PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICE OF THE ANCIENTS, AND ESPECIALLY OF THE GREEKS, IN COLONIZATION.
section I.—the greek. colonies.
One of the most interesting features in the history of the ancient world, is the remarkable extent to which the mere handful of people who inhabited "the Isles of Greece" diffused their singularly beautiful language, their equitable laws, their "elegant mythology,"* and above all the spirit of manly freedom that pervaded their whole political system, over the remotest regions of the then known world. We know comparatively little of Phoenician colonization; and the barbarous and impolitic decree of the Roman Senate, Delenda est Carthago†, appears to
* "The elegant mythology of the Greeks."—Gibbon. Be it so — of course with a few grains of salt.
† These were the terms of the famous decree of the Roman Senate for the destruction of Carthage, the ancient political rival of Rome. The Carthaginians had at one time an extensive colonial empire, chiefly in Africa, Sicily, and Spain.
King Solomon appears to have done something considerable in the way of colonization. The sacred writer informs us that Solomon went to Hamath-Zobah, and prevailed against it. And he built Tadmor in the wilderness, and all the store cities, which he built in Hamath.— 2 Chron. viii. 3, 4. In these countries, as well as in the conquests of his father, David, to the eastward, Solomon probably planted one or more colonies of emigrants from the land of Israel, dividing among them the conquered territories. The advice given in Prov. xxiv. 27., Prepare thy work without, and make it fit for thyself in the field, and afterwards build thine house, appears to have
have extended to the literature as well as to the walls of Carthage, to the archives of her history as well as to the monuments of her power. But the glorious Greeks have left the traces of their presence on every shore to which it was possible to steer their adventurous galleys, from the Pillars of Hercules to the Sea of Azof; and the solitary marble columns of her once splendid, but now fallen, temples and palaces, and towers, that are still to be found alike, in the midst of surrounding desolation, on the verge of every African desert and every Asiatic coast, proclaim to the admiring traveller how mighty a people must once have lived and reigned in the Central Sea.
And yet the native land of these heroes of the olden time — Greece Proper — was considerably smaller than England; the famous Peloponnesus, which occupies so large a space in ancient history, being only about the size of Yorkshire*; for it was not until a comparatively late period,
been intended for these emigrants, to whom it must have proved the best possible advice; for it is difficult to conceive how it could have applied to the circumstances of a long settled country like the land of Israel in the days of Solomon.
* The Greek States make such a conspicuous figure in history, that the reader will not easily believe their inhabitants were so few, or their territories so small, as certain circumstances compel us to admit. The whole extent of their country, even when they flourished most, comprehended only the peninsula of Peloponnesus, and the territories stretching northwards from the isthmus of Corinth to the borders of Macedonia, bounded by the Archipelago on the east, and by Epirus and the Ionian Sea on the west. The mean breadth of Peloponnesus from north to south can scarcely be reckoned more than 140 miles, and its mean length from east to west cannot be estimated at more than 210 miles. Yet, within this narrow boundary, were contained six independent States, Achaia, Elis, Messenia, Laconia, Argolis, and Arcadia. Admitting, then, that the territories of these States were nearly of equal extent, the dimensions of each particular State will appear to be no more than 23 miles in breadth, and 35 in length.
The country belonging to the Greeks on the north side of the
 and after all the great works of Grecian colonization had been in some measure completed, that the Macedonians, who were afterwards so celebrated in Grecian history, were admitted into the brotherhood of the Greeks. The climate was doubtless superior to that of England, and the available land of greater fertility; but much of the superficial area of the country consisted of bare rocks and barren hills, and the territory of Attica in particular was very inferior in its agricultural capabilities. But the Greeks, and especially those of the islands, were a maritime people, and a comparatively large proportion of their number preferred living by commerce to the cultivation of the soil. Their foreign trade necessarily extended their knowledge and expanded their minds, whilst it brought them large accessions to their national wealth: and this Wealth nourished and sustained literature and science, philosophy and the arts. The consequence was that the Greeks were a cultivated and refined people, while the ruder Romans, who were steadily advancing to universal
isthmus, I have computed, from the best maps, to contain, of mean breadth, 153 miles from north to south, and of mean length, 258 miles from east to west. It comprehended no fewer than the following nine independent commonwealths, Thessaly, Locris, Boeotia, Attica, Megaris, Phocis, Aetolia, Acarnania, and Doris. Supposing, then, as in the former case, these commonwealths to have been nearly equal in point of territory, in order to obtain an idea of the mean magnitude of these dominions, we shall find each of them to have possessed lands to the extent only of 17 miles in breadth, and 28 in length. What is still more extraordinary, several of them consisted of cities, which were independent of one another, and were associated only for mutual defence. Both the Locrians and the Achaeans afford instances of this case. The former had not even all their territories contiguous, nor did they act always in concert, and the twelve cities of the latter seem to have been connected in no other manner than by alliance.—History of the Colonisation o/the free States of Antiquity, applied to the present Contest between Great Britain and her American Colonies (attributed to W. Barron, Esq. F. B. S. Edinburgh), p. 22. London, 1777.
empire in their immediate neighbourhood, could only do two things—bear arms and cultivate the soil.
