Colonies in antiquity

Colonies in antiquity were post-Iron Age city-states founded from a mother-city (its "metropolis"),[1] not from a territory-at-large. Bonds between a colony and its metropolis remained often close, and took specific forms during the period of classical antiquity.[2] Generally, colonies founded by the ancient Phoenicians, Carthage, Rome, Alexander the Great and his successors remained tied to their metropolis, but Greek colonies of the Archaic and Classical eras were sovereign and self-governing from their inception. While Greek colonies were often founded to solve social unrest in the mother-city, by expelling a part of the population, Hellenistic, Roman, Carthaginian, and Han Chinese colonies were used for expansion and empire-building.

Ancient colonies
The Mediterranean in ca. 6th century BC. Phoenician settlements are labelled in red color, Greek areas in blue and Roman territory in light purple.

Egyptian colony

An Egyptian colony that was stationed in southern Canaan dates to slightly before the First Dynasty.[3] Narmer had Egyptian pottery produced in Canaan and exported back to Egypt,[4] from regions such as Arad, En Besor, Rafiah, and Tel ʿErani.[4] Shipbuilding was known to the ancient Egyptians as early as 3000 BC, and perhaps earlier. The Archaeological Institute of America reports[5] that the earliest dated ship — dating to 3000 BC[6] – may have possibly belonged to Pharaoh Aha.[6]

Phoenician colonies

The Phoenicians were the major trading power in the Mediterranean in the early part of the first millennium BC. They had trading contacts in Egypt and Greece, and established colonies as far west as modern Spain, at Gadir (modern Cádiz).

From Gadir the Phoenicians controlled access to the Atlantic Ocean and the trade routes to Britain. The most famous and successful of Phoenician colonies was founded by settlers from Tyre in 814–813 BC and called Kart-Hadasht (Qart-ḥadašt,[7] literally "New Town"[8]), known to history as Carthage. The Carthaginians later founded their own colony in the southeast of Spain, Carthago Nova, which was eventually conquered by their enemy, Rome.

According to María Eugenia Aubet, Professor of Archaeology at the Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona: "The earliest presence of Phoenician material in the West is documented within the precinct of the ancient city of Huelva, Spain... The high proportion of Phoenician pottery among the new material found in 1997 in the Plaza de las Monjas in Huelva argues in favour, not of a few first sporadic contacts in the zone, but of a regular presence of Phoenician people from the start of the ninth century BC. The recent radiocarbon dates from the earliest levels in Carthage situate the founding of this Tyrian colony in the years 835–800 cal BC, which coincides with the dates handed down by Flavius Josephus and Timeus for the founding of the city."[9]

Ancient Greek colonies

Empuries MaisonduPeristyle
Ruins of a peristyle home from the Greek period of Empúries, Catalonia, Spain

In Ancient Greece, a vanquished people would sometimes found a colony, leaving their homes to escape subjection at the hand of a foreign enemy; sometimes colonies formed as a sequel to civil disorders, when the losers in internecine battles left to form a new city elsewhere; sometimes to get rid of surplus population, and thereby to avoid internal convulsions; and also, as a result of ostracism. But in most cases colony-founders aimed to establish and facilitate relations of trade with foreign countries and to further the wealth of the mother-city (in Greek: μητρόπολις mētropolis). Colonies were established in Ionia and Thrace as early as the 8th century BC.[10]

More than thirty Greek city-states had multiple colonies. They became dotted across the Mediterranean world, with the most active colony-founding city, Miletus, of the Ionian League, spawning ninety colonies stretching throughout the Mediterranean Sea, from the shores of the Black Sea and Anatolia (modern Turkey) in the east, to the southern coast of the Iberian Peninsula in the west, as well as several colonies on the Libyan coast of northern Africa,[11] from the late 9th to the 5th centuries BC.

Greeks founded two similar types of colony, one known as an ἀποικία apoikía – a designation reflecting the Greek roots ἀπό (apó “away from”) + οἶκος (oîkos “home”) (pl.: ἀποικίαι apoikiai) – and the other as an ἐμπόριov – emporion (pl.: ἐμπόρια emporia). The first type of colony was a city-state on its own; the second was a Greek trading-colony.

The Greek city-states began establishing colonies around 900[12] – 800 BC, at first at Al Mina on the coast of Syria and the Greek emporium Pithekoussai at Ischia in the Bay of Naples, both established about 800 BC by Euboeans.[13]

Greek colonies of the Euxine Sea
Ancient Greek colonies of the Black Sea, 8th-3rd century BC

Two waves of new colonists set out from Greece at the transition between the "Dark Ages" and the start of the Archaic Period – the first in the early 8th century BC and a second burst of the colonizing spirit in the 6th century. Population growth and cramped spaces at home seem an insufficient explanation, while the economical and political dynamics produced by the competitive spirit between the frequently kingless Greek city-states – newly introduced as a concept and striving to expand their spheres of economical influence – better fits as their true incentive. Through this Greek expansion the use of coins flourished throughout the Mediterranean Basin.

Influential Greek colonies in the western Mediterranean – many of them in today's Italy — included Cyme, Rhegium (Rhegion) by Chalcis and Zankle (c. 8th century), Syracuse by Corinth/Tenea (c. 734 BC), Naxos by Chalcis (c. 734 BC), Massalia (the later Marseille, France, c. 598 BC) and Agathe (shortly after Massalia) by Phokaia, Elea (Italy) and Emporion (present-day Spain) by Phokaia/Massalia (c. 540 BC and early 6th century), Antipolis (nowadays France) by Achaea, Alalia (Corsica) by Phokaia/Massalia (c. 545 BC) and Cyrene (Cyrenaica, present-day Libya) by Thera (762/61 and 632/31 BC).[14]

The Greeks also colonised modern-day Crimea in the Black Sea. The settlements they established there included the city of Chersonesos, at the site of modern-day Sevastopol.[15] Another area with significant Greek colonies was the coast of ancient Illyria on the Adriatic Sea (e.g. the ancient "Aspalathos", modern-day Split, Croatia).

Greek and Phoenician Colonies in The Iberian Peninsula
The Iberian peninsula in 300 BC. Phoenician cities in blue, Greek cities in red.

Cicero remarks on the extensive Greek colonization, noting that "It were as though a Greek fringe has been woven about the shores of the barbarians."[16] Several formulae generally shaped the solemn and sacred occasions when a new colony set forth. If a Greek city decided to send out a colony, the citizenry almost invariably consulted an oracle, especially one such as the Oracle of Delphi, beforehand. Sometimes certain classes of citizens were called upon to take part in the enterprises; sometimes one son was chosen by lot from every house where there were several sons; and strangers expressing a desire to join were admitted. A person of distinction was selected to guide the emigrants and to make the necessary arrangements. It was usual to honor these founders of colonies, after their death, as heroes. Some of the sacred fire was taken from the public hearth in the Prytaneum, from which the fire on the public hearth of the new city was kindled. Just as each individual had his private shrines, so the new community maintained the worship of its chief domestic deities, the colony sending embassies and votive gifts to the mother-city's principal festivals for centuries afterwards.

After the conquests of the Macedonian Kingdom and Alexander the Great, a further number of Hellenistic colonies were founded also in Asia (as far away as India), Europe and Africa.

Greek colonies in Anatolia

The Mycenaeans Greeks by the 15th century BC had reached Rhodes, Crete, Cyprus, where Teucer is said to have founded the first colony, and the shores of Asia Minor.[17][18] Moreover, Greeks were settled in Ionia and Pontus. Miletus in Ionia was an ancient Greek city on the western coast of Anatolia, near the mouth of the Maeander River. The Late Bronze Age, 13th century BC, Milesian saw the arrival in the area of Luwian language speakers from south central Anatolia calling themselves the Carians. Later in that century, other Greeks arrived. The city at that time rebelled against the Hittites Empire. After the fall of that empire, the city was destroyed in the 12th century BC and starting about 1000 BC was resettled extensively by the Ionian Greeks. Before the invasion from Persia in the middle of the 6th century BC, Miletus was considered the greatest and wealthiest of Greek Polis.[19][20] Over several centuries, numerous Ancient Greek city-states were established on the coasts of Anatolia. Greeks started Western philosophy on the western coast of Anatolia (Pre-Socratic philosophy).[21] Thales, Anaximander, Anaximenes, Diogenes of Apollonia were among of the renowned Milesian school philosophers. Heraclitus lived in Ephesus (/ˈɛfəsəs/;[1] Greek: Ἔφεσος Ephesos; Turkish: Efes) another ancient Greek city[22][23] and Anaxagoras was from Clazomenae, a city on the coast of Ionia and a member of the Ionian League. All Ancient Greek dialects were spoken in Anatolia depending on the origin of the City states and the list of ancient Greek theatres in Anatolia is one of the longest among all places Greeks had settled. In Pontus, Greeks traditionally lived in the region of Pontus, on the shores of today's Turkey's Black Sea and in the Pontic Alps, in northeastern Anatolia and the former Armenian province of Kars in Caucasus, and also in Georgia. Those from southern Russia, the Ukraine, and Crimea are often referred to as 'Northern Pontic Greeks', in contrast to those from 'South Pontus', which strictly speaking is Pontus proper. Those from Georgia, northeastern Anatolia, and the ones who lived in present-day Armenia are often referred to as 'Eastern Pontic Greeks' or Caucasus Greeks. The Greeks have founded well known cities to this day. The cities of Sinope (Greek: Σινώπη, Sinōpē) and Trabzon (Greek: Τραπεζοῦς Trapezous), were founded by Milesian traders (756 BC) as well as Samsun, Rize and Amasya. Greek was the lingua franca of Anatolia from the conquests of Alexander the Great up to the invasion of the Seljuk Turks in the eleventh century AD.

Relations of colony and metropolis

The relation between colony and mother-city, known literally as the metropolis, was viewed as one of mutual affection. Any differences that arose were resolved by peaceful means whenever possible, war being deemed excusable only in cases of extreme necessity. (Note though that the Peloponnesian War of 431 -404 BC broke out in part as a result of a dispute between Corinth and her colony of Corcyra. The charter of foundation contained general provisions for the arrangement of the affairs of the colony, and also some special enactments. A colony would usually adopt the constitution of the mother-city, but the new city remained politically independent. The "holy fire" of the metropolis was preserved in a special place to remind people of the common ties. If the colony sent out a fresh colony on its own account, the mother-city was generally consulted, or was at least requested to furnish a leader. Frequently the colonies, declaring their commitment to the various metropolitic alliances formed in the Greek mainland and for religious reasons, would pay tribute in religious centres, like Delphi, Olympia or Delos.[24]

The cleruchs (κληροῦχοι, klêrouchoi) formed a special class of Greek colonists, each being assigned an individual plot of land (κλῆρος, klêros) in the place to which they had been assigned. The trade factories set up in foreign countries, such as Egypt, were somewhat different from the ordinary colonies, the members retaining the right of domicile in their own homeland and confining themselves to their own quarter in the foreign city.

Roman colonies

Map showing Roman colonies as of the mid-2nd century. Augustus' "roman coloniae" in north Africa are depicted in red.

It was an old custom in ancient Italy to send out colonies for the purpose of securing new conquests. The Romans, having no standing army, used to plant bodies of their own citizens in conquered towns as a kind of garrison. These bodies would consist partly of Roman citizens, usually to the number of three hundred; partly of members of the Latin League, in larger numbers. The third part of the conquered territory was handed over to the settlers. The coloniae civium Romanorum (colonies of Roman citizens) were specially intended to secure the two seacoasts of Italy, and were hence called coloniae maritimae. The coloniae Latinae, of which there was a far greater number, served the same purpose for the mainland.

The duty of leading the colonists and founding the settlement was entrusted to a commission usually consisting of three members. These men continued to stand in the relation of patrons (patroni) to the colony after its foundation. The colonists entered the conquered city in military array, preceded by banners, and the foundation was celebrated with special solemnities. The coloniae were free from taxes, and had their own constitution, a copy of the Roman, electing from their own body their Senate and other officers of State. To this constitution the original inhabitants had to submit. The coloniae civium Romanorum retained Roman citizenship, and were free from military service, their position as outposts being regarded as an equivalent. The members of the coloniae Latinae served among the socii, the allies, and possessed the so-called ius Latinum or Latinitas. This secured to them the right of acquiring property, the concept of commercium, and the right of settlement in Rome, and under certain conditions the power of becoming Roman citizens; though in course of time these rights underwent many limitations.

From the time of the Gracchi the colonies lost their military character. Colonization came to be regarded as a means of providing for the poorest class of the Roman Plebs. After the time of Sulla it was adopted as a way of granting land to veteran soldiers. The right of founding colonies passed into the hands of the Roman emperors during the Principate, who used it mainly in the provinces for the exclusive purpose of establishing military settlements, partly with the old idea of securing conquered territory. It was only in exceptional cases that the provincial colonies enjoyed the immunity from taxation which was granted to those in Italy.[25]

Chinese colonies

Han map
Han dynasty in 87 BC, showing the Protectorate of the Western Regions to the west in the Tarim Basin
End of Han Dynasty Warlords
China at the end of the Han dynasty in 189-220 AD

Imperial China during the Han dynasty (202 BC - 220 AD) expanded to include what is now much of China proper as well as Inner Mongolia, northern Vietnam, northern Korea, the Hexi Corridor of Gansu, and the Tarim Basin region of Xinjiang on the easternmost fringes of Central Asia. After the nomadic Mongolic Xiongnu ruler Hunye (渾邪) was defeated in battle by Huo Qubing in 121 BC, settlers from various regions of China under the rule of Emperor Wu of Han colonized the Hexi Corridor and Ordos Plateau.[26] Tuntian, self-sustaining agricultural military garrisons, were established in frontier outposts to secure the massive territorial gains and Silk Road trade routes leading into Central Asia.[27] Emperor Wu oversaw the Han conquest of Nanyue in 111 BC, bringing areas of Guangdong, Guangxi, Hainan Island, and northern Vietnam under Han rule, and by 108 BC completed the Han conquest of Gojoseon in what is now North Korea.[28] Han Chinese colonists in the Xuantu and Lelang commanderies of northern Korea dealt with occasional raids by the Goguryeo and Buyeo kingdoms, but conducted largely peaceful trade relations with surrounding Korean peoples who in turn became heavily influenced by Chinese culture.[29]

In 37 AD the Eastern Han general Ma Yuan sent Han Chinese to the northeastern frontier and settled defeated Qiang tribes within Han China's Tianshui Commandery and Longxi Commandery.[30] Ma pursued a similar policy in the south when he defeated the Trưng Sisters of Jiaozhi, in what is now modern northern Vietnam, resettling hundreds of Vietnamese into China's Jing Province in 43 AD, seizing their sacred bronze drums as rival symbols of royal power, and reinstating Han authority and laws over Jiaozhi.[31] Historian Rafe de Crespigny remarks that this was a "brief but effective campaign of colonisation and control", before the general returned north in 44 AD.[31]

