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Greek settlements functioned as a corridor through which eastern influences reached the Iron Age cultures of Italy and beyond, stimulating major changes. In the seventh and sixth centuries BCE, a Mediterranean urban culture began to take root in the Etruscan region of central Italy. THE DARK AGE AND GREEK EXPANSION In addition to generating changes in the occupied regions, the Greek colonies also stimulated developments in the motherland. The existence of strong and independent colonies overseas boosted trade considerably.

Because the results of law suits could now be recorded, leading to the establishment of legal codes, any citizen could appeal against an arbitrary ruling by a corrupt magistrate and cite legal precedent to uphold the appeal. This change led to more rational government and the rule of law. Greek expansion The period of Greek overseas settlement that began in the middle of the eighth century BCE lasted for more than 200 years. During that time, Greeks founded dozens of settlements on the fringes of the Aegean, Mediterranean, and Black seas.

Starting from such names as Konoso and Aminiso (Knossos and Amnissos),Ventris was able to uncover an archaic form of Greek. The initial article was controversial, but the decipherment is now generally accepted—the language of the Mycenaeans was Greek. MYCENAE AND TROY Royal palace with a central megaron, a large room built around a central hearth. The citadel contained spacious homes for the aristocracy. A secret tunnel provided an escape route from the citadel in case of siege. THE BRONZE AGE CITADEL AT MYCENAE Fortified city gate.

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