Homer Hesiod Hymns Tragedy Remythologizing Tools Blackboard Info
Greek. In Greece, colonies were sometimes founded by vanquished peoples, who left their homes to escape subjection at the hand of a detested enemy; sometimes as a sequel to civil disorders; sometimes to get rid of surplus population, and thereby to avoid internal convulsions. But in most cases the object was to establish and facilitate relations of trade with foreign countries. If a Greek city was sending out a colony, an oracle (before all others that of Delphi) was almost invariably consulted. Sometimes certain classes of citizens were called upon to take part in the enterprises; sometimes one son was chosen by lot from every house where there were several sons; and strangers expressing a desire to join were admitted. A person of distinction was selected to guide the emi-grants and make the necessary arrangements. It was usual to honour these founders of colonies, after their death, as heroes. Some of the sacred fire was taken from the public hearth in the Prytaneion, and the fire on the public hearth of the new city was kindled thereat. And, just as each individual had his private shrines, so the new community maintained the worship of its chief domestic deities, the colony sending embassies and votive gifts to their principal festivals. The relation between colony and mother-city was viewed as one of mutual affection. Any differences that arose were made up, if possible, by peaceful means, war being deemed excusable only in cases of extreme necessity. The charter of foundation contained general provisions for the arrangement of the affairs of the colony, and also some special enactments. The constitution of the mother-city was usually adopted by the colony, but the new city remained politically independent. If the colony sent out a fresh colony on its own account, the mother-city was generally consulted, or was at least requested to furnish a leader. The Cleruchi formed a special class of Greek colonists (see CLERUCHI). The trade factories set up in foreign countries (in Egypt, for instance) were somewhat different from the ordinary colonies, the members retaining the right of domicile in their own fatherland.
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