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Alalia & the Aftermath


Wear, Gregory Douglas (2016). Alalia & the Aftermath. Journal of Ancient History and Archaeology, 3(3):5-12.

Abstract

The battle at Alalia mentioned by Herodotos has long been at the centre of debate with regards to a potential ‘Carthaginian Blockade’ of the Straits of Gibraltar, perhaps preventing the Phokaian Greeks from entering the Atlanticand its coastal markets. There are further ancient sources which directly or indirectly give clues to Alalia, its circumstances and its aftermath. The battle may have had an impact on the Phokaian Greeks’ freedom of movement in that they chose not to attempt to sail through the Straits of Gibraltar, all the more as the northern markets could be reached via inland routes along the streams that, albeit with some expensive overland transport in between, connected the Mediterranean with the Atlantic. Their concentration around the mouth of the Rhône facilitated the Greek trade in e.g. tin from the north, without the need to engage the Carthaginians, if the latter indeed controlled maritime traffic to and from the Mediterraneanat the Straits. Although they may have retreated from Alalia, and the Carthaginians, as before, controlled the seas west of Empùries, the Phokaian Greeks did not withdraw from the Tyrrhenian Seaor the western Mediterranean altogether, but remained influential and prosperous in the area, even if Massalia experienced a period of economic decline. As such, the result of the battle at Alalia, regardless of whether it was a Greek victory or defeat, had little impact on the balance of power in the western Mediterraneanaround the middle of the first millennium BCE.

Abstract

The battle at Alalia mentioned by Herodotos has long been at the centre of debate with regards to a potential ‘Carthaginian Blockade’ of the Straits of Gibraltar, perhaps preventing the Phokaian Greeks from entering the Atlanticand its coastal markets. There are further ancient sources which directly or indirectly give clues to Alalia, its circumstances and its aftermath. The battle may have had an impact on the Phokaian Greeks’ freedom of movement in that they chose not to attempt to sail through the Straits of Gibraltar, all the more as the northern markets could be reached via inland routes along the streams that, albeit with some expensive overland transport in between, connected the Mediterranean with the Atlantic. Their concentration around the mouth of the Rhône facilitated the Greek trade in e.g. tin from the north, without the need to engage the Carthaginians, if the latter indeed controlled maritime traffic to and from the Mediterraneanat the Straits. Although they may have retreated from Alalia, and the Carthaginians, as before, controlled the seas west of Empùries, the Phokaian Greeks did not withdraw from the Tyrrhenian Seaor the western Mediterranean altogether, but remained influential and prosperous in the area, even if Massalia experienced a period of economic decline. As such, the result of the battle at Alalia, regardless of whether it was a Greek victory or defeat, had little impact on the balance of power in the western Mediterraneanaround the middle of the first millennium BCE.

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Additional indexing

Other titles:Alalia and the Aftermath
Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Archaeology
Dewey Decimal Classification:900 History
Language:English
Date:2016
Deposited On:15 Feb 2018 11:06
Last Modified:13 Apr 2018 11:29
Publisher:MEGA Publishing House
ISSN:2360-266X
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.14795/j.v3i3.193

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