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 In the inland are Rudiæ and Lupiæ, and at a short distance from the sea Aletia;1 about the middle of the isthmus is Uria,2 in which is still shown the palace of a certain famous nobleman.3 As Hyria4 is described by Herodotus as situated in Iapygia, and as founded by the Cretans who strayed from the fleet of Minos while sailing to Sicily;5 we must suppose that he meant either this place [Uria] or Veretum. It is said that a colony of Cretans settled in Brentesium,6 but the tradition varies; some say they were those who came with Theseus from Cnossus;7 others, that they were some out of Sicily who had come with Iapyx; they agree however in saying that they did not abide there, but went thence to Bottiæa. At a later period, when the state was under the government of a monarch, it lost a large portion of its territories, which was taken by the Lacedæmonians who came over under Phalanthus; notwithstanding this the Brundusians received him when he was expelled from Tarentum, and honoured him with a splendid tomb at his death. They possess a district of superior fertility to that of the Tarentines; for its soil is light, still it is fruitful, and its honey and wools are amongst the most esteemed; further, the harbour of Brentesium is superior to that of Tarentum, for many havens are protected by the single entrance,8 and rendered perfectly smooth, many bays [or reaches] being formed within it, so that it resembles in fashion the antlers of a stag, whence its name, for the place, together with the city, is exceedingly like the head of a stag, and in the Messapian language the stag's head is called Brentesium; while the port of Tarentum is not entirely safe, both on account of its lying very open, and of certain shallows near its head.
1 We have followed Kramer's text in calling this place Aletia, several MSS. read Salepia. Cramer, in his description of Ancient Italy, vol ii. p. 316, says, Aletium is naturally supposed to have occupied the site of the church of S. Maria della Lizza.—It was called ᾿αλήτιον by Ptolemy.
3 lit. of a certain one of the nobles.
5 B. C. 1353.
7 About B. C. 1323.
8 Great changes have taken place in this locality since Strabo's description was drawn.
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