Laüs or Laus (Ancient Greek: Λᾶος; Italian: Laos) was an ancient city of Magna Graecia on the coast of the Tyrrhenian Sea. It was a colony of Sybaris at the mouth of the Lao River, which formed the boundary between Lucania and Bruttium in ancient times.[1][2][3] The river and the city have the same name in Ancient Greek. Today the archaeological site of the city can be found at a short distance to the east of Marcellina, a frazione of the comune of Santa Maria del Cedro in Calabria.[4]

Obverse and reverse of a coin from Laüs
Stater of Laüs with man-headed bull, c. 510-500 BCE
Laüs is located in Italy
Shown within Italy
Alternative nameLaus
LocationMarcellina, Province of Cosenza, Calabria, Italy
RegionMagna Graecia
Coordinates39°46′3″N 15°49′50″E / 39.76750°N 15.83056°ECoordinates: 39°46′3″N 15°49′50″E / 39.76750°N 15.83056°E
Area60 ha (150 acres)
PeriodsArchaic Greek to Roman Republican
CulturesGreek, Lucanian
Site notes
Excavation datesFirst between 1929 and 1932
ManagementSoprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici della Calabria
Public accessClosed
Laos nomos 161407
Stater of Laüs with man-headed bull, c. 490-470 BCE


Little is known about its foundation or history. Herodotus states that the inhabitants of Sybaris who had survived the destruction of their city in 510 BCE took refuge in Laüs and Scidrus.[5] Diodorus Siculus seems to imply that that city had been captured by the Lucanians before or during 390 BCE. He writes that the army of Thurii had repelled a force of the Lucanians which had attacked their territory in 390 BCE. The Lucanians then withdrew to their own territory and Thurians pursued them to lay siege to the "prosperous" town of Laüs. On the way to Laüs the Thurians were ambushed and crushed by the Lucanians.[6]

Strabo describes the city as still being in existence in his time. He mentions a heroon to Draco, a companion of Odysseus, stood there.[1] The first edition of Strabo's Geographica was published in 7 BCE and the last no later than 23 CE. Pliny the Elder, whose Natural History was published in approximately 77–79 CE, states that the city no longer existed in his time.[2]

The site near Marcellina which is now identified as Laüs was possibly a refoundation of the Greek city by Lucanians on a previously unoccupied site. The city was downsized gradually and abandoned in the second half of the third century BCE. This was probably caused by the Punic Wars, which had a profound impact on the economy of the Tyrrhenian coast. The only material evidence of the Archaic Greek city consists of some silver coins with the legend LAFINON and symbols similar to those of the coins of Sybaris, dated between 500 and 440 BCE.[7]


The first excavation started between 1929 and 1932. The necropolis of Laüs now lies below Marcellina and is notable for its important finds. A rich tomb chamber was discovered by accident in 1961 not far from the railway station of Marcellina. Dozens of red-figured vases, bronze and precious metals, and a finely crafted bronze armor were found in the tomb. The burial dated to the second half of the fourth century BCE and is now exhibited in the Museo Nazionale della Magna Grecia in Reggio Calabria. Other burials of the same period, though less rich, were found in the same area in the 1950s and 1960s.

The excavations revealed a city that was defended on at least three sides by a wall. The urban space was organized according to a grid plan with at least two central roadways in a north–south orientation and 12 meters wide. These were intersected at regular distances of 96 meters by perpendicular roads in an east–west orientation and approximately 5 meters wide. This created a checkerboard layout of building blocks containing four dwellings, which were further separated by narrow lanes. In the south-east of the site, near the present cemetery, an area characterized by the presence of artisanal kilns for the production of ceramics was discovered.[7][8]

The site today

The Laüs Archaeological Park was created in 1994 to protect the archaeological site and covers an area of approximately 60 hectares. Some ancient structures were restored and a small museum, the Antiqarium, was set up in a building nearby.[9] By 16 January 2013 the site was closed.[10]

