Phoenician and Greek Colonization of the Mediterranean 9th–6th Centuries BCE


Map Code: Ax01919

By 750 BCE, Phoenician and Greek city-states had founded settlements across the Mediterranean. The Phoenicians, known as the ‘purple people’ by the Greeks, due to their use of purple dye, created a string of city-states that encompassed modern northern coastal Africa, modern southern Spain, eastern Cyprus and the Levant. The Phoenicians were maritime traders and experts in manufacturing, glass-making, ship-building and dye production. Their goods were popular throughout the region, making Phoenicia prosperous. Similarly, the Greeks’ trading success enabled their city-states to radiate across the Mediterranean and they established scattered colonies in modern southern Italy, along the North African coast, and the coastlines of Thrace and the northwestern Persian Empire. They exported pottery, wine, oil, metals and textiles and were also great explorers. By 500 BCE, they had established 500 city-states in the Mediterranean region.

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