The extension of Greek settlements, which spread from the 8th to the 6th centuries BCE, involved the entire Mediterranean basin, but the establishment of new city-states was particularly significant in the southern areas of the Italian peninsula (Calabria, Basilicata, Campania and Ionic Apulia). Here Hellenic colonial societies achieved especially in the 6th and 5th centuries BCE (and partly even in the 4th) an extraordinary degree of economic and cultural evolution, thus accomplishing ambitious goals of political, territorial and hegemonic control. The idea of Megale Hells Magna Graecia arises precisely in reference to the levels of civilization, wealth, power, and intellectual and artistic splendor achieved and then lost by Greeks in Italy, during a complex historical period that developed simultaneously with Hellenic Sicily. This text narrates the regions steady rise and miserable fall, from the Archaic Age up to the Roman conquest.
Lorenzo Braccesi taught Greek History at the Universities of Turin, Venice and Padua.
Flavio Raviola teaches Greek History at the University of Padua.