Cao Song, an Eastern Han administrator of Dunhuang, had military colonies established in what is now Yiwu County near Hami in 119 AD. However, Empress Deng Sui, regent for the young Emperor Shang of Han, pursued a slow, cautious policy of settlement on the advice of Ban Yong, son of Ban Chao, as the Eastern Han Empire came into conflict with the Jushi Kingdom, the Shanshan and their Xiongnu allies located around the Taklamakan Desert in the Western Regions.[32] In 127 AD Ban Yong was able to defeat the Karasahr in battle and colonies were established all the way to Turfan, but by the 150s AD the Han presence in the Western Regions began to wane.[33] The late Eastern Han Empire under the control of chancellor Cao Cao established agricultural military colonies for settling wartime refugees.[34] Towards the end of the Han dynasty, Cao Cao also established military colonies in Anhui province in 209 AD as a means to clearly demarcate a border between his realm and that of his political rival Sun Quan.[35]

See also


  1. ^ See metropolis for etymology
  2. ^ Thomas R. Martin (1 August 2000). Ancient Greece: From Prehistoric to Hellenistic Times. Yale University Press. p. 56. ISBN 978-0-300-08493-1. Retrieved 24 February 2013. their new location, colonists were expected to retain ties with their metropolis. A colony that sided with its metropolis's enemy in a war, for example was regarded as disloyal...
  3. ^ Naomi Porat (1992). "An Egyptian Colony in Southern Palestine During the Late Predynastic to Early Dynastic". In Edwin C. M. van den Brink (ed.). The Nile Delta in Transition: 4th.-3rd. Millennium B.C. : Proceedings of the Seminar Held in Cairo, 21.-24. October 1990, at the Netherlands Institute of Archaeology and Arabic Studies. Van den Brink. pp. 433–440. ISBN 978-965-221-015-9. Retrieved 24 February 2013.
  4. ^ a b Naomi Porat, "Local Industry of Egyptian Pottery in Southern Palestine During the Early Bronze I Period," in Bulletin of the Egyptological, Seminar 8 (1986/1987), pp. 109-129. See also University College London web post, 2000.
  5. ^ Ward, Cheryl. "World's Oldest Planked Boats", in Archaeology (Volume 54, Number 3, May/June 2001). Archaeological Institute of America.
  6. ^ a b Schuster, Angela M.H. "This Old Boat", Dec. 11, 2000. Archaeological Institute of America.
  7. ^ Martín Lillo Carpio (1992). Historia de Cartagena: De Qart-Ḥadašt a Carthago Nova / colaboradores: Martín Lillo Carpio ... Ed. Mediterráneo. Retrieved 12 February 2013.
  8. ^ Sabatino Moscati (January 2001). The Phoenicians. I.B.Tauris. p. 48. ISBN 978-1-85043-533-4. Retrieved 8 August 2013.
  9. ^ Maria Eugenia Aubet (2008). "Political and Economic Implications of the New Phoenician Chronologies" (PDF). Universidad Pompeu Fabra. p. 179. Retrieved 24 February 2013.
  10. ^ Hornblower, Simon; Spawforth, Antony (2003). The Oxford Classical Dictionary. Oxford University Press. p. 1515. ISBN 978-0-19-956738-6. Retrieved 24 February 2013. From the 8th century BC the coast of Thrace was colonised by Greeks.
  11. ^ Nicholas Geoffrey Lemprière Hammond (1959). A history of Greece to 322 B.C. Clarendon Press. p. 109. Retrieved 8 August 2013.
  12. ^ Ancient Greek Colonization and Trade and their Influence on Greek Art | Thematic Essay | Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History | The Metropolitan Museum of Art
  13. ^ Robin Lane Fox (9 March 2010). Travelling Heroes: In the Epic Age of Homer. Random House Digital, Inc. p. 131. ISBN 978-0-679-76386-4. Retrieved 24 February 2013. Robin Lane Fox examines the cultural connections made by Euboean adventurers in the 8th century
