39 Sicily, Conflict & Tyrants

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The wave of Greek colonisation taking place in the 8th and 7th centuries wouldn’t be the end of the Greeks seeking to establish new cities. More expeditions would be sent out from the Greek mainland, while the original Greek colonies of Sicily would also start establishing their own colonies. The eastern, southern and northern coasts would be the target for many of these expeditions, with the east seeing the largest concentration of Greeks.

As the colonies on Sicily began to mature and grow, political developments would follow a familiar path as to many of the mother cities. The political figure of the tyrant would emerge, not surprisingly, since most colonies would adopt a similar form of government to what had been in place from their metropolis’.

This ever-increasing growth of Greek colonies would also start to see conflict develop in and around Sicily. The Phoenicians had been present in the region for as long as the Greeks and had been engaging in trade. One of their colonies, Carthage was also now developing into a power in its own right and would take the lead in opposing the Greeks expansions.

By the end of the 6th century Carthage had secured much of its trade interests in the region with them at the head of an alliance including many of the Phoenician colonies of Africa, Sicily and Iberia. Though, the Greeks were firmly established on Sicily and in the region. Political developments would continue to evolve, as well as expansion, and with it, the inevitable conflict as the 6th century turned into the 5th century.     

Episode Transcript


Additional Resources


Maps of Sicily


Greek Colonies - http://explorethemed.com/SicilyClass.asp?c=1

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