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Ἡράκλεια). A name given to more than forty towns in Europe, Asia, Africa, and the islands of the Mediterranean. They are supposed to have derived this name from Heracles, and to have either been built in honour of him or placed under his protection. The most famous of these places were:

In Greece.—


A city of Elis, near the centre of the province, to the southeast of Pisa, near the confluence of the Cytherus and Alpheus.


A city of Acarnania, on the shore of the Ionian Sea, and opposite the island of Carnus.


A city of Epirus, on the confines of Athamania and Molossis, and near the sources of the Aras.


Lyncestis, a town of Macedonia, at the foot of the Candavian Mountains, on the confines of Illyria. Its ruins still retain the name of Erekli. Mention is made of this town in Caesar (B. C. iii. 79).


Sintĭca, the principal town of the Sinti in Thrace. We are informed by Livy (xl. 24) that Demetrius, the son of Philip, was here imprisoned and murdered. Mannert thinks it the same with the Heraclea built by Amyntas, the brother of Philip.


Trachinia, a town of Thessaly, founded by the Lacedaemonians, and a colony from Trachis, about B.C. 426, in the sixth year of the Peloponnesian War (Thuc.iii. 92). It was distant about sixty stadia from Thermopylae and twenty from the sea. Iason, tyrant of Pherae, took possession of this city at one period, and caused the walls to be pulled down (Hist. Gr. vi. 4, 27). Heraclea, however, again arose from its ruins, and became a flourishing city under the Aetolians, who sometimes held their general council within its walls (Livy, xxv. 5). It was taken by the Roman consul, Acilius Glabrio, after a long and obstinate siege (Livy, xxxvii. 24; Polyb. x. 42).

In Italy, Gaul, etc.—


A city of Lucania in Italy, and situated between the Aciris and Siris. It was founded by the Tarentini after the destruction of the ancient city of Siris, which stood at the mouth of the latter river (B.C. 428). This city is rendered remarkable in history, as having been the seat of the general council of the Greek states.


A city of Campania, more commonly known by the name of Herculaneum.


Caccabaria, a city on the confines of Italy and Gaul, in Narbonensis Secunda. It was situated on the coast, to the south of Forum Iulii.


Minōa, a city of Sicily on the southern coast, northeast of Agrigentum, at the mouth of the river Camicus. It was founded by Minos when he pursued Daedalus hither, and was subsequently called Heraclea from Heracles, after his victory over Eryx—so, at least, said the fables of the day. Some authorities make the original name to have been Macara, and Minos to have been not the founder but the conqueror of the place (Mela, ii. 7; Livy, xxxiv. 35).

In Asia, Africa, etc.—


Pontĭca (Ἡράκλεια Πόντου). A city on the coast of Bithynia, about twelve stadia from the river Lycus. It was founded by a colony of Megareans, strengthened by some Tanagreans from Boeotia; the numbers of the former, however, so predominated that the city was in general considered as Doric. This place was famed for its naval power and its consequence among the Asiatic States. Memnon composed a history of the tyrants who reigned at Heraclea during a space of eighty-four years; but we have only now the abridgment of Photius, which is confirmed by incidental notices contained in Aristotle (Polit. vi. 5).


A city of Aeolis, at the entrance of the Gulf of Adramyttium, opposite Mitylené.


A city in southern Aeolis, on the seacoast, near Cumae.


A city of Caria, on the seacoast, near the mouth of the river Latmus, between Miletus and Priené (Ptol.v. 10). It was called, for distinction's sake from other places of the same name, Heraclēa Latmi.


A city of Syria, in the district of Cyrrhestica, northwest of Hierapolis and northeast of Beroea, near the confines of Comagené.


A city of Lower Egypt, situated in the Delta, to the northeast of the Canopic mouth of the Nile.


Heracleopŏlis Magna, a city of Egypt, in the Heracleotic nome, of which it was the capital. The ichneumon was worshipped here.


Heracleopŏlis Parva, a city of Egypt, southwest of Pelusium, within the Delta.

hide References (4 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (4):
    • Thucydides, Histories, 3.92
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 25, 5
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 37, 24
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 34, 35
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