- D. W. R. Ridgway
‘Colonization’, in the language of a former imperial power, is a somewhat misleading definition of the process of major Greek expansion that took place between c.734 and 580 bce. In fact, the process itself was not so much ‘Greek’ as directed in different ways and for different reasons by a number of independent city-states (see polis). This at least emerges with relative clarity from both the historical and the archaeological evidence. For the rest, the mass of general and particular information that has accumulated under these two headings is only rarely susceptible to a single uncontroversial interpretation. Although the position has greatly improved since the 1930s, it is still only too true that archaeologists and ancient historians do not always appreciate each other's aims and methods—a problem that is exacerbated by the fact that on the subject of colonization ancient no less than modern authors are more than usually influenced by their own political agenda and accordingly more than usually liable to project the priorities, practices, and terminology of their own times onto the much earlier events they purport to describe.
- Greek Material Culture