow ‘less colonial’ 11. inter-disciplinary. Other cases are Roman occupation of the Mediterranean and northwestern Europe. the Italian and Spanish mainland and the Greek or Phoenician presence in these regions. See also van Dommelen 2005. 11 van Dommelen 2002. explicitly labeling these as coloniae. His more recent definition (2002) is closer to the conception of this volume: The term colonial is widely used in Mediterranean archaeology to describe situations in which the archaeological and historical evidence shows people living in clearly distinct settlements in a ‘foreign’ region or enclave at some distance from their place of origin.C. See. specialist in the archaeology of ancient Europe. One matter to receive much attention was that of terminology. the Phoenician settlements in the central and western Mediterranean. for instance. He continues: ‘The colonial terminology commonly used to refer to these situations has never been questioned. practices. van Dommelen 1997. In a debate that still continues many have questioned whether what happened was really ‘colonisation’ 9. for example. Osborne 1998. While these may be less well known. It is because the colonial terminology appeared to provide a coherent and transparent framework for studying a wide variety of loosely related situations [that] colonialism has become a well-established and prominent feature of Mediterranean and classical archaeology and ancient history’ (van Dommelen 2002. onward. 121). and the existence of asymmetrical socioeconomic relationships of dominance or exploitation between the colonizing groups and the inhabitants of the colonized regions 10. etc. The answer often depends on the academic background of the writer—ancient historian. In the quarter of a century between these two definitions the scholarly attitude to Greek colonisation changed dramatically in several respects. P. and terminology of their own times onto the much earlier events they purport to describe. classical archaeologist. The prominence of the Greek cities even gave this region the name Magna Graecia. classicist. The arrival of both Greeks and Phoenicians in the western Mediterranean is moreover well documented by numerous classical authors who have written extensively about the foundation of new cities in foreign countries. 121. The situation most often referred to in these terms is the Greek presence in southern Italy and Sicily from the eighth century B. van Dommelen’s 1997 definition of the term ‘colonialism’ is frequently cited: The presence of one or more groups of foreign people in a region at some distance from their place of origin (the ‘colonizers’). 10 9 Page 3 of 3 . 306. and the Greek presence on the shores of the Black Sea. because the abundant archaeological evidence clearly shows a sharp contrast between the local cultures of.fact that on the subject of colonization ancient no less than modern authors are more than usually influenced by their own political agenda and accordingly more than usually liable to project the priorities. anthropologist.