See also


  1. ^ a b Strabo, Geographica 6.1.1
  2. ^ a b Pliny the Elder, Natural History 3.10
  3. ^ Ptolemy, Geography 3.1.9
  4. ^ Richard Talbert, Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World, (ISBN 0-691-03169-X), Map 46, notes.
  5. ^ Herodotus, The Histories 6.21.1
  6. ^ Diodorus Siculus, Bibliotheca historica 14.101.3–14.102.1
  7. ^ a b "La Città di Laos". ArcheoCalabriaVirtual (in Italian). Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici della Calabria. 2007. Archived from the original on 19 August 2011. Retrieved 10 February 2013.
  8. ^ "La Necropoli di Marcellina". ArcheoCalabriaVirtual (in Italian). Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici della Calabria. 2007. Archived from the original on 18 August 2011. Retrieved 10 February 2013.
  9. ^ "Il Parco Archeologico di Laos". ArcheoCalabriaVirtual (in Italian). Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici della Calabria. 2007. Archived from the original on 19 September 2012. Retrieved 10 February 2013.
  10. ^ "Parco Archeologico del Laos off-limits per i visitatori". Gazetta del Sud (in Italian). 16 January 2013. Retrieved 10 February 2013.

External links

Acropolis of Athens

The Acropolis of Athens is an ancient citadel located on a rocky outcrop above the city of Athens and contains the remains of several ancient buildings of great architectural and historic significance, the most famous being the Parthenon. The word acropolis is from the Greek words ἄκρον (akron, "highest point, extremity") and πόλις (polis, "city"). Although the term acropolis is generic and there are many other acropoleis in Greece, the significance of the Acropolis of Athens is such that it is commonly known as "The Acropolis" without qualification. During ancient times it was known also more properly as Cecropia, after the legendary serpent-man, Cecrops, the supposed first Athenian king.

While there is evidence that the hill was inhabited as far back as the fourth millennium BC, it was Pericles (c. 495–429 BC) in the fifth century BC who coordinated the construction of the site's most important present remains including the Parthenon, the Propylaia, the Erechtheion and the Temple of Athena Nike. The Parthenon and the other buildings were damaged seriously during the 1687 siege by the Venetians during the Morean War when gunpowder being stored in the Parthenon was hit by a cannonball and exploded.

Ancient Greek dialects

Ancient Greek in classical antiquity, before the development of the common Koine Greek of the Hellenistic period, was divided into several varieties.

Most of these varieties are known only from inscriptions, but a few of them, principally Aeolic, Doric, and Ionic, are also represented in the literary canon alongside the dominant Attic form of literary Greek.

Likewise, Modern Greek is divided into several dialects, most derived from Koine Greek.


The Bouès, is a right tributary of the Arros, at the eastern end of the basin of the Adour, in the Southwest of France.


Calabria (UK: , US: , Italian: [kaˈlaːbrja]; Calabrian: Calàbbria; Calabrian Greek: Calavría; Greek: Καλαβρία; Arbëreshë Albanian: Kalavrì), known in antiquity as Bruttium (US: ), is a region in Southern Italy.

The capital city of Calabria is Catanzaro. The Regional Council of Calabria is based at the Palazzo Campanella in the city of Reggio Calabria. The region is bordered to the north by the Basilicata Region, to the west by the Tyrrhenian Sea, and to the east by the Ionian Sea. The region covers 15,080 km2 (5,822 sq mi) and has a population of just under 2 million. The demonym of Calabria is calabrese in Italian and Calabrian in English.

In ancient times the name Calabria referred, not as in modern times to the toe, but to the heel tip of Italy, from Tarentum southwards, a region nowadays known as Salento.

Cycladic culture

Cycladic culture (also known as Cycladic civilisation or, chronologically, as Cycladic chronology) was a Bronze Age culture (c. 3200–c. 1050 BC) found throughout the islands of the Cyclades in the Aegean Sea. In chronological terms, it is a relative dating system for artefacts which broadly complements Helladic chronology (mainland Greece) and Minoan chronology (Crete) during the same period of time.


Demonax (Greek: Δημώναξ, Dēmōnax, gen.: Δημώνακτος; c. AD 70 – c. 170) was a Greek Cynic philosopher. Born in Cyprus, he moved to Athens, where his wisdom, and his skill in solving disputes, earned him the admiration of the citizens. He taught Lucian, who wrote a Life of Demonax in praise of his teacher. When he died he received a magnificent public funeral.

