previous next


1 [13]

Beyond this, at the distance of 200 stadia, is situated Sybaris,1 a colony settled by the Achœans, between the two rivers Crati2 and Sybaris.3 Its founder was Is . . . .4 the Helice an.5 So great was the prosperity enjoyed by this city anciently, that it held dominion over four neighbouring people and twenty-five towns; in the war with the Crotoniatæ it brought into the field 300,000 men, and occupied a circuit of 50 stadia on the Crati. But on account of the arrogance and turbulence of its citizens, it was deprived of all its prosperity by the Crotoniatæ in 706 days, who took the city, and turning the waters of the river [Crati], overwhelmed it with an inundation.7 Some time after, a few who had escaped came together and inhabited the site of their former city, but in time they were dispossessed by the Athenians8 and other Greeks, who came and settled amongst them, but they despised and subjugated them, and removed the city to a neighbouring place, calling its name Thurii, from a fountain of that name. The water of the river Sybaris has the peculiar property of making the horses which drink it shy,9 for which reason they keep their horses away from the river. The Crati turns the hair of those who bathe in it yellow, and sometimes white, but has been found salutary for the cure of many disorders. Thurii, after having flourished for a long time, became a continual prey to the aggressions of the Leucani,10 and afterwards the Tarentini troubling them, they appealed to the Romans for succour, who, in course of time, sent a colony11 when it was nearly deserted, and changed the name of the city to Copiæ.12

2 Sybaris was said to have been founded by the people of Trœzene not long after the siege of Troy. Aristot. Politic. lib. v. cap. 3. Solin. viii. But those were subsequently joined by a more numerous colony of Achmæans, about B. C. 720. Euseb. Chron. ii.

3 κοͅᾶθις. There was a stream of the same name in Achaia, from whence the Italian Crathis, now Crati, derived its name. The Crathis and Sybaris now join about 14 miles from the sea.

4 Now Cochile.

5 Koray objected to the old reading, ᾿ισελικεν̀ς, and proposed instead οἰς. . . . ῾ελικεὺς; Groskurd thought it better to translate it Ihr Erbauer war Is .....aus He like; and Kramer has adopted this latter view, which we have followed.

6 Helice was mentioned, book i. chap. iii. § 18. Ovid, Metam. xv. 293, also speaks of this city,

“ Si quæras Helicen et Buram Achaïdas urbes,
Invenies sub aquis...

Ovid, Metam. xv. 293

7 The Epitome gives nine days.

8 The events which led to this catastrophe are thus related by Diodorns Siculus: ‘A democratical party, at the head of which was Telys, having gained the ascendency, expelled 500 of the principal citizens, who sought refuge at Crotona. This city, upon receiving a summons to give up the fugitives, or prepare for war, by the advice of Pythagoras chose the latter. The armies met near the river Triunti, in the territory of Crotona, where the brave citizens gained a complete victory.’

9 At the instigation of Pericles, the Athenians sent out a colony under the command of Lampon and Xenocritus, which arrived about 55 years after the overthrow of Sybaris. Two celebrated characters are named among those who joined this expedition, which was collected from different parts of Greece. These were Herodotus, and Lysias the orator.

10 "Compare Ælian. Hist. Anim. ii. 36.

11 From B. C. 390 to 290.

12 About B. C. 194.

13 Cæsar however calls it Thurii, and designates it a municipal town. Civ. Bell. iii. 22.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

load focus English (1924)
load focus Greek (1877)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
720 BC (1)
390 BC (1)
194 BC (1)
hide References (4 total)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: