Velia was the Roman name of an ancient city of Magna Graecia on the coast of the Tyrrhenian Sea. It was founded by Greeks from Phocaea as Hyele (Ancient Greek: Ὑέλη) around 538–535 BC. The name later changed to Ele and then Elea (/ˈɛliə/; Ancient Greek: Ἐλέα) before it became known by its current Latin and Italian name during the Roman era. Its ruins are located in the Cilento region near the modern village Velia, which was named after the ancient city. The village is a frazione of the comune Ascea in the Province of Salerno, Campania, Italy.

The city was known for being the home of the philosophers Parmenides and Zeno of Elea, as well as the Eleatic school of which they were a part. The site of the acropolis of ancient Elea was once a promontory called Castello a Mare, meaning "castle on the sea" in Italian. It now lies inland and was renamed to Castellammare della Bruca in the Middle Ages.

Velia Excavation and Tower
View of the excavations and the tower at Velia
Velia is located in Italy
Shown within Italy
Alternative nameHyele, Ele, Elea
LocationVelia, Province of Salerno, Campania, Italy
RegionMagna Graecia
Coordinates40°09′39″N 15°09′18″E / 40.16083°N 15.15500°ECoordinates: 40°09′39″N 15°09′18″E / 40.16083°N 15.15500°E
BuilderSettlers from Phocaea
FoundedBetween 538 and 535 BC
Associated withParmenides, Zeno, Statius
Site notes
ManagementSoprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici di Salerno, Avellino, Benevento e Caserta
WebsiteParco archeologico di Elea-Velia ‹See Tfd›(in Italian)
Official nameCilento and Vallo di Diano National Park with the Archaeological sites of Paestum and Velia, and the Certosa di Padula
Criteriaiii, iv
Designated1998 (22nd session)
Reference no.842
RegionEurope and North America
Lucania Velia Silver Nomos
Silver coin from Velia, circa 280 BC, with Athena on the obverse, and a lion devouring a stag on the reverse.


The town is situated close to the Tyrrhenian coast in a hill zone nearby Marina di Casalvelino and Marina di Ascea, on a road linking Agropoli to the southern Cilentan Coast. Its population is mainly located in the plain by the sea (surrounding the southern part of the ancient ruins) and in the hill zones of Enotria, Bosco and Scifro. Velia also had a railway station on the Naples-Salerno-Reggio Calabria line, closed at the end of the 1970s.


According to Herodotus, in 545 BC Ionian Greeks fled Phocaea, in modern Turkey, which was being besieged by the Persians. After some wanderings (8 to 10 years) at sea, they stopped in Reggio Calabria, where they were probably joined by Xenophanes, who was at the time at Messina, and then moved north along the coast and founded the town of Hyele, later renamed Ele and then, eventually, Elea. The location is nearly at the same latitude as Phocaea.

Elea was not conquered by the Lucanians, but eventually joined Rome in 273 BC and was included in ancient Lucania. According to Book 6 of Virgil's Aeneid, Velia is the place where the body of Palinurus washed ashore.[1]


Remains of the city walls, with traces of one gate and several towers, of a total length of over three miles, still exist, and belong to three different periods, in all of which the crystalline limestone of the locality is used. Bricks were also employed in later times; their form is peculiar to this place, each having two rectangular channels on one side, and being about 1.5 inches square, with a thickness of nearly 4 inches They all bear Greek brick-stamps. There are some remains of cisterns on the site, and, various other traces of buildings.[2]


The Eleatics were a school of pre-Socratic philosophers. The group was founded in the early 5th century BC by Parmenides. Other members of the school included Zeno of Elea and Melissus of Samos. Xenophanes is sometimes included in the list, though there is some dispute over this.

Famous residents



The Porta Rosa (Pink Gate, but Rosa, here, is intended as a given name), made of dry masonry of sandstone bricks, a rare exemplar of a Greek arch, circa 4th century BC

Greek street - III century BC - Porta Rosa - Velia - Italy

The Porta Rosa road was the main street of Elea, circa 4th-3rd centuries BC


The medieval tower of Velia built out of a Greek temple


Drachma, circa 535-510 BC

AR nomos of Velia

Stater struck 334-300 BC Athena wearing a Phrygian helmet decorated with a Centaur, Lion devouring prey

See also


  1. ^ Frederick Ahl (trans.), ed. (2007). Virgil's Aeneid. Oxford UP. pp. 139–40. ISBN 978-0-19-923195-9.
  2. ^  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainAshby, Thomas (1911). "Velia" . In Chisholm, Hugh (ed.). Encyclopædia Britannica. 27 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 978.

External links


Ascea (Cilentan: Ascìa) is a town and comune in the province of Salerno in the Campania region of southwestern Italy. In the communal territory are the Greek ruins of Velia. It is part of the Cilento traditional area; the maritime touristic part of the municipality is the Marina di Ascea. The town is located on the beach and is popular with European tourists in the summer months.

