), a people who inhabited the southern extremity of Italy, from the frontiers of Lucania to the Sicilian Straits and the promontory of Leucopetra. Both Greek and Latin writers expressly tell us that Bruttii was the name of the people:
no separate designation for the country or province appears to have been adopted by the Romans, who almost universally use the plural form, or name of the nation, to designate the region which they inhabited. Thus Livy uses “Consentia in Bruttiis,” “extremus Italiae angulus Bruttii,” “Bruttii provincia,” &c.: and the same usage prevailed down to a very late period. (Treb. Poll. Tetricks,
24; Notit. Dign. ii. pp. 10, 120.)
The name of BRUTTIUM
to designate the province or region, though adopted by almost all modern writers on ancient geography appears to be unsupported by any classical authority: Mela, indeed, uses in one passage the phrase “in Bruttio,” but it is probable that this is merely an elliptic expression for “in Bruttio agro,” the term used by him in another passage, as well as by many other writers. (Mela, 2.4, 7; In Flor. 3.20.13
, Bruttium is also an adjective.) The Greeks, however, used Βρεττία
for the name of the country, reserving Βρέττιοι
for that of the people. (Pol. 9.7, 25, 11.7; Strab. vi. p.255
.) Polybius, in more than one passage, calls it ἡ Βρεττιανὴ Χώρα
The land of the Bruttians, or Bruttium (as we shall continue to designate it, in accordance with modern usage), was bounded on the N. by Lucania, from which it was separated by a line drawn from the river Laus near the Tyrrhenian Sea to the Crathis near the Gulf of Tarentum. On the W. it was washed by the Tyrrhenian Sea, and on the S. and E. by that known in ancient times as the Sicilian Sea, including under that appellation the Gulf of Tarentum.
It thus comprised the two provinces now known as Calabria Citra
and Calabria Ultra,
with the exception of the northernmost portion of the former, which was included in Lucania.
The region thus limited is correctly described by Strabo (l.c.
) as a peninsula including within it another peninsula.
The breadth from sea to sea, at the point where its frontier joins that of Lucania, does not exceed 300 stadia, or 30 Geog. miles; it afterwards widens out considerably, forming a mountainous tract of above 50 Geog. miles in breadth, and then again becomes abruptly contracted, so that the isthmus between the Terinaean Gulf and that of Scyllacium is less than 17 Geog. miles in width (Strabo calls it 160 stadia, which is very near the truth).
The remaining portion, or southernmost peninsula, extending from thence to the promontory of Leucopetra (Capo dell' Armi
), is about 60 miles long by 37 in its greatest width.
The general form of the Bruttian peninsula may be not inaptly compared to a boot, of which the heel is formed by the Lacinian Promontory near Crotona, and the toe by that of Leucopetra.
It is traversed throughout its whole extent by the chain of the Apennines, to which it owes its entire configuration.
This range of mountains enters the Bruttian territory on the confines of Lucania, and descends along the western coast of the province as far as the Terinaean Gulf. Throughout this extent the central chain approaches very close to the shore of the Tyrrhenian Sea, while the great outlying mountain mass of the Sila
(to the E. of the main chain, from which it is partly separated by the valley of the Crathis, though at the same time closely connected with the same mountain system) fills up the whole centre of the peninsula, and sends down its ridges to the Ionian Sea, where they form a projecting mass that separates the Gulf of Tarenturn from that of Scyllacium.
The extreme angles of this mass are formed by the Pimta dell' Alice
(the ancient Cape CRIMISA
) and the more celebrated LACINIAN Promontory. South of this, the coast is deeply indented on each side by two extensive bays: the one known in ancient times as the Terinaean or Hipponian Gulf (now the Golfo di Sta Eafemia
) on the W.; that of Scyllacium (still called Golfo di Squillace
) on the E. Between the two occurs the remarkable break in the chain of the Apennines, already noticed in the description of those mountains [APENNINUS], so that the two seas are here separated only by a range of low hills of tertiary strata, leaving on each side a considerable extent of marshy plain. Immediately S. of this isthmus, however, the Apennines rise again in the lofty group or mass of mountains now called Aspromonte,
which completely fill up the remaining portion of the peninsula, extending from sea to sea, and ending in the bold headland of Leucopetra, the extreme SW. point of Italy.
The peninsula thus strongly characterized by nature was the country to which, according to Antiochus of Syracuse, the name of Italy was originally confined. (Antioch. ap. Dionys. 1.35; Arist. Pol.
