History, Department of
Review of The Greek Colonisation of the Black Sea Area: Historical Interpretation of Archaeology, ed. Gocha R. Tsetskhladze
Date of this Version
The book is a necessary and valuable addition to modern scholarship on the Black Sea region, and every historian of Greek colonization will be pleased to have so much information readily available at last. Yet, as historical interpretation, one would like to see more balance between literary and archaeological evidence or, at the very least, admissions like Lazarov’s (p. 86) about the limits to the archaeological results, especially negative conclusions about dating: just because no remains from before c. 630 have yet been found, one cannot definitively state that the Greeks were not there earlier. Too many of the Archaic colonies are unexplored, under modern construction, or underwater. In addition, a problem inherent in the book is that the reader cannot check the references for accuracy and credibility without a working knowledge of Russian and access to obscure records. Thus, the greatest shortcoming of this work is also its chief value: now Western scholars can finally access specific information about the Greek colonization of the Black Sea littoral.
Published in International History Review 22 (June 2000), pp. 375-377. Copyright 2000 Simon Fraser University. Used by permission.