The Greeks, as you know, had founded colonies all along the coast of Asia Minor and on many of the islands. They had also sailed as far as Italy and Sicily, where they built many towns.
Little by little these colonies grew richer and stronger. As the Greek settlers increased in number, they claimed more and more land. In Sicily and southern Italy the soil was so fertile that the people soon grew very rich; and, as they had vessels in plenty, they traded everywhere, and became noted for their commercial enterprise.