), a people of Southern Italy, who inhabited a part of the countries afterwards known as Lucania and Bruttium, on the shores of the Tarentine Gulf.
It appears certain that they were of the same race with the Oenotrians, and like them of Pelasgic origin. Aristotle expressly tells us that the Chones were an Oenotrian race (Pol.
7.9), and Strabo (quoting from Antiochus) repeats the statement, adding that they were a more civilized race than the other Oenotrians. (Strab. vi. p.255
He describes them as occupying the tract about Metapontum and Siris; and Aristotle also, as well as Lycophron, place them in the fertile district of the Siritis. (Arist. l.c.
where it seems certain that we should read Σιρῖτιν
Lycophr. Alex. 983.
) Strabo also in another passage (vi. p. 264) represents the Ionians, who established themselves at Siris as wresting that city from the Chones, and speaks of Rhodian settlers as establishing themselves in the neighbourhood of Sybaris in Chonia (xiv. p. 654).
But it seems clear that the name was used also in a much wider signification, as the city of CHONE
which, according to Apollodorus, gave name to the nation, was placed near the promontory of Crimisa, in Bruttium. (Apollod. ap. Strab. vi. p.254
The existence, however, of a city
of the name at all is very uncertain: Antiochus says that the land of the Chones was named CHONE
for which Strabo and Lycophron use the more ordinary form CHONIA. (Strab. xiv. p.654
; Lycophr. l.c.
) It seems clear on the whole, that the name was applied more or less extensively to the tribe that dwelt on the western shores of the Tarentine Gulf, from the Lacinian promontory, to the neighbourhood of Metapontum: and that as they were of close kindred with the Oenotrians, they were sometimes distinguished from them, sometimes included under the same appellation.
The name is evidently closely connected with that of the CHAONES
in Epeirus, and this resemblance tends to [p. 1.613]
confirm the fact (attested by many other arguments) that both tribes were of Pelasgic origin, and related by close affinity of race.
This point is more fully discussed under OENOTRIA