LOST TREASURES OF THE ANCIENT WORLD: GREECE PART 3 OF 3
-The Rise Of Greece-
In the 8th century BC, Greece began to emerge from the Dark Ages which followed the fall of the Mycenaean civilization. Literacy had been lost and the Mycenaean script forgotten, but the Greeks adopted the Phoenician alphabet, modifying it to create the Greek alphabet.
From about the 9th century BC written records begin to appear. Greece was divided into many small self-governing communities, a pattern dictated by Greek geography, where every island, valley and plain is cut off from its neighbours by the sea or mountain ranges.
The Population grew beyond the capacity of its limited arable land (according to Mogens Herman Hansen, the population of Ancient Greece increased by a factor larger than ten during the period from 800 BC to 400 BC, increasing from a population of 800,000 to a total estimated population of 10 to 13 million).
From about 750 BC the Greeks began 250 years of expansion, settling colonies in all directions. To the east, the Aegean coast of Asia Minor was colonized first, followed by Cyprus and the coasts of Thrace, the Sea of Marmara and south coast of the Black Sea. Eventually Greek colonization reached as far north-east as present day Ukraine and Russia (Taganrog).
To the west the coasts of Illyria, Sicily and southern Italy were settled, followed by the south coast of France, Corsica, and even northeastern Spain. Greek colonies were also founded in Egypt and Libya. Modern Syracuse, Naples, Marseille and Istanbul had their beginnings as the Greek colonies Syracusae, Neapolis, Massalia and Byzantion.