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The Greeks were also present in Anatolia from before the end of the Dark Age. Mycenaean finds at Miletos point to their settlement there, as does the mention of Ahhijawa, or Achaians, in Hittite sources Mountjoy , What have been called waves of migration are now considered to have been more prolonged and piecemeal processes involving migration of smaller groups rather than entire populations.

The historicity of the migrations has been cast into doubt. Recently Jonathan Hall has pointed out that the tradition of the Dorian migration is more of a charter for alliances in 5th century Greece than a useful key to understand linguistic and material changes in Dark Age Greece Hall , It may seem like the Greek migration myths are more of an attempt to explain the distribution of Greek dialects than real memories of ancient migrations. Not least, the ancestry of the Greek cities in Anatolia became important during the Persian Wars, when these cities were under attack from the Lydians and Persians, and appealed for help from their own kin.

The myths of the tribes and their political functions should be kept in mind when considering the truthfulness of the ktisis-traditions of colonial foundations and the development of the Greek polis. Colonisation in North Africa Colonisation, the establishment of new, permanent Greek settlements beyond the Aegean, started in the West.

It was established by Euboians in the 8th century BCE. After some time, Pithekoussai lost importance to the coastal settlements. These colonies traded with Etruscans, Phoenicians and Carthaginians. Unfortunately, there are no details about how these early colonies in the West were founded. The most detailed account of a colony is that of Kyrene, in Libya, which is told by Herodotos. This colony was later than the 8th century colonies of Italy and Sicily, ca. The foundation stories from Sicily will be discussed below. Herodotos is a very interesting source, because he relates several stories according to different sources, some of which are in conflict with each other.

The stories also include obvious folk tale motives. The story of Kyrene began in Sparta. Theras, warden to the adolescent kings of Sparta, planned to leave Lakedaimon to establish a colony. He was of Kadmeian descent, and decided to depart for Thera, where his Phoenician kin lived already. Theras gathered colonists who faced execution in Lakedaimon and founded settlements in friendship and cooperation with the inhabitants of Thera.

According to Herodotos, the island got its name Thera from Theras Hdt. The narrative of Herodotos continues with a new story, where a descendant of Thera goes to Delphi and is unexpectedly given instructions to form a colony in Libya. Since he did not know the whereabouts of Libya, and was of old age, the oracle was forgotten Hdt. Thera suffered severe drought for seven years, and someone remembered the oracle. With the help of a Phoenician resident at Crete, the Therans learned of Libya and the offshore island of Platea.

They found the island and left their guide behind. While waiting for the Therans to return, the marooned Phoenician received help from Samians who had been driven off their course. They told of their adventures in Tartessos, near the southern tip of the Iberian Peninsula, where they had traded for silver at a vast profit. Meanwhile, on Thera, the citizens drew lots between brothers to fill the roster of colonists, and they departed for Libya led by Battos Hdt.

The stories of the Therans and Kyreneans agreed up to this point, according to Herodotos, but the Kyreneans had a completely different story about Battos, saying that he descended from a Cretan woman who had narrowly escaped death at the hands of her wicked father. She gave birth to Battos on Thera.

Battos stuttered, and went to Delphi to get advice for his speech impediment. At Delphi, he was unexpectedly given instructions to found a colony in Libya. He refused, calamity followed, and the Therans demanded that he fulfilled the oracle. After an abortive attempt, the colonists wanted to return to Thera, but the Therans greeted them with arrows. The initial good relations soured when more colonists arrived, and they waged war on the Libyans.

Inner strife also threatened the colony, and a new settlement was established at Barke Hdt. The conflicting stories of the origins of the colony are quite telling. They are similar in their outline, but diverge in their details. Battos is an important person in all versions, but the account of his background varies, as well as whether it was he who received the oracle of Apollo or not.

What do these stories tell about the origin of Greek colonies?

The oracle of Delphi plays an important role. Emphasis is put on the negative effects of non-compliance with the oracle. Some elements, such as the drought on Thera and the division of brothers are telling of the problems with land hunger and inheritance in Greece, which may have motivated colonisation.


