The Colonization of Samothrace

by A. John Graham

Hesperia, Volume 71, Issue 3
Page(s): 231-260
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3182027
Year: 2002


Three aspects pertaining to the Greek colonization of Samothrace are addressed: the origin of the colonists, the foundation date, and relations between Greeks and non-Greeks. Relevant literary sources and other indications make it clear that the Greek colonists came from Samos; the current theory that they were Aeolians should be abandoned. No foundation date is preserved in the ancient sources, but archaeological remains, especially from cemeteries on the island, point strongly to the first half of the 6th century B.C. Evidence for a Greek takeover of a non-Greek cult, and, especially, for the use of a non-Greek language as well as Greek, makes the coexistence of Greeks and non-Greeks a plausible hypothesis.