Sybaris on the Traeis

Sybaris on the Traeis was an ancient city of Magna Grecia situated on the Traeis river, now known as the Trionto. It shares its name with the original city of Sybaris (Ancient Greek: Σύβαρις) which was destroyed in 510 BC. Its former inhabitants built a new city, Thurii, not far from the site of Sybaris. This new colony was founded together with other Greek settlers in 446/445 BC. Soon a conflict arose between the two groups and most of the Sybarites were killed by the other Greek colonists of Thurii. The Sybarites who managed to flee then founded Sybaris on the Traeis a short time after 444 BC. The city was destroyed by the Bruttii not long after their emergence as an ethnic group in 356/355 BC.

In the present day the Trionto river flows through the Province of Cosenza in Calabria, Italy. The mouth of the river lies approximately 25 kilometers southeast of the site of Thurii. The exact location of Sybaris on the Traeis has not been found along the course of the Trionto yet.

History

Foundation

Diodorus Siculus relates how the Sybarites, whose city had been destroyed by Croton, were assisted by other Greeks in founding Thurii in 446/445 BC.[1][2] Soon a conflict broke out between the Sybarites and the other colonists over their privileges. According to Diodorus, the Sybarites had assigned the most important offices to themselves, had their wives sacrifice to the gods the first and took the land which lied the closest to the city. Being more numerous and powerful, the other colonists killed many of the Sybarites.[3] Some of them managed to flee and founded Sybaris on the Traeis.[4] John Wonder dates the founding of the city to have taken place shortly after 444 BC.[5]

Strabo also mentions Sybaris on the Traeis, stating that some people thought it was of Rhodian origin.[6] Frank Walbank argues that this idea was probably a mistake not endorsed by Strabo himself.[2]

Two alliances

Polybius writes that Sybaris was allied with two other Achaean colonies, Croton and Caulonia.[7] Walbank thinks it very likely that Polybius meant Sybaris on the Traeis.[2] Wonder agrees, noting that the original Sybarites would have been hostile to Croton and would not have formed an alliance with that city.[5]

Wonder argues the cities formed this alliance in the second half of the 5th century BC because they felt threatened by neighboring Greek city-states in Southern Italy. In spite of Croton's destruction of the original Sybaris, an alliance would have been mutually beneficial to the former enemies. The establishment of Thurii and its expansionist policy now threatened both cities. Sybaris on the Traeis probably would have been small and not powerful enough to threaten Croton. It could have functioned as a buffer against Thurii for Croton. In turn, the city could benefit from Croton's protection.[5]

In the early fourth century BC the situation drastically changed when Dionysius I of Syracuse and the Lucanians threatened the Greek cities of Southern Italy. With the exception of Locri, which was an ally of Dionysius, the cities formed an alliance called the Italiote League in 393 BC. Wonder thinks Sybaris on the Traeis probably was a member of the league together with Croton, Caulonia, Thurii, Rhegium and Velia by 389 BC.[5]

Destruction

Diodorus Siculus writes that Sybaris on the Traeis was eventually destroyed by the Bruttii, but does not give a specific date.[4] Because he dates the formation of the Bruttii as an ethnic group to 356/355 BC[8] the city could not have been destroyed before that date.

References

  1. ^ Diodorus Siculus, Bibliotheca historica 12.10.3–6
  2. ^ a b c Walbank, Frank W. (2000). "Hellenes and Achaians: 'Greek Nationality' Revisited". In Flensted-Jensen, Pernille (ed.). Further Studies in the Ancient Greek Polis. Historia Einzelschriften Series. 138. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag. pp. 23–24. ISBN 9783515076074.
  3. ^ Diodorus Siculus, Bibliotheca historica 12.11.1–2; Aristotle, Politics 5.1303a
  4. ^ a b Diodorus Siculus, Bibliotheca historica 12.22.1
  5. ^ a b c d Wonder, John W. (2012). "The Italiote League: South Italian Alliances of the Fifth and Fourth Centuries BC". Classical Antiquity. 31 (1): 128–151. doi:10.1525/CA.2012.31.1.128.
  6. ^ Strabo, Geographica, 6.1.14
  7. ^ Polybius, The Histories, 2.39
  8. ^ Diodorus Siculus, Bibliotheca historica 16.15
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.

Bruttians

The Bruttians (Greek: Βρέττιοι, romanized: Bréttioi, Latin: Bruttii) were an ancient Italic tribe of Lucanian descent. They inhabited the southern extremity of Italy, from the frontiers of Lucania to the Sicilian Straits and the promontory of Leucopetra. This roughly corresponds to the modern region of Calabria.

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

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.

Grotta-Pelos culture

The Grotta-Pelos culture (Greek: Γρόττα-Πηλός) refers to a "cultural" dating system used for part of the early Bronze Age in Greece. Specifically, it is the period that marks the beginning of the so-called Cycladic culture and spans the Neolithic period in the late 4th millennium BC (ca. 3300 BC), continuing in the Bronze Age to about 2700 BC.

