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Ancient Economies of the Northern AegeanFifth to First Centuries BC$
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Zosia Halina Archibald

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199682119

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199682119.001.0001

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The lure of the northern Aegean

The lure of the northern Aegean

(p.249) 6 The lure of the northern Aegean
Ancient Economies of the Northern Aegean

Zosia Halina Archibald

Oxford University Press

This chapter looks at the ways in which the north lured southerners because it was rich in land, timber, and minerals. Newcomers did not find it easy to acquire these assets. Sometimes, ambitious ventures ended in disaster, as happened to the Klazomenian settlers of Abdera. Where there was a happier symbiosis between incoming and indigenous populations, as in the case of Thasos, real synergies did emerge, which evidently contributed to later commercial successes on the mainland of the north Aegean. Comparable interactions on Samothrace produced another distinctive cultural variant. Southern and other Aegean merchants were convoyed through the Hellespontine Straits and Bosporus by Byzantines, who knew the local currents and topography better than anyone else. The natural and cumulative assets of Byzantion gave the city an unrivalled position in the region, which drew a wide spectrum of interested customers to it like a magnet.

Keywords:   boundary conditions, Byzantion, Pistiros, Abdera, Thasos, Samothrace

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