View Full Version : Magna Graecia/Megale Hellas

14-04-11, 01:27

Many of the new Hellenic cities became very rich and powerful, like Neapolis (Νεάπολις, Naples, "New City"), Syracuse, Acragas, and Sybaris (Σύβαρις). Other cities in Magna Graecia included Tarentum (Τάρας), Epizephyrian Locri (Λοκροί Ἐπιζεφύριοι), Rhegium (Ῥήγιον), Croton (Κρότων), Thurii (Θούριοι), Elea (Ἐλέα), Nola (Νῶλα), Ancona (Ἀγκών), Syessa (Σύεσσα), Bari (Βάριον), and others.
Following the Pyrrhic War in the 3rd century BC, Magna Graecia was absorbed into the Roman Republic.

During the Early Middle Ages, following the disastrous Gothic War, new waves of Byzantine Christian Greeks came to Magna Graecia from Greece and Asia Minor, as Southern Italy remained loosely governed by the Eastern Roman Empire.

Moreover the Byzantines would have found in Southern Italy people of common cultural root, the Greek-speaking eredi ellenofoni of Magna Graecia.

Greeks re-entered the region in the 16th and 17th century. This happened in reaction to the conquest of the Peloponnese by the Ottoman Turks. Especially after the fall of Coroni (1534) large numbers of Greeks and Albanians sought, and were granted, refuge in the areas of Calabria, Salento and Sicily. The Greeks from Coroni - the so called Coronians - belonged to the nobility and brought with them substantial movable property. They were granted special privileges and given tax exemptions. Another part of the Greeks that moved to Italy came from the Mani region of the Peloponnese. The Maniots were known for their proud military traditions and for their bloody vendettas (another portion of these Greeks moved to Corsica; cf. the Corsican vendettas). These migrations strengthened the depopulated Italian south with a culturally vibrant and militarily capable element.
A remarkable example of this influence is the Griko-speaking minority which still exists today in the Italian regions of Calabria and Apulia. Griko is the name of a language combining ancient Doric, Byzantine Greek, and Italian elements, spoken by people in the Magna Graecia region. There is a rich oral tradition and Griko folklore, limited now, though once numerous, to around 30,000 people most of them having become absorbed into the surrounding Italian element. Some believe that the origins of the Griko language may ultimately be traced to the colonies of Magna Graecia.

Griko speeking areas

Griko people from Bovesia (Aspromonte)
The Griko people traditionally spoke the Griko language which is a form of the Greek language. In recent years the number of Griko who speak the Griko language has been greatly reduced; the younger Griko have rapidly shifted to speaking the Italian Language.[10] Today, they are mostly Byzantine Catholics belonging to the Catholic Church of Eastern Rite, with a Roman Catholic minority.

Griko from Salento

Pizzica dance, has connection with ancient Baccanale's/Dionisiac dances (dance from Salento, historical greek and griko civilization)

The Griko language is a form of the Greek language which is spoken by the Griko people in the Magna Graecia region in southern Italy. The Griko language is the distinctive Greek dialect and ancestral mother-tongue of the Griko people. It is known as Katoitaliotika (Greek: Κατωιταλιώτικα, "Southern Italian") or Grekanika (Γραικάνικα) in Greece mutually intelligible to some extent with Standard Modern Greek. The Griko language survived far into the Middle Ages,[55] although greatly reduced it preserves features, sounds, grammar, and vocabulary of both Ancient Greek[41] particularly "the common dialect of Ancient Greek" known as Koine[55] and Medieval Byzantine Greek.[56][57][58] The Griko language is in a state of attrition due to language shift towards Italian and large-scale internal migration to the cities and subsequent intermingling of the population during the 20th century. The Griko language is classified as severely endangered[10] and the number of Griko people who speak their ancestral language has diminished in recent decades, today it is spoken by roughly 20,000 predominantly elderly people, the youngest fluent speakers tend to be over thirty years old.[10] The Griko language has been influenced more by the Italian than any other Greek dialects. The Italian government does little to protect the progressively eroding language and culture of the Griko people despite Article 6 of the Italian Constitution which authorizes the preservation of ethnic minorities.[9] The use of the Italian language is compulsory in public schools, the Griko language, on the other hand, is not taught to Griko youth at all.[59] The Ndrangheta which is the name of the Calabrian Mafia is a word of Calabrian Greek origin.


