This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
1 After Thurii is Lagaria,1 a garrison fort; it was originally settled by Epeius2 and the Phocenses; hence is derived the Lagaritan wine, sweet and delicate, and much recommended by the physicians, as is likewise the Thurian wine, which is reckoned among the best. Then comes the city of Heraclea,3 a little way from the sea, and two navigable rivers, the Agri4 and the Sinno,5 on which was the city Siris, founded by a Trojan colony, but in course of time, when Heraclea was peopled with the citizens of Siris by the Tarentini, it became the harbour of Heraclea. Its distance from Heraclea was 24 stadia, and from Thurii about 330.6 They point out the statue of the Trojan Minerva, which is erected there, as a proof of its colonization by the Trojans. They also relate as a miracle how the statue closed its eyes when the suppliants, who had fled for sanctuary to her shrine, were dragged away by the Ionians after they had taken the city;7 they say that these Ionians came to settle here, when they fled from the yoke of the Lydians, and took the town of the Trojans8 by force, calling its name Polieum. They show, too, at the present time the statue that closes its eyes. It must, however, require a good courage, not to assert that it appeared to have closed its eyes, as that at Troy turned away its eyes from beholding the violence offered to Cassandra, but to show it in the act of winking:—but it is much more daring to make so many statues of the Minerva rescued from Ilium, as those who describe them affirm, for there is a Minerva said to be Trojan in the sense of having been rescued from that city, not only at Siris, but at Rome, at Lavinium, and at Luceria. The scene, too, of the daring of the Trojan female captives is assigned to many different places and appears incredible, although it is by no means impossible. There are some who say that Siris, and also that Sybaris on the Trionto,9 were founded by the Rhodians. Antiochus says that the site of Siris having become the subject of a contention between the Tarentini and the Thurii, on that occasion commanded by Cleandridas the general who had been banished from Lacedæmon, the two people came to a composition, and agreed to inhabit it in common, but that the colony10 should be considered as Tarentine; however, at a subsequent period both the name and the locality were changed, and it was called Heraclea.11
2 Now La Nucara.
3 It is not ascertained whether this leader were the architect of the Horse of Troy.
4 Antiquaries seem agreed in fixing the site of this town at Policoro, about three miles from the mouth of the Agri, where considerable remains are still visible. The city is famous as the seat of the general council of the Greek states, and the celebrated bronze tables on which the learned Mazzocchi bestowed so much labour were discovered near its site. Its coins represent Hercules contending with the lion, and bear the epigraph ηρα or ηρακληιων.
7 This accords very well with the distance given in the Itinerary of Antoninus.
8 About B. C. 580.
11 About B. C. 444.
12 About B. C. 433.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.