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Colonisation and hybridity in Herakleia and its hinterland (southern Italy), 5th-3rd centuries BC

Gabriel Zuchtriegel

Résumés

Cet article envisage la possibilité d’appliquer des approches postcoloniales à l’archéologie d’époque classique et hellénistique de la côte ionienne, en Italie. Ce type d’approche, qui n’a été appliqué jusqu’à présent qu’à des « habitats mixtes » d’époque archaïque ou, moins souvent, à l’époque impériale, pourrait en effet nous aider aussi à mieux comprendre ces périodes. Compte tenu du rôle des groupes subalternes et marginalisés dans le contexte des approches postcoloniales, l’auteur a cherché à identifier ici des groupes de ce type au travers des sources archéologiques et épigraphiques. Il s’interroge par ailleurs sur la manière dont des phénomènes tels que la marginalisation et la subalternité ont pu déboucher sur la formation d’identités hybrides, en particulier dans le cas des populations rurales.

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Notes de l’auteur

I would like to thank the Alexander von Humboldt-Foundation for funding a three years’ stay in Basilicata, as well as my host institution, the Scuola di Specializzazione in Beni Archeologici, Matera, especially its former director Massimo Osanna, with whom I had many stimulating discussions on Siris/Herakleia. Further, I would like to thank all those with whom I had the opportunity to work in Policoro, in particular Luisa Aino, Gianclaudio Ferreri, Antonia Miola, Rossella Pace, Dimitirs Roubis, Barbara Serio, Francesco Silvestrelli, Stéphane Verger, and Silvia Vullo. Finally, I would like to thank Vincent Jolivet, Eleftheria Pappa and Jackie Murray for helpful suggestions.

Texte intégral

  • 1 Cf. Malkin 2004, p. 343 ; Dietler 2010, p. 27-43. The following quotation (from a preface, signed b (...)
  • 2 van Dommelen 1996/97 ; 2006 ; 2007 ; Malkin 2004 ; Pappa 2013 ; Stockhammer 2012 ; 2013.

1In Europe’s self-perception, Greece and Rome continue to represent the origins of culture and civilisation, whereas the marginalisation and extinction of peoples, traditions and techniques that accompanied the expansion of Greek and especially Roman power are rarely taken into consideration, at least on the level of public discourse and popular science1. On the other hand, more and more historians and archaeologists make use of concepts borrowed from postcolonial criticism, such as hybridity, or refer directly to postcolonialism in their works2.

  • 3 Cf. Attema 2008 ; Burgers – Crielaard 2011, p. 157 ; Osanna 2012 for the Archaic period and Lomas 1 (...)

2In this paper I would like to discuss how postcolonial approaches might be applied to the archaeology of the Ionian Coast in southern Italy during the Classical and Hellenistic periods (fig. 1). Up to now postcolonial approaches have been limited here largely to so-called « mixed settlements » of the 7th century BC and, to a lesser degree, to the Imperial period3. However, postcolonial criticism as I understand it draws our attention not only to « mixed settlements » but also to marginalization, subalternity and exploitation – phenomena that characterise not only the Archaic period but also the Classical, Hellenistic, and Imperial periods.

Fig. 1 – The Ionian Coast (SSBA Matera/G.Z.).

Fig. 1 – The Ionian Coast (SSBA Matera/G.Z.).
  • 4 With regard to archaeology, it is important to note that the « third space, » as conceptualized by (...)
  • 5 In Magna Graecia see for example A. Maiuri in « CMGr » I (1962), p. 8-9 : « Ogni fenomeno di coloni (...)
  • 6 Cf. Bhabha 1994, p. 2.
  • 7 Cf. Chaturvedi 2000. On Gramsci’s concept of cultural hegemony and subalternity (where south Italia (...)
  • 8 Cf. Spivak 1988.
  • 9 Cf. Arendt 1958.

3In general, postcolonial studies and related fields of research pay great attention to the problem of hegemony as well as to its intrinsic ambivalence. The concept of cultural hybridity as introduced by Homi Bhabha (1994) is only understandable in the context of the ambivalence of hegemony and power4. Whereas in the past ethnicity was a central category in the study of ancient and modern colonisations5, postcolonial criticism emphasises the role of ethnicity as one category among others to define power relations6. Inspired by the work of Antonio Gramsci, postcolonial authors started to shift the perspective toward cultural hegemony and subalternity7. One of the central questions in this regard is : how can the colonised « speak » in the sense of being heard and having anything « to say »?8 On the one hand this is really a linguistic problem : should they use the language of the colonising elite or alternative languages, even if the number of people capable of understanding could be much smaller in the latter case. On the other hand, « speaking » may stand for any sort of public/political/artistic action and participation.9 The question is then how colonised and subaltern groups can gain any freedom of action at all : if they adopt the strategies of the colonial elites (as embedded in economy, education, administration, politics, « culture ») this means submission, at least to a certain degree, to the hegemonic discourse ; if they do not, they risk not having any impact at all. In this context hybridisation becomes a strategy leading to the subversion and/or alteration of the hegemonic discourse.

  • 10 Cf. Osanna 1992, p. 92 ; 2012, p. 35 (crouched burials and indigenous people at Policoro) ; Kindber (...)
  • 11 On the methodology and some first results see Zuchtriegel 2012b.

4While subaltern groups have not figured greatly in discussions of early « mixed settlements » (probably, among other reasons, because the evidence is relatively scarce)10, the Classical and Hellenistic periods offer a broader dataset for the study of subalternity and hybridity in local communities on the Ionian Coast. In this context, the identification of subaltern groups and their possibilities of social mobility and expression could be a starting point for a postcolonial history of Classical and Hellenistic Magna Graecia. In a second step, I would like to consider if and how marginality and subalternity were codified in terms of ethnicity and hybridity. As a case study I would like to look at Herakleia (modern Policoro) and its hinterland, where the Scuola di Specializzazione in Beni Archaeologici of Matera (SSBA) has been carrying out an archaeological field survey since 201211. In particular, the questions I would like to address are : how was Greek colonisation linked to the definition and exploitation of subaltern groups ? And : can we identify these groups in the archaeological record, and if so, how were they defined in terms of culture and ethnicity ?

