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Introduction

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A map of the Mediterranean and Middle East. Major cities of the period 350-1 BCE are labelled. A key indicates blue shaded areas show the core areas of Greek literary culture, and oranged shaded areas indicate the general spread of literary culture. Shaded in blue are most of mainland Greece, the coast of modern Turkey, Cyprus, Egypt along the Nile, and the coasts of Italy and Sicily. Shaded in orange are more extensive areas in Egypt and Turkey, a large area across modern Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Israel, coastal areas around the Black Sea, Crete, and small areas on the north coast of Libya and the south coast of France.