Σάββατο, 10 Ιανουαρίου 2015

Magna Graecia

 
Magna Graecia (Latin meaning "Great Greece", Greek: Μεγάλη Ἑλλάς, Megálē Hellás) is the name of the coastal areas of Southern Italy on the Tarentine Gulf that were extensively populated by Greek settlers; particularly the Achaean settlements of Tarentum, Croton, and Sybaris, and to the north, the more loosely settlements of Cumae and Neapolis, the name is that given the area by Latin-speakers, not the Greeks.

  
The Minoans had traded with Sicily and with Italy as far north at least as Campania, and had sent colonists thither. 


The settlers who began arriving in the 8th century BC, brought with them their Hellenic civilization, which was to leave a lasting imprint in Italy, such as in the culture of ancient Rome, in which the Roman poet Ovid in his poem Fasti referred to the south of Italy as the land of greater Greece.
In the 8th and 7th centuries BC, for various reasons, including demographic crisis (famine, overcrowding, etc.), the search for new commercial outlets and ports, and expulsion from their homeland, Greeks began to settle in southern Italy (Cerchiai, pp. 14–18). Also during this period, Greek colonies were established in places as widely separated as the eastern coast of the Black Sea, Eastern Libya and Massalia (Marseille). They included settlements 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, “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 this 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. 

Many of the new Hellenic cities became very rich and powerful, like Neapolis (Νεάπολις, Naples, "New City"), Syracuse (Συράκουσαι), Acragas (Ἀκράγας) and Sybaris (Σύβαρις). Other cities in Magna Graecia included Tarentum (Τάρας), Epizephyrian Locri (Λοκροί Ἐπιζεφύριοι), Rhegium (Ῥήγιον), Croton (Κρότων), Thurii (Θούριοι), Elea (Ἐλέα), Nola (Νῶλα), Ancona (Ἀγκών), Syessa (Σύεσσα), Bari (Βάριον) and others.

Following the Pyrrhic War in the 3rd century BC, Magna Graecia was absorbed into the Roman Republic.

Although most of the Greek inhabitants of Southern Italy became entirely Italicized during the Middle Ages (as Paestum had already been in the 4th century BC), pockets of Greek culture and language remained and survived into modern times. This is because the "traffic" between southern Italy and the Greek mainland never entirely stopped.
http://ancienthellas-greece.blogspot.gr/2015/01/magnagraecia.html

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