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been realized, the republics of Magna Græcia would no doubt have been exposed to his ambitious designs. But a nearer danger soon after threatened them from that power which had so successfully resisted the Athenian armament; for to the enmity of Dionysius, tyrant of Syracuse, are mainly to be attributed the subsequent disasters of the Italiot cities. The alarm which his designs upon Rhegium excited in the other states finally brought on a war, in which the allies met with a severe defeat near Caulon, when that city, together with Hipponium, fell into the hands of the tyrant, who razed the walls, and removed the inhabitants to Syracuse. Rhegium was soon after compelled to surrender, and endured every species of barbarity and oppression which that revengeful tyrant could inflict. He ravaged the territory of Crotona, and plundered the temple of Proserpine, near Locri; and it is probable that the dread of a formidable invasion on the part of the Carthaginians alone prevented this worthless prince from accomplishing the entire ruin of Magna Græcia. Not long after, death put a stop to his iniquitous career; but his son, Dionysius the younger, who, after his expulsion from Syracuse, had been generously received at Locri, became afterwards the scourge and pest of that unfortunate city. Agathocles likewise proved a bitter enemy to the Grecian colonies, now so much reduced as to be unable to defend themselves against these repeated aggressions. (Diod. Sic. XIV.-XVI. and Excerpt. XXI. Strab. VI. 253.)
But this was not all: other enemies nearer at hand, and more persevering in their hostilities, had now for some time been conspiring with these fo
reign foes to hasten the downfall of those republics. The tribes of Enotri, Chones, and Itali, which, on the first arrival of the Greek settlers, retired to the mountains and forests of the interior, had gradually made way for the Lucani, a more numerous and warlike race, said to be of Samnitic origin. These, as their numbers increased, gradually advanced from the interior towards the coast, and were soon engaged in hostilities with the Greeks, who, unable to make good their defence on so many sides, gradually retreated; thus allowing their hardy and restless foes by degrees to obtain possession of all the settlements formed on the western coast. These aggressions of the Lucani and the Brutii, who were another branch of the same race, were for a season checked by the valour and ability of Alexander, king of Epirus; but upon his death, these barbarians renewed their inroads with increased confidence and success, making themselves masters of Thurii, Metapontum, Heraclea, with several other towns, and finally reducing the Grecian league to an empty name, with only the shadow of its former brilliancy and power.
Such was the state of things when the Romans appeared on the scene, and in their turn these barbarians were put to flight before their all conquering armies. The Lucani, unable to make any effectual resistance after Pyrrhus had withdrawn his forces from Italy, submitted to the victors; and the Brutii not long after following their example, the whole of Magna Græcia was annexed to the Roman dominions, thenceforth constituting two provinces under the names of Lucania and the Brutian territory, A. U. C. 480.
The war which Hannibal carried on for so many years in this extremity of Italy completed its desolation and ruin; for with the exception of a few towns restored and colonized by the Romans, this once flourishing tract of country became a dreary waste, retaining only the ruins of deserted cities, as mournful relics of the late abodes of wisdom and genius.
Lucania, considered as a Roman province, was separated from Apulia by the Bradanus, and a line drawn from that river to the Silarus; which latter stream served also as a boundary on the side of Campania. To the south-west the river Laos divided the Lucani from the Brutii, as did also the Crathis to the south-east. (Strab. VI. 255.)
I shall begin my description of the province of Lucania by giving an account of the different towns situated on the eastern coast. To the south of the river Bradanus, the name of which occurs only in Bradanus the Antonine Itinerary, now Bradano, was Meta- Metaponpontum, one of the most distinguished and cele-tum. brated of the Grecian colonies. The original name of this city appears to have been Metabum, which it is said was derived from Metabus, a hero to whom divine honours were paid. Some reports ascribed its foundation to a party of Pylians, on their return from Troy; and as a proof of this fact it was remarked, that the Metapontini formerly made an annual sacrifice to the Neleida. The prosperity of this ancient colony, the result of its attention to agriculture, was evinced by the offering of a harvest of gold to the oracle of Delphi. (Strab. VI. 264.)
b The Greek words are 0éρος χρυσοῦν, which commentators
suppose to mean some golden
It may be remarked also, that the Scholiasts of Homer identify Metapontum with the city which that poet calls Alyba in the Odyssey. (2. 303.)
Εἰμὶ γὰρ ἐξ ̓Αλύβαντος, ὅθι κλυτὰ δώματα ναίω.
(Cf. Eustath. Comment. Steph. Byz. v. 'Axúßas. Tzet. Chil. XII.) Other traditions are recorded relative to the foundation of Metapontum by Strabo, which confirm at least its great antiquity. But his account of the destruction of the first town by the Samnites is obscure, and not to be clearly understood. It appears however that Metabum, if such was its name, was in a deserted state when a number of Achæans, invited for that purpose by the Sybarites, landed on the coast, and took possession of the town, which thenceforth was called Metapontum. (Antioch. Syrac. ap. Strab. VI. 265. Cf. Steph. Byz. v. MetαTÓVTION. Eustath. in Dion. Perieg. 368. Aristot. de Mirab. Justin. XX. 2.)
The Achæans, soon after their arrival, seem to have been engaged in a war with the Tarentini, and this led to a treaty by which the Bradanus was recognised as forming the separation of the two territories. (Antioch. Syrac. ap. Strab. loc. cit.) Pythagoras was held in particular estimation by the Metapontini, in whose city he is reported to have resided for many years. After his death, the house which he had in
that the coins of Metapontum,
Suppl. t. i. p. 301.
The mention of Sicania in the same passage seems to confirm the opinion of the commentators. It is, I believe, the only place in which the name of that island occurs in Homer.
habited was converted into a temple of Ceres. (Jambl. vit. Pyth. I. 30. Cic. de Fin. V. 2. Liv. I. 18.)
We find this town incidentally mentioned by Herodotus, with reference to Aristeas of Proconnesus, who was said to have been seen here 340 years after having disappeared from Cyzicus. Its inhabitants, after consulting the oracle upon this supernatural event, erected a statue to the poet in their Forum, and surrounded it with laurel. (IV. 15.)
In the Peloponnesian war, we find an alliance formed between Metapontum and Athens, to which power it furnished some light troops and two galleys for the Sicilian expedition. (Thuc. VII. 33.)
This city still retained its independence when Alexander of Epirus passed over into Italy. Livy, who notices that fact, states, that the remains of this unfortunate prince were conveyed here previous to their being carried over into Greece. (VIII. 24.) It fell however, ultimately, into the hands of the Romans, together with the other colonies of Magna Græcia, on the retreat of Pyrrhus, and with them revolted in favour of Hannibal, after his victory at Cannæ. (Liv. XXII. 15.) We are not informed on what occasion the Romans recovered possession of Metapontum, but it must have been shortly after, as they sent a force from thence to the succour of the citadel of Tarentum, which was the means of preserving that fortress. (Liv. XXV. 11. Polyb. VIII. 36.) It appears however to have been again in the hands of the Carthaginians. (Liv. XXVII. 16.)
In the time of Pausanias this city was a heap of ruins; as he states that nothing remained standing but the walls and theatre. (Pausan. Eliac. VI. 19.)