C 2. Colonization and the development of Greek identity in the Western Mediterranean

The processes of Greek migration and settlement outside the Aegean (conventionally termed colonization) have traditionally been examined principally in terms of the impact of Greek settlers and their culture on the indigenous population. However, the impact of the colonial environment, and of the interactions of with non-Greek cultures, on the cultures of the Greek settlers has been less extensively studied until relatively recently. Recent research has variously proposed that the incoming settlers may not have perceived strong differences between themselves and their non-Greek neighbours and that Greek identity was internally-generated (Hall 2002), and that the confrontation with the non-Greek ‘other’ was fundamental to the formation of the identities of the colonial communities and the very idea of the polis (Malkin 1994). Other studies have questioned the appropriateness of colonisation as a model for the settlement process (Osborne 1998), or stressed the hybrid nature of colonial societies, giving rise to cultural/ethnic identities which were perceived as neither specifically Greek nor specifically non-Greek (Carter 2006). This session seeks to move this debate forward by exploring the interactions between Greeks and non-Greeks in the Western Mediterranean from the standpoint of the Greek settlements, and seeks to examine how these contacts contributed to the developing ethnic and cultural identities of these communities. In particular, it will examine how, and to what extent, these contacts contributed to the development of locally specific Greek identities in various areas of the Mediterranean.


  1. Adolfo Dominguez Monadero (Universidad Autònoma, Madrid)

The identity of Emporion: Greek identity and non-Greek interactions

  1. Carla Antonaccio (Brown University)

Getting comfortable on the Middle Ground?

  1. Gert-Jan Burgers (Koninklijk Nederlands Instituut Rome)

Landscapes of contact: Rethinking early Greek – indigenous encounters in the Taranto region, Southern Italy

  1. Gillian Shepherd (University of Birmingham)

Mix and match: cultural identities and social mobility in Western Greece

  1. Peter Attema (University of Groningen)

Settlement dynamics in the Sibaritide and NW Crimea, a comparison of the impact of the Greek colonial environment on settlement and society

  1. Ralph Hauessler (University of Osnabruck)

Interaction and persistence: Greeks, Gauls and Romans in Southern France