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LOKROI EPIZEPHYRIOI Reggio Calabria, Italy.

The settlement was founded from Lokris in Greece though it is not certain whether by the Opuntii or by the Ozolai, at the beginning of the 7th c. B.C. It is in the vicinity of modern Bortigliola, Locri, and Gerace.

The city flourished during the 6th and 5th c., extending its dominion over territory from the Ionian to the Tyrrhenian seas, including the cities of Metauroo, Medma, and Hipponion. It defeated Kroton in the battle of the Sagra shortly after the middle of the 6th c.

Lokroi was allied with Sparta, Taras, and Syracuse, and aided Dionysios I in the struggle against Rhegion and the Italic league. In 356 it welcomed Dionysios II, sent out from Syracuse, but was soon forced to expel him. During the war between Rome and Pyrrhos, Lokroi changed sides several times. It surrendered to Hannibal in 216 and was conquered by Scipio in 205. Included in the orbit of Rome, Lokroi increasingly diminished in importance until in the course of the 8th and 9th c., following the incursion of the Saracens, it ceased to exist.

Not all of the area inside the encircling wall, which dates to the 4th-3d c. B.C., was occupied by buildings. Several stretches of the wall, with round and square towers, have been found. The outlines of the walls that regulated the watercourses crossing the city are clear. Neither the location of the port nor the situation of the acropolis has been identified. An urban complex just inside the city wall in the locality now called Centocamere, was laid out in large city blocks separated by roads. It contains remains of water conduits, and in some places kilns for the production of small terracotta objects. A second nucleus of habitations has been located in the section of the city now called Caruso, and this also is characterized by modest buildings with kilns and millstones. Above the modern road to the hill is the theater, with its tiers resting against the natural incline of the terrain. Several parts of the steps and the parodoi were rebuilt by the Romans, with the respective part of the analemma. The plan of the scena is recognizable, with parascenia, and it is probable that behind this was a portico.

Not far from the theater, in the locality now called Casa Marafioti, the remains of a Doric temple have been discovered. It may perhaps be identified with a temple of Olympian Zeus referred to on bronze tablets found a short distance from the theater and from the dromos. Belonging to this temple is an akroterion in terracotta with a horseman and a sphinx below, very similar to contemporaneous akroterial groups from Marasii.

In the little valley between the hills of the Abbadessa and those of the Mannella a deposit of votive objects has been found, particularly pinakes and dedicatory inscriptions. The latter must refer to the Sanctuary of Persephone (Diod. 27.4.3), which flourished especially during the 6th and 5th c. In the vicinity is a treasury building. No trace remains of the temple itself, which numerous clues indicate was on the summit of the hill called Mannella.

Near Marasà a temple has been discovered. It is not certain to which divinity it was dedicated. In its earliest phase, at the end of the 7th c., it was an elongated cella subdivided into two naves. Belonging to it are terracotta slabs with meander motifs. During the 6th c. the cella was embellished by a peristyle, probably hexastyle. In the last third of the 5th c. there was built on the ruins of the archaic temple another larger temple (19 x 45.4 m) with a slightly different orientation. It had a cella, pronaos, opisthodomos, and peristyle in the Ionic order. It was hexastyle with 17 columns on the long sides, and furnished with a gutter having leonine heads in stone, and with akroterial decoration in marble, at the center of which a Nereid between Dioskouroi mounted on horses is sustained by Tritons.

To the NE of the city in the Lucifero section is a necropolis with tombs largely from the 6th and 5th c., but with some later burials. A necropolis from the 7th-6th c. has been found in the Manaci section of the city. Roman tombs found in the area of the hill indicate a shrinking in the city's area.


A. De Franciscis, “Ancient Locri,” Archaeology 11 (1958) 206-12; id., “Gli acroteri marmorei del tempio Marasà a Locri Epizefiri,” RM 67 (1960) 1-28; id., “L'archivio del tempio di Zeus a Locri,” Klearchos 3 (1961) 17-41; id., “L'archivio del tempio di Zeus a Locri, 2,” Klearchos 4 (1962) 63-83; 7 (1963) 21-36; 6 (1964) 73-85; 9 (1967) 157-81; id., Ricerche sulla topografia e i monumenti di Lokri Epizefiri (1971); E. Barillaro, L'Akropolis di Lokroi Epizephyrioi (1960); id., Lokroi Epizephyrioi, Guida storico archeologica (1966); id., Locri e la Locride (1970); E. Lissi, “Gli scavi della scuola nazionale di archeologia a Locri Epizaefiri” (1950-66) in Atti VII Congresso Internazionale di Archeologia Classica (1961); P. Zancani Montuoro, “Persefone e Afrodite sul mare,” Essays in Memory of K. Lehmann (1964) 386-95; G. Foti, “Un nuovo documento dell'archivio locrese,” Klearchos 10 (1968) 109-13; M. Guarducci, “Cibele in un epigrafe arcaica di Locri Epizefiri,” Klio 52 (1970) 133-38.


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