Greek and Phoenician Colonies

Greek migration seems to have been carried out in 3 waves. The first is associated with the Ionian and Dorian migrations of the last centuries of the 2nd millenium BCE. This resulted in the settlement of cities in western Antolia and was probably associated with the "Sea Peoples" who make appearances in Egypt (Hyksos) and Palestine (Philistines). While usually considered a general migration of a people, there are some references to settlers originating from specific cities (e.g. Ephesus - Athens). In the list below cities are only mentioned if there is a tie to an established Greek city. The second and third waves occurred around 800 and 600 BCE repectively. These were highly organized and calculated affairs somewhat analgous to the Oklahoma land rush where cities sought to expand their influence and relieve over-population. Some of the cities were built on established trading posts (emporia) while others were previously established communities restocked with new colonists. Some were settlements in previously unsettled areas that formed their own city-states (apoikiai). The colony typically maintained close ties with the mother city (metropolis). Upon setting out on the expedition the colonists would take embers from the Prytaneum, the city's sacred hearth, to "keep the hearthfires burning" in their new location.
The Phoenicians of Tyre and Sidon also partook in this expansionist movement. While documentary evidence places the Phoenician diaspora before that of Greece, Archaeological evidence places the expansion at the same time. In the list below the founding dates are often based on traditions or the writings of persons who lived hundreds of years after the fact. For the most part, these dates should only be seen as estimates. This is also only a partial list which I hope to expand as time permits. Miletus alone is said to have established over 90 colonies.
In the Flash movie below the Chronology of Greek and Phoenician colonization is illustrated. Use the Pause and Go buttons. Unless you are a speed reader, you will not be able to read and take in the images before changes occur.

Greek Colonies

Year Founded (BCE)
Mother City/Region
Abdera Thrace 7th century Clazomenae1
Abydos Mysia 675 675 Miletus
Acanthus Chalcidice ? Andros
Ainos Thrace 7th century Mytilene/Kyme
Akragas Sicily 580 Gela
Alalia Corsica 546 Phocaea
Alexandria Egypt 332-331 Macedonia
Acanthus Chalcidice ? Andros
Ambracia Epirus 650-625 Corinth
Amisus Pontus 6th century Miletus
Amphipolis Macedonia 437 Athens
Ancona Italy 390 Sicilian refugees
Antipolis Gaul 6th century Massalia
Apollonia Illyria 588 Corcyra
Apollonia Kyrenaica 600 Thera
Assos Troas 8th or 7th century Methymna
Barke Kyrenaika 560 Kyrene
Byzantion Thrace 659 Megara
Calchedon Bithynia 685 Megara
Cardia Thrace Late 7th Century Miletus
Chersonesus Tauric Chersonesus 422/21 Heraclea Pontica & Delium
Clazomenae Ionia 8th century Cleonae & Philius
Cumae Campania 730-25 Chalcis & Cyme (Euboea)
Dioskurias Colchis 540 Miletus
Dyrrhachium Illyria 627 Corinth & Corcyra
Eion Thrace 476 Athens
Elia Lucania 535 Phocaea
Emporium Spain early 6th century Phokaia/Massalia
Enna Sicily 633 Syracuse
Ephesus Ionia "Dark" Age Ionian Greeks, by legend - Athens
Epidamnos Illyria 627 Corinth
Euhesperides Kyrenaica 549 Kyrene
Gela Sicily 688 Rhodes/Crete
Heraclea Lucania 443/2 Taras & Thourioi
Heraclea Pontica Bithynia 560/58 Megara
Himera Sicily 649/48 Zancle & Euobea
Illium Troas 700 Lesbos (?)2
Issa Dalmatia 375 Syracuse
Istros (Histaia) Thrace 657 Miletus
Kalchedon Bithynia early 7th century Megara
Kamarina Sicily 599/98 Syracuse
Kaulonia Bruttium 675 Kroton/Achaea
Katane Sicily 729 Naxos & Chalcis
Kios Bithynia 630 Miletus
Knidos Caria Early 1st millenium Sparta
Kolophon Ionia 1100-1000 Messenia
Kroton Bruttium 710 Achaea
Kyme (Cumae) Campania 750 Chalcis
Kyrene Kyrenaica 630s Thera
Kyzicus Mysia 679 Miletus
Lampsakos Troas pre-6th century Miletus or Phocaea
Laos Lucania 510 Sybaris
Leontinoi Sicily 734 Chalcis
Leukas Akarnania 7th century Corinth
Lipara off Sicily 580 Knidos
Lokri Epizephyrioi Bruttium early 7th century Lokris Opuntia
Magnesia beside Sipylus Lydia Pre 7th century Magnesia
Magnesia on the Maeander Ionia Pre 7th century Magnesia
Megara Hyblaea Sicily 728 Megara
Metapontion Lucania 770-720 Achaea
Massalia Gaul 6th century Phocaea
Messambria Western Black Sea Area 6th century Megara
Miletus Ionia Pre 1st millenium Ionian Greeks
Mylae Sicily 717/16 Zancle
Naukrati (Trading Colony) Egypt 8th century 9 sponsor cities
Naxos Sicily 734 Chalcis
Neapolis Campania 650 Cumae (Kyme)3
Nola Campania Pre 500 Chalcis (dubious)
Odessos Thrace 600 Miletus
Olbia Pontus early 6th century Miletus
Olynthus Macedonia early 7th century Chalcidice
Pantikapaion Tauric Chersonese early 6th century Miletus
Parium Mysia 709 Miletus
Perge Pamphylia 7th century Sparta
Perinthus Thrace 602 Samos
Pharos Dalmatia 385 Paros
Phanagoria Cimmerian Bosphorus 545 Teos
Phaselis Lycia 690/688 Lindos
Phasis Colchis 6th century Miletus
Phocaea Ionia 800 Ionians/Athens
Pithekoussai 4 Campania 775-750 Chalkis & Eretria
Poteidaia Macedonia 600 Corinth
Poseidonia Lucania 625-600 Sybaris
Priene Ionia 1100 Thebes/Athens
Rhegium Bruttium 743-720 Zancle
Selinus Sicily 628 Megara Hyblaea
Selys Thrace early 7th century Megara
Sigeum Troas 7th century Athens
Sinope Paphlagonia 631 Miletus
Side Pamphylia 7th - 6th century Kyme
Siris Italy 670 Kolophon
Smyrna Ionia 950 Lesbos/Kolophon
Soli Cilicia late 8th century Lindos
Stagirus Macedonia 655 Andros
Sybaris Bruttium 720 Achaea
Syracuse Sicily 734 Corinth
Tanais (site in doubt) Bosphorus (Ukraine) 625-620 Miletus
Taras Calabria 706 Sparta
Terina Bruttium 6th century Kroton
Thasos Thrace 650 Paros
Theodosia Tauric Chersonese 550 Miletus
Tomis Western Black Sea 480 Miletus
Torone Macedonia before 650 Chalcis
Trapezus Pontus 600 Sinope
Tyndaris Sicily 396 Sparta/Syracuse
Tyras Western Black Sea 600 Miletus
Velia Lucania 530 Phocaea