] It is evidently the same to which Plutarch applies the name of “the Rhegian peninsula” (ἡ Ῥηγινῶν Χερρόνησος, Crass.
The natural characters of the land thus constituted result at once from its physical conformation.
The two great mountain groups of the Sila
and the Aspromonte,
have formed in all times wild and rugged tracts, covered with dense forests almost impenetrable to civilization. On the western coast, also, from the river Laus to the Terinaean Gulf, the Apennines approach so close to the sea that they leave scarcely any space for the settlement of considerable towns; and the line of coast throughout this extent affords no natural harbours.
The streams which flow down from the mountains to the sea on either side have for the most part a very short course, and are mere mountain torrents: the only considerable valley is that of the CRATHIS
which has a northerly course from the neighbourhood of Consentia for near 20 miles, separating the forest-covered group of the Sila
on the E. from the main chain of the Apennines on the W., until at length it emerges through a narrow gorge into a rich alluvial plain, through which it flows in an easterly direction to the sea.
There is also a considerable tract of alluvial marshy plain on the shores of the Terinaean Gulf; and another, though of less extent, on the opposite side of the isthmus, adjoining the Gulf of Scyllacium.
A plain of some extent also exists on the banks of the river Mesima,
near its mouth; but with these few exceptions, the whole tract from sea to sea is occupied either by the mountain ranges of the Apennines, or by their less elevated offsets and underfalls.
The slopes of these hills towards the sea are admirably adapted for the growth both of olives and vines; and modern travellers speak with great admiration of the beauty and fertility of the coasts of Calabria.
But these advantages are limited to a small portion of the country; and it is probable that even when the Greek settlements on the coast were the most flourishing, neither culture nor civilization had made much progress in the interior.
The mountain tract of the Sila was celebrated for its forests, which produced both timber and pitch of the highest value for [p. 1.448]
The latter especially was under the Romans an important source of revenue to the state. (Dionys. xx. Fr. Mai, 5, 6.)
All ancient authors agree in stating that neither the name nor the origin of the Bruttians could claim a very remote antiquity.
The country occupied by them was inhabited, in the earliest times of which we have any knowledge, by the OENOTRIANS--a tribe of Pelasgian origin, of which the CHONES
appear to have been merely subordinate divisions. [See the respective articles.] It was while the Oenotrians were still masters of the land that the first Greek settlers arrived; and the beauty of the climate and country, as well as the rapid prosperity attained by these first settlements, proved so attractive that within a few years the shores of Bruttium were completely encircled by a belt of Greek colonies.
These were (beginning from the Crathis, and proceeding southwards): 1. CROTONA, an Achaean colony, founded in B.C. 710, probably the most ancient, and at one time the most powerful of all: 2. SCYLLACIUM or SCYLLETIUM, according to Strabo, an Athenian colony, but of uncertain date: 3. CAULONIA
a colony of Crotona: 4. LOCRI
founded by the people of the same name in Greece. 5. RHEGIUM
a Chalcidic colony, founded shortly before the first Messenian war: 6. MEDMA
a colony, and probably a dependency. of Locri: 7. HIPPONIUM
also a colony from Locri: 8. TERINA
a colony of Crotona. We have scarcely any knowledge of the exact relations between these Greek cities and the native Oenotrian tribes; but there appears little doubt that the latter were reduced to a state of dependence, and at one time at least of complete subjection. We know that the territories of the Greek cities comprised the whole line of coast, so that those of Crotona and Thurii met at the river Hylias, and those of Locri and Rhegium were separated only by the Halex (Thuc. 3.99
); and when we find both Crotona and Locri founding colonies on the opposite side of the peninsula, there can be little doubt that the intermediate districts also were at least nominally subject to them.
Such appears to have been the state of things at the time of the Peloponnesian war; but in the course of the following century a great change took place. The Sabellian tribe of the Lucanians, who had been gradually extending their conquests towards the south, and had already made themselves masters of the northern parts of Oenotria, now pressed forwards into the Bruttian peninsula, and established their dominion over the interior of that country, reducing its previous inhabitants to a state of vassalage or serfdom.
This probably took place after their great victory over the Thurians, near Laos, in B.C. 390; and little more than 30 years elapsed between this event and the rise of the people, properly called Bruttians.
