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The emergence of the Greek world from the Dark Ages to the height of its Geometric civilization was described in The Cambridge Ancient History Volume III Part I. Volume III Part III explores the new prosperity and growth of the young city-states in the eighth to the sixth centuries B.C. This was the great period of expansion and colonization which saw the establishment of Greek city-states from the Western Mediterranean to the Black Sea. This volume describes the East and Egypt, the importance of West Greece and the Aegean islands in trading and exploration, the special characteristics of the societies which were established by colonization. While societies outside the mainstream of expansion and trade retained their old institutions, those at the centre changed rapidly and the period was a time of warfare in mainland Greece. Athens is seen developing into a leading state under the influence of the reforms of Solon and assessment of the social, economic and material history of Greece during these years.

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  • 36a - The Greeks in the Near East
    pp 1-31
    • By T. F. R. G. Braun, Fellow of Merton College and Lecturer in Ancient History in the University of Oxford
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    Greek literary evidence for relations between Greeks and the Near East is fragmentary for different reasons. Herodotus' great history, published shortly after 43o, has the relations between Greeks and non-Greeks as its principal theme. And though he provides a long digression on Egypt, where there had been large-scale Greek settlement, Herodotus says little about Mesopotamia and less about the Levant. His account of Mesopotamia and Babylon includes no consecutive Assyrian or Babylonian history. The Phoenician trade-goods that appear in Greece from the ninth century on must have been brought partly by Phoenicians, not only by returning Greeks. Greek trade with the Levant continued during the Babylonian period. The inspiration and influence of imported eastern goods transformed the artistic culture of the Greek homeland. The deployment of the mythical Danaus and Cadmus is in itself of interest. Such knowledge as the Greeks acquired of foreign peoples was woven into genealogical mythology by the epic bards and writers of lyric poetry.
  • 36b - The Greeks in Egypt
    pp 32-56
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    Greeks arrived to settle in Egypt in the reign of Psammetichus I. For the period of 664-610 BC, that follows, Herodotus found that Egyptian and non-Egyptian information could be combined. It is possible that Psammetichus began by recruiting casually arrived pirates, then, as Diodorus says 'sent for mercenaries from Caria and Ionia', and after having promoted himself from King of Saĩs, the title the Assyrians had given his father Necho, to the 'King of Egypt' of the Rassam Cylinder, took the final step of throwing over Assyrian suzerainty with the help of still more Greek and Carian troops from Gyges. Greece imported many more Egyptian trinkets in the seventh century than previously; during the sixth a faience factory was operating at Naucratis. But better Egyptian artifacts also began to come direct into Greece, especially to Crete and the Samian Heraeum: carved ivory and fine bronzes. In return, the Greeks exported wine to Egypt.
  • 36c - Cyprus
    pp 57-70
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    The middle of the eighth century BC marks the initial stage of the Cypro-Archaic I period. This was previously put at the very end of the century, about 700 BC, but recent research, based especially on the Greek ceramic material found in Cyprus, has rightly raised the date. This chapter proposes some Assyrian records which throw light on the names of the various kingdoms of Cyprus. It is significant to note that the gods of the Greek pantheon began to be worshipped in Cyprus, and that even in the case of Phoenician temples divinities had been chosen who had counterparts in Greek religion. The strong influence of Egypt on the development of Cypriot art during the period of Egyptian domination disappeared after the end of Egyptian rule. Ionian influence was also strong and widespread, and it is apparent mainly in sculpture, where there is an appearance of the Cypro-Greek style, with all the characteristics of Archaic Greek sculpture.
  • 36d - The Cypriot syllabary
    pp 71-82
    • By T. B. Mitford, University of St Andrews, Olivier Masson, Professor of Greek in the University of Paris X - Nanterres and at the Ecote Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Paris
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    Cyprus possesses in the Classical Syllabary a unique system of writing. Except for the Phoenician alphabet used by the Semitic element in the island's population, and for the Greek alphabet on certain coins and in the rare epitaphs of foreigners, the syllabary was in almost exclusive use throughout the Archaic and Classical periods. After Evans' discoveries and Ventris' decipherment, it is natural that we should look to Linear B Script and its manifest relationship to Minoan Linear A. while Linear B is exclusively dextroverse, like the Cypro-Minoan scripts, the Cypriot syllabary is predominantly sinistroverse, with important exceptions in the South-Western signaries. If Idalium can be considered typical of the common Cypriot, as may well prove to be the case, although far too little is yet known of the syllabaries of the important kingdoms of Salamis and Soli, a sequence can be established through Idalium for the common syllabary.
  • 37 - The colonial expansion of Greece
    pp 83-162
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    This chapter presents the sources for Greek colonization in the Archaic period. Archaeological evidence has been most valuable in establishing colonial chronology. Greek painted pottery is now well dated independently of the literary foundation dates for the colonies, and, as a result, when sufficient material is available to ensure a representative sample, the archaeological date for the foundation of a colony can be confidently determined. In the Archaic colonizing movement the coasts of Lycia, Pamphylia, Cilicia and north Syria is a very minor area. The relative abundance of information about the Greek colonization of Sicily and southern Italy, which is better known than that of any other large area, In the second half of the sixth century the growing power of Athens and Athens' interest in imported corn affected the colonial situation in the Propontid region. The first colony planted by the Athenians was at Sigeum, on the south side of the entry to the Hellespont.
  • 38 - The western Greeks
    pp 163-195
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    This chapter first discusses the major foundations between 700 and 500 in Sicily and southern Italy. Gela was the first Greek colony in the island to be established away from the east coast. Thucydides attributes the foundation to Gela alone, but other sources state that some colonists came directly from Rhodes, and Polybius even calls Acragas a Rhodian colony. Himera was only the second Greek colony of Archaic times on the north coast of Sicily. Second, the chapter discusses the expansion of the Greek colonies, which includes further colonization in addition to the relations with the non-Greek peoples. Then it overviews the relations between Greeks and Phoenicians in Sicily, which also involve the last major attempts at colonization by the Greeks in that period. Thucydides tells that Syracuse founded colonies at Acrae and Casmenae in 663 and 643. Finally, the chapter considers the internal developments of the Greek city-states, and their relations.
  • 39a - The eastern Greeks
    pp 196-221
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    A great change occurred on the landward horizon of the eastern Greeks about the beginning of the seventh century. Croesus came to the throne some time about 560 BC and had reigned only fourteen years when he and his kingdom fell to Cyrus the Persian, who asserted his claim to the whole of Croesus' realm by right of conquest. The peoples of Ionia, Caria, and Lycia resisted. But after fighting which was especially stubborn in the south the cities were taken by Cyrus' Median general Harpagus. From the seventh century, the first temples with stone columns in a tentative architectural order seem to make their appearance in the Ionian cities. The Ionic order was slower in taking shape than the Doric of mainland Greece, and it was only in the huge stone temples of Ionia. The eastern Greeks were late-comers in the history of Greek colonization; and they were not in the forefront of trade with the Near East.
  • 39b - Crete
    pp 222-233
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    This chapter discusses Crete's society and laws and deals with its archaeology and the history of material culture. Within the Greek world there is little enough to demonstrate close involvement between Crete and other states. During the first quarter of the seventh century the 'Daedalic' style of minor relief sculpture, expressed mainly in mould-made terracottas, appears in Greece for the first time. The rich patchwork of the archaeological record of Archaic Crete gives an impression of vigorous independence for the main centres but no intense or damaging rivalries until, perhaps, the later seventh century. At the very end of the Archaic period there are signs of more sophisticated life and art with the relief grave stelai found at Eleutherna, Eltyna and Rethymnum. Aeginetan coins appear in the island but Crete does not strike its own coinage until the fifth century, and in the Archaic period tripods, cauldrons and spits are its currency.
  • 39c - Cretan Laws and Society
    pp 234-248
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    The distinctive achievements of Cretan civilization in the colonization period, based within a framework of early urbanization and of alphabetic literacy, owed much to the legacies of a famous past. The Law Code of Gortyn is bound to be the principal focus of any discussion of early Cretan laws and society. Only the letter forms may serve as a basis of judgement, qualified by the knowledge gained from ample fifth-century documentation that the Cretan alphabet was, like so much else in Cretan manners, conservative in its retention of old forms and methods. The earliest inscriptions from Gortyn demonstrate that the personal responsibility of state officials for their state duties, which is characteristic of government in Greek antiquity, was established in Cretan cities before the sixth century BC. The distribution of land and servile cultivators among a sort of tribal aristocracy must have been accompanied by modifications in the modes of inheritance among ruling groups.
  • 39d - Euboea and the Islands
    pp 249-260
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    The aristocracies under which the Lelantine war had been fought, and won or lost, were not unaffected by the challenges that faced aristocracies elsewhere and before 600 a tyrant, Tynnondas imposed himself on the 'Euboeans' and others, Antileon and Phoxus. The physical shock of the move from Lefkandi, if such it was, and be it or be it not in some way connected with defeat in the Lelantine War, together with the long-term results of colonial expansion and consequent commercial success should have done something to the fabric of Eretrian society. Foreign relationships are more substantial at first sight, but no more coherent. Only Paros produced an Archilochus, but there was a Simonides of Ceos, a different but no lesser poet; only Thera's drought is recorded, but even meteorologists cannot confine a drought to some 80 square kilometres; only Naxos is said to have dominated other islands, and only Delos is unique, there was no anti-Pope.
  • 40 - Illyris, Epirus and Macedonia
    pp 261-285
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    The Illyrian domination was shaken by the raids of the Cimmerians and their Thracian allies who swept through the Balkans, leaving traces of their presence in Macedonia and penetrating perhaps via southern Illyris to Epirus, as dedications of their typical horse-trappings have been found at Dodona. The archaeological division corresponded to a tribal division: the Illyrian tribes holding northern Illyris, and the Epirotic tribes, whether Chaonian or Molossian, holding the plain of Körce and the eastern side of the Balkan chain as far north at least as Derriopus. The seaboard of Illyris and Epirus was subject to a series of influences. In the ninth century the Liburnians, the leading seapower in the inner Adriatic, expanded southwards so that by the first half of the eighth century they were established in Corcyra, the most important port of call on the route from the south either into the Adriatic or to the heel of Italy.
