|History of Italy|
|History of Greece|
Magna Graecia ( /, / , US: // ; Latin meaning "Great Greece", Greek : Μεγάλη Ἑλλάς, Megálē Hellás, Italian : Magna Grecia) was the name given by the Romans to the coastal areas of Southern Italy in the present-day regions of Campania, Apulia, Basilicata, Calabria and Sicily; these regions were extensively populated by Greek settlers, particularly the Achaean settlements of Croton, and Sybaris, and to the north, the settlements of Cumae and Neapolis. The settlers who began arriving in the 8th century BC brought with them their Hellenic civilization, which was to leave a lasting imprint on Italy, such as in the culture of ancient Rome. Most notably the Roman poet Ovid referred to the south of Italy as Magna Graecia in his poem Fasti .
According to Strabo, Magna Graecia's colonization had already begun by the time of the Trojan War and lasted for several centuries.
In the 8th and 7th centuries BC, because of demographic crises (famine, overcrowding, etc.), stasis (political crisis), the search for new commercial outlets and ports, and expulsion from their homeland after wars, Greeks began to settle in southern Italy. [ citation needed ]Colonies were established all over the Mediterranean and Black Seas (with the exception of Northwestern Africa, in the sphere of influence of Carthage), including in Sicily and the southern part of the Italian Peninsula. The Romans called the area of Sicily and the foot of Italy Magna Graecia (Latin for "Great Greece") since it was so densely inhabited by the 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 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 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. [ citation needed ]
These Hellenic colonies became very rich and powerful, and some still stand today, like Neapolis ("New City", now Naples), Syracuse, Akragas (Agrigento), Taras (Taranto), Rhegion (Reggio Calabria), or Kroton (Crotone).[ citation needed ]
The first Greek city to be absorbed into the Roman Republic was Neapolis in 327 BC. [ citation needed ]The other Greek cities in Italy followed during the Samnite Wars and the Pyrrhic War; Taras was the last to fall in 272. Sicily was conquered by Rome during the First Punic War. Only Syracuse remained independent until 212, because its king Hiero II was a devoted ally of the Romans. His grandson Hieronymous however made an alliance with Hannibal, which prompted the Romans to besiege the city, which fell in 212, despite the machines of Archimedes.
This is a list of the 22 poleis (city states) in Italy, according to Mogens Herman Hansen.It does not list all the Hellenic settlements, only those organised around a polis structure.
|Ancient name(s)||Location||Modern name(s)||Foundation date||Mother city||Founder(s)|
|Herakleia (Lucania)||Basilicata||abandoned||433–432 BC||Taras (and Thourioi)||?|
|Hipponion||Calabria||Vibo Valentia||late 7th century BC||Lokroi Epizephiroi||?|
|Hyele, or Elea, Velia (Roman name)||Campania||abandoned||c.540–535 BC||Phokaia, Massalia||Refugees from Alalie|
|Kaulonia||Calabria||abandoned||7th century BC||Kroton||Typhon of Aigion|
|Kroton||Calabria||Crotone||709–708 BC||Rhypes, Achaia||Myscellus|
|Kyme, Cumae (Roman name)||Campania||abandoned||c.750–725 BC||Chalkis and Eretria||Hippokles of Euboian Kyme and Megasthenes of Chalkis|
|Laos||Calabria||abandoned||before 510 BC||Sybaris||Refugees from Sybaris|
|Lokroi (Epizephiroi)||Calabria||Locri||early 7th century BC||Lokris||?|
|Medma||Calabria||abandoned||7th century BC||Lokroi Epizephiroi||?|
|Metapontion||Basilicata||abandoned||c. 630 BC||Achaia||Leukippos of Achaia|
|Metauros||Calabria||Gioia Tauro||7th century BC||Zankle (or possibly Lokroi Epizephiroi)||?|
|Neapolis||Campania||Naples||c. 470 BC||Kyme||?|
|Pithekoussai||Campania||Ischia||8th century BC||Chalkis and Eretria||?|
|Poseidonia, Paestum (Roman name)||Campania||abandoned||c. 600 BC||Sybaris (and perhaps Troizen)||?|
|Pyxous||Campania||Policastro Bussentino||471–470 BC||Rhegion and Messena||Mikythos, tyrant of Rhegion and Messena|
|Rhegion||Calabria||Reggio Calabria||8th century BC||Chalkis (with Zankle and Messenian refugees)||Antimnestos of Zankle (or perhaps Artimedes of Chalkis)|
|Siris||Basilicata||abandoned||c. 660 BC (or c. 700 BC)||Kolophon||Refugees from Kolophon|
|Sybaris||Calabria||Sibari||721–720 (or 709–708) BC||Achaia and Troizen||Is of Helike|
|Taras||Apulia||Taranto||c. 706 BC||Sparta||Phalanthos and the Partheniai|
|Temesa||unknown, but in Calabria||abandoned||no Greek founder (Ausones who became Hellenised)|
|Terina||Calabria||abandoned||before 460 BC, perhaps c. 510 BC||Kroton||?|
|Thourioi||Calabria||abandoned||446 and 444–443 BC||Athens and many other cities||Lampon and Xenokrates of Athens|
|History of Greece|
During the Early Middle Ages, following the disastrous Gothic War, new waves of Byzantine Christian Greeks may have come to Southern Italy from Greece and Asia Minor, as Southern Italy remained loosely governed by the Eastern Roman Empire. Although possible, the archaeological evidence shows no trace of new arrivals of Greek peoples, only a division between barbarian newcomers, and Greco-Roman locals. The iconoclast emperor Leo III appropriated lands that had been granted to the Papacy in southern Italy and the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire continued to govern the area in the form of the Catapanate of Italy through the Middle Ages, well after northern Italy fell to the Lombards.