These are represented by ancient authors as merely a congregation of revolted slaves and other fugitives,who had taken refuge in the wild mountain regions of the peninsula: it seems probable that a considerable portion of them were the native Oenotrian or Pelasgic inhabitants, who gladly embraced the opportunity to throw off the foreign yoke. (Niebuhr, vol. i. p. 98.) But Justin distinctly describes them as headed by youths of Lucanian race; and there appears sufficient evidence of their close connexion with the Lucanians to warrant the assumption that these formed an important ingredient in their national composition.
The name of Bruttii (Βρέττιοι
) was given them, it seems, not by the Greeks, but by the Lucanians, and signified in their language fugitive slaves or rebels (δραπέται, ἀποστάται
But though used at first as a term of reproach, it was subsequently adopted by the Bruttians themselves, who, when they had risen to the rank of a powerful nation, pretended to derive it from a hero named Bruttus (Βρέττος
), the son of Hercules and Valentia. (Diod. 16.15
; Strab. vi. p.255
; Justin 23.1
; Steph. Byz. s. v. Βρέττος.
) Justin, on the other hand, represents them as deriving their name from a woman of the name of Bruttia, who figured in their first revolt, and who, in later versions of the legend, assumes the dignity of a queen. (Justin. l.c.;
Jornand. de Reb. Get.
30; P. Diac. Hist.
The rise of the Bruttian people from this fortuitous aggregation of rebels and fugitives is assigned by Diodorus to the year 356, B.C.; and this accords with the statement of Strabo that they arose at the period of the expedition of Dion against the younger Dionysius.
The wars of the latter, as well as of his father, with the Greek cities in southern Italy, and the state of confusion and weakness to which these were reduced in consequence, probably contributed in a great degree to pave the way for the rise of the Bruttian power. The name
must indeed have been much more ancient if we could trust to the accuracy of Diodorus, who, in another passage (12.22), speaks of the Bruttians
as having expelled the remainder of the Sybarites, who had settled on the river Traens after the destruction of their own city.
But it is probable that this is a mere inaccuracy of expression, and that he only means to designate the inhabitants of the country, who were afterwards called Bruttians.1
The progress of the latter, after their first appearance in history, was rapid. Composed originally, as we are told, of mere troops of outlaws and banditti, they soon became numerous and powerful enough to defy the arms of the Lucanians, and not only maintained their independence in the mountain districts of the interior, but attacked and made themselves masters of the Greek cities of Hipponium, Terina, and Thurii. (Diod. 16.15
; Strab. vi. p.255
.) Their independence seems to have been readily acknowledged by the Lucanians; and less than 30 years after their first revolt, we find the two nations uniting their arms as allies against their Greek neighbours.
The latter applied for assistance to Alexander, king of Epirus, who crossed over into Italy with an army, and carried on the war for several successive campaigns, during which he reduced Heraclea, Consentia, and Terina; but finally perished in a battle against the combined forces of the Lucanians and Bruttians, near Pandosia, B.C. 326. (Liv. 8.24
; Just. 12.2
; Strab. v. p.256
.) They next had to contend against the arms of Agathocles, who ravaged their coasts with his fleets, took the city of Hipponium, which he converted into a strong fortress and naval station, and [p. 1.449]
compelled the Bruttians to conclude a disadvantageous peace.
But they soon broke this treaty; and recovered possession of Hipponium. (Diod. 21.3
; Just. 23.1
This appears to have been the period when the Bruttian nation had reached its highest pitch of power and prosperity; it was not long before they had to contend with a more formidable adversary, and as early as B.C. 282 we find them uniting their arms with those of the Lucanians and Samnites against the growing power of Rome. (Liv. Epit. xii.; Fast. Capit.)
