HomeAncient HistoryAncient RomeShort about Greek cities in Italy and Sicily

Short about Greek cities in Italy and Sicily



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In the VIII century began Greek colonization, which ended in the VI century BC. After 480 BC and after the battle of Himera, in 474 BC, the naval battle near Cumae and victory over Etruscans – started Greek’s domination over the south. From the second half of the V century due to the internal reasons (Peloponnesian war) Greek cities began to weaken. At the end of VI century aristocratic groups (small, privileged ruling class) became dominated, while Crotonians abolished democratic Sybaris. Local Italic tribes became much stronger. Those Italic tribes were Samnites, Lukanians and Brutians.

In 421 BC, Samnites defeated the Greeks and since then Taranto, Turin and Reggio were often powerless to resist to their attacks. Later, at the beginning of the III century BC, they came into conflict with Rome and after that, they lost their independence. In Sicily, they fought with Carthage, which spread its land on the island at the expense of the Greek cities.

In Italy and in Sicily, the cities were mainly agrarian centres. Italics took from them cultivation of vineyards and olive groves. These cities played a major role in the history of Greek culture in general. In these cities have been developed various philosophical systems, also rhetoric was here developed very early as well. All forms of social, political, cultural, religious systems made a great influence on the Italics. City Cumae, in Campania played a special role. Etruscans took the alphabet from the city Cumae, as well as many Greek customs and beliefs. For residents of Campania, Greek influence had a remarkable significance. Here was created special Campania culture whose specificity retained even after the conquest of Rome.


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