The foundation of Herakleia : imperialism, autonomy, and social structure

  • 12 On Siris/Polieion see Osanna 2012.
  • 13 Cf. Prandi 2008.

5Herakleia was founded in 433/2 BC by Taras on the site of the Archaic Ionian colony Siris/Polieion (modern Policoro) that had been destroyed around the middle of the 6th century BC12. The foundation of Herakleia was preceded by a war between Taras and Thourioi over possession of the territory of ancient Siris/Polieion (roughly in the years between 444 and 433 BC). Eventually the war was settled with the establishment of a joint colony. It was called Siris and was situated on the river of the same name ; later it became the port of Herakleia13.

  • 14 Rescigno 2012 (still in the 3rd century BC, pietra tenera was imported from Taras for a public buil (...)

6Herakleia was « founded » when Taras intervened abruptly and « moved the settlement, adding settlers of its own » (Diodorus XII 36,4). From that moment on, Herakleia appears as an apoikia of Taras only, and there were close relations between the two cities way into the Hellenistic period as findings from Herakleia prove.14

  • 15 Hrdt. VII 170 (phónos hellenikòs mégistos).
  • 16 E. Lippolis, in Lippolis 1994, p. 132-3.
  • 17 Greco 1981.
  • 18 Osanna 1992, p. 16 ; Fionocchietti 2009, p. 71.
  • 19 Sartori 1967, p. 17 ; Prandi 2008, p. 15.
  • 20 Osanna 1992, p. 13-21.
  • 21 Cf. Zuchtriegel 2011.
  • 22 Lippolis 1996, p. 15.

7The motivation of Taras’ sudden intervention can hardly have been population pressure. It is true that the city had suffered a catastrophic defeat against the Iapygians in the 470s when trying to expand further east15. As Aristotle (Pol. 1303a) reports, the defeat led to a constitutional change from politeia to demokrateia. Archaeologically this becomes visible in various ways. Both in the city itself and in the chora the rich and monumental tombs of the Late Archaic period were replaced by much more modest ones16. The fortifications were amplified, embracing a much larger area than before (about 510 hectares). Although part of the walled area was used as a burial ground (a unique situation in the Greek world), a greater number of citizens were able to live in the city centre17. At the same time, analysis of the rural settlement points to modifications in land tenure18. However, if the defeat against the Iapygians in the East might have contributed to a growing interest in Siris19, it is unlikely that the demographic development of Taras during the second half of the 5th century BC led to acute population pressure. The chora of Taras comprised about 850 square kilometres20, an area that would have been sufficient to feed approximately 35-45,000 people, which is a huge number for a 5th century polis, given that the biggest Greek cities of the time (Athens and Syracuse) had probably not more than about 50,000 inhabitants21. What is more, Taras seems to have exported considerable amounts of various goods and products22. Even if the polis reached a population of more than 40,000, it could have imported staple food in return for export goods. Thourioi too did not lack agricultural land. In fact, a few years after the foundation new settlers had to be called from Mainland Greece to reinforce the existing community (Diodorus XII 11,2). Thus, neither Taras nor Thourioi appear to have had any immediate necessity to expand their territories.

  • 23 Cf. Diod. XIII 3,4 ; Thuk. VII 35.
  • 24 Lombardo 1996, p. 23 ; 2009, p. 136-138 ; Prandi 2008, p. 11.
  • 25 On the date of the treaty see Bengtson 1975, p. 80-81.

8On the other hand, during the Peloponnesian War Thourioi and Taras stood on opposite sides23, and hostility between the two was probably still latent in the 430s, in spite of their joint colony. Taras’ intervention has to be seen against this backdrop. Mario Lombardo has argued that it was an internal conflict (stasis) in Thourioi in 434/3 BC (Diodorus XII 35) that triggered the foundation of Herakleia : in his view, Taras exploited a momentary weakness of Thourioi after the stasis24. I think, however, it was not the presumed weakness of Thourioi (before long the stasis had been settled peacefully) but rather the opposite, namely the readiness of Athens and its allies to intervene in Italy which urged Taras to act. Between 434 and summer 433 BC Athens formed an alliance with Corcyra25. Thucydides (I 44) writes about the motivation of his Athenian fellow-citizens :

For they knew that in any case the war with Peloponnesus was inevitable, and they had no mind to let Corcyra and her navy fall into the hands of the Corinthians. Their plan was to embroil them more and more with one another, and then, when the war came, the Corinthians and the other naval powers would be weaker. They also considered that Corcyra was conveniently situated for the coast voyage to Italy and Sicily. (transl. B. Jowett)

  • 26 Cf. Thuk. VII 33. Cf. Braccesi 1973/4 ; M. Lombardo, in CMGr, XXXI (1990), p. 97-98 ; Cataldi 1990 (...)

9The last phrase indicates that even before the outbreak of the war Athens had concrete plans in Italy. The alliance between Athens and Corcyra must have been alarming for Taras, especially since the Athenians formed it with explicit regard to future intervention in southern Italy. Moreover, the Athenians were also on friendly terms with the Messapian ruler Artas26. On this backdrop, the foundation of Herakleia can be understood as Taras’ answer to Athenian politics in the West. This would mean that the very establishment of Herakleia was determined by imperialist interests and counter-interests. The colonists sent to Herakleia were intended by Taras to occupy ancient Siris before Thourioi and/or Athens could intervene ; they represented not an autonomous self-dependent community but were subordinated to the geopolitical interests of the mother-city.

  • 27 On Gramsci’s conceptualization of hegemony and the formation of « blocs » see Gramsci 2007 (texts w (...)
  • 28 On the opinion that only landowners are « good defenders of the city » cfr. Xenophon, Oec. 4,2-3 ; (...)

10At the same time, it is interesting to note that the way in which the polis of Herakleia was structured appears to be inspired by contemporary ideas about how an autonomous and autarchic polis should look. Yet, I would like to argue here that the very concept of the autonomous and autarchic polis can be described as a « mechanism » (in Gramsci’s terminology) to ensure the functioning of « cultural, ethical and political hegemony » and to turn the polis into a manageable « bloc »27. On the level of ideology, political participation and agriculture-based economic autarchy (of single households as well as of the city) were linked to « Greekness » and centrality and thereby opposed to hybridity and marginality. Thus, only landholders were considered good citizens and warriors – provided that they did not live in the countryside and fraternised with neighbouring communities28. It is such ideas that seem to have shaped the social geography of Herakleia, as I will try to outline in the following.

