The oldest among the magno-greek colonies was Sibari, founded by the Achaeans in 720 b.c. , who were also responsible for the foundation of Crotone some time after. Sybaris grounded on the Tyrrhenian coast Laos (S. Mary of the Cadro) and Skydros (not localized), while Crotone, promoted the foundation of Caulonia and Terina subtracted in the Gulf of Santa Eufemia and Skylletion in the Gulf of Squillace. In the VII century B.C. was founded Locri Epizefiri, by settlers from the greek Locri , and toward the end of the century were deducted the tyrrhenian subcolonie of Medma (Rosarno) and Hipponion (Vibo Valentia). In short the Colonies lived an important economic development based on agricultural production and on the activation of commercial channels with the motherland and with indigenous peoples that were to be controlled politically by Greek cities. The increasing availability of means and resources turned out in struggles among the same greek cities which culminated with the final destruction of the more important and prestigious of them Sybaris in 510 b.c. , by means of Crotone.Despite the victory Crotone was not able to handle the immense territory of Sybaris, and subsequent generations attempted to refound to the defeated the city until their request was accepted by Pericle and
a pan-hellenic colony call Thurii was
founded half a century later, in 444 b.c. ,on promotion of Athens. After the fall of Athens against Sparta as a result of the expedition to Sicily and the victory of Syracuse, Dionysus the old, married a locrese woman and extended its domination even in Calabria, invaded Crotone and set alliances with the Lucanian peoples. To this alliance ,the achaean cities on the Ionian coast, opposed at first a league on the initiative of Crotone and of its centers satellites (Caulonia and Skylletion) to combat the indigenous peoples and, following the adhesion of other cities, under the control of Taranto, to defend their territories from the invasion of indigenous peoples allied to Siracusa. Then began in IV century a period of strong political instability due to the ever-increasing internal population pressure and it was taken the initiative on the part of Taranto to call foreigners commanders for aid against the Bretii.Alexander the molossian, was defeated and killed near Cosenza in 330 B.C. and Pyrrhus, king of Epirus, came to fight against Rome with the army and the famous elephants and initially he obtained some military success (280-275 B.C. ) until, after the defeat of Benevento (273 B.C. ) He could not prevent the siege and the grip of Taranto in 272 B.C. Cities such as Reggio Locri and Crotone signed with Rome the first alliances and this territory became again theater of the long and bloody battle between Hannibal and the Romans during the second Punic war. Looting, massacres and mass deportation of the population had reduced to destitution the territories of southern Italy that became domain of Rome.
Published on Feb 12, 2014