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The line between Greek scholarship and Arab scholarship in Western Europe was very blurred during the Middle Ages and the early Modern Period.Thus, depending of context, the concept of the transmission of Greek Classics is often used to refer to the collective knowledge that was obtained from the Arab and Byzantine Empires, regardless of where the knowledge actually originated.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.On the contrary, the city of Maenaca is farther away from Calpe, and is now in ruins, though it still preserves traces of having been a Grecian city, whereas Malaca is nearer, and Phoenician in its configuration. The layout of ancient Malaka is unknown, but its location on a hill at the foot of Mount Gibralfaro suggests it was a more dense and irregular urban cluster than neighbouring Cerro del Villar, that is, Mainake.
Geomorphological and paleo-environmental studies have shown that the Phoenician colony of Cerro del Villar, at the mouth of the Guadalhorce, was situated on an ancient island, now a rise in an alluvial flood plain west of Málaga.
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 fragile nature of papyrus, as a writing medium, meant that older texts not copied onto expensive parchment would eventually crumble and be lost.
After the Fourth Crusade (1202–1204) and the Sack of Constantinople (1204), scholars such as William of Moerbeke gained access to the original Greek texts of scientists and philosophers, including Aristotle, Archimedes, Hero of Alexandria and Proclus, that had been preserved in the Byzantine (Eastern Roman) Empire, and translated them directly into Latin.