The term was coined by Colin Renfrew, who named it after the sites of Grotta and Pelos on the Cycladic islands of Naxos and Milos, respectively. Other archaeologists prefer a "chronological" dating system and refer to this period as the Early Cycladic I (ECI).

Hellenistic Greece

In the context of ancient Greek art, architecture, and culture, Hellenistic Greece corresponds to the period between the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC and the annexation of the classical Greek Achaean League heartlands by the Roman Republic. This culminated at the Battle of Corinth in 146 BC, a crushing Roman victory in the Peloponnese that led to the destruction of Corinth and ushered in the period of Roman Greece. Hellenistic Greece's definitive end was with the Battle of Actium in 31 BC, when the future emperor Augustus defeated Greek Ptolemaic queen Cleopatra VII and Mark Antony, the next year taking over Alexandria, the last great center of Hellenistic Greece.The Hellenistic period began with the wars of the Diadochi, armed contests among the former generals of Alexander the Great to carve up his empire in Europe, Asia, and North Africa. The wars lasted until 275 BC, witnessing the fall of both the Argead and Antipatrid dynasties of Macedonia in favor of the Antigonid dynasty. The era was also marked by successive wars between the Kingdom of Macedonia and its allies against the Aetolian League, Achaean League, and the city-state of Sparta.

During the reign of Philip V of Macedon (r. 221-179 BC), the Macedonians not only lost the Cretan War (205-200 BC) to an alliance led by Rhodes, but their erstwhile alliance with Hannibal of Carthage also entangled them in the First and Second Macedonian War with ancient Rome. The perceived weakness of Macedonia in the aftermath of these conflicts encouraged Antiochus III the Great of the Seleucid Empire to invade mainland Greece, yet his defeat by the Romans at Thermopylae in 191 BC and Magnesia in 190 BC secured Rome's position as the leading military power in the region. Within roughly two decades after conquering Macedonia in 168 BC and Epirus in 167 BC, the Romans would eventually control the whole of Greece.

During the Hellenistic period the importance of Greece proper within the Greek-speaking world declined sharply. The great centers of Hellenistic culture were Alexandria and Antioch, capitals of Ptolemaic Egypt and Seleucid Syria respectively. Cities such as Pergamon, Ephesus, Rhodes and Seleucia were also important, and increasing urbanization of the Eastern Mediterranean was characteristic of the time.

Kastelli Hill

Kastelli Hill (also Kasteli; Greek: Λόφος Καστέλλι or Καστέλι) is a landform at the city of Chania on the island of Crete in the present day country of Greece. The Minoan city of ancient Cydonia was centered on Kastelli Hill, which later was selected by the Romans as the site of an acropolis.

Kastri culture

The Kastri culture (Greek: Καστρί) 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. 2500–2200 BC and was named by Colin Renfrew, after the fortified settlement of Kastri near Chalandriani on the Cycladic island of Syros. In Renfrew's system, Kastri culture follows the Keros-Syros culture. However, some archaeologists believe that the Keros-Syros and Kastri cultures belong to the same phase. Others describe this period as the Early Cycladic III (ECIII).

Paideia

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).

Sybaris

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.

Sybaris (disambiguation)

Sybaris may refer to:

Sybaris, an ancient city of Magna Graecia, now in Italy

Sibari, a hamlet of Cassano all'Ionio, Calabria, Italy

Sybaris on the Traeis, a nearby ancient city founded by refugees from the above

Sybaris (beetle), a blister beetle genus

an alternate name for the Coscile, a river of Italy adjacent to Magna Græcia

Sybaris, a chain of Romantic Pool Suites in the Chicago, Milwaukee, and Indianapolis areas.

Sybaris (mythology), a man-eating beast of Greek mythology.

Thurii

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.

Timeline of ancient Greece

This is a timeline of Ancient Greece from its emergence around 800 BC to its subjection to the Roman Empire in 146 BC.

For earlier times, see Greek Dark Ages, Aegean civilizations and Mycenaean Greece. For later times see Roman Greece, Byzantine Empire and Ottoman Greece.

For modern Greece after 1820, see Timeline of modern Greek history.

Trionto

The Trionto is a river in the Calabria region of southern Italy. It was known in ancient times as the Traeis. It rises in the Sila Mountains and initially flows to the east but gradually changes direction to the north. It drains into the Gulf of Taranto at Pantano Martucci after a course of about 40 kilometers. Its main tributaries are the La Manna, Macrocioli, Ortiano and Laurenzana. Along its course it passes Longobucco, Cropalati and Crosia. The river is mainly seasonal. The ancient Greek city Sybaris on the Traeis was located near the course of the river, but its location has not been found.

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