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However, the colonists do not leave home because of such problems; Apollo had already told the Therans to found a colony. The role of the oikist is emphasised, he is the main character behind the colonial venture. It should be pointed out that the descendants of Battos ruled Kyrene as kings. Irad Malkin argues that Battos was a historical figure that was honoured with a hero cult at Kyrene, something which is corroborated by several inscriptions Malkin , However, the Kyrenean tradition of Battos contains obvious folk-tale motives, such as his wicked grandfather, or his mysterious speech impediment, and indicates that whatever historical memory was preserved about the colonial foundations was soon transformed into myth.

The stories in Herodotos emphasise the links between Lakedaimon, Crete, Thera and Kyrene, to establish the Dorian background for the colonists.

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This shows the need for a metropolis, a place of origin for Greeks abroad. The initial settlement of Thera by Theras and the Lakedaimonian refugees demonstrates the often amicable relations between colonists and locals, as does the assistance of the Libyans at Kyrene.

Of note are the Samians who had been to Tartessos and the role of the Phoenician from Crete. It shows how information was passed by word of mouth among seafarers. It also reveals a different side to the establishment of Greek colonies, not as settlements founded by an archegetes on the order of Apollo, but as heterogeneous settlements of emigrants, traders and local people. The stories served as a charter for a predominantly Dorian polis founded from Thera. This further corroborates the tradition of a state-led expedition, but it should again be pointed out that the emphasis on Battos from Thera as the founder was a tradition that strengthened the claim to power of the local dynasty.

Thukydides gives much information on the founding of the colonies on Sicily as a description of the political and demographic situation on the island. His account is rather terse, and is probably a condensed version of various myths. Where Herodotos relates different and conflicting versions, Thukydides attempts to give a concise account, with relative dates for the founding of the different settlements.

He is unlikely to possess accurate knowledge about the foundation of the Sicilian colonies he discusses. They were founded in the 8th century, about three hundred years before his time, and his sources must have been largely stories, similar to those Herodotos used in his account of Kyrene discussed above. Thukydides gives information on who established the Greek colonies on Sicily, and whence the colonists came.

The colonists encountered indigenous island inhabitants, as well as Phoenicians and Etruscans. The Greeks were looking for land for agriculture, which is abundant on Sicily. There is, however, no direct correlation between demographic growth in the mother city of the colonists and the establishment of colonies abroad. There was no explosion in population growth in the 8th century, at least not in Attica, which is one of the best-documented areas for the Archaic period Osborne , Therefore, land hunger cannot be the only explanation for colonisation.

Trade, adventure and political struggles at home were also factors prompting ventures abroad. According to the account of Thukydides, the early colonies on Sicily have a founder and a mother-city, such as Naxos, founded by the Chalkidians of Euboia led by Thukles, or Syracuse, founded by Archias of Corinth. There was also secondary colonisation, when the colonists moved on to a new place from their original colony, such as Leontinoi. There were colonies seeking to establish an additional colony which sent for an oikist from their mother-city, like Selinus, founded by Megara Hyblaia, led by Pamillos of Megara.

A colony might have several oikists, organised as a joint venture, such as Gela. Some colonies were more disorganised, such as Zankle, founded by pirates from the Chalkidian city of Kyme. Later, when Zankle prospered, it was decided that its founders should be Perieres and Krataimenes, one from Kyme and one from Chalkis Thuc. Colonies often had inhabitants from several cities, such as Himera.

Refugees from one colony might join another. Some colonies changed their founder in face of political changes. Kamarina changed its founders from the original Laskon and Menekolos, to Hippokrates of Gela, as part of a ransom for prisoners of war. When the city was later sacked, it was founded again by the Gelans Thuc. The Egestans exhorted the Athenians to come to their aid against Syracuse, lest they rather join their fellow Dorian Peloponnesians against the Ionian Athenians Thuc. As can be seen, Thukydides is at pains to include the various foundation stories into a coherent history of the Greek settlement of Sicily.

The variety of foundations on Sicily shows that not all colonies were established like a ready polis from a metropolis, however. In the following, it will be argued that the foundation of colonies was part of the development of the polis, and not a diffusion of the polis type of settlement abroad. The purpose of the foundation stories will be investigated, with a view to the diplomatic aspects of tribal affiliations in the Greek world of the 5th century BCE.

The myth of the Metropolis It is not exactly known how the earliest colonies were established. The dynamics of colonial foundations remain conjecture. However, the impression gained from Thukydides is that colonial ventures were organised by poleis in Greece, which sent out expeditions led by appointed leaders. These leaders were later commemorated, even venerated, as heroes. This view implies that the colonies were not planned very much in advance, but was the result of travels for trade and booty, and expeditions of landless farmers looking for a place to start again.

Thus, there was no metropolis, and no archegetes or oikist. The stories about the foundation of colonies were myths. Why were these myths created and maintained? As will be seen, there may have been several reasons for the tenacity of ktisis-traditions.

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The claim that foundation stories are myths may seem refuted by the fact that Archilochos mentions a follower of Archias, founder of Syracuse, who set out from Corinth cf. The mention of Archias by Archilochos as leader of the expedition to Syracuse is preserved in Athenaeus, as an example of intemperance: one of the colonists who went with Archias supposedly bartered his allotment of land for a honey cake Ath.

The colony Syracuse was founded ca. Thus, the use of this text as evidence for the historicity of Archias is dubious. Rather, foundation stories may be understood as being deliberately created and preserved to legitimate the power of local leading families in the colonies. The descendants of the founder would emphasise the role of the archegetes over other factors contributing to the establishment of colonies, such as migration, trade and interaction with local inhabitants. As Carol Dougherty demonstrates, stories about Greek colonisation follow a narrative scheme, focusing on typical characters such as the murderer in need of absolution, with specific roles in the plot that are repeated from the story of one colony to another Dougherty , This should make us wary of their purported truthfulness.

Herodotos and Thukydides present Greek colonisation as planned operations led by an appointed archegetes, the leader of the colonial expedition. He was later honoured as oikist, as the hero of the colony. The citizens who joined the colonial venture were appointed, elected or joined as volunteers, and the mother-city sent them out to establish a new city. The new city was supposed to have the same laws and cults as the mother-city, and honour its precedence. There are foundation myths and dates for several Greek colonies, some may be found in Thukydides or Herodotos, others are known in later compilations, like in the Chronikon of Eusebios.

At closer inspection, the foundation myths seem to fill a political function rather than being a true account of the foundation of the city. But the very connection to a metropolis also had consequences for foreign affairs and diplomacy. The Athenians, who were Ionians, fought against the Peloponnesians, who were Dorians, for supremacy in Greece. Alliances were forged with reference to ancient ancestral ties and tribal affiliations. Marshall Sahlins points out that 5th century Athens and Sparta used the myths of the Ionians and Dorians to emphasise the differences between themselves: the Athenians were autochthonous, sprung from the soil of Attica, whereas the Dorians were immigrants from the north.

The hero of the Athenians was Theseus; the Dorians venerated Herakles. Both poleis used myths to construct their own history Sahlins , The active use of myths is also evident in Greek colonies. Evidence in Thukydides shows the importance of the tribal affiliation of a colony. The fiction was not always politically interesting, and colonies might replace their oikist and found the city again.

During the Peloponnesian War, the ideal relationship between the metropolis and its colony was formulated. Epidamnos was founded in the 7th century, and its origins became politically and strategically important during the tensions leading up to the Peloponnesian war. Epidamnos lies on the way to Italy and Sicily, whence both the Peloponnesians and the Athenians might get support. According to Thukydides, it was founded as a colony by the Kerkyreans, led by Falios. Kerkyra, in its turn, had been founded by the Corinthians, and the oikist of Epidamnos, Falios, was sent for from Corinth Thuc.

The Kerkyreans argued that a colony honoured its mother-city as long as it was treated well. Colonists were not sent out to be slaves, but to have the same rights as those they left behind in the mother city Thuc. The Corinthians argued that they had not established colonies to be spurned by them, but to be their leaders and to be treated with the proper respect. They claimed that their other colonists honoured them, and that they were particularly loved by their colonists Thuc.

Here, it is obvious that the bond between colony and metropolis was rather loose. There is no clear definition of the legal status of the colonies, and Thukydides states that the factions preferred war to litigation or jurisdiction by the oracle at Delphi Thuc. The distant past was used as an argument to subdue disobedience or allay hostile feelings. This shows that the traditions of colonies and founding heroes were not so much memories of ancient history as political tools to evoke sympathy from allies.

Hardcover , pages. More Details Original Title. Other Editions 6. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Myth and Metropolis , please sign up. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Jan 15, Robert rated it really liked it. If you've read a little Benjamin and found yourself rereading passages and scratching your head because, well, you're not as well read as you might be and you, like me, are more curious than scholarly, then I'd pick up this elegant little volume and read it slowly and deeply.

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Gilloch not only puts Benjamin's writing in perspective of his time and place, but opens the door to the depth and rightness of Benjamin's observations. I am deeply indebted to Gilloch, whose perceptive readings and lucid r If you've read a little Benjamin and found yourself rereading passages and scratching your head because, well, you're not as well read as you might be and you, like me, are more curious than scholarly, then I'd pick up this elegant little volume and read it slowly and deeply.

I am deeply indebted to Gilloch, whose perceptive readings and lucid rendering of Benjamin's difficult work has helped me to read the man with greater insight and enthusiasm. Jul 04, Guy Mankowski rated it it was amazing. I'm currently about halfway through this book and have found it deeply engrossing. In it, complex ideas are disseminated in a manner that is not only readable, but almost compulsive. The chapter on 'phantasmagoria of modernity' was a stand out for me, synthesising Benjamin's ideas about the fetishisation of product through arcades beautifully.

The book offers deep and useful insights into the way cities are constructed to reflect need, whilst using writing that is inspiring and evocative. Lines I'm currently about halfway through this book and have found it deeply engrossing. Lines like 'the cityscape and the artefacts within found therein are dream-like creations of dormant creativity' typify what I mean.

The idea that we can somehow unpack 'utopian wish images' through Benjamin's methods is a fascinating one and I can't wait to see what the other chapters offer. I would suggest this book for someone familiar with Marx's ideas on consumerism, it also sat well for me with Baudelair's ideas on flaneurism and Foucault's theories of power. Written in a lucid way, with a conclusion that tilts anyone who is seriously interested in Walter Benjamin's work simply of the floor.

David Michalski rated it it was amazing Nov 19, Faiqa Mansab rated it really liked it Dec 22, Dongwoo Yang rated it liked it Sep 19, Key rated it really liked it Dec 26, People who consumed more than 25 cups of coffee a day were excluded, but no increased stiffening of arteries was associated with those who drank up to this high limit when compared with those who drank less than one cup a day.

The associations between drinking coffee and artery stiffness measures were corrected for contributing factors like age, gender, ethnicity, smoking status, height, weight, how much alcohol someone drank, what they ate and high blood pressure. Of the 8, participants who underwent MRI heart scans and infrared pulse wave tests, the research showed that moderate and heavy coffee drinkers were most likely to be male, smoke, and consume alcohol regularly.

Myth and metropolis : Walter Benjamin and the city / Graeme Gilloch - Details - Trove

Play Slideshow. Summer-Ready 24 Mar, The Original Magic Potion 24 Mar, Not Your Cuppa 24 Mar, Colours Of The Season 24 Mar, Junk The Junk 24 Mar, Want stories like this in your inbox? Sign up for the daily ET Panache newsletter. You can also follow us on Facebook , Twitter and LinkedIn. Read more on arterial stiffness. Magnetic resonance imaging. Queen Mary University of London. British Heart Foundation. Follow us on. Download et app.