  14. ^ A list of Greek colonies with individual articles.
  15. ^ "About Chersonesos, Sevastopol". National Preserve of Tauric Chersonesos. Retrieved 7 April 2014.
  16. ^ Cicero, De republica, ii, 9
  17. ^ "The Greeks". Encyclopædia Britannica. US: Encyclopædia Britannica Inc. 2008. Online Edition.
  18. ^ Criti, Maria; Arapopoulou, Maria (2007). A History of Ancient Greek: From the Beginnings to Late Antiquity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 417–420. ISBN 0-521-83307-8.
  19. ^ A Short History of Greek Philosophy By John Marshall page 11 “For several centuries prior to the great Persian inversion of Greece, perhaps the very greatest and wealthiest city of the Greek world was Miletus”
  20. ^ Ancient Greek civilization By David Sansone page 79 “In the seventh and sixth centuries BC the city of Miletus was among the most prosperous and powerful of Greek Poleis.”
  21. ^ Carl Roebuck, The World of Ancient Times, 1984.
  22. ^ Michael Gagarin (2010). The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece and Rome. Oxford University Press. pp. 2–. ISBN 978-0-19-517072-6. "Historical Overview A Greek city-state on the Aegean coast of Asia Minor, at the mouth of Cayster River (Küçük Menderes), Ephesus ..."
  23. ^ Carlos Ramirez-Faria (1 January 2007). Concise Encyclopeida Of World History. Atlantic Publishers & Dist. ISBN 978-81-269-0775-5.
  24. ^ "Ancient Greek colonies | 5.97 | Maria Daniels". Retrieved 2009-05-05.
  25. ^ Most of this text is taken from Harry Thurston Peck's Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities (1898)
  26. ^ Chang, Chun-shu. (2007). The Rise of the Chinese Empire: Volume II; Frontier, Immigration, & Empire in Han China, 130 B.C. – A.D. 157. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, pp. 5–8, 23–33, 53–56, 173. ISBN 978-0-472-11534-1.
  27. ^ Di Cosmo, Nicola. (2002). Ancient China and Its Enemies: The Rise of Nomadic Power in East Asian History. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 241–244, 249–250. ISBN 978-0-521-77064-4.
  28. ^ Yü, Ying-shih. (1986). "Han Foreign Relations," in The Cambridge History of China: Volume I: the Ch'in and Han Empires, 221 B.C. – A.D. 220, 377-462. Edited by Denis Twitchett and Michael Loewe. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 448–449, 451–453. ISBN 978-0-521-24327-8.
  29. ^ Pai, Hyung Il. "Culture Contact and Culture Change: The Korean Peninsula and Its Relations with the Han Dynasty Commandery of Lelang," in World Archaeology, Vol. 23, No. 3, Archaeology of Empires (February 1992): 306-319 [pp. 310–315].
  30. ^ de Crespigny, Rafe. (2007). A Biographical Dictionary of Later Han to the Three Kingdoms (23-220 AD). Leiden: Koninklijke Brill, p. 659. ISBN 9004156054.
  31. ^ a b de Crespigny, Rafe. (2007). A Biographical Dictionary of Later Han to the Three Kingdoms (23-220 AD). Leiden: Koninklijke Brill, p. 660. ISBN 9004156054.
  32. ^ de Crespigny, Rafe. (2007). A Biographical Dictionary of Later Han to the Three Kingdoms (23-220 AD). Leiden: Koninklijke Brill, pp. 125–126. ISBN 9004156054.
  33. ^ de Crespigny, Rafe. (2007). A Biographical Dictionary of Later Han to the Three Kingdoms (23-220 AD). Leiden: Koninklijke Brill, p. 476. ISBN 9004156054.
  34. ^ de Crespigny, Rafe. (2007). A Biographical Dictionary of Later Han to the Three Kingdoms (23-220 AD). Leiden: Koninklijke Brill, p. 36. ISBN 9004156054.
  35. ^ de Crespigny, Rafe. (2007). A Biographical Dictionary of Later Han to the Three Kingdoms (23-220 AD). Leiden: Koninklijke Brill, pp. 37–38. ISBN 9004156054.

