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Magna Graecia

From Academic Kids

Magna Graecia (Latin for "Greater Greece," Megal Hellas/Μεγάλη Ελλάς in Greek) is the name of the area in ancient southern Italy that was colonised by ancient Greek settlers in the 8th century BCE. Sources differ on whether it included Sicily, as well as Apulia and Calabria.

Greek colonies were established in places as widely separated as the eastern coast of the Black Sea and what is now Marseilles, France, and included settlements in Sicily and the southern part of the Italian peninsula. The name Magna Graecia was first used by the Romans to describe foot of the boot of Italy. The latter was so thickly inhabited by Greeks that the area became known as Magna Graecia (Latin, Greater Greece).


With this colonisation, the Greek culture was exported to Italy, and soon developed an original civilisation, later interacting with the native Italic and Latin civilisations. Many of the new cities become very powerful and rich, like Kapu (Capua), Neapolis (Νεάπολις, Naples), Subaris (Σύβαρις, Sybaris).

Other cities in Magna Graecia included Taras (Τάρας, Taranto), Lokroi or Locri (Λοκροί), Rhegion (Ρήγιον), Kroton (Κρότων, Crotone), Thurii (Θούριοι) and Elea (Ελαία).

Although most of the Greeks of southern Italy no longer speak Greek, remarkably a small Griko-speaking minority still exists today in Calabria and mostly in Salento. Griko is the name of a language combining ancient Doric Greek, Byzantine Greek, and Italian elements, spoken by people in the Magna Graecia region. There is rich oral tradition and Griko folklore.

External links

  • Magna Graecia (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/magnagraecia/) a Yahoo! discussion forum in Griko, Greek, English and Italian.

bg:Магна Греция de:Magna Graecia es:Magna Grecia fr:Grande Grce it:Magna Grecia la:Magna Graecia nl:Magna Graecia no:Magna Graecia pl:Wielka Grecja ru:Великая Греция Template:Italy-geo-stub

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