By Gary Forsythe
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Additional info for A Critical History of Early Rome: From Prehistory to the First Punic War
The area around the Gulf of Taranto inside the heel of Italy received several Greek colonies, perhaps because native pastoralism made it less densely populated than other regions. ” 34 archaic italy c. c. The primary purpose behind Greek colonization was to provide new economic opportunities for people of the Greek homeland; and since colonists received an allotment of land, and most of them probably settled down to become farmers, agriculture must often have been the leading economic motive behind a colonial enterprise.
Similarly, even though the Greek colonies began as rude settlements of single-room houses, as shown by excavations at Megara Hyblaea and the initial Syracusan settlement on the island of Ortygia, by the sixth century many of these communities had blossomed and had become quite populous and flourishing; their economic prosperity is clearly reflected in their construction of magnificent temples. Perhaps the single most interesting example of commercially oriented colonization is offered by Phocaean settlement in the western Mediterranean (see Hdt.
In fact, the so-called Nuragic Culture of Sardinia, characterized by large stone defensive towers and chamber tombs of stone masonry whose architecture was far in advance of the contemporary cultures of Bronze-Age Italy, probably arose in response to these eastern contacts and commercial interaction. Indeed, during the late Bronze Age native Sardinians were apparently hired as mercenaries in 22 italy in prehistory the armies of Libya, Egypt, and other states of Syria and Palestine (Trump 1980, 202).
A Critical History of Early Rome: From Prehistory to the First Punic War by Gary Forsythe