Further reading

  • Antonaccio, Carla M. 2001. "Ethnicity and colonization." In Ancient perceptions of Greek ethnicity. Edited by Irad Malkin, 113–57. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
  • ————. 2003. "Hybridity and the cultures within Greek culture." In The cultures within ancient Greek culture: Contact, conflict, collaboration. Edited by Carol Dougherty and Leslie Kurke, 57–74. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
  • Aubet, Maria Eugenia. 2001. The Phoenicians and the west: Politics, colonies and trade. 2nd ed. Translated by Mary Turton. New York: Cambridge University Press.
  • Boardman, John. 1999. The Greeks Overseas: Their Early Colonies and Trade. 4th ed. London: Thames and Hudson.
  • ————. 2001. "Aspects of 'colonization.'" Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 322: 33–42.
  • Branigan, Keith. 1981. "Minoan colonialism." Annual of the British School at Athens 76: 23–33.
  • Broadhead, William. 2007. "Colonization, land distribution, and veteran settlement." In A companion to the Roman army. Edited by Paul Erdkamp, 148–63. Blackwell Companions to the Ancient World. Malden, MA: Blackwell.
  • Cornell, Timothy J. 1995. The beginnings of Rome: Italy and Rome from the Bronze Age to the Punic Wars (c. 1000–264 BC). Routledge History of the Ancient World. New York: Routledge.
  • Demetriou, Denise. 2012. Negotiating identity in the ancient Mediterranean. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
  • Donnellan, Lieve, Valentino Nizzo, and Gert-Jan Burgers, eds. 2016. Conceptualizing early colonisation. Brussels: Belgisch Historisch Instituut te Rome.
  • Dunbabin T. J. 1948. The Western Greeks. Oxford: Thames & Hudson.
  • Forrest, W. G. 1957. "Colonisation and the rise of Delphi." Historia: Zeitschrift für Alte Geschichte 6 (2): 160–75.
  • Garland, Robert. 2014. Wandering Greeks: The ancient Greek diaspora from the age of Homer to the death of Alexander the Great. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
  • Graham, A. John. 1983. Colony and mother city in ancient Greece. 2nd ed. Chicago: Ares.
  • ————. 2001. Collected Papers On Greek Colonization. Leiden: Brill.
  • Hägg, Robin, and Nanno Marinatos, eds. 1984. The Minoan Thalassocracy: Myth and reality; Proceedings of the third international symposium at the Swedish Institute in Athens, 31 May–5 June 1982. Stockholm: Swedish Institute at Athens.
  • Hodos, Tamar. 1999. "Intermarriage in the western Greek colonies." Oxford Journal of Archaeology 18: 61–78.
  • Horden, Peregrine, and Nicholas Purcell. 2000. The corrupting sea: A study of Mediterranean history. Oxford: Blackwell.
  • Keppie, Lawrence. 1984. "Colonisation and veteran settlement in Italy in the first century A.D." Papers of the British School at Rome 52: 77–114.
  • Knappett, Carl, and Irene Nikolakopoulou. 2008. "Colonialism without colonies? A Bronze Age case study from Akrotiri, Thera." Hesperia: The Journal of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens 77 (1): 1–42.
  • Malkin, Irad. 1987. Religion and Colonization In Ancient Greece. Leiden: Brill.
  • ————. 2011. A Small Greek World: Networks In the Ancient Mediterranean. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Mann, J. C. 1983. Legionary recruitment and veteran settlement during the Principate. Edited by Margaret M. Roxan. London: University of London.
  • Niemeyer, Hans-Georg. 1990. "The Phoenicians in the Mediterranean: A non-Greek model for expansion and settlement in antiquity." In Greek colonists and native populations: Proceedings of the First Australian Congress of Classical Archaeology, held in honour of emeritus professor A. D. Trendall. Edited by Jean-Paul Descœudres, 469–89. Oxford: Clarendon.
  • Salmon, Edward T. 1936. "Roman colonisation from the Second Punic War to the Gracchi." Journal of Roman Studies 26 (1): 47–67.
  • ————. 1955. "Roman expansion and Roman colonization in Italy." Phoenix 9 (2): 63–75.
  • ————. 1969. Roman colonization under the Republic. Aspects of Greek and Roman Life. London: Thames and Hudson.
  • Stek, Tesse D., and Jeremia Pelgrom, eds. 2014. "Roman Republican colonization: New perspectives from archaeology and ancient history." Papers of the Royal Netherlands Institute in Rome 2014 (62). Rome: Palombi Editori.
  • Sweetman, Rebecca J., ed. 2011. Roman colonies in the first century of their foundation. Oxford: Oxbow.
  • Ridgway, David. 1992. The first Western Greeks. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
  • Tartaron, Thomas E. 2013. Maritime networks in the Mycenaean world. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
  • Tsetskhladze, Gocha R., ed. 2006. Greek Colonisation: An Account of Greek Colonies and Other Settlements Overseas. Leiden: Brill.
  • van Dommelen, Peter. 1998. In colonial grounds: A comparative study of colonialism and rural settlement in first millennium BC west central Sardinia. Leiden, The Netherlands: University of Leiden.

External links


Cidyessus (Κιδύησσος) was a city of some importance, west of Ammonia in west-central Phrygia, in the territory of the Setchanli Ova, or Mouse Plain; this large and fertile valley projects far into Phrygia Salutaris, but the city was in Phrygia Pacatiana.Its site has been determined by an inscription to be modern Küçükhüyük in Turkey, west of Afyonkarahisar. The old native name may have been Kydessos, though it is Kidyessos on its coins.

Classical demography

Classical demography refers to the study of human demography in the Classical period. It often focuses on the absolute number of people who were alive in civilizations around the Mediterranean Sea between the Bronze Age and the fall of the Western Roman Empire, but in recent decades historians have been more interested in trying to analyse demographic processes such as the birth and death rates or the sex ratio of ancient populations. The period was characterized by an explosion in population with the rise of the Greek and Roman civilizations followed by a steep decline caused by economic and social disruption, migrations, and a return to primarily subsistence agriculture. Demographic questions play an important role in determining the size and structure of the economy of Ancient Greece and the Roman economy.

Colonia (Roman)

A Roman colonia (plural coloniae) was originally a Roman outpost established in conquered territory to secure it. Eventually, however, the term came to denote the highest status of a Roman city.

It is also the origin of the modern term colony.

Colonial mentality

A colonial mentality is the internalized attitude of ethnic or cultural inferiority felt by people as a result of colonization, i.e. them being colonized by another group. It corresponds with the belief that the cultural values of the colonizer are inherently superior to one's own. The term has been used by postcolonial scholars to discuss the transgenerational effects of colonialism present in former colonies following decolonization. It is commonly used as an operational concept for framing ideological domination in historical colonial experiences. In psychology colonial mentality has been used to explain instances of collective depression, anxiety, and other widespread mental health issues in populations that have experienced colonization. Notable Marxist influences on the postcolonial concept of colonial mentality include Frantz Fanon's works on the fracturing of the colonial psyche through Western cultural domination, as well as the concept of cultural hegemony developed by Italian Communist Party Founder Antonio Gramsci.


