Between Localism and Diaspora: The Sicilian Perspective on Megara’s World


  • Franco De Angelis, University of British Columbia University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia


In the last twenty-five years, the study of ancient Greek migrations and diasporas has witnessed a sea-change of new approaches that have radically redefined and reinvigorated their subjects.  This paper begins by arguing that these approaches have been little applied to Megarian studies, and that older, “colonial” frameworks continue to shape recent scholarship.  In particular, it is the search for cultural and institutional similarities between Megara and its “colonies,” as so classically formulated by Krister Hanell in 1934, that has limited scholarship to a narrow range of questions and perspectives.  This paper illustrates this problem and the possibilities introduced by the newer approaches by focusing on the Megarian city-states of Sicily, Megara Hyblaia and Selinous.  The discussion is grounded in a microregional approach, which seeks to embed these city-states in their local and regional settings.  While Megarian culture at home and abroad could share similar features, clear differences also emerge, revealing that the Megarian migrant communities developed through a combination of local and diasporic elements.