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GreekReporter.comGreek NewsCultureAt the Roots of Europe, Magna Graecia Project

At the Roots of Europe, Magna Graecia Project

For the first time, seven pieces from the Kalavria’s Museums, characteristic examples of Magna Graecia ancient Greek culture, were exhibited abroad, in the capital of European Union, Brussels. This was an initiative taken by Italian MEP, Pino Arlacchi.

The exhibition under the title At the Roots of Europe. Magna Graecia Project. A Great Past Ahead of Us, was organized by Project Magna Graecia, an organization set up by Arlacchi to promote the rich archaeological heritage of Kalavria as well as the realization of excavation procedures in the area of Magna Graecia.

A Greek Member of the European Parliament, Marieta Giannakou, attended the opening and congratulated Arlacchi for his efforts, highlighting how important this region is to Greeks.

According to sources from history, in the 8th and 7th centuries B.C. for various reasons, including demographic crisis (famine, overcrowding, etc.), the search for new commercial outlets and ports, and expulsion from their homeland, Greeks began to settle in southern Italy. Also during this period, Greek colonies were established in places as widely separated as the eastern coast of the Black Sea, Eastern Libya and Massalia (Marseille). They included settlements in Sicil yand the southern part of the Italian Peninsula. The Romans called the area of Sicily and the foot of Italy Magna Graecia (Latin, Great Greece,) since it was so densely inhabited by the Greeks.

With this colonization, Greek culture was exported to Italy, in its dialects of the Ancient Greek language, its religious rites and its traditions of the independent polis. An original Hellenic civilization soon developed, later interacting with the native Italian civilizations.

The most important cultural transplant was the Chalcidean/Cumaean variety of the Greek alphabet, which was adopted by the Etruscans. The Old Italic alphabet subsequently evolved into the Latin alphabet, which became the most widely used alphabet in the world.

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