Why Did the Ancient Greeks Go West

Why Did the Ancient Greeks Go West

Why did the Greeks go west?

• Around 1200 BCE, the ancestors of the Greeks, the Mycenaeans discovered what we now know as Italy and Sicily

• They traded with the nomadic people who lived there, until a dark age set upon their civilization

• All memories of Italy were transformed into a legend of a mythical land with monsters and sorcerers

• After the end of the dark ages (around 7th century BCE), Greek was getting overpopulated.

• This led to them rediscovering the west, and settling in the lands they called Magna Graecia


• Many different bands of people went to these new lands seeking better opportunities and land.

• Before they could start their journey, they had the consult The Oracle at Delphi.

• The Oracle was located on a shrouded mountaintop in the Temple Of Apollo and was usually an older woman who spoke in a language only the priests could decipher.

• Many of the first settlers landed at Pithekoussai

Glory of the West

• The lands in Magna Graecia were lush, largely unpopulated lands in which the potential for a better life was great.

• The lands had many natural resources, which aided in the cities of the west match Greece’s splendor and power and even surpass it.

Cities of the West


• Founded in 770 BCE, arguably the first real Greek settlement in Magna Graecia

• It was a port city, with a large harbor and a lot of trade.

• It was a trading point between Phoenicians and the Greeks, with both civilizations intermingling there


• City of athletes and warriors

• Such great athletes that at one point, the first 7 runners of the marathon were Krotite, instilling the belief the Krotites were the greatest of all Greeks.


• Richest city in all of Magna Graecia

• Rumored to have banned all roosters from the city, lest they wake anyone up early

• Also were supposed to have vine...

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