The soil in ancient Greece and the surrounding areas was not very fertile, so the Greeks began looking outside their own territory to found colonies that could help support them. These colonies were self-governing, but each was backed by an individual city-state. Greek colonies were established in France, Italy, Spain, Africa and Byzantium. The colonies bolstered the economies of the city-states and led to vital commerce with the peoples of Lydia, Phoenicia, Mesopotamia, Egypt and other lands.
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