Bukit Selambau (state constituency)

Bukit Selambau is a state constituency in Kedah, Malaysia, that has been represented in the Kedah State Legislative Assembly since 1986.The state constituency was created in the 1984 redistribution and is mandated to return a single member to the Kedah State Legislative Assembly under the first past the post voting system.

Chromera velia

Chromera velia, also known as a "chromerid", is a unicellular photosynthetic organism in the superphylum Alveolata. It is of interest in the study of apicomplexan parasites, specifically their evolution and accordingly, their unique vulnerabilities to drugs.The discovery of C. velia has sparked renewed interest in protist research, concerning both algae and parasites, as well as free-living unicells. Strict separation of botanical protists (algae) and zoological protists (protozoa) has been conventional but C. velia may be regarded as a good example of a bridge linking both categories.C. velia has typical features of alveolates, being phylogenetically related to Apicomplexa (a subgroup of alveolates), and contains a photosynthetic plastid (chloroplast) while the apicomplexans have a non-photosynthetic plastid called the apicoplast. C. velia is also related to another subgroup of alveolates the dinoflagellates of which most are photosynthetic.C. velia uses metabolites (reduced carbon) from its plastid as its primary energy source. The same is true of the algal cousin of C. velia, another chromerid Vitrella brassicaformis. Together these are phylogenetically the closest known autotrophic organisms to apicomplexans.Parasites in the apicomplexan genus Plasmodium are the causative agents of malaria. Studies of C. velia and V. brassicaformis are broadly useful for understanding the biochemistry, physiology and evolution of the malaria parasite, other apicomplexan parasites, and dinoflagellates.


Chromerida is a phylum of unicellular alveolates, which includes photosynthetic species Chromera velia and Vitrella brassicaformis. General features of the phylum include spherical cells each with a thick cell wall, chloroplast present with chlorophyll a only (no chlorophyll b or c), and an internal developing flagellum at some lifestages.

They often live in close association with corals, and studies suggest their closest relatives is the parastic group Apicomplexa, which evolved from photosyntethic ancestors, making Chromerida the last remaining photosynthetic members of an otherwise parasitic branch within Alveolata.Carter Lab at University of Sydney has undertaken new experiments to isolate novel Chromerids, using the same methods that were used to isolate Chromera velia and Vitrella brassicaformis. These methods were agreed at the First Chromera Conference and Workshop held at the Heron Island Research Station, Queensland, Australia from November 21–25, 2011.


Cilento is an Italian geographical region of Campania in the central and southern part of the Province of Salerno and an important tourist area of southern Italy.

Cilento is known as one of the centers of Mediterranean diet.


The Eleatics were a pre-Socratic school of philosophy founded by Parmenides in the early fifth century BC in the ancient town of Elea. Other members of the school included Zeno of Elea and Melissus of Samos. Xenophanes is sometimes included in the list, though there is some dispute over this. Elea, whose modern-day appellation is Velia, was a Greek colony located in present-day Campania in southern Italy.

Novi Velia

Novi Velia is a town and comune of the Province of Salerno, Campania, southern Italy. It is located in the southern Cilento area.

The town takes its name from the ancient Greek town of Velia, whose archaeological remains are located nearby.

Novi Velia is located in the Cilento and Vallo di Diano National Park, and the comune contains Monte Gelbison.

Opal-rumped tanager

The opal-rumped tanager (Tangara velia) is a species of bird in the family Thraupidae. It is found in the Amazon and Atlantic Forest of South America. The population of the Atlantic Forest has a far paler chest than the other populations, and has often been considered a separate species as the silvery-breasted tanager (Tangara cyanomelas). Today most authorities treat it as a subspecies of the opal-rumped tanager.


The Septimontium was a pre-urban festival celebrated in ancient Rome by montani, residents of the seven (sept-) communities associated with the hills or peaks of Rome (montes): Oppius, Palatium, Velia, Fagutal, Cermalus, Caelius, and Cispius. The Septimontium was celebrated in September, or, according to later calendars, on 11 December. It was not a public festival in the sense of feriae populi, according to Varro, who sees it as an urban analog to the rural Paganalia.The etymology from septem ("seven") has been doubted; the festival may instead take its name from saept-, "divided," in the sense of "partitioned off, palisaded." The montes include two divisions of the Palatine Hill and three of the Esquiline Hill, among the traditional "seven hills of Rome".Plutarch's notice of this festival is obscure, and confuses the nature of the Septimontium as represented by inscriptions and Festus with the proverbial seven hills of Rome. At this time, he notes, Romans refrained from operating horse-drawn vehicles.

