The Dorians ( rare: Dorians ) was an ancient Greek -language, Indo-European tribe that was probably originally native to the north- western Greek area Epirus and Macedonia. At issue still is whether Dorians lived in the Dalmatian- Albanian space ( Illyria ).

Greece in the Mycenaean period

For the Mycenaean period (ca. 1600-1050 BC), the Dorians in the Peloponnese and let archaeologically not demonstrated in central Greece. Even the Greek language on the Linear B tablets of the Mycenaean palace archives in Pylos, Mycenae, Knossos and Thebes has no traces of the Doric dialect. Since the Doric dialect was spoken in classical times but especially in the Peloponnese, Crete, the southern Aegean islands and the Greek settlements south-west of Asia Minor, the Dorians must be temporarily moved to these regions.

Doric Migration

Part of the research took a long time that the Dorians had wandered around 1200 BC to central and southern Greece and from there via Crete to Kos, Rhodes, and finally got Southwest Asia Minor. In their advance they had captured the Mycenaean strongholds and the Mycenaean civilization to an end. It was assumed that they occurred on their journey through Greece as a destroyer.

However, has become increasingly evident in recent decades that the Mycenaean culture continued to run until about 1050/1000 with no cultural break. Although breaks shortly after 1200 BC, the palace Economic system together, most previously known upper cities of the Mycenaean centers are destroyed, the settlements - they will not leave - but apparently remain of the same population settled. The pottery and other artifacts of the 12th and the 11th century BC are clearly the continuation of the Mycenaean civilization. In addition, there is - except for coarse pottery, so-called "handmade burnished ware", in some places - nothing new or even strange. The previously widespread theory of a massive and violent Dorian migration around 1200 BC meet professionals therefore with increasing skepticism and rejection.

Therefore, many experts assume an immigration of the Dorians in several phases by 1000 BC. This does not necessarily have to be at least not everywhere, be violent. During this time, comes more and more on the cremation and in vase painting of the transition from the so-called Submykenischen the so-called Protogeometric done ceramics. These changes could possibly also by population shifts, for example, the advance of the Dorians, be contributed.

Dark Age

But you have to deal with such hypotheses with caution because not for nothing the time 12 to 8 century BC is referred to as the "dark age" in the history of Greece. Because of the lack of written records, the research on the evidence of archeology relies on traditions and later living authors. While the former were able to " Dark Ages " in the last three decades brighten a bit, but is still much unclear.

Sparta and colonies

In the 8th century BC large parts of the Peloponnese are Doric (except Arcadia ), north-west Greece, Crete, Rhodes and south-west Asia Minor. From the second half of the 8th century BC Doric cities took part in the colonization in southern Italy and Sicily.

A historically significant Polis (Sparta ) were the Dorians in the Peloponnese. In addition to Athens, this could temporarily become a hegemonic power in ancient Greece.