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LEUCOPETRA

LEUCOPETRA (Λευκοπέτρα), a promontory of Bruttium, remarkable as the extreme SW. point of Italy, looking towards the Sicilian sea and the E. coast of Sicily. It was in consequence generally regarded as the termination of the chain of the Apennines. Pliny tells us it was 12 miles from Rhegium, and this circumstance clearly identifies it with the modern Capo dell' Armi, where the mountain mass of the southern Apennines in fact descends to the sea. The whiteness of the rocks composing this headland, which gave origin to the ancient name, is noticed also by modern travellers. (Strab. vi. p.259; Plin. Nat. 3.5. s. 10; Ptol. 3.1.9; Swinburne, Travels, vol. i. p. 355.) It is evidently the same promontory which is called by Thucydides Πέτρα τῆς Πηγίης, and was the last point in Italy where Demnosthenes and Eurymedon touched with the Athenian armament before they crossed over to Sicily. (Thuc. 7.35.) It was here also that Cicero touched on his voyage from Sicily, when, after the death of Caesar, B.C. 44. he was preparing to repair into Greece, and where he was visited by some friends from Rhegium, who brought news from Rome that induced him to alter his plans. (Cic. Phil. 1.3, ad Att. 16.7.) In the former passage he terms it “promontorium agri Rhegini:” the “Leucopetra Tarentinorum” mentioned by him (ad Att. 16.6), if it be not a false reading, must refer to quite a different place, probably the headland of Leuca, more commonly called the Iapygian promontory. [LEUCA]

[E.H.B]

hide References (4 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (4):
    • Cicero, Philippics, 1.3
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 3.5
    • Thucydides, Histories, 7.35
    • Claudius Ptolemy, Tetrabiblos, 3.1
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