Around the 8th century BC, Greece was experiencing a period of intense expansion, both from a
and commercial point of view.
Due to the inhospitable characteristics of the arid and mountainous land of the Greek peninsula, which was not always suitable for founding new cities, many cities began to expand outside the borders of the homeland to found new settlements – the settlements .
In particular, the Greeks sailed towards Southern Italy, and even reached the Ionian coast of Sicily.
The Hellenic people first arrived in Basilicata, where they found fertile and grain-rich land, then pushed on the coasts of the Ionian Gulf, where Reggio, Sibari, Crotone and Taranto emerged.
In Sicily, the east -and south- facing coasts were colonised, as those were closest to the homeland.
Around 734 BC Naxos appeared, followed by Catania, Syracuse, Megara Hyblaea and Gela.
The Greeks’ ability to create a unitary and culturally homogeneous territory of all these cities led to the spread of the Greek term Megàle Ellàs, or Great Greece, to refer to Southern Italy and Sicily.
The homeland also brought great innovations to the colonies: firstly, in terms of culture, the alphabet and use of writing spread, while economically, the use of iron and other yet unknown raw materials was introduced, which boosted craft.
These circumstances allowed the cities of Magna Graecia, proud of their identity and independence, to flourish over the years until they became powers remembered for their great political influence in the Mediterranean Basin.