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The first Greeks, often called Myneans, were Indo Europeans who probably migrated from regions just south up what is now Russia towards the end of the 4th millennium BC. The first civilizations appeared in the Cycladic and then in Crete. The 16th century BC saw the emergence of the Myceanean civilization, named after the stronger state during this period, Mycenae. By the time this civilization disappeared around 1200 BC, it had spread throughout the Peloponnese, central Greece and Crete. In the centuries that followed, often known as the dark ages, the Greeks created settlements on all the islands in the Aegean Sea and along the coast of Asia Minor. During the seventh and 6th centuries BC, some Greek cities began to establish colonies and trading posts along the Mediterranean coastline because they lacked sufficient arable land to feed their inhabitants and we’re keen to control maritime trade routes. The principalareas were southern Italy and Sicily, the straits and coasts of the Black Sea, the far western Mediterranean coast, (Provence, the Iberian Peninsula, Corsica) and a few places on the African coast. In the fourth century, Macedonia was the most powerful Greek state. Its young and ambitious King Alexander the Great conquered the entire Persian empire which spread from the Mediterranean shore to the Indus River. He added a substantial territory to the world dominated by two Greeks, henceforth known as the hedonistic world. After the death of Alexander, his heirs, or Diadochi, divided his empire between themselves. This division of the Hellenistic world into several regions, later facilitated the expansion of the Roman Empire, Southern Italy and Sicily were conquered by the mid 3rd century. Continental Greece became a Roman province in 146 BC. The last Hellenistic Kingdom over which reigned the Ptolemy’s, in Egypt was incorporated into the Roman Empire after the battle of Actium, in 30 BC. Nevertheless, despite the dominance of the Roman Empire, Hellenistic culture continued to spread throughout the Mediterranean Basin
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