Colonialism is the policy of a nation seeking to extend or retain its authority over other people or territories, generally with the aim of opening trade opportunities. The colonising country seeks to benefit from the colonised country or land mass. In the process, colonisers imposed their religion, economics, and medicinal practices on the natives. Some argue this was a positive move toward modernisation, while other scholars counter that this is an intrinsically Eurocentric rationalisation, given that modernisation is itself a concept introduced by Europeans. Colonialism is largely regarded as a relationship of domination of an indigenous majority by a minority of foreign invaders where the latter rule in pursuit of its interests.Early records of colonisation go as far back as Phoenicians, an enterprising maritime trading culture that spread across the Mediterranean from 1550 BC to 300 BC and later the Greeks and Persians continued on this line of setting up colonies. The Romans would soon follow, setting up colonies throughout the Mediterranean, Northern Africa, and Western Asia. In the 9th century a new wave of Mediterranean colonisation had begun between competing states such as the Venetians, Genovese and Amalfians, invading the wealthy previously Byzantine or Eastern Roman islands and lands. Venice began with the conquest of Dalmatia and reached its greatest nominal extent at the conclusion of the Fourth Crusade in 1204, with the declaration of the acquisition of three octaves of the Byzantine Empire.

Later, in the 15th century some European states established their own empires during the European colonial period. The Belgian, British, Danish, Dutch, French, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Swedish empires established colonies across large areas. Imperial Japan, the Ottoman Empire and the United States also acquired colonies, as did imperialist China and finally in the late 19th century the German and the Italian.

At first, European colonising countries followed policies of mercantilism, in order to strengthen the home economy, so agreements usually restricted the colonies to trading only with the metropole (mother country). By the mid-19th century, however, the British Empire gave up mercantilism and trade restrictions and adopted the principle of free trade, with few restrictions or tariffs. Christian missionaries were active in practically all of the colonies because the Colonialists were Christians. Historian Philip Hoffman calculated that by 1800, before the Industrial Revolution, Europeans already controlled at least 35% of the globe, and by 1914, they had gained control of 84%.

In the aftermath of World War II, the archetypal European colonial system practically ended between 1945–1975, when nearly all Europe's colonies gained political independence.


In history, a colony is a territory under the immediate complete political control and occupied by settlers of a state, distinct from the home territory of the sovereign. For colonies in antiquity, city-states would often found their own colonies. Some colonies were historically countries, while others were territories without definite statehood from their inception.

The metropolitan state is the state that rules the colony. In Ancient Greece, the city that founded a colony was known as the metropolis. "Mother country" is a reference to the metropolitan state from the point of view of citizens who live in its colony. There is a United Nations list of Non-Self-Governing Territories.

Unlike a puppet state or satellite state, a colony has no independent international representation, and its top-level administration is under direct control of the metropolitan state.

The term informal colony is used by some historians to refer to a country under the de facto control of another state, although this term is often contentious.


Engyon Ancient Greek: Ἒγγυον, Latin: Engium, Greek: Ἐγγύον in some Byzantine texts of Ptolemy and Plutarch) is an ancient town of the interior of Sicily, a Cretan colony, according to Diodorus Siculus and famous for an ancient temple of the Magna Mater (Mother Rhea) imported from Crete, which aroused the greed of Verres. It took its name from a spring that arose in the land chosen by the colonists, as explained in the following excerpt from Diodorus:

οὐ μὴν ἀλλ᾽ οἱ κατὰ τὴν Σικελίαν Κρῆτες μετὰ τὴν Μίνωος τελευτὴν ἐστασίασαν διὰ τὴν ἀναρχίαν, τῶν δὲ νεῶν ὑπὸ τῶν περὶ τὸν Κώκαλον Σικανῶν ἐμπυρισθεισῶν τὴν μὲν εἰς τὰς πατρίδας ἐπάνοδον ἀπέγνωσαν, κρίναντες δ᾽ ἐν τῇ Σικελίᾳ κατοικεῖν, οἱ μὲν ἐνταῦθα πόλιν ᾤκισαν ἣν ἀπὸ τοῦ βασιλέως αὐτῶν Μινῴαν ὠνόμασαν, οἱ δὲ διὰ τῆς μεσογείου πλανηθέντες καὶ καταλαβόμενοι χωρίον ὀχυρὸν ἔκτισαν πόλιν ἣν ἀπὸ τῆς ἐν τῇ πόλει ῥεούσης πηγῆς ὠνόμασαν Ἔγγυον.However, the Cretans of Sicily, after the death of Minos, fell into factious strife, since they had no ruler, and, since their ships had been burned by the Sicani serving under Cocalus, they gave up any hope they had of returning to their native land; and deciding to make their home in Sicily, a part of them established on that island a city to which they gave the name Minoa after their king, and others, after wandering about through the interior of the island, seized a place which was naturally strong and founded a city to which they gave the name Engyum, after the spring which flowed forth within the city.

Its site is uncertain; some topographers have identified it with Gangi, a town 30 km SSE of Cefalù, but only on the ground of the similarity of the two names. Others identify it with Troina.

Greeks in Italy

Greek presence in Italy begins with the migrations of the old Greek Diaspora in the 8th century BC, continuing down to the present time. There is an ethnic minority known as the Griko people, who live in the Southern Italian regions of Calabria (Province of Reggio Calabria) and Apulia, especially the peninsula of Salento, within the old Magna Graecia region, who speak a distinctive dialect of Greek called Griko. They are believed to be remnants of the ancient and medieval Greek communities, who have lived in the south of Italy for centuries. A Greek community has long existed in Venice as well, the current center of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Italy and Malta, which in addition was a Byzantine province until the 900s and held territory in Morea and Crete until the 1600s. Alongside this group, a smaller number of more recent migrants from Greece lives in Italy, forming an expatriate community in the country. Today many Greeks in Southern Italy follow Italian customs and culture, experiencing assimilation.