Greece in the Roman era

Greece in the Roman era describes the period of Greek history when Ancient Greece was dominated by the Roman Republic (509 – 27 BC), the Roman Empire (27 BC – AD 395), and the Byzantine Empire (AD 395 – 1453). The Roman era of Greek history began with the Corinthian defeat in the Battle of Corinth in 146 BC. However, before the Achaean War, the Roman Republic had been steadily gaining control of mainland Greece by defeating the Kingdom of Macedon in a series of conflicts known as the Macedonian Wars. The Fourth Macedonian War ended at the Battle of Pydna in 148 BC and defeat of the Macedonian royal pretender Andriscus.

The definitive Roman occupation of the Greek world was established after the Battle of Actium (31 BC), in which Augustus defeated Cleopatra VII, the Greek Ptolemaic queen of Egypt, and the Roman general Mark Antony, and afterwards conquered Alexandria (32 BC), the last great city of Hellenistic Greece. The Roman era of Greek history continued with Emperor Constantine the Great's adoption of Byzantium as Nova Roma, the capital city of the Roman Empire; in AD 330, the city was renamed Constantinople; afterwards, the Byzantine Empire was a generally Greek-speaking polity.

Greek Dark Ages

The Greek Dark Ages, Homeric Age (named for the fabled poet, Homer) or Geometric period (so called after the characteristic Geometric art of the time),

is the period of Greek history from the end of the Mycenaean palatial civilization around 1100 BC to the first signs of the Greek poleis (city states) in the 9th century BC.

The archaeological evidence shows a widespread collapse of Bronze Age civilization in the Eastern Mediterranean world at the outset of the period, as the great palaces and cities of the Mycenaeans were destroyed or abandoned. At about the same time, the Hittite civilization suffered serious disruption and cities from Troy to Gaza were destroyed and in Egypt the New Kingdom fell into disarray that led to the Third Intermediate Period.

Following the collapse, fewer and smaller settlements suggest famine and depopulation. In Greece, the Linear B writing of the Greek language used by Mycenaean bureaucrats ceased. The decoration on Greek pottery after about 1100 BC lacks the figurative decoration of Mycenaean ware and is restricted to simpler, generally geometric styles (1000–700 BC).

It was previously thought that all contact was lost between mainland Hellenes and foreign powers during this period, yielding little cultural progress or growth, but artifacts from excavations at Lefkandi on the Lelantine Plain in Euboea show that significant cultural and trade links with the east, particularly the Levant coast, developed from c. 900 BC onwards. Additionally, evidence has emerged of the new presence of Hellenes in sub-Mycenaean Cyprus and on the Syrian coast at Al-Mina.

Lao (Italian river)

The Lao (Greek: Λᾶος; Latin: Laus, Laos or Laüs; formerly also Laino) is a river in southern Italy. It rises in the Lucanian Apennines in Basilicata (where it is known as the Mercure) and drains into the Tyrrhenian Sea near Scalea in Calabria.

Laos (disambiguation)

Laos is a country in southeast Asia.

Laos or LAOS may also refer to:

Lao River, a river of southern Italy

Laüs, an ancient Greek colony situated on the above river

Aoös, a river of Epirus

Galangal, aka Laos, an oriental spice

Popular Orthodox Rally, known as LAOS, Greek right-wing populist/nationalist political party


Laus may refer to:

Laüs, an ancient city on the west coast of Lucania

Laus River, a river of southern Italy

Paul Laus (born 1970), former professional ice hockey player

Our Lady of Laus, the first Marian apparition approved in the 21st century by the Catholic Church

Saint-Étienne-le-Laus, an administrative division in the Hautes-Alpes department in southeastern France

Notre-Dame-du-Laus, Quebec, a municipality in Canada


Lucania (Greek: Λευκανία, translit. Leukanía, lit. 'Levkanía (Modern Greek)') was an ancient area of Southern Italy. It was the land of the Lucani, an Oscan people. It extended from the Tyrrhenian Sea to the Gulf of Taranto.

It bordered with Samnium and Campania in the north, Apulia in the east, and Bruttium in the south-west, at the tip of the peninsula which is now called Calabria. It thus comprised almost all the modern region of Basilicata, the southern part of the Province of Salerno (the Cilento area) and a northern portion of the Province of Cosenza.

