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 After the Locri is the [river] Sagras,1 in the feminine gender, on which is situated the altar of the Dioscuri, near which ten thousand Locrians, with a small body of Rhegians gained a victory over 130,000 Crotoniatæ whence they say arose the proverb applied to incredulous people. ‘It is more true than the victory of the Sagras.’ Some people add to the mysterious account, that it was announced the same day at the Olympic games to the people there assembled, and this speedy news was found perfectly correct. They say that this mischance was so unfortunate an event to the Crotoniatæ, that after it they did not long remain as a nation, on account of the number of citizens who fell in the battle. After the Sagras is Caulonia, which was at first called Aulonia, from the αὐλὼν, or valley, in which it was situated; but it is deserted, for its former possessors were driven out by the barbarians,2 and have taken refuge in Sicily, and there founded [another] Caulonia.3 After this is Scylletium,4 a colony of the Athenians, who set out under Menestheus;5 it is now called Scylacium.6
1 Geographers differ much as to the modern river which corresponda to this stream. Romanelli and Swinburne consider it to be the Alam.
2 During the war against Pyrrhus, whose cause was espoused by Cau- lonia, the city was pillaged by the Mamertini, the allies of the Romans. The town was subsequently occupied by the Bruttii, who defended it against the Romans in the second Punic war. Barrio and other Calabrian topographers have fixed its site at Castro Vetere, but Strabo placed it on the left bank of the Sagras, which is inconsistent with their supposition, and it is still a subject of inquiry.
3 Cluvier (Sicil. ant. lib. ii.) reckons this place was situated between Caltanis and Pietrapreccia.
4 Now Squillace.
5 Servius observes that these Athenians were returning from Africa, Serv. Æn. iii. 552.
6 Saumaise (Exercit. Plin. p. 47, 57) thinks the true reading should be Scylaceium, or Virgil could not have made the penultimate long.
Dionysius [the elder] allotted a portion of it to the Locri, whilst it was in the possession of the Crotoniatæ.6 The Scylleticus Sinus received its name from this city. It together with the Hipponiates Sinus forms the isthmus which we have mentioned above.7 Dionysius8 undertook to build a wall across the isthmus, at the time he was carrying on war against the Leucani, assigning as a pretext that it would afford security to the inhabitants of the peninsula from the inroads of the barbarians dwelling beyond it; but in truth his intention was to cut off the communication of the Greeks with each other, and to have the greater power over those who dwelt within the peninsula, but those who dwelt without9 assembled and prevented the undertaking.
“ . . . Attollit se diva Lacinia contra”
Caulonisque arces, et navifragum Scylaceum.Æn. iii. 652.
7 About B. C. 389.
8 Book vi. cap. i. § 4.
9 Pliny seems to attribute to Dionysius the elder the project of cutting not walling off the isthmus: ‘Itaque Dionysius major intercisam eo loco adjicere Siciliæ voluit.’ Hist. Nat. lib. iii. § 15. Grimaldi also is of opinion that the circumstance mentioned by Strabo should be referred to the first years of Dionysius the younger, about B. C. 366–359.
10 By those who dwelt without, Strabo doubtless intended the Croto- niatæ, and their allies.
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