Phoenician Colonies

Modern Region
Year Founded
Eivissa Balearic Islands 654
Gadir Spain 11005
Hadrumetum Tunisia 9th century
Karalis Sardinia 7th century
Leptis Magna Libya 1100
Lixus Morocco 7th century
Malaca Spain 12th century
Mogador6 Morocco 6th century
Motya Off Sicily 8th century
Nora Sardinia 7th century
Oea Libya 7th century
Panormos (Zis) Sicily 8th century
Phoenicus Lycia 5th century
Sabratha Libya 5th century
Sexi Spain 5th century
Thapsus Tunisia pre 8th century
Tingis Morocco 5th century


Anatolia. (2006). In Encyclopaedia Britannica. Retrieved June 13, 2006, from Encyclopaedia Britannica Premium Service: (2006). Phoenicia. Retrieved June 13, 2006, from

Encyclopedia Phoeniciana (2006). Phoenician Colonies. Retrieved June 14, 2006, from

Grant, M. (1997). A Guide to the Ancient World. Barnes and Noble. New York.

Magna Graecia Coins. (2006). Retrieved June 10, 2006, from (2006). list of ancient Greek cities Retrieved June 10, 2006, from

Sear, D. (2000). Greek Coins and Their Values. Spink & Sons: London.


1 resettled in 544 BC, when the majority of the people of Teos migrated to Abdera after the Ionian Revolt

2 Ancient Troy. At the time of this resettlement it had apparently not been inhabited for 400 years.

3Originally a Rhodian colony under the name of Parthenope.

4The first Greek Colony of the West on an Island near the Bay of Naples.

5 While traditional founding dates go back to the 12th century BCE, no archaeological evidence predates 800 BCE.

6 Mogador was the furtherest of all the early colonies lying on the Atlantic Coast of present day Morocco over 2000 miles from the homeland and 450 miles south of the Pillars of Herakles.

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