In about 750 B.C.E., population growth led to the founding of Greek colonies throughout the Mediterranean, especially in southern Italy and Sicily. These followed the established pattern of independent

city-states, growing in number as trade increased; by 600 B.C.E. they totaled nearly 1,500. With a sense of superiority over non-Greek-speaking peoples, whom they regarded as barbarians, and intent on spreading Hellenic influence, the new city-states maintained strong cultural links with Greece.