The political state of Greece, moreover, was most unfortunate, and apparently most unfavourable to national advancement. Instead of forming one great whole, and being thereby enabled to concentrate the national energies upon any one object or series of objects, the country, like Italy in the middle ages, was broken up into almost as many sovereign and independent States as there are counties in England; and these States were in perpetual warfare with each other—Greek everywhere and at all times meeting Greek in mortal strife, and the resources of the country being wasted the meanwhile in fruitless and ruinous wars.
And yet it was under all these disadvantages that, what Lord Bacon very properly designates the "heroic work" of colonization, was commenced among the ancient Greeks, and carried on from time to time with all the native energy and vigour of that wonderful people; till it reached at length an extent and magnitude that renders the utmost efforts even of Great Britain in modern times, and notwithstanding all the appliances of modern civilization, insignificant in comparison.
The first remote country, to which the colonizing efforts of the ancient Greeks were directed, was Asia Minor; and each of the three great divisions of their race — the Ionians, the Aeolians, and the Dorians — formed a whole series of colonies on the coast of that country; the Ionians and Aeolians having each twelve cities or independent sovereignties, and the Dorians six.* It is immaterial whether we refer the great migration, which led to the planting of these colonies or States, to a particular year,
* Two hundred and forty years after the Trojan -war, the western coast of Asia Minor was planted by the Aeolians in the north, the Ionians in the middle, and the Dorians in the south (anno BC 944). — Hist. of Ancient Greece, its Colonies and Conquests. By John Gillies, LL.D. vol. i. p. 103.
as is done by historians of the second class, who are generally dealers in the marvellous, or consider what is commonly called "the Ionian Migration," a legend, with Mr. Grote, and spread it over a long series of years; for the result is in either case precisely the same. The probability indeed is that there were not fewer than thirty different migrations altogether; each having a separate leader, and each founding a distinct city or State.* For as the same national calamity at home would, in all likelihood, either induce or compel a great many families and individuals of the same tribe or people to emigrate simultaneously from their native country, it was absolutely necessary in these times that they should do so, to enable them to effect a settlement in their adopted country at all; for Asia Minor was already inhabited, although but thinly, by a warlike people, when it was colonized by the Greeks, and every distinct colony had consequently to defend itself against " the barbarians."† In such circum-
* There existed at the commencement of historical Greece in 776 b.c., besides the Ionians in Attica and the Cyclades, twelve Ionian cities of note on or near the coasts of Asia Minor, besides a few others less important. Enumerated from south to north, they stand—Miletus, Myus, Priene, Samos, Ephesus, Kolophon, Lebedus, Teos, Erythrse, Chios, Klazomense, Phoksea.
That these cities, the great ornament of the Ionic name, were founded by emigrants from European Greece, there is no reason to doubt. How or when they were founded, we have no history to tell us: the legend gives us a great event called the Ionic migration, referred by chronologists to one special year, 140 years after the Trojan war.—History of Greece. By George Grote, Esq., vol. iii. p. 230.
† Not the prosperity, not the policy, but the troubles and misfortunes of the country gave origin to the principal colonies of Greece. the aeolic migration was an immediate consequence of the conquest of Peloponnesus by the Heracleids. The great ionic migration took place somewhat later, but produced colonies still more flourishing. "It was led from Athens by Androclus and Neleus, younger sons of Codrus, upon the occasion of the determination of the succession to the Archonship in favour of Medon. The
stances, there was no such contemptible word as "protection"— in the sense of a naval or military force from the mother country, which certain timid people consider absolutely necessary for a British colony — in the whole colonial Greek vocabulary. Every colony defended and protected itself from the very first.
As these colonial cities or States grew and prospered, they generally became mother countries in their turn, and sent out other colonies, either into the interior, or along the remoter coasts of the adjacent seas. We shall have some idea of the prodigious amount of subsidiary colonization, which was thus originated in all the other twenty-nine original cities or colonies of Asia Minor, from what history informs us in regard to the famous city of Miletus — the first of the Ionian cities, and the city in which the great apostle of the Gentiles held his interesting and affecting interview with the elders of the Church of Ephesus, when driven from that city by a popular commotion.* For it tends exceedingly to enhance the interest we naturally feel in "these ancient things," to reflect that the earliest triumphs of Christianity were achieved, and the most numerous and flourishing of the apostolic Churches planted, among the Grecian colonies of Asia Minor. "Of the Ionic towns," says Mr. Grote, "with which our real knowledge of Asia Minor begins, Miletus was the most powerful; and its celebrity was derived not merely from its own wealth and population, but also from the extraordinary number of its colonies, established principally in the Propontis and Euxine, and amounting, as we are told by some authors, to not less than seventy-five or eighty.''†
In this way, doubtless, the Carian or Dorian province
Carian colonies in general boasted the dorian name. — History of Greece. By William Mitford, Esq., vol. i. p. 376.
* Acts, xx. 17—38.
