Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
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The first is Crotona, 150 stadia from Lacinium and the river Esaro; [Note] there is also a haven [Note] there, and another river

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Nieto. [Note] the name whereof is said to be derived from the following circumstance—they say that certain of the Greeks who had wandered from the fleet which had besieged Troy, having arrived in this place, disembarked to take a survey of the country, and that the Trojan women who accompanied them in the fleet, having observed the absence of the men, and being wearied with a toilsome voyage, set fire to the fleet, so that they were compelled to abide, when they saw, in addition [to the loss of their ships], that the soil was very fertile. Many others arriving soon after, and being desirous to live near their fellow-countrymen, founded several settlements. Most of them derived their names from the Trojans, and the river Nieto received its appellation from the destruction [Note] [of the ships]. But Antiochus relates that an oracle having commanded the Greeks to found Crotona, Myscellus went forth to view the place, and having seen Sybaris already built on a neighbouring river of the same name, thought it better, and returned to the god to ask if he might be permitted to settle in that, instead of the other; but that the oracle answered, applying to him an epithet noticing his defective stature, (for Myscellus was somewhat crook-backed,) O short-backed Myscellus, whilst seeking somewhat else of thyself,

Thou pursuest only misfortune: it is right to accept that which is proffered to thee:

[Note] and that he returned and built Crotena, wherein he was assisted by Archias, [Note] the founder of Syracuse, who happened to touch at Crotona by chance, as he was proceeding to the colony of the Syracusans. The Iapyges possessed Crotona before this time, [Note]

as Ephorus relates. The city cultivated martial

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discipline and athletic exercises to a great extent, and in one of the Olympic games all the seven wrestlers, who obtained the palm in the stadium, were Crotoniatæ; whence, it seems, the saying arose that the last wrestler of Crotona was the first of the other Greeks, and hence they say also is the origin of the expression, more salubrious than Crotona, as instancing a place which had something to show, in the number of wrestlers which it produced, as a proof of its salubrity and the robust frame of body which it was capable of rearing. Thus it had many victors in the Olympic games, although it cannot be reckoned to have been long inhabited on account of the vast destruction of its citizens, who fell at the battle of the Sagras. Its celebrity too was not a little spread by the number of Pythagoreans who resided there, and Milo, [Note] who was the most renowned of wrestlers, and lived in terms of intimacy with Pythagoras, who abode long in this city. They relate that at a banquet of the philosophers, when one of the pillars in the hall gave way, Milo sustained the ceiling while they all escaped, and afterwards saved himself. It is likely that, trusting to the same strength, he met his fate as related by some, for whilst making his way through a thick wood, he strayed considerably out of the path, when finding a great log with wedges in it, he thrust both his hands and feet into the fissure, intending to split it completely, but was only able to force it enough to let the wedges fall out, when the gaping log presently closed on him, and he, being taken as in a snare, was devoured by wild beasts. 6.1.13

Beyond this, at the distance of 200 stadia, is situated Sybaris, [Note] a colony settled by the Achœans, between the two

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rivers Crati [Note] and Sybaris. [Note] Its founder was Is . . . . [Note] the Helice an. [Note]

So great was the prosperity enjoyed by this city anciently, that it held dominion over four neighbouring people and twenty-five towns; in the war with the Crotoniatæ it brought into the field 300,000 men, and occupied a circuit of 50 stadia on the Crati. But on account of the arrogance and turbulence of its citizens, it was deprived of all its prosperity by the Crotoniatæ in 70 [Note] days, who took the city, and turning the waters of the river [Crati], overwhelmed it with an inundation. [Note] Some time after, a few who had escaped came together and inhabited the site of their former city, but in time they were dispossessed by the Athenians [Note] and other Greeks, who came and settled amongst them, but they despised and subjugated them, and removed the city to a neighbouring place, calling its name Thurii, from a fountain of that name. The water of the river Sybaris has the peculiar property of making the horses which drink it shy, [Note] for which reason they keep their horses away from the river. The Crati turns the hair of those who bathe in it yellow, and sometimes white, but has

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been found salutary for the cure of many disorders. Thurii, after having flourished for a long time, became a continual prey to the aggressions of the Leucani, [Note] and afterwards the Tarentini troubling them, they appealed to the Romans for succour, who, in course of time, sent a colony [Note] when it was nearly deserted, and changed the name of the city to Copiæ. [Note]

Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 6.1.11 Str. 6.1.13 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 6.1.15

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