At the time of the Normans' late medieval conquest of southern Italy and Sicily (in the late 12th century), the Salento peninsula (the "heel" of Italy) and up to one third of Sicily was still Greek speaking (concentrated in the Val Demone).At this time the language had evolved into medieval Greek, also known as Byzantine Greek, and its speakers were known as Byzantine Greeks. The resultant fusion of local Byzantine Greek culture with Norman and Arab culture (from the Arab occupation of Sicily) gave rise to Norman-Arab-Byzantine culture on Sicily.
A remnant of this influence can be found in the survival of the Greek language in some villages of the above mentioned Salento peninsula (the "heel" of Italy). This living dialact of Greek, known locally as Griko, is found in the Italian regions of Calabria and Apulia. Griko is considered by linguistics to be a descendant of Byzantine Greek, which had been the majority language of Salento through the Middle Ages, combining also some ancient Doric and modern Italian elements. There is a rich oral tradition and Griko folklore, limited now but once numerous, to around 30,000 people, most of them having become absorbed into the surrounding Italian element. Some scholars, such as Gerhard Rohlfs, argue that the origins of Griko may ultimately be traced to the colonies of Magna Graecia.[ citation needed ]
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Although many of the Greek inhabitants of Southern Italy were entirely Latinized during the Middle Ages (for example, Paestum was by the 4th century BC), pockets of Greek culture and language remained and survived into modernity partly because of continuous migration between southern Italy and the Greek mainland. One example is the Griko people, some of whom still maintain their Greek language and customs.
Greeks re-entered the region in the 16th and 17th century in reaction to the conquest of the Peloponnese by the Ottoman Empire. Especially after the end of the Siege of Coron (1534), large numbers of Greeks took refuge in the areas of Calabria, Salento and Sicily. Greeks from Coroni, the so-called Coronians, were nobles, who brought with them substantial movable property. They were granted special privileges and tax exemptions.
Other Greeks who moved to Italy came from the Mani Peninsula of the Peloponnese. The Maniots were known for their proud military traditions and for their bloody vendettas, many of which still continue today. Another group of Maniot Greeks moved to Corsica. [ citation needed ]
Calabria, known in antiquity as Bruttium, is a region in Southern Italy.
Modern Greek refers collectively to the dialects of the Greek language spoken in the modern era, and includes Standard Modern Greek. The end of the Medieval Greek period and the beginning of Modern Greek is often symbolically assigned to the fall of the Byzantine Empire in 1453, even though that date marks no clear linguistic boundary and many characteristic modern features of the language arose centuries earlier, between the fourth and the fifteenth centuries AD.
Greece, officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country in south-east Europe.
Southern Italy or Mezzogiorno is a macroregion of Italy meant to broadly denote the southern half of the Italian state.
Griko, sometimes spelled Grico, is the dialect of Italiot Greek spoken by Griko people in Salento and in Calabria. Some Greek linguists consider it to be a Modern Greek dialect and often call it Katoitaliótika or Grekanika (Γρεκάνικα), whereas its own speakers call it Greko or Griko. Griko and Standard Modern Greek are partially mutually intelligible.