The precise limits were the river Silarus in the north-west, which separated it from Campania, and the Bradanus, which flows into the Gulf of Taranto, in the east. The lower tract of the river Laus, which flows from a ridge of the Apennine Mountains to the Tyrrhenian Sea in an east-west direction, marked part of the border with Bruttium.


In the culture of ancient Greece, the term paideia (also spelled paedeia) (; Greek: παιδεία, paideía) referred to the rearing and education of the ideal member of the polis. It incorporated both practical, subject-based schooling and a focus upon the socialization of individuals within the aristocratic order of the polis. The practical aspects of this education included subjects subsumed under the modern designation of the liberal arts (rhetoric, grammar, and philosophy are examples), as well as scientific disciplines like arithmetic and medicine. An ideal and successful member of the polis would possess intellectual, moral and physical refinement, so training in gymnastics and wrestling was valued for its effect on the body alongside the moral education which the Greeks believed was imparted by the study of music, poetry, and philosophy. This approach to the rearing of a well-rounded Greek male was common to the Greek-speaking world, with the exception of Sparta where a rigid and militaristic form of education known as the agoge was practiced.

Phylakopi I culture

The Phylakopi I culture (Greek: Φυλακωπή) refers to a "cultural" dating system used for the Cycladic culture that flourished during the early Bronze Age in Greece. It spans the period ca. 2300-2000 BC and was named by Colin Renfrew, after the settlement of Phylakopi on the Cycladic island of Milos. Other archaeologists describe this period as the Early Cycladic III (ECIII).


Scalea (Calabrian: Scalìa) is a town and comune in the province of Cosenza in the Calabria region of southern Italy.

The town takes its name from its terraced lay-out on the hillside, at the bottom of the Capo Scalea promontory. The old town is placed on the heights and preserves the remains of an ancient wall, while towards the beach, the Scalea Marina centre has recently been developed, with modern hotels, villas and numerous bathing areas on the beach.


Scidrus, also known as Skidros (Ancient Greek: Σκίδρος), was an ancient Greek city on the coast of Lucania, on the Tyrrhenian Sea, between Pyxus (Buxentum) and Laüs.


Sybaris (Ancient Greek: Σύβαρις; Italian: Sibari) was an important city of Magna Graecia. It was situated on the Gulf of Taranto, in Southern Italy, between two rivers, the Crathis (Crati) and the Sybaris (Coscile).

The city was founded in 720 BC by Achaean and Troezenian settlers. Sybaris amassed great wealth thanks to its fertile land and busy port. Its inhabitants became famous among the Greeks for their hedonism, feasts, and excesses, to the extent that "sybarite" and "sybaritic" have become bywords for opulent luxury and outrageous pleasure-seeking.

In 510/09 BC the city was subjugated by its neighbor Kroton and its population driven out. Sybaris became a dependent ally of Kroton, but Kroton again besieged the city in 476/5 BC, probably resulting in another victory for Kroton. Two attempts to reoccupy the city failed around 452/1 BC and 446/5 BC when the remaining Sybarites were again expelled by the Krotoniates. After a call for help the Sybarites reoccupied their city later in 446/5 BC with the assistance of new settlers from Athens and other cities in the Peloponnese. This coexistence did not last long: the Sybarites got into a conflict with the new colonists and were ousted for the last time in the summer of 445 BC. In sum, the city saw a total of five periods of occupation separated by expulsion. The new settlers then proceeded to found the city of Thurii in 444/3 BC, a new colony which was built partially on top of the site of Sybaris. The surviving Sybarites founded Sybaris on the Traeis.

The ruins of Sybaris and Thurii became forgotten as they were buried by sediment from the Crati river over time. The ruins were rediscovered and excavated in the 1960s by Donald Freeman Brown. Today they can be found southeast of Sibari, a frazione in the comune of Cassano allo Ionio in the Province of Cosenza, Calabria region, Italy.


Thurii (; Greek: Θούριοι, translit. Thoúrioi), called also by some Latin writers Thurium (compare Greek: Θούριον in Ptolemy), for a time also Copia and Copiae, was a city of Magna Graecia, situated on the Tarentine gulf, within a short distance of the site of Sybaris, whose place it may be considered as having taken. The ruins of the city can be found in the Sybaris archaeological park near Sibari in the Province of Cosenza, Calabria, Italy.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.