  • 29 Cf. Lloyd 1993, p. 196-99 ; Cahill 2002, p. 3-18.
  • 30 Plato, Laws 846d ; Arist., Pol. 1277b ; 1329a ; 1337b. Cf. Hdt. II 167 ; Xen., Oec. 4,2-3 ; 6,6-10.

11The ideal of the autonomous polis emerges from numerous philosophical and historical texts of the Classical period (e.g. Herodotus, Xenophon, Plato, Aristotle)29. In a « good polis » according to Plato and Aristotle the citizens lived off their lands though without spending their time on agricultural labour. In order to participate actively in the polis, i.e. public affairs including military training, the citizens needed to reside in the urban centre or close to it. In fact Aristotle (Pol. 1330a) suggests that in a well-organised polis the fields should be worked by slaves or « barbarians living in the surroundings ». On the other hand, artisans and tradesmen were considered second-class citizens ; ideally they were completely excluded from citizenship.30

  • 31 Adamesteanu – Dilthey 1978, p. 517-21 ; Adamesteanu 1999, p. 339-57 . New excavations on the Castel (...)
  • 32 Zuchtriegel 2012a, p. 277-85.
  • 33 Giardino 2012 ; Zuchtriegel 2012b, p. 149.
  • 34 Pianu 1990 ; Lanza 2012.
  • 35 Adamesteanu – Dilthey 1978, p. 521.
  • 36 Giardino 1998, p. 184-6.

12The archaeological evidence from Herakleia suggests that similar views determined the structure of the colony. The fortification walls erected during the first half of the 4th century enclosed an area of about 140 hectares. Although only a part of the walled area was occupied by dwelling places (finds of late 5th/early 4th century pottery seem to indicate that the settlement was concentrated on the Collina del Castello31), the city was apparently laid out with the object of housing the majority of the population within the walls. According to ancient standards a city as big as Herakleia could hold more than 13,000 inhabitants, a number close to the carrying capacity of the entire territory as reconstructed on the basis of archaeological data and geomorphological features32. However, there are only scarce archaeological records of the first three or four decades following the foundation of Herakleia. What emerges clearly from the excavations is that ritual activities took place in various sanctuaries from the very beginning33. Many of the sanctuaries date back to the Archaic period and were reactivated by the new settlers. While very few tombs from the late fifth century BC are known, their number increases during the first half of the 4th century BC, though grave goods remain rare34. Some domestic structures have been dated to the early phase of the colony35, and other plots of equal size still visible in the Hellenistic phase may also date back to the foundation period (fig. 2)36.

Fig. 2 – Hypothetical reconstruction of equal-sized house plots in Heraclea, Area A (based on Giardino 1998).

Fig. 2 – Hypothetical reconstruction of equal-sized house plots in Heraclea, Area A (based on Giardino 1998).
  • 37 A similar situation emerges from the foundation decree of Kerkyra Melaina in the Adriatic (4th / 3r (...)

13Around 375 BC the settlement centre apparently consisted of a huge walled area and a considerable population. At the same time, rural habitations and tombs remained extremely scarce. The chora appears to have been practically « empty » except for a series of sanctuaries functioning as landmarks (fig. 3). What is more, the few rural habitation sites dated to the first half of the 4th century are actually Early Hellenistic sites that have yielded one or at most two fragments datable to the Classical period. If we compare the density of rural habitations and tombs calculated on the basis of the field survey carried out in 2012-2014 in the chora of Herakleia with the density of rural sites in the chora of Metapontion (based on Carter – Prieto 2011), the peculiarity of Classical Herakleia becomes obvious : for about 80-100 years after the foundation of the colony, rural sites, especially tombs, were almost absent. The density of rural sites reached the level of neighbouring Metapontion only around 325 BC (fig. 4, 5). The scarcity of rural habitations in the early decades after the foundation of Herakleia suggests that the settlers lived together in the walled area. The living quarters were apparently divided into standard-sized house plots (oikopeda). Furthermore, the community appears to have lived mainly off agriculture, since there are very few traces of artisanal activity in this period37.

Fig. 3 - The Siritis around 400 BC, with indication of surveyed areas (SSBA Matera/G.Z.).

Fig. 3 - The Siritis around 400 BC, with indication of surveyed areas (SSBA Matera/G.Z.).

Fig. 4 – The Siritis around 325 BC, with indication of surveyed areas (SSBA Matera/G.Z.).

Fig. 4 – The Siritis around 325 BC, with indication of surveyed areas (SSBA Matera/G.Z.).

Fig. 5 – Density of rural sites in the surveyed areas around Metapontion and Herakleia (based on Carter – Prieto 2001 ; SSBA Matera/G.Z.).

Fig. 5 – Density of rural sites in the surveyed areas around Metapontion and Herakleia (based on Carter – Prieto 2001 ; SSBA Matera/G.Z.).

14On the other hand, the rural settlement of the early Hellenistic period was very heterogeneous and reflects increasing social stratification. Besides rural sanctuaries and necropoleis, there was a broad variety of habitation sites (fig. 6). Some sites which have been interpreted as farmsteads have yielded a broad spectrum of materials and considerable numbers of finds (up to 1,000, whereas late Hellenistic and Imperial sites have yielded 10,000 and more). The pottery classes documented in such sites comprise Laconian roof tiles, black glazed pottery, coarse ware, kitchen ware and pithos ware (for example HE3 and HE7). Some of the smaller sites interpreted as farmsteads also yielded all these classes (HE9, HE35). Further, there is a number of small sites that have not yielded any fine ware pottery at all. Some of them (e.g. HE1 and HE93) might have been storage facilities or outbuildings that belonged to farmsteads or households in the asty (urban centre). However, some small and medium-sized sites have also yielded kitchen ware (HE146, HE163-65) which indicates that people lived there, at least periodically. Whether they were agricultural slaves or Greeks who had their principal residence elsewhere, or Greeks who could only afford a relatively modest style of living, remains open. In any case the diversity of sites testifies to social stratification.

Fig. 6 – On-site materials (visibility-corrected) in a part of the area surveyed in 2013 (SSBA Matera/G.Z.).

