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date: 29 November 2020

Aeginalocked

  • Simon Hornblower

Extract

Aegina, island in Saronic Gulf, inhabited from late neolithic times and in contact with Minoan Crete and Mycenae. Early in the first millennium bce it was resettled by Greeks from Epidaurus (Hdt. 8. 46, 5. 43); protogeometric pottery indicates links with Attica and the Argolid. Aegina belonged to the Calaurian *amphictiony (Strabo 8. 6. 14; see calauria). It was not a great colonizing power, though Aeginetans participated at *Naucratis (Hdt. 2. 178), and are said to have colonized Kydonia (mod. Chania) on Crete, and Italian Umbria (Strabo 8. 6. 16; see atria; spina). Certainly Aeginetan connections with central Italy are attested c.500 bce by a dedication at Gravisca (Etruria) by the wealthy Sostratus of Aegina (Jeffery, LSAG2 p. 439 + Hdt. 4. 152). The scale of Aegina's trade is indicated by its population of perhaps 40,000 (Figueira; reduced to 20,000 by Hansen) on territory which could support only 4,000 from its own agricultural resources. Aegina struck coins early.

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