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NEAETHUS (Νέαιθος, Strab ; Νήαιθος, Theocr.; Ναύαιθος, Lycophr.), a river on the E. coast of Bruttium, falling into the gulf of Tarentum about 10 miles N. of Crotona, still called the Nieto or Neto. Strabo derives its name from the circumstance that it was here that the Trojan women who were conducted as captives by a Greek fleet, set fire to the ships of the victors, and thus compelled them to settle in this part of Italy. (Strab. vi. p.262; Plin. Nat. 3.11. s. 15.) It is well known that the same legend is transferred by other writers to many different localities, and appears to have been one of those which gradually travelled along the coast of Italy, in the same manner as the myths relating to Aeneas. The form of the name Ναύαιθος employed by Lycophron (Alex. 921) points evidently to the same fanciful derivation (from ναῦς and αἴθω). Theocritus alludes to the rich and varied herbage which grew on its banks (Id. 4.24), and for which, according to a modern traveller, it is still remarkable. (Swinburne, Travels, vol. i. p. 313.)


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    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 3.11
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