A few years later they are mentioned as sending auxiliaries to the army of Pyrrhus; but after the defeat of that monarch, and his expulsion from Italy, they had to bear the full brunt of the war, and after repeated campaigns and successive triumphs of the Roman generals, C. Fabricius and L. Papirius, they were finally reduced to submission, and compelled to purchase peace by the surrender of one-half of the great forest of Sila, so valuable for its pitch and timber. (Dionys. xx. Fr. Mai and Didot; Fast. Capit.; Zonar. 8.6
Their submission however was still but imperfect; and though they regained tranquil throughout the First Punic War, the successes of Hannibal in the Second, proved too much for their fidelity, and the Bruttians were among the first to declare in favour of the Carthaginian general after the battle of Cannae. (Liv. 22.61
The defection of the people did not indeed in the first instance draw with it that of the towns: but Petelia and Consentia, which had at first held aloof, were speedily reduced by the Bruttians, assisted by a small Carthaginian force, and the more important cities of Locri and Crotona followed not long after. Rhegium alone remained firm, and was able to defy the Carthaginian arms throughout the war. (Id. 23.20, 30, 24.1--3.) In B.C. 215 Hanno, the lieutenant of Hannibal, after his defeat at Grumentum by Tib. Gracchus, threw himself into Bruttium, where he was soon after joined by a body of fresh troops from Carthage under Bomilcar: and from this time he made that region his stronghold, from whence he repeatedly issued to oppose the Roman generals in Lucania and Samnium, while he constantly fell back upon it as a place of safety when defeated or hard pressed by the enemy.
The physical character of the country, already described, rendered it necessarily a military position of the greatest strength: and after the defeat and death of Hasdrubal Hannibal himself withdrew all his forces into the Bruttian peninsula, where he continued to maintain his ground against the Roman generals, long after they were undisputed masters of the rest of Italy. (Id. 27.51.) We have; very little information concerning the operations of the four years during which Hannibal retained his position in this province: he appears to have made his headquarters for the most part in the neighbourhood of Crotona, but the name of Castra Hannibalis retained by a small town on the Gulf of Scyllacium, points to his having occupied this also as a permanent station. Meanwhile the Romans, though avoiding any decisive engagement, were continually gaining ground on him by the successive reduction of towns and fortresses, so that very few of these remained in the hands of the Carthaginian general, when he was finally recalled from Italy.
The ravages of so many successive campaigns must have already inflicted a severe blow upon the prosperity of Bruttium: the measures adopted by the Romans to punish them for their rebellion completed their humiliation. They were deprived of a great part of their territory, and the whole nation reduced to a state bordering on servitude: they were not admitted like the other nations of Italy to rank as allies, but were pronounced incapable of military service, and only employed to attend upon the Roman magistrates as couriers or letter-carriers, and attendants for other purposes of a menial character. (Appian. Annib.
61; Strab. v. p.251
; Gell. N. A.
It was however some time before they were altogether crushed: for several years after the close of the Second Punic War, one of the praetors was annually sent with an army to watch over the Bruttians: and it was evidently with the view of more fully securing their subjection that three colonies were established in their territory, two of Roman citizens at Tempsa and Crotona, and a third with Latin rights at Hipponium, to which the name of Vibo Valentia was now given.
A fourth was at the same time settled at Thurii on their immediate frontier. (Liv. 34.45
From this time the Bruttians as a people disappear from history: but their country again became the theatre of war during the revolt of Spartacus, who after his first defeats by Crassus, took refuge in the southernmost portion of Bruttium (called by Plutarch the Rhegian peninsula), in which the Roman general sought to confine him by drawing lines of intrenchment across the isthmus from sea to sea.
The insurgent leader however forced his way through, and again carried the war into the heart of Lucania. (Plut. Crass. 10
; Flor. 3.20
.) During the Civil Wars the coasts of Bruttium were repeatedly laid waste by the fleets of Sextus Pompeius, and witnessed several conflicts between the latter and those of Octavian, who had established the headquarters both of his army and navy at Vibo. (Appian, App. BC 4.86
, &c.) Strabo speaks of the whole province as reduced in his time to a state of complete decay. (vi. p. 253.)
It was included by Augustus in the Third Region, together with Lucania; and the two provinces appear to have continued united for most administrative purposes until the fall of the Roman empire, and were governed conjointly by a magistrate termed a “Corrector.” The Liber Coloniarum however treats of the “Provincia Bruttiorum” as distinct from that of Lucania. (Plin. Nat. 3.5. s. 10
; Not. Dign. 2.18. p. 64; Orell. Inscr.
1074, 1187; Lib. Colon. p. 209.)
After the fall of the Western Empire Bruttium passed with the rest of Italy under the dominion of the Goths: but was reconquered by the generals of Justinian, and continued from thenceforth subject to the Byzantine emperors till the 11th century.
It was during this interval that a singular change took place in its name. During the greater part of this period it appears that Bruttium and a small part of the Calabrian peninsula were all that remained to the Greek emperors in Italy, and that the name of Calabria came to be gradually applied to the two provinces thus united under their government.
