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date: 31 January 2023

Magna Graecialocked

Magna Graecialocked

  • H. Kathryn Lomas


Magna Graecia (Gk. Megalē Hellas), the coastal region of *Italy colonized by the Greeks. Definitions varied widely, but most usually it refers to the region between *Cumae and *Tarentum (Serv. on Aen. 1. 569). *Strabo (6. 1. 2) includes Sicily, but others exclude both Sicily and Campania (FGrH 566 F 13; Plin.HN 3. 95; ps.-Scymnus 303). Early sources (Pind.Pyth. 1. 146; Eur.Med.439–40) use it to refer to the entire Greek world, not specifically to Italy, while *Justin (20. 1) includes the whole of Italy in the definition. The colonies, founded between c.740 (Cumae) and 433 bce (*Heraclea(1)), prospered on the strength of fertile land and trade. In the 4th cent., pressure from the rapidly expanding Oscan peoples of Apennine Italy brought the Greeks into conflict with the Lucani (see Lucania) and *Bruttii.


  • Ancient Geography

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