Networks and Middle Grounds in the Western Mediterranean

Irad Malkin

in A Small Greek World

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9780199734818
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199918553 | DOI:

Series: Greeks Overseas

Networks and Middle Grounds in the Western Mediterranean

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This chapter discusses categories of long-, mid-, and short-distance connectivity in the Mediterranean in relation to Phokaian emporia (trading stations) and colonies (notably Massalia and Emporion). Nodes that appear physically distant from each other were sometimes more rapidly connected because of reduced degrees of separation within the network, which itself lasted for centuries. Massalia, a coastal foundational colony, illustrates the maritime perspective and orientation (cf. Arles, by the River Rhône and oriented to the hinterland, was a mixed settlement). Conflicts over Alalia (Corsica) with Carthaginians and Etruscans indicate the transition from “many-to-many” networks to more hub-oriented networks as zones of influence. Regional clusters may contain not only hegemonic centers but also mixed settlements, some of which were founded in response to Greek settlement (“antipolis” foundations). It is a porous middle ground, both concretely and metaphorically, and it is the middle ground, with its material and cultural “dialogue” among various “actors” (as we see, e.g., at Emporion or in commercial transactions on lead tablets), that constitutes the “edges” of Mediterranean networks.

Keywords: connectivity; Phokaia; Emporion; maritime perspective; Arles; Carthaginians; Etruscans; hub-oriented networks; "antipolis" foundations; middle ground

Chapter.  12381 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Classical History

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