Tomb of Orcus

The Tomb of Orcus (Italian: Tomba dell'Orco), sometimes called the Tomb of Murina (Italian: Tomba dei Murina), is a 4th-century BC Etruscan hypogeum (burial chamber) in Tarquinia, Italy. Discovered in 1868, it displays Hellenistic influences in its remarkable murals, which include the portrait of Velia Velcha, an Etruscan noblewoman, and the only known pictorial representation of the demon Tuchulcha. In general, the murals are noted for their depiction of death, evil, and unhappiness.Because the tomb was built in two sections at two stages, it is sometimes referred to as the Tombs of Orcus I and II; it is believed to have belonged to the Murina family, an offshoot of the Etruscan Spurinnae. The foundation is inscribed with the following enigmatic phrase:


Vallo di Diano

The Vallo di Diano (also known as Valdiano) is an Italian valley of the south-eastern side of Campania, in the province of Salerno.

Velia (bug)

Velia is a genus of aquatic bugs in the family Veliidae.

Velia (gens)

The gens Velia was a minor plebeian family at Rome. Members of this gens are first mentioned in the latter part of the first century AD. The first of the Velii to obtain the consulship was Decimus Velius Fidus in AD 144.

Velia Abdel-Huda

Princess Velia Osman-Oglu, born as Velia Abdel-Huda, and more commonly referred to as Princess Lulie (26 January 1916 – 29 November 2012) was an art historian and socialite. She was also notable for being the first Muslim woman to study at the University of Oxford.

Velia Martínez

Velia Martínez Febles (born on June 14, 1920 in Tampa, Florida - May 22, 1993 in Miami, Florida) was a well-known actress, singer and former nightclub dancer.

Martínez was born in Tampa to Cuban parents. In 1941, she settled in Havana, where she became a well-known show business personality. In 1945, while in Mexico, she married the Cuban actor, producer and writer, Ramiro Gómez Kemp (1914-1981). They had two daughters Georgina and Mayra Cristina.

She was an accomplished dancer and cabaret star, she performed in Cuba's most prestigious theaters including the Cabaret Montmartre. In 1945, she played the title role in the play Filomena Marturano in Havana's Thalia Theater, which is considered her pivotal role in her career. In 1958 she acted opposite Errol Flynn in the movie The Big Boodle. She left Cuba in 1960 with her family and lived two years in Puerto Rico where she appeared in a TV soap opera Yo Compro Esa Mujer (I'll Buy That Woman). In 1962, she came to Miami and continued performing on stage. In 1965 she appeared in My Son Is Not What He Appears (Mi Hijo No Es Lo Que Parece), at the Marti Theater. In 1966, she appeared in the movie, The Devil's Sister as Carmen Alvarado.

In 1977, she reached the pinnacle of popularity as the grandmother Adela in the PBS series ¿Qué Pasa, USA?. Her last great performance on stage was in 1989 in Luis Santeiro's play, Mixed Blessings at the Coconut Grove Playhouse and her last television role was of Elena, a hair salon owner in the Univision series Corte Tropical in 1992.

Velia caprai

Velia caprai, known as the water cricket, is a species of aquatic bug found in Europe. It grows to a length of 8.5 mm (0.33 in) and is stouter than pond skaters of the family Gerridae. It is distasteful to predatory fish, engages in kleptoparasitism, and can travel at twice its normal speed by spitting on the water surface.

Velian Hill

The Velia — or Velian Hill or Velian Ridge — is a saddle or spur stretching out from the middle of the north side of the Palatine Hill towards the Oppian Hill (itself a spur of the Esquiline Hill) in Rome.

In later times, the Velia was called Summa Sacra Via ("Summit of the Sacra Via") — since that road began there at its highest point — and was marked by the Arch of Titus and Temple of Venus and Roma. (An alternate theory is that the Velia was actually the eastern half of the Palatine).

Vitrella brassicaformis

Vitrella brassicaformis, also known as a 'chromerid', is a species of alveolates isolated from the Great Barrier Reef. Its closest known relative is Chromera velia. Vitrella differs from Chromera in having a more complex lifecycle, for instance involving a range of sizes and morphologies. Also, while Vitrella is greenish coloured, Chromera is brown coloured. The differences are in the types of secondary pigments that characterize each genus. Both genera lack chlorophyll b or c; these absences link the two taxonomically, as algae bearing only chlorophyll a are quite few amid the biodiversity of life. Phylogenetically, both Vitrella and Chromera are relatives of the obligately parasitic phylum Apicomplexa, which includes Plasmodium, the agent of malaria. Both Vitrella brassicaformis and Chromera velia are photosynthetic.

Archaeological sites in Campania
Province of Avellino
Province of Benevento
Province of Caserta
Province of Naples
Province of Salerno
Towns, villages and zones of Cilentan Coast

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