Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 5.4.12 Str. 6.1.1 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 6.1.4



The Sixth Book contains the remainder of Italy, and the regions within the Adriatic, as far as Macedonia; likewise a description of Apulia, Calabria, the country by the Ionian Gulf, together with the adjacent islands, from Sicily to the Ceraunian mountains, and on the other side as far as Carthage, and the small islands lying near to it.

CHAPTER I. 6.1.1

AFTER the mouth of the Silaro, [Note] is Leucania, and the temple of Argive Juno, founded by Jason. Near to this, within 50 stadia, is Posidonia. [Note] Sailing thence, towards the high sea, is the island of Leucosia, [Note] at a little distance from the main-land. It bears the name of one of the Sirens, who according to the mythology was cast up here, after having been precipitated with her companions into the deep. The promontory [Note] of the island projects opposite the Sirenussæ, [Note] forming the bay of Posidonium. [Note] After having made this cape there is another contiguous bay, on which is built the city which the Phocæans called Hyela when they founded it, but others Ela from a certain fountain. People in the present day call it Elea. It is here that Parmenides and Zeno, the Pythagorean philosophers, were born. And it is my opinion that through the instrumentality of those men, as well as by previous good management, the government of that place was well arranged, so that they successfully resisted the Leucani and the Posidoniatæ, notwithstanding the smallness of their district and the inferiority of their numbers. They are

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compelled, therefore, on account of the barrenness of the soil, to apply to maritime trade chiefly, to employ themselves in the salting of fish, and in such other occupations. Antiochus [Note] says that when Phocea was taken by Harpagus, the general of Cyrus, those who had the means embarked with their families, and sailed under the conduct of Creontiades, first to Cyrnos and Marseilles, but having been driven thence, they founded Elea; [Note] the name of which some say is derived from the river Elees. [Note] The city is distant about two hundred stadia from Posidonia. After this city is the promontory of Palinurus. But in front of the Eleatis are the Œnotrides, two islands [Note] having good anchorage. [Note] And beyond Palinurus are the promontory, harbour, and river of Pyxus; [Note] the three having the same name. This colony was founded [Note] by Micythus, then governor of Messina in Sicily; but those who were located here, except a few, abandoned the place. After Pyxus are the gulf, [Note] the river, [Note] and the city [Note] of Laüs. This, the last [Note] city of the Leucani, situate a little above the sea, is a colony [Note] of the Sybarites, and is distant from ælea 400 stadia. The whole circuit of Leucania, by sea is 650 stadia. Near to Latis is seen the tomb of Draco, one of the companions of Ulysses, and the oracular response, given to the Italian Greeks, alludes to him:

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Some day, around the Dragon's stony tomb,
A mighty multitude shall meet their doom.
For the Greeks of Italy, enticed by this prophecy, marched against Laiis, and were defeated by the Leucani. [Note] 6.1.2

Such, along the shores of the Tyrrhenian Sea, are the possessions of the Leucani, which at first did not reach to the other sea; [Note] the Greeks who dwelt on the Gulf of Tarentum possessed it. But before the coming of the Greeks there were no Leucani, the Chones [Note] and Œnotri possessed these territories. But when the Samnites had greatly increased, and expelled the Chones and Œnotri, and driven the Leucani into this region, while the Greeks possessed the seacoast on both sides as far as the straits, the Greeks and the Barbarians maintained a lengthened contest. The tyrants of Sicily, and afterwards the Carthaginians, at one time making war against the Romans, for the acquisition of Sicily, and at another, for Italy itself, utterly wasted all these regions. The Greeks, however, succeeded in depriving the ancient inhabitants of a great portion of the midland country, beginning even as early as the Trojan war; they increased in power, and extent of territory, to such a degree, that they called this region and Sicily, the Magna Grœcia. But now the whole region, except Tarentum, Rhegium, and Neapolis, has become barbarian, [Note] and belongs partly to the Leucani and Bruttii, partly to the Campani; to these, however, only in name, but truly to the Romans; for these people have become Roman. However, it is incumbent on one who is treating of uni-

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versal geography, to speak both of things as they now are, and of some of those that have been, and especially when they are important. Of the Leucani, who border upon the Tuscan Sea, mention has already been made; those who possess the midland regions dwell above the Gulf of Tarentum, but these, as well as the Bruttii, and the Samnites themselves, the progenitors of both, have been so maltreated [by the Romans], that it is difficult to determine the boundaries of each people. The reason of this is, that there no longer remains separately any of the institutions common to these nations; and their peculiarities of language, of military and civil costume, and such particulars, have passed away; besides, even their places of abode, considered separately and apart, possess nothing worthy of observation.

Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 5.4.12 Str. 6.1.1 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 6.1.4

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