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Sample text

The same is probably true in the south of the Peninsula, in those places under clear Phoenician domination. Naturally, in those places where the existing inhabitants were stronger and more numerous than the Phocaeans themselves, no stable political structure emerged. It is also true that the commercial activity (emporia) of the Phocaeans did not require much infrastructure (Lepore 1970, 20–54), as long as the local authorities guaranteed a fair and peaceful trading environment (Domínguez 2001, 27–45).

Those centres which had emerged in the south-east of the Peninsula now started to play a significant rôle. At the end of the 6th century, they began to develop an intense relationship with the local population. This must have been quite specific in nature, since the main evidence – Greek pottery – is not present in significant quantities in the south-east of the Iberian Peninsula until the middle of the 5th century BC (Domínguez and Sánchez, 2001; Domínguez, 2001–2, 189–204; 2003, 201–4). There are other indicators which provide a clue to the type of relationship established: they are related not to Greek activities in themselves but to the consequences of such activities on the native population.

Although perhaps not the consequence of predetermined action, it is true, as Strabo [6. 2. 4] observes, that “the Greeks would permit none of them [the barbarians] to lay hold of the seaboard, but were not strong enough to keep them altogether away from the interior”. Undoubtedly, this fact made the Greek cities economic centres with a wide hinterland and reach, supplying the native interior with prestige goods and consumer items. In turn, the interior came to supply raw materials and, especially, services.

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