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The origins of Reggio Calabria

by Alberto Laganà de Simone

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The origins of Reggio Calabria
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They sailed the Ionian Sea and in the summer come near to the strait of Scylla and Charybdis, then stopped their ships at the mouth of the Apsias, the most holy of the rivers. There they found a fig embraced to a vine. This was the place indicated by the God where to build their city, and called it Rhegion.
In the meantime, many other Greeks left their lands to find new places to live. They come to Southern Italy, Sicily and the whole Mediterranean Sea, settled down and founded famous and powerful cities, Taranto, Syracuse, Lokroi, Kroton, Messana, Sybaris and many others. They kept connections with their fatherland and became accomplished in both war and commerce, conquered other peoples and spread their culture. Magna Grecia was born.
After the foundation of the city, the inhabitants of Rhegion started to expand their territory. They conquered the rock of Scylla, and the mountains of western Aspromonte. With a strong position on the Strait, Rhegion became a succesfull commercial city, while the hinterland furnished agricultural and pastoral products, timber and metals.
As time elapsed, the cities of Magna Grecia started to wield for power and fight many wars among them. After defeating and destroying the rich Sybaris, Kroton in search for supremacy attacked Lokroi. The Lokrensians asked Rhegion for help, and in the Battle of the Sagra together defeated the strong Krotoniates. They thanked the heroic warriors Castor and Pollux, twin sons of Zeus, for their glorious victory.
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