But when they eventually lost their possessions in the eastern peninsula, the name of Calabria, which had originally belonged to that only, came to be used on the contrary to designate exclusively the Bruttian peninsula, which has in consequence retained to the present day the name of Calabria.
It is impossible to trace exactly the progress, or determine the period of this change: but it appears to have been completely established before the provinces in question were finally wrested from the Greek Empire by the [p. 1.450]
Normans, who assumed the titles of Dukes of Apulia and Calabria, meaning by the latter the ancient Bruttium, and including the Calabria of the Romans under the title of Apulia. CALABRIA
There was hardly any province of Italy, which was more deeply imbued with Greek influences than Bruttium. The Greek colonies around its coasts left the impress not only of their manners and civilization, but of their language; and even in the time of Ennius, the two languages current in the peninsula were Greek and Oscan. (Fest. v. Brutates.
) The long continuance of the Byzantine power in these regions must have tended to preserve and renew this element: but it is probable that the traces of Greek language, and especially the Greek names, such as Pagliopoli, Ieropotamo,
&c., which have been preserved down to modern times, are due to fresh colonies of Albanian Greeks introduced by the Neapolitan kings in the fifteenth century: and have not been transmitted, as supposed by Niebuhr, without interruption from the colonists of Magna Graecia. (Niebhr, vol. i. p. 62; Swinburne's Travels,
vol. i. p. 348--353; K. Craven's Travels,
The rivers of Bruttium are, as already observed, mostly but inconsiderable streams, mere mountain torrents having but a short course from the central ranges of the Apennines to the sea.
Those of which the ancient names are preserved to us are here enumerated. Beginning from the LAUS (Lao
), which separated Bruttium from Lucania, and proceeding along the coast of the Tyrrhenian Sea, we find: 1. the “Batum flumen” of Pliny, a very small stream, still called the Bato,
the mouth of which is only about a mile S. of that of the Lao:
2. the SABATUS
of the Itineraries (Itin. Ant.
pp. 105, 110) placed by them S. of Consentia, is evidently the Savuto,
a considerable stream, which rises in the mountains S. of Cosenza, and enters the sea about 7 miles S. of the modern Amantea.
This is identified by most modern topographers with the river called OCINARUS
) by Lycophron (Alex.
729, 1009), on the banks of which was situated the city of Terina [TERINA
]: 3. the Lanzato,
another considerable stream which rises in the same group of mountains, but has a more circuitous course, and falls into the Terinaean Gulf, about 16 miles S. of the Savuto,
was called by the Greeks the LAMETUS, and gave name to the neighbouring town of Lametini (Steph. B. sub voce Λαμητῖνοι
). 4. The ANGITULA of the Tabula, is a small stream called Angitola,
about 6 miles S. of the preceding. 5. The MEDMA
which gave name to the city on its banks, is still called the Mesima,
a stream of some importance, flowing into the Gulf of Gioja:
6. the Metaurus of Pliny, now called the Marro,
about 7 miles S. of the Mesima.
7. The CRATAEIS
), supposed to derive its name from the mother of Scylla (Hom. Od. 12.124
) is considered to be the F. di Solano,
a small stream which flows between the rock of Scilla
and the town of Bagnara.
After passing the Straits of Messana no stream of any note is found till after rounding the headland of Leucopetra, when we come to (8) the HALEX
still called Alice,
which was for a long time the boundary between the territories of Locri and Rhegium. [HALEX
] 9. The CAECINUS
of Thucydides (3.103
) has been identified with the F. Piscopio,
about 5 miles E. of the preceding. 10. The BUTHROTUS, mentioned by Livy (29.7
) as a river not far from the walls of Locri, is probably the modern F. Novito,
which enters the sea about 3 miles from Gerace.
] 11. The LUCANUS
) of Ptolemy, still called the Locano,
a few miles from the preceding. 12. The SAGRAS
a much more celebrated stream, memorable for the great defeat of the Crotoniats on its banks, but which there is great difficulty in identifying with certainty: it is probably the Alaro.
] 13. The HELORUS
or HELLEPORUS, celebrated for the defeat of the combined forces of the Italiot Greeks by the elder Dionysius, B.C. 389, was probably the Callipari,
a small stream about 14 miles N. of the Capo di Stilo.
