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 At one time, when the government of the Tarentines had assumed a democratic form, they rose to great importance; for they possessed the greatest fleet of any state in those parts, and could bring into the field an army of 30,000 foot and 3000 horse, exclusive of a select body of 1000 cavalry called Hipparchi.1 They likewise encouraged the Pythagorean philosophy, and Archytas, who for a long time presided over the government of their state, gave it his special support.2 But at a later period their luxury, which was produced by their prosperity, increased to that degree that their general holidays or festivals exceeded in number the days of the year; and hence arose an inefficient government, and as one proof of their un- statesmanlike acts we may adduce their employment of foreign generals; for they sent for Alexander,3 king of the Molossi, to come and assist them against the Messapii and Leucani. They had before that employed Archidamus, the son of Agesilaus;4 afterwards they called in Cleonymus5 and Agathocles,6 and later, when they rose against the Romans, Pyrrhus.7 They were not able even to retain the respect of those whom they had invited, but rather merited their disgust. Alexander [of Epirus] was so displeased with them that lie endeavoured to remove the seat of the general council of the Greek states in Italy, which was accustomed to assemble at Heraclea, a city of the Tarentines, to a city of the Thurii; and he commanded that some place on the river Acalandrus,8 commodious for their meetings, should be properly fortified for their reception.—And indeed they say that the misfortune9 of that prince was chiefly due to a want of good feeling on their part. They were deprived of their liberty during the wars10 of Hannibal, but have since received a Roman colony,11 and now live in peace and are in a more prosperous state than ever. They also engaged in war with the Messapii concerning Heraclea, when they counted the kings of the Daunii and of the Peucetii as allies.12
1 See Heyne, Opusc. Acad. tom. ii. p. 223, not. h.
2 He is said to have entertained Plato during his sojourn here. Archytas flourished about the commencement of the fourth century B. C., and was still living in the year 349 B. C.
3 About 332 or 339 B. C. See Heyn. Opusc. Acad. tom. ii. p. 141.
4 About 338 B. C.
5 About 303 B. C.
6 About 330 B. C.
7 About 281 B. C.
8 Cramer, in his Ancient Italy, has very justly remarked that the name of the small river Calandro, which discharges itself into the sea a little below Capo di Roseto, bears some affinity to the river Acalandrus mentioned by Strabo. However, some have thought it identical with the Salandrella and the Fiume di Roseto, while Cluverius was of opinion that we should here read κυλίσταρνος instead of ᾿ακάλανδρος, and identify it with the modern Racanello.
9 326 B. C.
10 209 B. C.
11 124 B. C.
12 Some suspect this last sentence to be an interpolation; certain it is that there is great difficulty in finding a time to correspond with all the circumstances contained in it. According to M. Heyne, this war must have taken place 474 B. C., but then Heraclea was not founded till 436 B. C. It seems too that the people of Iapygia had kings as late as 480 B. C.
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