Fig. 6 – On-site materials (visibility-corrected) in a part of the area surveyed in 2013 (SSBA Matera/G.Z.).
  • 38 Bianco 2000, p. 813-15.
  • 39 De Siena – Giardino 2001, p. 151-3.

15Increasing social stratification is also suggested by excavations of farmsteads (fig. 7). On the one hand, at Panevino there is an example of a small « family farmhouse » of ca. 100 square metres consisting of two rooms.38 On the other hand, at Bosco Andriace a huge building of ca. 800 square metres has been excavated, with more than ten rooms and a central courtyard39. Both buildings date to ca. 300 BC and were used throughout the 3rd century (and later in the case of Panevino).

Fig. 7 – Excavated rural habitation sites in the Siritis (drawing by the author based on Bianco 2000 ; De Siena – Giardino 2001).

Fig. 7 – Excavated rural habitation sites in the Siritis (drawing by the author based on Bianco 2000 ; De Siena – Giardino 2001).
  • 40 Cf. Coarelli 1998, p. 285.
  • 41 Pol. 1328b-1329a (transl. H. Rackham).
  • 42 Canfora 2011, p. 82-3, analysing Aristophanes, Acarn. 20-39.
  • 43 Cf. Plato’s Laws (756b-e), where the lower classes are exempt from regular attendance, whereat memb (...)
  • 44 On the role of athletics in democratic Athens cf. Pritchard 2013, who emphasizes the link between a (...)
  • 45 Cf. Aristotle, Pol. 1330a.

16What appears here from the second half of the 4th century BC onwards is not, as some have argued, a « democratisation of the chora »40 but rather the opposite. It is likely that those who lived exclusively or prevalently in the chora (and were consequently buried there) did so in order to increase agricultural production, probably because they faced economic pressure and needed to react in some way. Thus they left the community of politai in the asty behind and abandoned the way of live that had characterised the early years of the colony. Ancient authors were aware that this often entailed social downgrading and gradual exclusion from political participation. Aristotle notes that farmers who have not much property are too busy to meet often in the assembly, and concludes with regard to the « best state » that « the citizens must not live a mechanic or a mercantile life (for such a life is ignoble and inimical to virtue), nor yet must those who are to be citizens in the best state be tillers of the soil (for leisure is needed both for the development of virtue and for active participation in politics) »41. Luciano Canfora has pointed out that even in democratic Athens the georgoi were only sporadically present in the assembly and had practically nothing to say : when they attended the assembly, they did not chime in but limited themselves to « yelling and insulting »42. Though farmers who lived up to four hours’ walking distance from Herakleia (fig. 8) could attend the alia (as the assembly was called here) once in a while, they could not go to the city every day and take part in symposia, hetairiai, trials, commissions and other activities at the core of political life in a Classical polis43. Likewise, this rural population could hardly attend the gymnasion regularly and thus were excluded from one of the most important practices of Greek masculinity44. Accordingly, for someone like Aristotle agricultural work and athletics were simply two separate worlds : in the « best state » the gymansion of the older men is situated on the agora where georgoi and banausoi (farmers and artisans) have no access unless summoned by the magistrates.45

Fig. 8 – The Siritis around 325 BC, with indication of walking distances from Herakleia (SSBA Matera/G.Z.).

Fig. 8 – The Siritis around 325 BC, with indication of walking distances from Herakleia (SSBA Matera/G.Z.).
  • 46 Cf. Diodor XII 11,1-2 on land-division in Thourioi.

17It is telling that when the chora of Herakleia was covered with different kinds of habitation and storage buildings, evidence of artisanal production in the urban centre increases from almost zero to a relatively high level. As far as we know today the first generation of Italiote vase-painters (2nd half 5th / beginnings 4th century BC) settled in Metapontion and Taras and not in the newly established cities of Herakleia and Thourioi. Future excavations might change the picture of course, but the new colonies organised in accordance with the Classical model of the polis as an egalitarian community of land-owners46 might have been less attractive for specialised artisans than a long-established and flourishing city.

  • 47 Bentz et al. 2013.

18Only around 350 BC artisanal production begins to be visible in Herakleia. Among the various kinds of artisanal activity, pottery production is most visible in the archaeological record. At Herakleia pottery kilns and waste dumps are attested from the middle of the 4th century onwards. They are not concentrated in a particular zone as for example in Selinous47 but dispersed over the entire city usually within private habitations. The impression is that some of the colonists, by chance (φύσει and not νόμῳ as the Greeks would have said), eventually turned away from agriculture and started pottery production, in spite of the deep contempt of the Greek elites towards this kind of activity (fig. 9).

Fig. 9 – Hellenistic pottery workshops in Heraclea.

Fig. 9 – Hellenistic pottery workshops in Heraclea.

19Thus, various kinds of data mentioned so far suggest that the original model behind the foundation of Herakleia was that of an egalitarian community of landowners residing principally in the asty (something close to Max Weber’s Ackerbürger-Polis). This model implied the presence of subaltern groups who assisted (or completely substituted) the landowners in labour-intensive processes such as harvesting and sowing (women, children, slaves ?), but those groups are not directly visible in the archaeological record of the colony’s early phases. At the same time, the agrarian, non-mercantile structure as well as the settlement pattern of Herakleia and other colonies of the 5th and 4th centuries BC (e.g. Thourioi, Chersonesos, Pharos, Kerkyra Melaina) suggest that the Classical philosophers developed their ideas about citizenship, banausoi, barbarians and slaves in accordance with colonial and elitist practices of the time. In the light of Classical colonisation, Aristotle’s « best state » is not utopia (this concept was only introduced much later through Thomas More’s book of the same name) but an excerpt of contemporary colonial discourse.

Language and hybridity

  • 48 A. Siciliano, in Osanna – Prandi – Siciliano 2008 with bibliography.
  • 49 Neutsch 1967, p. 110-18 ; Tagliente 1986, p. 129.
  • 50 Uguzzoni – Ghinatti 1968, p. 143-4 (Ghinatti assumes a limited number of household and agricultural (...)
  • 51 Maddoli 1986 ; Gertl 2012, p. 136. L Prandi expressed some doubts about the interpretation of the i (...)

