The Colonisation of the Dark and Archaic Ages

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The Colonisation of the Dark and Archaic Ages

By ***************

The colonisation during the Dark and Archaic ages, as well as developments made during these ages was very beneficial to the development of Ancient Greece. This hypothesis is supported by five key facts, Colonisation provided a solution to overpopulation, allowed for new skills and techniques to be learnt from other cultures, as well as a general broadening of knowledge, the development of the city-state or “polis” and the subsequent birth of democracy. It also helped strengthen Greece’s economic and military prowess over the Mediterranean area.

Occurring from approximately 1100-480BCE, the Greek Dark and Archaic ages are some of the least known about times in the ancient world. The Dark Age (1100-750BCE) is thought by many to have been caused by a multitude of events, resulting in the downfall of Mycenaean Greece. These events included; excessive amounts of warfare, which proved to be a fruitless drain on the Greek economy, which in turn weakened its defences from a foreign invasion. Also, Greek sea trade to overseas countries was severely limited, as a rapidly increasing rate of piracy was preventing many merchant vessels from making long voyages. These two events were only catalysts in the main cause of the Dark Ages – an invasion by the barbaric nomads from the north in 1200BCE. These primitive invaders had no way of sustaining the economy of the area and a gradual descent into the Dark Ages ensued. During the Dark Age, all forms of literature, technology and knowledge of the past were forgotten, and the population diminished rapidly. Following the Dark Ages was the Archaic Period. This was when the population began to increase once again, resulting in technological advancements, the rekindling of Greek literature and most importantly: the colonisation and expansion of the Greek empire.

Towards the end of the Dark Ages, the population in Greece started to grow...
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