Grecìa Salentina is an area in the peninsula of Salento in southern Italy, near the town of Lecce which is inhabited by the Griko people, an ethnic Greek minority in southern Italy who speak Griko, a variant of Greek.
Calimera, is a small town of 7,296 inhabitants in the Grecìa Salentina area of the Salento peninsula in Italy, located between Gallipoli and Otranto. It belongs to the province of Lecce.
Sicilians or the Sicilian people are an Italic and Romance ethnic group indigenous to the Italian island of Sicily, the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea as well as the largest and most populous of the autonomous regions of Italy.
The Catepanateof Italy was a province of the Byzantine Empire, comprising mainland Italy south of a line drawn from Monte Gargano to the Gulf of Salerno. Amalfi and Naples, although north of that line, maintained allegiance to Constantinople through the catepan. The Italian region of Capitanata derives its name from the Catepanate.
The Italiotes were the pre-Roman Greek-speaking inhabitants of the Italian Peninsula, between Naples and Sicily.
The Messapians were a Iapygian tribe that inhabited Salento in classical antiquity. Two other Iapygian tribes, the Peucetians and the Daunians, inhabited central and northern Apulia respectively. All three tribes spoke the Messapian language, but had developed separate archaeological cultures by the seventh century BC. The Messapians lived in the eponymous region Messapia, which extended from Leuca in the southeast to Kailia and Egnatia in the northwest, covering most of the Salento peninsula. This region includes the Province of Lecce and parts of the provinces of Brindisi and Taranto today.
The Calabrian dialect of Greek, or Grecanic, is the variety of Italiot Greek used by the ethnic Griko people in Calabria, as opposed to the Italiot Greek dialect spoken in the Grecìa Salentina. Both are remnants of the Ancient and Byzantine Greek colonization of the region.
Policastro Bussentino is an Italian town and hamlet (frazione) of the municipality of Santa Marina in the province of Salerno, Campania region. It is a former bishopric, now titular see, and has a population of 1,625.
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 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.
Madytus or Madytos was a Greek city and port of ancient Thrace, located in the region of the Thracian Chersonesos, nearly opposite to Abydos.
The Griko people, also known as Grecanici in Calabria, are an ethnic Greek community of Southern Italy. They are found principally in regions of Calabria and Apulia. The Griko are believed to be remnants of the once large Ancient and Medieval Greek communities of southern Italy, although there is dispute among scholars as to whether the Griko community is directly descended from Ancient Greeks or from more recent medieval migrations during the Byzantine domination. Greek people have been living in Southern Italy for millennia, initially arriving in Southern Italy in numerous waves of migrations, from the ancient Greek colonisation of Southern Italy and Sicily in the 8th century BC through to the Byzantine Greek migrations of the 15th century caused by the Ottoman conquest. In the Middle Ages Greek, regional communities were reduced to isolated enclaves. Although most Greek inhabitants of Southern Italy have become entirely Italianized over the centuries, the Griko community has been able to preserve their original Greek identity, heritage, language and distinct culture, although exposure to mass media has progressively eroded their culture and language.
Jonathan Mark Hall is Professor of Greek History at the University of Chicago. He earned a BA from the University of Oxford in 1988 and a Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge in 1993 and he is the author of many books, including Ethnic Identity in Greek Antiquity, Hellenicity: Between Ethnicity and Culture, and A History of the Archaic Greek World, ca. 1200-479 BCE, and of various articles and reviews on Archaic and Classical Greece. His focus of research is on Greek history, historiography, and archaeology. He has received Quantrell Teaching Award in 2009.
In ancient Greece the ekklesiasterion (ἐκκλησιαστήριον) was the meeting place of the popular assembly (ekklesia) in a democratic Greek city-state.
Spintharus of Corinth was an ancient Greek architect. Pausanias reported in his Descriptions of Greece that the Alcmaeonids hired him to build a temple at Delphi. This is the only record of Spintharus. The temple to Apollo at Delphi had to be rebuilt after a fire in 548 BC and again after an earthquake in 373 BC. Historians have offered competing claims as to which temple Spintharus constructed.
At the end of the twelfth century ... While in Apulia Greeks were in a majority – and indeed present in any numbers at all – only in the Salento peninsula in the extreme south, at the time of the conquest they had an overwhelming preponderance in Lucaina and central and southern Calabria, as well as comprising anything up to a third of the population of Sicily, concentrated especially in the north-east of the island, the Val Demone.
|Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Magna Graecia .|
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