Reasons for Colonization in Archaic Greece

Topics: Ancient Greece, Archaic Greece, Tyrant Pages: 2 (538 words) Published: June 20, 2013
The Greek Archaic Period (800-500 BCE) is known predominately for the establishment and development of individual city-states (poleis) within the country, as well as the colonisation movement which lead to an expansion in Greek land ownership throughout the Mediterranean region. This essay will discuss the reasons for and changes caused by colonisation, as well as the impact it had on militia warfare and how it aided the rise of tyranny. Firstly, after the collapse of the Mycenaean civilisation, the people of Greece formed small tribes which slowly developed into individual city-states, that is, poleis. Although each polis was separate and distinct from one another, the problem of overpopulation was inevitability encountered by the nation as a whole as it caused a shortage of land, familial disputes and social unrest. Leaders of each polis therefore decided to establish colonies in unclaimed or unoccupied land throughout the Mediterranean. Additional reasons for colonisations include rivalry between political groups, a desire for adventure, banishment of citizens and the search for trading ventures. Moreover, colonisation resulted in cultural integration, and at times amalgamation, between Greek and native culture. Local artistic characteristic were used in conjunction with traditional Greek style in the creation of pottery, jewellery and armour. Colonisation also resulted in inharmonious relations between local inhabitants however, with many natives being enslaved after their land was conquered. Another consequence of colonisation was the introduction of coinage as a means of exchange between different colonies and countries. Although this invention helped advance trading activities, it had profusely negative effects on the lower-class of Greek society who were exploited through their rich counterparts as a result of hoarding, high credit rates and the severity of the law in regards to debt repayment....
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