14. The Ancinale,
a more considerable stream, about 6 miles N. of the preceding, flowing into the Gulf of Squillace,
may probably be the CARCINES, or CARCINUS of Pliny and Mela. (Plin. Nat. 3.15
In the same passage Pliny speaks of four other navigable
rivers as flowing into the same gulf, to which he gives the names of CROTALUS, SEMIRUS, AROCHAS, and TARGINES: the similarity of names, and order of occurrence, enable us to identify these, with tolerable certainty, as the streams now called respectively the Corace, Simmari, Crocchio,
though none of them certainly deserves to be called navigable. 16. The AESARUS, on the banks of which stood the celebrated city of Crotona, is still called the Esaro.
17. About 9 miles further N. is the mouth of the NEAETHUS
still called Neto,
which is, next to the Crathis, the most considerable river of Bruttium. [NEAETHUS
] 18. The HYLIAS
mentioned by Thucydides (7.35
) as the limit between the territories of Crotona and Thurii, is probably the Fiumenicà,
a small stream about 8 miles W. of the Capo dell' Alice.
19. The TRAENS
celebrated for the bloody defeat of the Sybarites on its banks, is probably the Trionto.
20. The CRATHIS
as already mentioned, formed at its mouth the boundary between Lucania and Bruttium, though by far the greater part of its course belonged to the latter.
Although Bruttium is throughout almost its whole extent a mountainous country, few names or designations of particular heights have been preserved to us.
The name of Sila, given in modern times to the great outlying mass of mountains between Consentia and Crotona, appears to have been applied by the ancients more especially to the southern mass, now called Asprononte:
as both Strabo and Pliny place it in the immediate neighbourhood of Locri and Rhegium. (Strab. vi. p.261
; Plin. Nat. 3.5. s. 10
.) Probably the name (which is evidently only another form of silva,
or ὕλη, the forest
) was at first applied indiscriminately to all the Apennines in this part of Italy.
These are not, like those of Lucania and Central Italy, of calcareous character, but are composed for the most part of granite and other pimary rocks, though bordered on each side by a band of tertiary strata, which give rise to the more fertile hills and vallies on the coasts. The Mons Clibanus of Pliny, and the Latymnius of Theocritus (Λατύμνιον ὄρος, Id.
4.17), appear to have been both of them situated in the neighbourhood of Crotona, but cannot be identified with any certainty.
The only islands on the coasts of Bruttium are mere rocks, utterly unworthy of notice, were it not for the traditions by which they were connected with the mythological legends of the Greeks. Thus a barren rocky islet off Cape Lacinium was identified with the island of Calypso, the OGYGIA
of Homer (Plin. Nat. 3.10. s. 15
): two equally insignificant rocks [p. 1.451]
opposite to Hipponium were called the ITHACESIAE INSULAE
from a fancied connexion with Ulysses (Id.
7. s. 13); and a rock near Terina (supposed to be the one now called Pietra della Nave
) was called LIGEA, from the name of one of the Sirens, who was cast ashore there. (Solin. 2.9
; Lycophr. Alex.
The Greek colonies around the coasts of Bruttium have been already enumerated. Besides these we find the following cities and towns mentioned by ancient historians and geographers. On the coast of the Tyrrhenian Sea, proceeding from the mouth of the Laus towards the Sicilian Strait, were CERILLI, CLAMPETIA, TEMPSA and NUCERIA, LAMETIUM and NAPETIUM, on the Terinaean Gulf, METAURUM
at the mouth of the river of the same name, and SCYLLAEUM
on the rock or headland of Scylla. On the E. coast were, MYSTIA
near the promontory of Cocinthus, CASTRA HANNIBALIS
on the Scyllacian Gulf, PETELIA
a few miles inland near the mouth of the Neaethus, and CRIMISA
near the promontory of the same name.
The chief towns of the interior were CONSENTIA
which was at one time the capital of the Bruttian nation, PANDOSIA
and APUSTUM in the same neighbourhood; MAMERTIUM
in the southern peninsula, and TISIA
Besides these a number of small towns are mentioned by Livy (30.19
) during the operations of the Romans in Bruttium towards the close of the Second Punic War, the names of which are otherwise wholly unknown.
He himself calls them “ignobiles populi.” Of these, Argentanum is probably a place still called Argentina
and Besidiae, the modern Bisignano
(Besidianum), but the other four, Uffugum, Vergae, Hetriculum, and Sypheum cannot be identified, the localities assigned to them by local antiquarians being purely conjectural. (Holsten. Not. in Cluv.
p. 307; Barrius, de Sit. Calabr.
