Greek Colonization

Definition

From around 800 BCE, ancient Greek city-states, most of which were maritime powers, began to look beyond Greece for land and resources. As a consequence, they founded colonies across the Mediterranean. Trade was usually the first step in the colonization process and then, after local populations were subdued or included within the colony, cities were established.

More about: Greek Colonization

Timeline

  • c. 1200 BCE - c. 800 BCE
    First wave of Phoenician colonization where largely trading-posts are founded throughout the Mediterranean.
  • c. 1110 BCE
    Traditional founding date for the Phoenician colony of Gades (Cadiz).
  • c. 1101 BCE
    Traditional founding date for the Phoenician colony of Utica by Sidon (or Tyre).
  • c. 814 BCE
    Traditional founding date for the Phoenician colony of Carthage by Tyre.
  • c. 800 BCE - 600 BCE
    Second stage of Phoenician colonization where trading-posts become full colonies throughout the Mediterranean.
  • 800 BCE - 500 BCE
    Greek colonization of the Mediterranean and Black Sea.
  • c. 750 BCE
    Phoenicians found the colony of Motya on Sicily.
  • c. 740 BCE - c. 433 BCE
    Greek poleis or city-states establish colonies in Magna Graecia.
  • c. 740 BCE
    Chalcis and Kyme found the colony of Cumae in Magna Graecia.
  • 734 BCE
    Chalcis founds the colony of Naxos on Sicily.
  • c. 733 BCE
    Traditional date when Corinth founds a colony on Corcyra.
  • 733 BCE
    Corinth founds the colony of Syracuse in Sicily.
  • 720 BCE
    Metapontum in Magna Graecia is found by Achaeans.
  • c. 720 BCE
    Chalcis founds the colony of Rhegium in Sicily.
  • c. 720 BCE
    Sybaris in Magna Graecia founded by Archaean settlers.
  • c. 710 BCE
    Croton in Magna Graecia founded by Archaean settlers.
  • 706 BCE
    Sparta founds the colony of Tarentum in Magna Graecia.
  • c. 700 BCE
    Settlers from mainland Greece, possibly Samos, settle on Samothrace.
  • c. 689 BCE
    Rhodes and Cretans found Gela in Sicily.
  • c. 685 BCE
    Megara founds the colony of Chalcedon.
  • 675 BCE
    Miletos founds the colony of Kyzikos in the Black Sea area.
  • 668 BCE
    Megara founds the colony of Byzantium.
  • c. 631 BCE
    Miletos founds the colony of Sinope in the Black Sea area.
  • 631 BCE
    Greek colonists from the island of Thera found the city of Cyrene in North Africa.
  • c. 630 BCE
    Messana founds the colony of Himera on Sicily.
  • c. 630 BCE
    Selinus is founded by colonists from Megara Hyblaea, Sicily.
  • c. 600 BCE
    Phocaea founds the colony of Massilia.
  • c. 600 BCE
    Paestum is founded by colonists from Sybaris.
  • c. 600 BCE
    Miletos founds the colony of Pantikapaion in the Black Sea area.
  • 580 BCE - 376 BCE
    Carthage and Greece fight for dominance in Sicily.
  • c. 580 BCE
    Agrigento in Sicily is founded by colonists from Gela, Crete and Rhodes.
  • 575 BCE
    Massalia founds the colony of Emporion in Spain.
  • 560 BCE
    Megara founds the colony of Herakleai Pontike in the Black Sea area.
  • c. 550 BCE
    Miletos founds the colony of Olbia in the Black Sea area.
  • c. 540 BCE
    Phocaea founds Elea in Magna Graecia.
  • 525 BCE
    Second wave of emigration of Greeks to Massilia.
  • 500 BCE
    Carthage expands into southern Spain.
  • c. 443 BCE
    Thurii in Magna Graecia founded by Athenian settlers.
  • c. 437 BCE
    Athens founds the colony of Amphipolis in northern Macedonia.
  • 433 BCE
    Tarentum founds Heraclea in Magna Graecia.
  • c. 420 BCE
    Herakleia founds the colonies of Chersonesos in the Crimea.
  • 415 BCE
    Athens launches an expedition against Sicily, the pretext being protection of Segesta.
  • 396 BCE
    The Carthaginian city of Lilybaeum is founded on Sicily.
  • c. 300 BCE - c. 200 BCE
    Greek colonists set up an emporion (trade centre) at Salona.
  • 44 BCE
    Julius Caesar founds the Roman colony of Corinth.
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