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or Croton (Κρότων). The modern Cotrone. A powerful city of Italy, in the Bruttiorum Ager, on the coast of the Sinus Tarentinus. Its foundation is ascribed to Myscellus, an Achaean leader, soon after Sybaris had been colonized by a party of the same nation, which was about B.C. 710. According to some traditions the origin of Crotona was much more ancient, and it is said to derive its name from the hero Croton. The residence of Pythagoras (q.v.) and his most distinguished followers in this city, together with the overthrow of Sybaris which it accomplished, and the exploits of Milo (q.v.) and of several other Crotonian victors in the Olympic Games, contributed in a high degree to raise its fame; and, in consequence, it was commonly said that the last athlete of Crotona was the first of the other Greeks. This city was also celebrated for its school of medicine, and was the birthplace of Democedes, who long enjoyed the reputation of being the first physician of Greece. About B.C. 510, Crotona sent an army of 100,000 men, commanded by the athlete Milo, against its powerful rival, Sybaris (q.v.), by which the latter city was destroyed. The removal of its rival, however, produced an enervating effect upon Crotona. As a proof of the remarkable change which took place in the warlike spirit of this people, it is said that, on their being subsequently engaged in hostilities with the Locrians, an army of 130,000 Crotoniatae were routed by 10,000 of the enemy on the banks of the Sagras. Such was, indeed, the loss they experienced in this battle that, according to Strabo, their city henceforth rapidly declined, and could no longer maintain the rank it had long held among the Italian republics. Dionysius the Elder, who was then aiming at the subversion of all the States of Magna Graecia, having surprised the citadel, gained possession of the town, which, however, he did not long retain. Crotona was finally able to assert its independence against his designs, as well as the attacks of the Bruttii; and when Pyrrhus invaded Italy it was still a considerable city. But the consequences of the war which ensued with that king proved so ruinous to its prosperity that above one half of its extent became deserted. Crotona was then occupied by the Bruttii, with the exception of the citadel, in which the chief inhabitants had taken refuge; these, being unable to defend the place against a Carthaginian force, soon after surrendered, and were allowed to withdraw to Locri. Crotona eventually fell into the hands of the Romans, in B.C. 193, and a colony was established there.

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