20In the late Classical and early Hellenistic periods subaltern groups eventually become visible in the archaeological evidence from Herakleia, and their visibility is linked to certain forms of marginality and hybridity. The emission of silver coins from as early as the late 5th century BC48 as well as the use of imported Carparo stone from the Salento region for the fortifications49 suggest that Herakleia’s economy was flourishing during the first half of the 4th century BC, although it was still largely based on agriculture. The presence of household and public slaves would be anything but surprising in such a context50. However, only from the late 4th century onwards is there positive evidence of the existence of slaves : the excavations in the Demeter sanctuary yielded at least six bronze tablets with inscriptions referring apparently to freed slave women (fig. 10)51. The inscriptions can be dated to the late 4th and 3rd centuries BC and are written in the local Doric dialect. As far as can be seen, the names of the freed women are Greek (for example « Philoxena dedicates herself to Demeter... »). Yet it is unlikely that they were Herakleian women. A bronze sculpture depicting « horses and women captured in a war with the Messapians » (Paus. X 10,6) donated by the citizens of Taras to the sanctuary of Apollo at Delphi gives a hint of where the majority of slaves in Magna Graecia might have come from. In Classical Greek city-states slaves were usually foreigners (non-Greeks but also Greeks). However, the slave women of Herakleia ‘speak’ the local Dorian dialect when they step into the light of public discourse. This is in fact logical, given that the manumissio was supposed to be acknowledged by the community of slave owners. In other words, it is through hybrid forms of expression that the slave women of Herakleia become visible – publicly within the polis and also archaeologically.

Fig. 10 – Inscription and leg irons from the Demeter sanctuary in Herakleia (Gertl 2012, p. 135, fig.10).

Fig. 10 – Inscription and leg irons from the Demeter sanctuary in Herakleia (Gertl 2012, p. 135, fig.10).

Marginality and hybridity

  • 52 IG XIV, 645, I, l. 6 ; II, l. 1.
  • 53 Uguzzoni – Ghinatti 1968, p. 134-5.

21The urban elite culture of Herakleia allowed for non-Greek forms of expression to a limited extent. The Herakleia tablets (two bronze tablets of the late 4th/early 3rd century BC referring to sacred lands in the chora) mention a certain Dazimos among the magistrates of the city52. The name Dazimos is attested at Taras in the form Dazymos and seems to be of Illyrian or Messapian origin. It could indicate the integration of non-Greek individuals (or simply names?) in the polis53.

  • 54 Cf. the case of Olbia, where literary sources point to a « mixed population, » while the material c (...)
  • 55 Neutsch 1967, p. 160 ; A. Bottini, in Piranomonte 2001, p. 91.
  • 56 Bottini – Lecce, forthcoming.
  • 57 Cf. Pianu 1990 ; Lanza 2012.

22On the level of material culture and ritual practices Herakleia appears almost completely « Greek »,54 with some isolated exceptions. The excavations in the necropoleis of the city brought to light a limited number of tombs with armour and/or weapons dating to the 4th and early 3rd centuries BC (not more than five according to the published data)55. As Angelo Bottini and Lucia Lecce have demonstrated, the most ancient of these tombs is Tomba 1188 (around 400 BC)56. The grave goods as well as the ritual correspond perfectly to inland, « Lucanian » burial customs. However the presence of these tombs is interpreted, the fact remains that they represent isolated exceptions among hundreds and hundreds of typically « Greek » burials.57 The members of the urban elite evidently expressed their status predominantly through Greek language, iconography and ritual, i.e. through Greek « culture ».

  • 58 de Cazanove 2008 ; de Cazanove – Féret – Caravelli 2014 ; Osanna 2009 ; 2010.
  • 59 Crupi – Pasquino 2012 (Piano Sollazzo) ; Quilici – Quilici Gigli 2002 (Mt. Coppolo and its territor (...)

23The situation was different in the countryside however. Although the inhabitants of the chora adopted Greek elite culture, the conditions in which they lived prevented complete conformance to the « Greekness » of the urban elites. As argued above, in the second half of the 4th/3rd centuries BC a considerable part of the rural population consisted of marginalized groups, citizens who moved to the country for economic reasons and slaves or dependant peasants working for citizens who lived in the asty. In this context, it is important to note that from around 350 BC the inland regions too underwent profound social transformations. Archaic « polycentric » settlements were replaced by fortified hilltop settlements (oppida), while the rural landscapes were covered with isolated farmsteads58. One of the newly established oppida was situated 900 metres above sea level on Monte Coppolo, immediately beyond the borders of the chora of Herakleia (fig. 4). The territories of Monte Coppolo and Herakleia seem to be divided by an empty zone without farmsteads, bordered on the Greek side by the sanctuary of Piano Sollazzo and on the inland side by two fortified sites (Timpa della Bufaliera and Timpa del Ponto)59.

  • 60 Musti 2005, p. 261-84 ; Osanna 2010.
  • 61 Torelli 1992, p. XV-XVI.
  • 62 Cf. Hall 2002, p. 196 on mixellenes and the Classical Greek notion of « culture » which presupposed (...)
  • 63 Poccetti 1989 ; Parente 2009.
  • 64 Hall 2002, p. 172-205, especially p. 179 (« The invention of the barbarian antitype provided a comp (...)

24The emergence of oppida and isolated farmsteads in Basilicata and northern Calabria has been related to the « Lucanisation » of these regions60. The farmsteads in the hinterland of the oppida have been interpreted as the dwelling places of a new « middle class » consisting of warriors/land-owners and depending on local elites who resided in the oppida61. The burials of the members of the new « middle class » often contain armour and/or weapons as well as red-figured and black-glazed banquet pottery. The pottery, largely produced locally, is often not distinguishable from « Greek » products of the same period. The « Lucanian » settlements represent a case study in « hybridisation » that definitely merits further investigation, but I would like to limit myself to some general observations regarding the context of Herakleia. Going inland, the Greeks encountered not the « Other » but « Barbarians » who were, so to speak, « going Greek »62. This is evident not only from the material culture, where « Lucanian » and « Greek » farmsteads are not distinguishable, but also from the fact that the Lucanians coined money and introduced alphabetic writing. Some evidently spoke and wrote Greek63.If, on the other hand, in the Classical period « Greekness » was in large part defined through the Other (the Barbarian), as Jonathan Hall has argued,64 the very definition of « Greekness » must have undergone a crisis when the « Other » turned Greek to such an extent as in late Classical/early Hellenistic Lucania.

