Doric migration

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The Dorian migration (also Greek migration ) traditionally refers to the alleged migration of the Greek tribes of the Dorians (or Dorians ), which began in the Dalmatian region and is said to have first taken place in the Doris landscape in central Greece . An incursion by the Thessalians into the Doris is said to have occurred from around 1200 BC. Chr. The real Dorian invasion triggered, in the course of which the Dorians to the Peloponnese penetrated, the landscapes Argolis , Laconia , Messinia as well as areas on the Isthmus of Corinth conquered and it is u. a. seized the castles of Tiryns and Mycenae .

Due to the archaeological finds of the last decades, the previously generally accepted theory of the immigration of large, closed "Doric" associations to Greece around 1200 BC is being replaced. BC rejected by the majority of research today.

The legend

According to the legend, after an attempt to penetrate through the isthmus , the Dorians crossed the Gulf of Corinth in association with Aeolians ; they are led by the descendants of Heracles . This so-called wandering movement is also referred to as the return of the Heraclids after the tribal hero of the Dorians, Heracles . The conquered land is divided among the three Heraclid brothers Aristodemos , Kresphontes and Temenos . Only a part of Elis , Arcadia and Achaia remains for the earlier inhabitants; Achaia is left to the Achaeans by the Dorians .

The old thesis

For a long time it was assumed by research that the earlier inhabitants of the Peloponnese - Pelasgians , Achaeans ( Achaeans ) and Ionians - were partly ousted and partly subjugated due to the military superiority and new fighting methods of the Dorians. The south, southwest and east of the peninsula, especially the landscapes of Laconia , Messenia , Argolis , Corinth and Megaris (around Megara ), have become Doric .

Meanwhile, the Dorians had spread through the establishment of colony outside the Peloponnese and penetrated via the Sporades , Cyclades and Crete to southwest Asia Minor. They had settled the island of Crete, which was gradually completely subjugated by them. From Argos they would have had around 1000 BC. BC founded numerous colonies on the west coast of Asia Minor, namely Kos , Knidos and Halicarnassus . The island of Rhodes had also been settled Doric, while at the same time the pre-Dorian population of Greece had partly moved to Asia Minor.

The advance of the Dorians during this time is said to have coincided with the beginning of the Iron Age in Greece. The Dorians had settled old Mycenaean castles in many places , creating numerous city-states . The monarchy was only preserved in a few peripheral areas of Greece. The warlike, strict character of the Dorians was particularly evident in the Spartan city-state. Often times, the Doric migration was viewed as part of the Sea Peoples invasion that affected the entire Eastern Mediterranean.

The current state of research

The thesis that the predominance of the Mycenaean culture was ended by the Doric migration and that the other Greek tribes with their bronze weapons were inferior to the Dorians with their iron-armed cavalry is generally considered outdated today, even if it is still in some of them School book finds.

The British historian Robin Osborne has shown that the mention of the Heraclids was first mentioned in the late 6th century BC. Is demonstrable. Against this background he came to the assumption that the "Doric migration" was a late legend of origin that should explain the existence of different and often hostile groups of Greeks.

The archaeological research of the last decades has also shown that the decline of the Mycenaean culture must have been the result of a general, long-term social crisis in the course of which a variety of factors led to the destruction and abandonment of the palace centers.

Although in the decades after 1200 BC Most of the previously known Mycenaean palaces on the Greek mainland were destroyed, the palace economic system collapsed and there were demographic shifts for the period around and after 1200 BC. No artifacts found in central or southern Greece that could be clearly assigned to the Dorians . It is true that rough, hand-made ceramics, so-called hand-made smooth ceramics (abbreviated HGK or HBW = Handmade Burnished Ware in English-language literature) occur in a number of Mycenaean settlements, etc. a. also in Mycenae, above the layers of destruction, and in Aigeira in the north of the Peloponnese it is for the 12th century BC. Chr. Proven in larger quantities, but they cannot be associated with a certain " ethnic group ". It doesn't have to come from invaders either. Since it was discovered - albeit to a very limited extent - in contexts of finds that date before the destruction (e.g. in Tiryns ), it could also e.g. B. come from foreign workers or mercenaries. In addition, the Mycenaean culture did not perish around 1200, but continued to exist for about 150 years and experienced in some regions from the middle of the 12th century BC. Even a second bloom. Not until around 1050 BC Marked changes set in, as can be seen in the transition of ornamental ceramics from the late Helladic IIIC style to the Sub-Mycenaean and Protogeometric style. At the same time, cremations are increasing . Based on these research results, a “Doric migration” is no longer accepted as the cause of the downfall of the Mycenaean culture. Some historians - for example Jonathan Hall - even assume, on the basis of considerations about the distribution of the Greek dialects, that due to internal turmoil it was around 1100 BC. BC came to a temporary abandonment of the sedentary lifestyle, so that not foreign immigrants, but predominantly only parts of the already native population migrated through Hellas as semi-nomads .

Nevertheless, a slow, group-wise immigration of Dorians in the post-Mycenaean period is believed by many researchers to be probable. What is decisive here is the observation that so far no traces of the Doric dialect have been found in written documents from the Mycenaean period (see linear script B ), but that in classical times the Doric dialect was spoken in large parts of the Peloponnese, on Crete and the southern Aegean Islands. In addition, immigration from around 900 BC is believed to have occurred. Suggested (although not proven) by the gradual development of the Doric building code .

It is likely that Dorians advanced into central and southern Greece in small groups during this period. Since the transition from the late Mycenaean to the protogeometric epoch was fluid in many places, it was probably a question of uncoordinated immigration over a longer period of time, which was probably not fundamentally violent. This “hike”, however, most likely did not have its starting point in the Illyrian-Dalmatian region, but in the central Greek landscape of Doris.

The Dorians spoke their own, originally northern Greek dialect, which now appeared alongside the Achaean and Ionic dialects and was spoken in classical times in large parts of the Peloponnese, on Crete , the southern Cyclades and in the Greek cities of Southwest Asia Minor.

See also


Notes and individual references

  1. Especially in older publications, other names for this ceramic can be found, such as Barbarian Ware / Barbarian Ceramics , "Coarse Ware" or - judging by the possible origin - "Northwest Greek Ceramics"
  2. The origin of hand-made smooth ceramics was very controversial, especially in the 1980s. Sigrid Deger-Jalkotzy provides an overview of the most important older publications : Research into the collapse of the so-called Mycenaean culture and the so-called Dark Ages. In: Joachim Latacz (Ed.): Two hundred years of Homer research. Colloquium Rauricum Volume 2, 1991, pp. 140 f. especially note 88–90. On the important site of Aigeira : this., Foreign immigrants in Late Mycenaean Greece. A group of handmade ceramics from the Mycenaean IIIC settlement layers of Aigeira. Vienna 1977. A more recent overview of naming and theories of origin from: Reinhard Jung: ΧΡΟΝΟΛΟΓΙΑ COMPARATA. Comparative chronology of southern Greece and southern Italy from approx. 1700/1600 to 1000 BCE Vienna 2006, p. 21 ff .; Plate 26.