Greeks in Moldova

There is a historical Greek community in Moldova of about 3,000 members. Thirty Greek companies are active in Moldova. Total invested Greek capital amounts to $5.3 million (October 2003). Recently the headquarters of the Greek revolutionary organization Filiki Etaireia were discovered in Moldova.

Greeks in Romania

There has been a Greek presence in Romania for at least 27 centuries. At times, as during the Phanariote era, this presence has amounted to hegemony; at other times (including the present), the Greeks have simply been one among the many ethnic minorities in Romania.

Greeks in pre-Roman Crimea

Greek city-states began establishing colonies along the Black Sea coast of Crimea in the 7th or 6th century BC. Several colonies were established in the vicinity of the Kerch Strait, then known as the Cimmerian Bosporus. The density of colonies around the Cimmerian Bosporus was unusual for Greek colonization and reflected the importance of the area. The majority of these colonies were established by Ionians from the city of Miletus in Asia Minor. By the mid-1st century BC the Bosporan Kingdom became a client state of the late Roman Republic, ushering in the era of Roman Crimea during the Roman Empire.

List of ancient cities in Illyria

This is a list of ancient cities in Illyria, towns, villages, and fortresses by Illyrians, Veneti, Liburni, Romans, Celts, Thracians, Dacians or Greeks located in or near Illyrian lands. A number of cities in Illyria and later Illyricum were built on the sites or close to the sites of pre-existing Illyrian settlements, though that was not always the case. Some settlements may have a double entry, e.g., Greek Pola and Roman Pietas Julia, and some toponyms are reconstructed.

List of cities founded by the Romans

This is a list of cities and towns founded by the Romans. It lists every city established and built by the ancient Romans to have begun as a colony often for the settlement of citizens or veterans of the legions. Many Roman colonies rose to become important commercial and cultural centers, transportation hubs and capitals of global empires.

Mediterranean Sea

The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the Mediterranean Basin and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Southern Europe and Anatolia, on the south by North Africa and on the east by the Levant. Although the sea is sometimes considered a part of the Atlantic Ocean, it is usually identified as a separate body of water. Geological evidence indicates that around 5.9 million years ago, the Mediterranean was cut off from the Atlantic and was partly or completely desiccated over a period of some 600,000 years, the Messinian salinity crisis, before being refilled by the Zanclean flood about 5.3 million years ago.

It covers an approximate area of 2.5 million km2 (965,000 sq mi), representing 0.7% of the global ocean surface, but its connection to the Atlantic via the Strait of Gibraltar — the narrow strait that connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea and separates Spain in Europe from Morocco in Africa — is only 14 km (8.7 mi) wide. In oceanography, it is sometimes called the Eurafrican Mediterranean Sea or the European Mediterranean Sea to distinguish it from mediterranean seas elsewhere.The Mediterranean Sea has an average depth of 1,500 m (4,900 ft) and the deepest recorded point is 5,267 m (17,280 ft) in the Calypso Deep in the Ionian Sea. The sea is bordered on the north by Europe, the east by Asia, and in the south by Africa. It is located between latitudes 30° and 46° N and longitudes 6° W and 36° E. Its west-east length, from the Strait of Gibraltar to the Gulf of Iskenderun, on the southwestern coast of Turkey, is approximately 4,000 km (2,500 miles). The sea's average north-south length, from Croatia's southern shore

to Libya, is approximately 800 km (500 miles).The sea was an important route for merchants and travellers of ancient times, facilitating trade and cultural exchange between peoples of the region. The history of the Mediterranean region is crucial to understanding the origins and development of many modern societies.

The countries surrounding the Mediterranean in clockwise order are Spain, France, Monaco, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania, Greece, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco; Malta and Cyprus are island countries in the sea. In addition, the Gaza Strip and the British Overseas Territories of Gibraltar and Akrotiri and Dhekelia have coastlines on the sea.


Phanagoria (Ancient Greek: Φαναγόρεια, romanized: Phanagóreia) was the largest ancient Greek city on the Taman peninsula, spread over two plateaus along the eastern shore of the Cimmerian Bosporus.

The city was a large emporium for all the traffic between the coast of the Maeotian marshes and the countries on the southern side of the Caucasus. It was the eastern capital of the Bosporan Kingdom, with Panticapaeum being the western capital. Strabo described it as a noteworthy city which was renowned for its trade. Shortly a Catholic Metropolitan Archdiocese while a medieval Genoese colony under the name Matrega, it remains a Latin Catholic titular see.

Today the site is located at a short distance to the west of Sennoy in Krasnodar Krai, Russia. Another ancient Greek city, Hermonassa, lies 25 kilometres (16 mi) to the west, on the shoreline of modern Taman.

Hellenistic/Macedonian colonies

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