  • 65 Delorme 1960, p. 425 ; Cohen 1978, p. 36.

25As the « cultural » distinction between Greeks and Barbarians began to blur in southern Italy as elsewhere, other ways of distinguishing Greeks from non-Greeks became important. Scholars have long emphasised the importance of the gymnasium in the Hellenistic world as a place of reaffirmation of « Greekness »65. The Hellenistic gymnasia were not only places where a certain way of life was cultivated but also archives : the question of being enrolled or not re-established the boundary between Greek and non-Greek.

  • 66 Roubis et al. 2013.
  • 67 Meo 2012.

26With regard to practices of « Greekness » the rural population of Herakleia was both dangerously distant from the urban centre and dangerously close to the Lucanian territory. The vicinity of Greek and Lucanian farmers was not only a spatial phenomenon but also an economic one. Sheep breeding was important both in the inland regions and in the eschatia (« outer chora »), as Dimitris Roubis and Anna Maria Mercuri have argued on the basis of archaeological and archaeobotanical evidence66. Therefore the « empty » zone between the Greek and Lucanian territories should not be imagined as a sort of « buffer zone » but rather as a space for non-stable forms of economic exploitation, especially pastoral farming. The wool was probably processed and traded in Herakleia, where spinning and weaving were practised on an almost industrial level67. Consequently, the Lucanians and the inhabitants of the eschatia were « united » by economic interests and at the same time opposed to the urban centre which controlled the processing and selling of the raw material.

27Furthermore, the Greek farmers produced a series of goods that must have been in high demand in the inland regions, namely wine and oil. The new style of life in 4th century Lucania involved Greek-style banquets as well as certain kinds of personal hygiene, as numerous finds of lekythoi and unguentaria for perfumes and oils demonstrate. However, it should be kept in mind that olive oil and wine could not be produced easily in the mountainous inland regions of southern Italy ; only very few oil presses have been found beyond the borders of the Greek chorai. This means that the Lucanians had to import these products. In return they might have offered animal skins, meat (a certain type of sausage is still today called Loukaniko in Greek), wood and slaves.

  • 68 Transl. Th. F. Lytle.
  • 69 Transl. H. Rackham.
  • 70 Arist. Pol. 1330a.

28Like other colonial poleis, Herakleia was probably somewhat concerned about economic transactions that did not pass through and were not controlled by the urban centre. Concerns of this sort emerge from the so-called Oath of Chersonesos (IOSPE I2 401) : the citizens swore not to « betray to anyone whomsoever, whether Greek or barbarian, Chersonesos, Kerkinitis, Kalos Limen, the other forts, and the rest of the chora, which the people of Chersonesos inhabit or inhabited » and not to « sell grain suitable for exportation which comes from the plain, nor export grain from the plain to another place, except to Chersonesos »68. It was apparently difficult to control the sale of products beyond the borders (hence the oath), and the rural population was suspected of acting on its own account and of ignoring the necessities of the urban centre. Moreover, the inhabitants of the outer chora were also suspected of fraternising with neighbouring communities. Aristotle (Pol. 1330a) mentions that « some people have a law that the citizens whose land is near the frontier are not to take part in deliberation as to wars against neighbouring states, on the ground that private interest would prevent them from being able to take counsel wisely »69. This is ascribed to the fact that the inhabitants of distant parts of the chora were suspected of « neglecting hostility against neighbouring/bordering people »70.

29It is likely, though less documented in the sources, that marginalisation also affected the « Greekness » of women living in the outer chora. As Jonathan Hall (2002 : 195) has observed, in Classical Greece « transhumant subsistence strategies » as well as « the right of women to dispose of alienable property and to act as heads of families » could mark out certain areas as « more primitive and thus more « barbarian » ». In other words, if women in the eschatia had to take over the leadership of the oikos because men were absent, they risked appearing less « Greek » and more « barbarian ». This might have been the case when men were occupied with intensive agriculture, trade or animal husbandry. Paradoxically, the participation of men in political or athletic activities in the urban centre, about four hours’ walk away, also entailed a certain alienation from the « Greek » model of life on the part of female household members, if these had to « act as heads of the family » in the meantime.

  • 71 Foxhall et al. 2007, p. 25.

30In conclusion, in a cultural context where « Greekness » had to be constantly affirmed through certain political and physical practices, the position of the inhabitants of the outer chora necessarily became ambivalent. The kind of ambivalence and hybridisation that characterised these areas has not received much attention so far, though it merits further investigation, as Lin Foxhall has outlined. During a survey near Bova in southern Calabria, in the mountains halfway between Rhegion and Locri, Foxhall and her colleagues identified a number of Classical sites where the material culture « appears to be « Greek », whatever that really meant in practice ».71 Foxhall observes:

It is also not clear at present how « Greek » were the « Greeks » living in the Bova countryside. It seems likely that the inhabitants of the Umbro Greek site considered themselves to be « Greek » but whether the citizens of Rhegion and Locri considered them to be « Greek », or even part of (or « having a share in », as Greeks would have expressed it) one of the two poleis, remains an open question. Also, whether there is a vertical dimension to « Greekness » is a question which needs further investigation – does it fade beyond a particular altitude to be replaced by indigenous identities ? (Foxhall et al. 2007, p. 26)

31What I propose here is to take up Foxhall’s question about the link between identity and geography, though using the concept of hybridity instead of « replacement » of identities. In the search for marginal and hybrid identities, Foxhall’s observations lead us away from « mixed » assemblages of « indigenous » and « Greek » pots towards spatial analysis and social positions. In the case of Herakleia and other Classical colonies, I would like to emphasise that it is against the backdrop of the Classical model of the polis as it emerges from the foundation period that « hybridity » reveals its spatial dimension. Because of the fundamental nexus between Greekness, citizenship and centrality, marginality and decentralisation necessarily produced hybrid identities, in the sense that the rural population approximated, literally and metaphorically, the « barbarians living in the surroundings » (Aristotle).

  • 72 Zuchtriegel 2012b, p. 152-3.

32At the same time, the places of marginality and ambivalence were also the places were violence erupted first. Violent conflicts, albeit usually controlled from the polis centre, affected first of all the rural territories, both Greek and Lucanian. Hybridity and economic entanglement on the one hand and the possibility of violence, enslavement, devastation and looting on the other coincided in these marginal places. As our field survey has shown, the rural settlement changes towards the eschatia : the site density diminishes, and while in the inner chora many farmsteads lie on slopes close to natural springs, in the eschatia a number of sites have been identified on hilltops and ridges in a position with better visibility of the surrounding areas (fig. 4 et 11). Coming from the asty to one of these « inner stations » a traveller could see the inland hills covered with « Lucanian » farmsteads overshadowed by the oppidum of Monte Coppolo from where more or less the entire chora could be surveyed72. Turning around she/he would have seen similar hills covered with « Greek » farmsteads and tombs. Thus, if « boundary sanctuaries » such as Piano Sollazzo reinforced the limits of the Greek chora, the habitation sites reveal the ambivalence of « Greekness » and of the limits of the polis.

Fig. 11 – Early Hellenistic sites in the outer chora of Herakleia (SSBA Matera/G.Z.).

Fig. 11 – Early Hellenistic sites in the outer chora of Herakleia (SSBA Matera/G.Z.).
  • 73 Attema – Burgers – van Leusen 2010, p. 147-69.

33The expansion of Roman hegemony in southern Italy would change the situation completely, as attested also in the transformation of rural landscapes. Many of the small farmsteads disappear, especially in inland territories, and most of the oppida lose their function as central-places73. When Pyrrhus viewed the Roman troops camping out on the other side of the Siris before the battle of Herakleia (280 BC), he was surprised about the barbarians’ taxis (« order ») which appeared not at all « barbarian » to him (Plut. Pyrrhus 16). This shows on the one hand that in spite of the various forms of hybridisation hypothesised for the Archaic and Classical periods, « binary attitudes » towards the « others » still prevailed among the « Greek » elite. On the other hand the same passage implies that « barbarian » military power contributed more than anything else to the uncoupling of ambivalence and marginality and to the insertion of hybridity into elite discourse.

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Notes

1 Cf. Malkin 2004, p. 343 ; Dietler 2010, p. 27-43. The following quotation (from a preface, signed by Wanda Ferro, Assessore alla Cultura in Catanzaro, in Magna Graecia. Archeologia di un sapere, 2005) may illustrate some popular views on Greek colonisation held by local politicians : « La civiltà greca era la più fiorente del Mediterraneo e in quei secoli si caratterizzava per le nuove forme delle attività artistiche che, finalmente libere da ogni condizionamento di magia e religione, erano tese a diventare espressione dell’uomo, del suo intelletto e del fantastico ideale di bellezza e di perfezione. Nella Magna Grecia affonda le sue radici la storia della civiltà europea e alla Magna Grecia apparteneva la Calabria (…). Una storia così importante può inorgoglire e ferire al tempo stesso e se i motivi di orgoglio sono evidenti altrettanto chiara è la ferita prodotta da una serena analisi di quanto sia stata debole, nella Calabria e nei calabresi, la presa di coscienza del valore immenso della storia (…). »

2 van Dommelen 1996/97 ; 2006 ; 2007 ; Malkin 2004 ; Pappa 2013 ; Stockhammer 2012 ; 2013.

3 Cf. Attema 2008 ; Burgers – Crielaard 2011, p. 157 ; Osanna 2012 for the Archaic period and Lomas 1996 ; Attema – Burgers – van Leusen 2010, p. 147-69 for the Imperial period.

4 With regard to archaeology, it is important to note that the « third space, » as conceptualized by Bhabha, is not a physical space.

5 In Magna Graecia see for example A. Maiuri in « CMGr » I (1962), p. 8-9 : « Ogni fenomeno di colonizzazione va studiato non solo nella sua genesi e nel suo sviluppo (…), ma poiché esso è fenomeno d’immissione e d’innesto di un elemento etnico su un altro elemento etnico (…), la colonizzazione è soprattutto rapporto tra colonizzatori e colonizzati, tra due entità umane di diversa se non opposta costituzione sociale, economica e politica. »

6 Cf. Bhabha 1994, p. 2.

7 Cf. Chaturvedi 2000. On Gramsci’s concept of cultural hegemony and subalternity (where south Italian peasantry played a crucial role) see the essays, mostly from his prison time, in Gramsci 2007.

8 Cf. Spivak 1988.

9 Cf. Arendt 1958.

10 Cf. Osanna 1992, p. 92 ; 2012, p. 35 (crouched burials and indigenous people at Policoro) ; Kindberg Jacobsen – Handberg 2010, p. 711 : with regard to habitation nuclei at Francavilla Marittima the authors speak of « a rare case of identifiable social differentiation between Greek and indigenous communities within the same settlement. »

11 On the methodology and some first results see Zuchtriegel 2012b.

12 On Siris/Polieion see Osanna 2012.

13 Cf. Prandi 2008.

14 Rescigno 2012 (still in the 3rd century BC, pietra tenera was imported from Taras for a public building at Herakleia ; the stonemason came from Taras or had worked there before).

15 Hrdt. VII 170 (phónos hellenikòs mégistos).

16 E. Lippolis, in Lippolis 1994, p. 132-3.

17 Greco 1981.

18 Osanna 1992, p. 16 ; Fionocchietti 2009, p. 71.

19 Sartori 1967, p. 17 ; Prandi 2008, p. 15.

20 Osanna 1992, p. 13-21.

21 Cf. Zuchtriegel 2011.

22 Lippolis 1996, p. 15.

23 Cf. Diod. XIII 3,4 ; Thuk. VII 35.

24 Lombardo 1996, p. 23 ; 2009, p. 136-138 ; Prandi 2008, p. 11.

25 On the date of the treaty see Bengtson 1975, p. 80-81.

26 Cf. Thuk. VII 33. Cf. Braccesi 1973/4 ; M. Lombardo, in CMGr, XXXI (1990), p. 97-98 ; Cataldi 1990, 79ff. See also IG XIV 672, which seems to testify to an alliance between Thourioi and Brindisi in the second half of the 5th century BC.

27 On Gramsci’s conceptualization of hegemony and the formation of « blocs » see Gramsci 2007 (texts written between 1926 and 1935, partly in prison), especially p. 82-3.

28 On the opinion that only landowners are « good defenders of the city » cfr. Xenophon, Oec. 4,2-3 ; 6,5-10 ; Aristotle, Pol. 1329b.

29 Cf. Lloyd 1993, p. 196-99 ; Cahill 2002, p. 3-18.

30 Plato, Laws 846d ; Arist., Pol. 1277b ; 1329a ; 1337b. Cf. Hdt. II 167 ; Xen., Oec. 4,2-3 ; 6,6-10.

31 Adamesteanu – Dilthey 1978, p. 517-21 ; Adamesteanu 1999, p. 339-57 . New excavations on the Castello hill in 2014 have brought to light further evidence for a settlement in this area in the early phase of Herakleia.

32 Zuchtriegel 2012a, p. 277-85.

33 Giardino 2012 ; Zuchtriegel 2012b, p. 149.

34 Pianu 1990 ; Lanza 2012.

35 Adamesteanu – Dilthey 1978, p. 521.

36 Giardino 1998, p. 184-6.

37 A similar situation emerges from the foundation decree of Kerkyra Melaina in the Adriatic (4th / 3rd century BC) : Syll.3 no. 141.

38 Bianco 2000, p. 813-15.

39 De Siena – Giardino 2001, p. 151-3.

40 Cf. Coarelli 1998, p. 285.

41 Pol. 1328b-1329a (transl. H. Rackham).

42 Canfora 2011, p. 82-3, analysing Aristophanes, Acarn. 20-39.

43 Cf. Plato’s Laws (756b-e), where the lower classes are exempt from regular attendance, whereat members of the upper classes are fined in case of absence.

44 On the role of athletics in democratic Athens cf. Pritchard 2013, who emphasizes the link between athletics and warfare.

45 Cf. Aristotle, Pol. 1330a.

46 Cf. Diodor XII 11,1-2 on land-division in Thourioi.

47 Bentz et al. 2013.

48 A. Siciliano, in Osanna – Prandi – Siciliano 2008 with bibliography.

49 Neutsch 1967, p. 110-18 ; Tagliente 1986, p. 129.

50 Uguzzoni – Ghinatti 1968, p. 143-4 (Ghinatti assumes a limited number of household and agricultural slaves for the 4th century BC).

51 Maddoli 1986 ; Gertl 2012, p. 136. L Prandi expressed some doubts about the interpretation of the inscriptions in Osanna – Prandi – Siciliano 2008, p. 128.

52 IG XIV, 645, I, l. 6 ; II, l. 1.

53 Uguzzoni – Ghinatti 1968, p. 134-5.

54 Cf. the case of Olbia, where literary sources point to a « mixed population, » while the material culture is almost entirely « Greek » : Vlassopoulos 2013, p. 115.

55 Neutsch 1967, p. 160 ; A. Bottini, in Piranomonte 2001, p. 91.

56 Bottini – Lecce, forthcoming.

57 Cf. Pianu 1990 ; Lanza 2012.

58 de Cazanove 2008 ; de Cazanove – Féret – Caravelli 2014 ; Osanna 2009 ; 2010.

59 Crupi – Pasquino 2012 (Piano Sollazzo) ; Quilici – Quilici Gigli 2002 (Mt. Coppolo and its territory).

60 Musti 2005, p. 261-84 ; Osanna 2010.

61 Torelli 1992, p. XV-XVI.

62 Cf. Hall 2002, p. 196 on mixellenes and the Classical Greek notion of « culture » which presupposed that « ... barbarian populations might through cultural convergence become more Hellenic. »

63 Poccetti 1989 ; Parente 2009.

64 Hall 2002, p. 172-205, especially p. 179 (« The invention of the barbarian antitype provided a completely new mechanism for defining Hellenic identity. In the Archaic period, Hellenic self-definition was « aggregative ». (…) Now, Hellenicity was defined « oppositionally » through differential comparison with a barbarian outgroup. »)

65 Delorme 1960, p. 425 ; Cohen 1978, p. 36.

66 Roubis et al. 2013.

67 Meo 2012.

68 Transl. Th. F. Lytle.

69 Transl. H. Rackham.

70 Arist. Pol. 1330a.

71 Foxhall et al. 2007, p. 25.

72 Zuchtriegel 2012b, p. 152-3.

73 Attema – Burgers – van Leusen 2010, p. 147-69.

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Table des illustrations

Titre Fig. 1 – The Ionian Coast (SSBA Matera/G.Z.).
Titre Fig. 2 – Hypothetical reconstruction of equal-sized house plots in Heraclea, Area A (based on Giardino 1998).
Titre Fig. 3 - The Siritis around 400 BC, with indication of surveyed areas (SSBA Matera/G.Z.).
Titre Fig. 4 – The Siritis around 325 BC, with indication of surveyed areas (SSBA Matera/G.Z.).
Titre Fig. 5 – Density of rural sites in the surveyed areas around Metapontion and Herakleia (based on Carter – Prieto 2001 ; SSBA Matera/G.Z.).
Titre Fig. 6 – On-site materials (visibility-corrected) in a part of the area surveyed in 2013 (SSBA Matera/G.Z.).
Titre Fig. 7 – Excavated rural habitation sites in the Siritis (drawing by the author based on Bianco 2000 ; De Siena – Giardino 2001).
Titre Fig. 8 – The Siritis around 325 BC, with indication of walking distances from Herakleia (SSBA Matera/G.Z.).
Titre Fig. 9 – Hellenistic pottery workshops in Heraclea.
Titre Fig. 10 – Inscription and leg irons from the Demeter sanctuary in Herakleia (Gertl 2012, p. 135, fig.10).
Titre Fig. 11 – Early Hellenistic sites in the outer chora of Herakleia (SSBA Matera/G.Z.).
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Référence électronique

Gabriel Zuchtriegel, « Colonisation and hybridity in Herakleia and its hinterland (southern Italy), 5th-3rd centuries BC », Mélanges de l'École française de Rome - Antiquité [En ligne], 128-1 | 2016, mis en ligne le 26 février 2016, consulté le 27 juin 2017. URL : http://mefra.revues.org/3326 ; DOI : 10.4000/mefra.3326

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Auteur

Gabriel Zuchtriegel

Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali e del Turismo - Parco Archeologico di Paestum - gabrielzuchtriegel@yahoo.de

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