Greeks and the Iberian Peninsula: Forms of Exchange and Settlements

Pierre Rouillard

in Colonial Encounters in Ancient Iberia

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print October 2009 | ISBN: 9780226148472
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226148489 | DOI:
Greeks and the Iberian Peninsula: Forms of Exchange and Settlements

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  • Ancient History (Non-Classical, to 500 CE)


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Within the Mediterranean region, the Iberian Peninsula is the only place where Phoenicians, Carthaginians, and Greeks interacted during the same time period and participated equally in the Mediterranean network of exchanges. It is also the only territory where groups of both Semitic and Greek origin lived side by side for five centuries without the geographical boundaries that existed in Sicily. Trading centers on the Iberian Peninsula share two basic traits: they are small and do not occupy much land, and they are without an extensive hinterland or chora. This chapter makes the case for the Greek contribution to the colonial situation and challenges a number of prior assumptions on the basis of recent archaeological excavations. In particular, it presses the case for “colonization without colonies,” arguing that the number of alien colonists in Iberia, Greek or Phoenician, was very small and confined to rather modest settlements of a distinctive type that it calls “Hispanic emporia.”

Keywords: Mediterranean; Iberian Peninsula; Greeks; exchanges; trading centers; colonization; Iberia; Hispanic emporia; settlements

Chapter.  8783 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Ancient History (Non-Classical, to 500 CE)

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