In the competitive and turbulent environment of archaic Greece, the establishment of colonies gave the domestic city-states an edge over their rivals. This rivalry was also supra-national: the Etruscans and Phoenicians were also very active seafaring traders and colonizers in this period. In the 8th century BCE, ‘homeland’ Greece, to the extent that it was defined, consisted of the southern part of modern Greece, the adjacent coat of Asia Minor, and the islands between. Some of the colonies grew to rival and eclipse their mother-cities, often becoming colonizers. Examples of early colonies are Rhegion in southern Italy, established by Chalkis in Greece; Syracuse in Sicily (Corinth); Himera (Messene) and Taras (Sparta). While some colonies (usually the smaller apoikai or trading posts) blended in to the local culture, the larger emporia were more often distinctively Greek, building temples and theatres redolent of the homeland.
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PeriodEarly Civilizations [4000BCE - 500BCE]
RegionEurope, Middle East