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
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
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
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,”
11 (1958) 206-12; id., “Gli acroteri marmorei del tempio Marasà a Locri Epizefiri,” RM
(1960) 1-28; id., “L'archivio del tempio di Zeus a Locri,”
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
E. Barillaro, L'Akropolis di Lokroi Epizephyrioi
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
(1961); P. Zancani Montuoro,
“Persefone e Afrodite sul mare,” Essays in Memory of
(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
52 (1970) 133-38.
F. PARISE BADONI