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Central Greece on the eve of the colonisation movement

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Chapter Summary

The dearth of ancient information is particularly acute with regard to the reasons that led to the colonisation movement, and most historians have therefore succumbed to the 'temptation to fill in many of the gaps in their knowledge by inferences drawn from the history of their own time'. The urge to gain access to goods not available in Greece, such as certain metals, was considered of prime importance. This chapter attempts to take stock of what one know about Greece, and especially its central region and its inhabitants, in the first half of the 8th century, in the expectation that a clearer idea of the land which the emigrants left behind helps to understand why they did so and perhaps how they proceeded. The sparse archaeological remains at disposal are obviously insufficient to lead to firm conclusion with regard to the two competing views about character of the Homeric polis.

Keywords: central Greece; colonisation movement; Homeric polis



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