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Greek expansion transformed the Mediterranean by bringing urban life to the most of its coastline.

Development of the polis

Earliest certain sing of existence of polis was the ability to create new polis by colonization

Difference is the geographical location

Choose a particular site for having good harbours, fertile land nearby and to be easily defensible

Many colonies has precise purposes

Importance of defence in colonizations

The Greeks preferred inhabitated areas or where the natives were primitive and ill-organizated

Colonies tender to cluster along trade routes for reasons of supply and communication

Colonies exploited the natural resources of their area as soon as they were stablished.

The availability of land and the population growth go together as cause and effect

The city has to organize settlement abroad in order to avoid disruption at home.

It's a major factor for the growth of the population

The number of colonist were small (200 or less)

The settlers were unmarried men of fighting age, Some of them comes with family (minory), others wait that their Greek woman comes later

They began fortifying the settlement and dividing the land

They use as labour force the natives as peasant serfs (agricultural colonies)

The last comers to the Greek foundations obtains the citizenship and land but not in a equality way.

The colonist were chosen by lot from brother to brother (in a compulsory way)

The leader is an aristocrat but one whose physical defects make him expendable


Less archaeological evidence when Greece emerge into urban development

First settlement was Sicily founded by Euobeans / Chalcis / Corinthians.

Black Sea was colonized in the early 7th Century by Miletus.

In the North, exports slaves and corn

Cyrene was founded from the island of Thera.

Sicilian Naxos has high priority of defence and communication

the capture of Corcyra by Corinth example of foundation related to the protection of trade routes

Pottery and other manufactures were trading by Corinthians

The Phocaeans were the first of the Greeks to make long voyages

Their trading enterprise lasted until they fled from the Persians to their Corsican colony of Alalia

Eretrian colonist Corcyra tried to return home but they couldn't so they salied to Thracian Methone to found a new colony

There's a document were describes the colonization of Sicily explaining the age of colony, the original settlers and the founder (aristocratic leader)

Plans that divide the land into public, private and religious

Megara Hyblaea in Sicily



Thera inhabitated by Dorian Greeks in the Aegean had a vulcano that erupted and destroyer the most of the settlements so they have to move to other places.



Political factors


The search for land


Delphi and the cult of Apollo the leader


Areas colonized

Economic prosperity

Degree of explotation

Diffusion of the dominant culture




Delphi and Apollo the Leader benefits (wealthy)