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There are several ancient documents that mention its existence and discuss its intensive commercial activity.Strabo and other ancient historians placed it east of Malaka, but recent archaeological investigations suggest that the site of the 8th century BC Phoenician settlement at Cerro del Villar, less than 5 kilometres (3 miles) west of the original site of Malaka, corresponds to the location of the Greek colony.The first colonial settlement in the area, dating from the late 8th century BC, was made by seafaring Phoenicians from Tyre, Lebanon, on an islet in the estuary of the Guadalhorce River at Cerro del Villar (the coastline of Málaga has changed considerably since that time, as river silting and changes in river levels have filled the ancient estuary and moved the site inland).The Phoenician settlements were more densely concentrated on the coastline east of Gibraltar than they were further up the coast.Marsilio Ficino (1433–1499) and his Platonic Academy translated Plato.Poliziano (1454–1494) translated Herodian and portions of Epictetus and Plutarch.The part referring to the Iberian Peninsula is preserved in the Ora Maritima (The Maritime Shores) of the Latin writer Rufus Festus Avienus, who wrote down excerpts much later, during the 4th century.
The name appears to be derived from the Greek: μαίνη (maínē).Herodotus mentions that around 630 BC, the Phocaeans established relations with King Arganthonios (670–550 BC) of Tartessos, who gave them money to build walls around their city.Recent archaeological investigations have reopened the debate about the location of the Greek Mainake.The final decline and collapse of the Byzantine empire in the fifteenth century heightened contact between its scholars and those of the west. Guarino da Verona (1370–1460) translated Strabo and Plutarch.Translation into Latin of the full range of Greek classics ensued, including the historians, poets, playwrights and non-Aristotelian philosophers. Poggio Bracciolini (1380–1459) translated Xenophon, Lucan and Diodorus.
The line between Greek scholarship and Arab scholarship in Western Europe was very blurred during the Middle Ages and the early Modern Period.