† History of Greece. By George Grote, vol. iii. p. 241.
of Lycia, towards the south coast of Asia Minor, was colonized from the old colonies — the Dorian Hexapolis, with its principal city Halicarnassus — on the coast. In that province Sir Charles Fellowes has, within the last few years, discovered a whole series of magnificent remains of Grecian antiquity; on which Mr. Buckingham, late M.P., makes the following judicious remark: —
"In the single province of Lycia—embracing little more than a degree in latitude and longitude, or not more than 2,000,000 acres, with a large portion of this limited area occupied by rocky mountains and inaccessible cliffs, with not a single large navigable river or lake, — were no less than 36 cities, in the time of Herodotus; while over the 200,000,000 of acres in our Western provinces, we could not present, in the united public works and edifices all put together, so much of architectural beauty, cost, and grandeur, as some single one of these cities of Asia Minor possesses, even now, in such of their remains as have yet come down to us after 2000 years or more of time!"*
But Lycia was only one small province of Asia Minor. The whole country was a series of such provinces — all colonized successively by the Greeks, and all doubtless exhibiting the magnificent remains of Grecian architecture to the present day.
At a somewhat later period in the history of Greece, Grecian colonization took a westerly direction; and one of the principal colonizing cities or States of Greece, which sent out colonies in that direction, was the celebrated city or State of Corinth. Of the many colonies planted by that city, I shall mention only three. The first was Locri, on the north coast of the Gulf of Corinth, to which I shall have occasion to refer in the sequel, and which in its turn became a colonizing city also, and planted another city of its own name, which afterwards became wealthy and populous, to a far greater extent than the
* Buckingham, Model of a Town, &c.
parent city, on the coast of Italy. The second of the Corinthian colonies I shall mention was the city of Corcyra or Corfu, on the island of that name. This city also soon became a mother-city or State, and planted the colony of Epidamnus on the mainland, about which it was able to go to war, as it actually did, with the Parent State. The third Corinthian colony was the city or State of Syracuse, in the island of Sicily, which very soon far outstripped its Parent State in wealth and splendour and population.
The city of Agrigentum was another Grecian city in Sicily, scarcely, if at all, inferior to Syracuse; and the two insignificant Grecian States of Chalcis and Megara had each also a distinct colony, or city and district, in that island. It would seem, therefore, that Mr. Grote is decidedly in error when he speaks in the following disparaging terms of the Grecian colonies in Sicily: —
"Such were the chief establishments founded by the Greeks in Sicily during the two centuries after their first settlement in 735 b. c. * * * Their progress, though very great, during this most prosperous interval (between the foundation of Naxos in 735 b.c. to the reign of Gelon in Syracuse in 4-85 b. c.), is not to be compared to that of the English colonies in America; but it was nevertheless very great, and appears greater from being concentrated as it was in and around a few cities."*
Mr. Grote ought to have recollected that the English colonies in America, whether he refers to the original Thirteen, or to the present British North American provinces, were the colonies of a mighty empire, having an extent of domestic territory, so to speak, at least three times larger than that of Greece Proper, with probably four times its population; having nothing, moreover, in the shape of internal Wars to distract it at home, possessing facilities for colonization incomparably superior to those of ancient Greece, and being able to con-
* History of Greece. By George Grote, Esq., vol. iii. p. 491.
centrate its whole force in the way of colonization on any particular point; whereas the Greek colonies of Sicily were each the colony of a small insignificant State, no bigger than a second or third rate town in England, while Sicily itself was only one of the many fields of Grecian colonization. A comparison, in such cases, Mr. Grote will surely allow, is scarcely warrantable.
The South of Italy was also another extensive field of Grecian colonization; and so important was it considered in this respect by the Greeks themselves, that it was commonly called Magna Graecia, or Greece the Greater. Naples still bears the commonplace name of New Town*, which was given it by its original Greek colonists; and, not to exhaust the patience of the reader with more numerous examples, the Greek colonies of Marseilles and Lyons in the South of France, and of Cyrene on the coast of Africa, were evidences of the presence and energy of the Greeks in these comparatively remote lands.
"The colony of Sybaris, called afterwards Thurii, in Italy, was settled by the Achaeans. It was powerful and successful, had under its jurisdiction four adjacent States, possessed twenty-five cities, and could bring into the field 300,000 men, which it did in the war with its neighbours the Crotoniatae, or inhabitants of Croton, also a colony of Achaea, by whom they were completely routed, and their city destroyed."†
Such were the mighty and magnificent results of Grecian colonization. Considering the limited extent, and comparatively small population of Greece, and especially considering the unfortunately divided state of the country, and the constant prevalence of intestine wars, it is altogether one of the most remarkable phenomena in the history of man. But even all this was comparatively nothing to the mighty influence which this wonderful
* Neapolis, Neapolis, Naples, or New Town.
† History of the Colonisation of the Free States of Antiquity. London, 1777.
people acquired throughout the civilized world, after the subversion of the Persian empire by Alexander the Great. Their language then became the universal tongue of the civilized world; displacing alike the Coptic in Egypt and the Syriac in Antioch and Palmyra, while the influence of their laws and learning was felt to the utmost bounds of civilization.
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