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The western greeks

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This publication celebrates a major exhibition shown at the Palazzo Grassi, Venice in 1996 - a detailed study of Greek civilisation in the Western world. From the 8th century BC, Greece enjoyed an era of exceptional development and colonial expansion. New settlements sprang up along the west coast of Italy, from the Bay of Naples and the Gulf of Tarentum southwards to Sicily. Prosperity came quickly to these Western colonies: art, architecture, politics, religion, literature and science flourished as a result of a dynamic fusion of cultures, marking the beginning of an age of intense creativity. This book contains visual and textual documentation of this formative period of Greek history. Based on the collection of artefacts in the Palazzo Grassi exhibition, it contains photographs and 60 essays to survey the subject in broad detail. Following a chronological path, the book traces the diffusion of Greek influence in the West, exploring every aspect of the new societies from town planning and economy to the evolution of the Greek alphabet; from the maritime adventures of the first Achaen navigators to the revolutionary thought of the first philosophers. Illustrated with examples of art and artefacts, this book provides insight into Greek civilization to show the foundations of Western cultural identity and the roots of our artistic inheritance.