previous next


MEDMA or MESMA (Μέδμη, Steph. B. sub voce Μέδμα, Strab., Scymn. Ch.; but Μέσμα on coins, and so Apollodorus, cited by Steph. B. sub voce Scylax has Μέσα, evidently a corruption for Μέσμα: Eth.Μεδμαῖος, Eth. Μεσμαῖος), a Greek city of Southern Italy, on the W. coast of the Bruttian peninsula, between Hipponium and the mouth of the Metaurus. (Strab. vi. p.256; Scyl. p. 4.12.) It was a colony founded by the Epizephyrian Locrians, and is said to have derived its name from an adjoining fountain. (Strab. l.c.; Scymn. Ch. 308; Steph. B. sub voce But though it is repeatedly noticed among the Greek cities in this part of Italy, it does not appear ever to have attained to any great power or importance, and its name never figures in history. It is probable, however, that the Medimnaeans (Μεδιμναῖοι), who are noticed by Diodorus as contributing a body of colonists to the repeopling of Messana by Dionysius in B.C. 396, are no other than the Medmaeans, and that we should read Μεδμαῖοι in the passage in question. (Diod. 14.78.) Though never a very conspicuous place, Medma seems to have survived the fall of many other more important cities of Magna Graecia, and it is noticed as a still existing town both by Strabo and Pliny. (Strab. l.c.; Plin. Nat. 3.5. s. 10.) But the name is not found in Ptolemy, and all subsequent trace of it disappears. It appears from Strabo that the town itself was situated a little inland, and that it had a port or emporium on the sea-shore. The exact site has not been determined, but as the name of Mesima is still borne by a river which flows into the sea a little below Nicotera, there can be no doubt that Medma was situated somewhere in the neighbourhood of that town, and probably its port was at the mouth of the river which still bears its name. Nicotera, the name of which is already found in the Antonine Itinerary (pp. 106, 111), probably arose after the decline of Mesma.



hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: