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Foundation stories

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Chapter Summary

In evaluating the three approaches to foundation stories, it is important to realise that they are not situated equidistantly from one another. Instead, both the poeticist approach and the historical-constructivist approach define themselves against historical-positivist interpretations. This chapter intends to subject the generalisations to a more systematic scrutiny of the available literary evidence. It investigates the Italian colonies. The analysis has been conducted on a database of 27 colonial sites-14 in Sicily and 13 in Magna Graecia. The information provided for each of these sites by literary notices of varying lengths has been arranged according to four variables: date of foundation; identity of the oikist; provenance of the first settlers; and further narrative details about the circumstances of foundation. The chapter also presents as a case-study the evidence regarding the foundation of Taras.

Keywords: archaeological evidence; foundation stories; historical-constructivist approach; historical-positivist approach; Italian colonies; Taras



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