2.5; Romanelli, vol. i. p. 114.) Equally uncertain are several towns mentioned by Stephanus of Byzantium and by Lycophron, and placed by them among inland towns of the Oenotrians. To this class belong MACALLA, CHONE, Badiza, Ixias, Brystacia, Ariantha or Arintha, Cyterium, Menecina, Ninaea, Erimon, and Sestium. Almost all these names are quoted by Stephanus from Hecataeus, who wrote at a time when the flourishing Greek colonies on the coast naturally led to more frequent intercourse with the petty Oenotrian towns of the interior.
In later times they had either disappeared or undergone a change of name. Siberena mentioned only by the same author (v. Σιβερήνη
) is supposed with some plausibility to be the modern Sta Severina,
a place of some importance as a fortress during the middle ages, and Tanrania (Ταυρανία
) is probably the Taurianum of the Itineraries, which must be placed on the river Metaurus. On the other hand, we find in the Itineraries mention of some towns which had probably grown up at a comparatively late period: such are. Caprasia, probably Tarsia
on the Crathis, Roscianum (Rossano
), which we are expressly told by Procopius (B. G.
3.28) was a fortress constructed by the Romans; Paternum, near the headland of Crimisa; and on the other side of the peninsula Nicotera (which still retains its name) a few miles N. of the river Mesima.
But the greater part of the stations recorded by the Itineraries in this part of Italy are utterly obscure, and were probably mere mutationes,
places where relays of horses were kept: the paucity of towns showing the decayed condition of the country.
On the W. coast we find mention of some ports,
which appear to have been in use as such in the time of Pliny and Strabo, without any towns having grown up adjoining them. Of these are the Portus Parthenius, placed by Pliny (3.5. s. 10
) between the Laus and Clampetia, but the position of which cannot be determined with more accuracy: the Portus Herculis (Plin. ib.; Strab. vi. p.256
) between Hipponium and Medma, probably Tropea:
the Portus Orestis (Plin. l.c.
) apparently in the neighbourhood of the Metaurus, and the Portus Balarus noticed by Appian (App. BC 4.85
) as situated in the neighbourhood of the Sicilian Strait, probably the modern Bagnara.
The principal ancient line of road through Bruttium passed down the centre of the peninsula, following nearly the same line with the modern high road from Naples to Reggio.
It is considered in the Itineraries as a branch of the Appian Way (Itin. Ant. p. 106), but it was probably known originally as the Via Popillia, as an inscription has preserved to us the fact that it was originally constructed by C. Popillius.
It proceeded from Muranum (Murano
) in Lucania to Caprasia (probably Tarsia
), ascended the valley of the Crathis to Consentia, thence descended into the plain of the Lametus, and passed through Vibo Valentia, and from thence followed with little deviation the W. coast as far as Rhegium. Another line of road preserved to us by the same authority (Itin. Ant.
p 114) proceeded from Thurii along the E. coast by Roscianum and Paternum to Syllacium, leaving Crotona on the left, and thence round the coast to Rhegium.
It was probably this line which, as we learn from another inscription, was constructed under the emperor Trajan at the same time with the road through the Sallentine peninsula.
A third, given only in the Tabula, and probably the least frequented of all, led from Blanda in Lucania down the W. coast of Bruttium, keeping close to the Tyrrhenian sea, as far as Vibo Valentia, where it joined the road first described.
The modern provinces of Calabria have been less explored by recent travellers than any other part of Italy, and their topography is still but very imperfectly known. None of the ancient cities which formerly adorned their shores have left any striking monuments of their former magnificence, and even the site of some of them has never yet been determined.
The travels of Swinburne and Keppel Craven give a good account of the physical characters and present condition of the country; but throw very little light upon its ancient topography, and the local writers who have treated expressly of this subject are deserving of little confidence.
The principal of these is Barrio, whose work, De Antiquitate et Situ Calabriae
(Roma. 1571, 8vo.), was republished in 1737 with copious illustrations and corrections by Tommaso Aceti.
The original work is inserted in Burmann's Thesaurus Antiquitatum Italiae,
vol. ix. part 5.
In the more comprehensive
|COIN OF BRUTTII.|
work of Romanelli (the Antica Topografia Istorica del Regno di Napoli,
Naples, 1815) the author has followed almost exclusively the authority of Barrio and his commentators.
There is no doubt that a careful examination of the localities themselves by a well-informed and enterprising traveller would add greatly to our knowledge of their ancient geography and condition.