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Solomatina E. I. How and when Lesbos became Greek?. Ancient World and Archaeology, 2017, vol. 18, iss. 18, pp. 3-23. DOI:, EDN: YLCLJD

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How and when Lesbos became Greek?

Solomatina Elena Ivanovna, Institute of World History of the Russian Academy of Sciences

The article analyses the ancient legendary tradition mentioning the events which were credited both by the ancient authors and modern scholars as a reason for the appearance of the Aiolian Greeks in Lesbos. The author has demonstrated that the development and transformation of local Lesbian legendary and genealogical accounts and their integration into panhellenic tradition started from the late the 7th − early 6th cent. BC. As a result of this process local aristocracies got their descent from the royal family of Mycenae and the founders of Lesbos starting with Makar – the Aiolos’ lineage. Though Aiolos serves as a convenient ancestor for the unaffiliated but still cannot be used to infer actual tribal or linguistic affiliations. Thus the legendary tradition concerning migrations to Lesbos during the Late Bronze and Dark Ages can’t be seen as accounting for reflecting real events.


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