Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
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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] 6.1.14

After Thurii is Lagaria, [Note] a garrison fort; it was originally settled by Epeius [Note] and the Phocenses; hence is derived the Lagaritan wine, sweet and delicate, and much recommended by the physicians, as is likewise the Thurian wine, which is reckoned among the best. Then comes the city of Heraclea, [Note] a little way from the sea, and two navigable rivers, the Agri [Note] and the Sinno, [Note] on which was the city Siris, founded by a Trojan colony, but in course of time, when Heraclea was peopled with the citizens of Siris by the Tarentini, it became the harbour of Heraclea. Its distance from Heraclea was 24 stadia, and from Thurii about 330. [Note] They point out the statue of the Trojan Minerva, which is erected there, as a proof of its colonization by the Trojans. They also relate as a miracle how the statue closed its eyes when the suppliants, who had fled for sanctuary to her shrine, were dragged away by the Ionians after they had taken the city; [Note] they say that these Ionians came to settle here, when they fled from the yoke of the Lydians, and took the town of the Trojans [Note] by force, calling its name Polieum. They show, too, at the present time

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the statue that closes its eyes. It must, however, require a good courage, not to assert that it appeared to have closed its eyes, as that at Troy turned away its eyes from beholding the violence offered to Cassandra, but to show it in the act of winking:—but it is much more daring to make so many statues of the Minerva rescued from Ilium, as those who describe them affirm, for there is a Minerva said to be Trojan in the sense of having been rescued from that city, not only at Siris, but at Rome, at Lavinium, and at Luceria. The scene, too, of the daring of the Trojan female captives is assigned to many different places and appears incredible, although it is by no means impossible. There are some who say that Siris, and also that Sybaris on the Trionto, [Note] were founded by the Rhodians. Antiochus says that the site of Siris having become the subject of a contention between the Tarentini and the Thurii, on that occasion commanded by Cleandridas the general who had been banished from Lacedæmon, the two people came to a composition, and agreed to inhabit it in common, but that the colony [Note] should be considered as Tarentine; however, at a subsequent period both the name and the locality were changed, and it was called Heraclea. [Note] 6.1.15

Next in order is Metapontium, [Note] at a distance of 140 stadia from the sea-port of Heraclea. It is said to be a settlement of the Pylians at the time of their return from Ilium under Nestor; their success in agriculture was so great, that it is said they offered at Delphi a golden harvest: [Note] they adduce, as a proof of this foundation, the offerings of the dead sacrificed periodically to the Neleïdæ; [Note] but it was destroyed by

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the Samnites. [Note] Antiochus says that certain Achæans, who had been sent for by the Achæans of Sybaris, settled in this place when it had been desolated; he adds that these were sent for on account of the hatred of the Achæans to the Tarentini, who had originally migrated from Laconia, in order to prevent their seizing upon the place which lay adjacent to them. Of the two cities, viz. Metapontium which was situated the nearer, [and Siris the further, [Note]] from Tarentum, the new comers preferred to occupy Metapontium. This choice was suggested by the Sybarites, because, if they should make good their settlement there, they would also possess Siris, but if they were to turn to Siris, Metapontium would be annexed to the territory of the Tarentines which was conterminous. But after being engaged in war with the Tarentini and the Œnotrians, who dwelt beyond them, they came to an agreement, securing to them a portion of land, which should constitute the boundary between Italy, as it then existed, and Iapygia. This, too, is the locality which tradition assigns to the adventures of Metapontus and the captive Melanippe, and her son Bœotus. But Antiochus is of opinion that the city Metapontium was originally called Metabum, and that its name was altered at a subsequent period; and that Melanippe was not entertained here but at Dius, and thinks that the heroum of Metabus as well as the testimony of the poet Asius, who says that The beautiful Melanippe, in the halls of Dius, bare Bœotus,
afford sufficient proof that Melanippe was led to Dius and not to Metabum. Ephorus says that Daulius, the tyrant of Crissa [Note] near Delphi, was the founder of Metapontium. There is, however, another tradition, that Leucippus was sent by the Achæans to help to found the colony, and having asked permission of the Tarentini to have the place for a day and a night, would not give it up, replying by day to those who

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asked it of him, that he had asked and obtained it till the following night, and when asked by night, he said that he held it till the coming day.

Next adjoining is Tarentum and lapygia, which we will describe when we shall have first gone through the islands which lie off Italy, according to our original purpose; for we have always given the adjacent islands with every nation we have hitherto described, and since we have gone through Œnotria, which only, the people of ancient times named Italy we feel justified in keeping to the same arrangement, and shall pass on to Sicily and the surrounding islands.



Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 6.1.11 Str. 6.1.14 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 6.2.1

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