Today it is the second largest city in France. But Marseilles is also the country’s oldest city. Founded at the turn of the 6th century BC by Greek settlers, the ancient history of Marseilles (known to the Greeks as Massalia and the Romans as Massilia) is rich. Strategically positioned close to the River Rhone it soon became a wealthy trading metropolis. Notable names are plenty. Artemis is closely linked with the city’s foundations; the explorer Pytheas hailed from Massalia. And who can forget the great Carthaginian general Hannibal Barca, who passed close by Massalia with his army enroute to Italy in 218 BC.
To talk through the early ancient history of Marseilles, from its mythical Greek Mama Mia foundation story to the Battle of Alalia, Dr Joshua Hall returned to the podcast.