As early as 1600 B.C. the Minoans, or Aegean trading partners connected to them, had established trading centers at what later became known as Troy and Melitus on Asia Minor. The Minoan Culture began, in about 1850 B.C., to be supplanted by the Greek Mycenaean Culture and the trading community of the Aegean became a mostly Greek enterprise.
Many of the Greek trading centers outside of Greece developed into important cities. An example is Miletus. Located at the mouth of the Meander river, Miletus was the terminus of many caravans coming over different routes from the East. Its success grew and it became the first Greek city to issue coinage, provide maps and writings to aid navigation. In the Fifth Century it was the richest city in the Greek world. Its success led to commercial and colonial expansion. Melitus founded more than 60 cities between the Hellespont and the Crimea. Among these were: Abydos, Cyzicus, Sinope, Olbia and Panticapaeum. It also had much to do with the founding of Naukratis in Egypt on the Nile delta. The citizens of Melitus were called Melisians. Naturally there were Melisians located at the Black Sea cities. Some of the indigenous peoples involved in the trading enjoyed a special relationship with the Greeks.
Herodotus described in his writings a Scythian tribe, the Callipedae, that surrounded the Greek trading city of Olbia, where the Bug River enters the Black Sea, as a Graeco-Scythic tribe.
Throughout the migrations of peoples across the plains leading to the Black Sea the Greek trading centers were maintained on the coasts of the Black Sea. When the Scythians controlled the region, the Greek Black Sea coastal trading centers, some of them now cities, negotiated to maintain their status. The Scythians more than tolerated the Greek trade they even participated in it, growing wheat in the coastal plains for export through the Greek Black Sea colonies.
Although the term did not come into place until about 700 B.C., historians speak of the area as Greek Scythia. Another term used was Pontic Greece. Specifically these terms referred to the Greek trading posts on the shores of the Black Sea. The trading posts were on all coasts but activity with the Scythians centered on the northern pontic region and in the east at the Kerch Strait leading into the Sea of Azov.
In the year 2048 B.C., there was a Scythian tribe known as the Partholanians. They were named after Partholon who was descended from Scythes and from Fathochta the predecessor of another tribe we will talk about later, Partholon found it necessary to leave Scythia in a hurry. One source says he was part of a plot that killed his mother and father, Seara. He and his brother, Stern, stole some ships and left, it appears for "Greece." We do not know what is meant by "Greece", because in those years "Greece" was an area on both sides of the Aegean Sea including the Greek trading centers on the coast of Asia Minor, on both sides of the Dardenelles Strait and on into the Black Sea area as well as parts of Italy and Sicily.
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