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Phōcaea


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Northernmost of the Ionian cities of Asia Minor (see panionium), occupying a site with twin harbours. Poorly endowed with land, the Archaic Phocaeans were renowned seafarers and traders, and Herodotus stresses their close contacts with Tartessus in southern Spain; Greek colonization of the French and Spanish coasts was largely their doing, above all Massilia and Emporion. Besieged by a Persian army in 540, most citizens preferred emigration to submission, finally settling at Elea. Phocaea never recovered from their loss: Dionysius, the generalissimo of the Greek fleet in the Ionian Revolt, was a Phocaean; but his city contributed only three ships.

Subjects: Classical Studies.


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