16-04-11, 13:37
Ancient Greek colonies in the mediterranean


16-04-11, 15:24
One of the main resons that Greeks colonized so much in ancient times because the actual land in greece proper is very mountainous with little amount of good land for farming and large city building. So whenever the populations grew to large to be sustainable greeks would just sail to find a new place to set up town. The colonies along the northern black sea I know were used primarily as farming colonies and supply for food for the larger city states in Attica. Southern Italy and asia minor were right next door so its no surprise they have the most settlement there.

16-04-11, 20:34

Rhegion, Rhegium Reggio Calabria
Locri Epizefiri Portigliola
Kroton Crotone
Kaulon Monasterace
Sybaris Sibari (frazione Cassano allo Ionio)
Petelia Strongoli
Krimisa Cirò
Hipponion Vibo Valentia
Metauros Gioia Tauro
Medma Rosarno
Laos Santa Maria del Cedro (frazione Marcellina)
Thurii Thurio (frazione Corigliano Calabro)
Temesa Amantea
Terina Lamezia Terme
Scolacium Borgia


Pithecusa Ischia
Kyme Cuma
Parthenope Napoli
Dikaiarcheia Pozzuoli
Neapolis Napoli


Poseidonia - Paestum Capaccio-Paestum
Elea-Velia Ascea
Moio della Civitella
Pixunte Santa Marina (frazione Policastro Bussentino)
Palinuro e Molpa Centola

colonie LUCANIA

Metapontion, Metapontum Metaponto
Siris Policoro/Rotondella
Heraclea Policoro
Pandosia Tursi (frazione Anglona)
Pistoicos Pisticci
Troilia, Obelanon Ferrandina

colonie APULIA

Taras, Tarentum Taranto
Sidion - Silvium Gravina
Canusion - Canusium Canosa
Kallipolis Gallipoli
Apeneste - Matinum Mattinata
Argos Hippium - Argyrippa Foggia

Ankon Ancona, Marche
Adria Adria, Veneto
Teate Chieti, Abruzzo

colonie SICILY

Naxos Giardini-Naxos
Zankle Messina
Syraka Siracusa
Akragas Agrigento
Gelas Gela
Katane Catania
Leontinoi Lentini
Mègara Hyblaea Mègara Iblea
Kamarina alla foce dell'Ippari
Mylae Milazzo
Akrai Palazzolo Acreide
Himera Imera
Selinus Selinunte
Casmene a 4 km da Giarratana
Eraclea Minoa alla foce del Platani
Xiphonia Aci Catena, Acireale ed Aci Castello.
Akrillai Chiaramonte Gulfi
Lipari Lipari

19-04-11, 00:22
videos of Magna Graecia


25-04-11, 23:33
Overall Southern italians completely clusters with Greeks and other southern Balkanians (Albanians, Bulgarians etc..)

04-03-13, 07:13
I was introduced to Griko dialect while I was in Greece a couple of years ago. I go every year (I am a Greek American) and speak Greek fluently. I am also an academic and fascinated by linguistics. There are many Greeks interested in the southern region of Italy where Griko still lives. I have researched it fully, and keep researching it. I might add however that mention was made that Byzantine Greek is a component of Griko and that isn't so. The Greek is equal to Modern Greek. Byzantine Greek isn't spoken...only in Orthodox churches. In any case, I plan to visit the area, hopefully soon and stay awhile.:) I would love to learn the dialect actually. A university in that region that teaches and explores Griko had a short film online. Now, I don't speak Italian, but I watched that little film and understood the whole context through the Greek...it was incredible. If anyone knows where I can see similar clips of Griko, I would appreciate you sharing the info.