  • 41 - Central Greece and Thessaly
    pp 286-320
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    For the period before about 700 BC the chief tools of the historian of Central Greece must be the spade or the map, though a few strokes of ancient pens add a welcome touch of political definition to some events of the second half of the eighth century in stories of colonization and especially of the Lelantine War which involved not only the cities of Euboea, but southern Thessaly, Megara, Delphi and other states besides. More importantly, it was about the same time that Boeotia produced in the poet Hesiod our only contemporary literary evidence for the social and political atmosphere of Late Geometric Greece. The area of hills and mountains between and to the west of Boeotia and Thessaly resolved itself into a number of states; Malis in the lower, Aenis in the upper Spercheus valley; Doris, reputedly homeland of the Dorians; Phocis around Mt Parnassus dividing Locris into two, East Locris and West Locris.
  • 42 - The Peloponnese
    pp 321-359
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    When Pheidon re-established the traditional supremacy of Argos in the Peloponnese, his most infamous act was the ousting of the Eleans and the installing of the Pisatans to conduct the Olympic festival, an event no doubt appended to the victor list or recorded separately at Olympia. Eleans were as whole-hearted in the race for power as their athletes were in pursuit of the olive-wreath prize at the Olympic games. In the Peloponnese Argos claimed to be the most martial tradition from the time of the Dorian invasion. In the eastern part of the Peloponnese the rising standard of life and the accumulation of some capital in propertied families and in states such as Corinth caused a change in the methods of warfare. In the mid-sixth century the Dorian states were not left to themselves. Sparta, exempt from tyranny herself, intervened. Within the extraordinarily mobile world of city-states any combination of political power and economic prosperity attracted talent from far afield.
  • 43 - The growth of the Athenian state
    pp 360-391
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    The king of Athens would normally have been the most influential ruler in Attica, as Thucydides presupposes, and that will have been especially true for a period when so much of the population huddled around his Acropolis. Evidence for an Ionian tribal system is weaker than that for the Dorian tribes, and in East Greece there may have been less uniformity, but the four old Attic tribes turn up often enough to constitute a genuine link. Democratic theory had it that political powers it possessed before Ephialtes' reform were usurped powers, but accounts of these powers are indefinite enough: Aristotle gives a judicial tinge, Isocrates a moralizing one, to its supposed disciplinary role. When a young noble named Cylon attempted to make himself tyrant of Athens, popular support was given not to him but to the established authorities. That Athens had used Pheidonian measures before Solon is beyond our verification, but there might have been a Solonian law abolishing them.
  • 44 - The Tyranny of Pisistratus
    pp 392-416
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    Solon's reform broke the monopoly of office enjoyed till his time by the Attic nobility. This was bound to be resented, and the following years were punctured by strife over the appointment of the archon. Thereafter, silence descends on the internal politics of Athens for nearly twenty years, when it lifts on the situation in which Pisistratus made himself tyrant. It is not easy to see any interest peculiar to the Diacrii which could have provided a basis for Pisistratus' rise to power. Herodotus strongly suggests that Pisistratus's thirty-six years are for the continuous tyranny, as is now widely accepted, putting the battle of Pallene in 546 and the start of the second exile about 556. The Thracian Chersonese is a more complex matter. Herodotus tells how the Dolonci consulted Delphi about their war with their neighbours the Apsinthii, and were told to take as their leader the first man who offered them hospitality on their way home.
  • 45a - Economic and social conditions in the Greek world
    pp 417-441
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    From 800-500 BC the economic and social structure of the Greek world underwent massive alterations which set the framework for the Classic age. Politically many Greek communities advanced in the eighth century to a more consciously ordered structure. The increase in population is very commonly presented as a great jump in the eighth century, which required migration of the excess numbers of the Greek countryside. Both premise and conclusion are shaky if appraised in the light of modern demographic theory. The ultimate sources of Greek economic expansion lay in the agricultural world of the ninth and eighth centuries. Objects such as obsidian had been transported about the Aegean since at least the Mesolithic period; in the Mycenaean age interchanges of luxury items, metals and pottery had been extensive. During the Dark Ages, foreign material in any area was extremely limited until Attic Protogeometric pottery began to spread abroad in the tenth century.
  • 45b - The material culture of Archaic Greece
    pp 442-462
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    It would be heartening to believe that our knowledge of the material conditions of life in ancient Greece improves as attention shifts from the earlier periods to the later. Smyrna gives the pattern for the richest Greek town houses of the seventh century, probably two-storied, flat-roofed with brick walls on stone socles, their blocks carefully faced. The marble sculpture was in part inspired by Egypt, but in Greece iron tools far more effective than any implements in the hands of Egyptian sculptors were already in general use. Monumental architecture was imposing and it involved the handling of heavy loads but the methods used relied more on manpower. In the sixth century the majority of clay vases, serving many purposes than such do today. Art is an important source of information about contemporary life. The bronze vessel types which were exported are Greek in design and it is an accident of survival that the biggest and best are found outside Greece.

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