Athenaios, Deipnosophistai 11.56
And Alkimos the Sicilian, in that book of his which is entitled the Italian History, says that all the women in Italy avoid drinking wine on this account; when Herakles was in the district of the Crotoniatæ, he one day was very thirsty, and came to a certain house by the wayside and asked for something to drink; and it happened that the wife of the master of the house had privily opened a cask of wine, and therefore she said to her husband that it would be a shameful thing for him to open this cask for a stranger; and so she bade him give Herakles some water. But Herakles, who was standing at the door, and heard all this, praised her husband very much, but advised him to go indoors himself and look at the cask. And when he had gone in, he found that the cask had become petrified. And this fact is proved by the conduct of the women of the country, among whom it is reckoned disgraceful, to this day, to drink wine, on account of the above-mentioned reason.
Athenaios, Deipnosophistai 12.21
They, then, having carried their luxury and insolence to a great height, at last, when thirty ambassadors came to them from the people of Crotona, slew them all, and threw their bodies down over the wall, and left them there to be eaten by beasts. And this was the beginning of great evils to them, as the Deity was much offended at it. Accordingly, a few days afterwards all their chief magistrates appeared to see the same vision on one night; for they thought that they saw Hera coming into the midst of the market-place, and vomiting gall; and a spring of blood arose in her temple. But even then they did not desist from their arrogance, until they were all destroyed by the Crotonians. But Heraclides of Pontus, in his treatise On Justice, says,—“The Sybarites having put down the tyranny of Telys, and having destroyed all those who had exercised authority, met them and slew them at the altars of the gods. And at the sight of this slaughter the statue of Hera turned itself away, and the floor sent up a fountain of blood, so that they were forced to cover all the place around with brazen tablets, wishing to stop the rising of the blood: on which account they were all driven from their city and destroyed. And they had also been desirous to obscure the glory of the famous games at Olympia; for watching the time when they are celebrated, they attempted to draw over the athletes to their side by the extravagance of the prizes which they offered.”
Diodoros Sikeliotes, Library of History 4.24.7
Herakles then crossed over into Italy with the cattle and proceeded along the coast; thee he slew Lacinius as he was attempting to steal some of the cattle, and to Croton, whom he killed by accident, he accorded a magnificent funeral and erected for him a tomb; and he foretold to the natives of the place that also in after times a famous city would arise which should bear the name of the man who had died.
Eustathius, Commentary on Dionysius Periegetes
The river which flows near Croton is called Aesarus because of a hunter of that name, who was drowned together with a doe which he had followed into the water, and thus the river was named after him.
Lycophron, Alexandra 911 ff
And Philoctetes shall the streams of Aesarus and the little city of Crimisa in the Oenotrian land receive: even the snake-bitten slayer of the fire-brand; for the Trumpet herself shall with her hand guide his arrow point, releasing the twanging Maeotian bowstring. On the banks of Dyras he burnt of old the bold lion, and armed his hands with the crooked Scythian dragon that harped with unescapable teeth. And Crathis shall see his tomb when he is dead, sideways from the shrine of Alaeus of Patara, where Nauaethus belches seaward. The Ausonian Pellenians shall slay him when he aids the leaders of the Lindians, whom far from Thermydron and the mountains of Carpathus the fierce hound Thrascias shall send wandering to dwell in a strange and alien soil. But in Macalla, again, the people of the place shall build a great shrine above his grave and glorify him as an everlasting god with libations and sacrifice of oxen.
Ovid, Metamorphoses 14.1-59
Meanwhile the Romans looked for a leader, to bear the weight of such responsibility, and follow so great a king: Fame, the true harbinger, determined on the illustrious Numa for the throne. Not content with knowing the rituals of the Sabine people, with his capable mind he conceived a wider project, and delved into the nature of things. His love of these enquiries led him to leave his native Cures, and visit the city of Crotona, to which Hercules was friendly. When Numa asked who was the founder of this Greek city on Italian soil, one of the older inhabitants, not ignorant of the past, replied: ‘They say that Hercules, Jupiter’s son, back from the sea with the rich herds of Spain, happily came to the shore of Lacinium, and while his cattle strayed through the tender grass, he entered the house of the great Croton, a not inhospitable roof, and refreshed himself with rest, after his long labours, and, in leaving, said: ‘At a future time, there will be a city here, of your descendants.’
And the promise proved true, since there was one Myscelus, the son of Alemon of Argos, dearest to the gods of all his generation. Hercules, the club-bearer, leaning over him, spoke to him as he lay in a deep sleep: ‘Rise now, leave your native country: go, find the pebble-filled waves of Aesar!’ and he threatened him with many and fearful things if he did not obey. Then the god and sleep vanished together. Alemon’s son rose, and, in silence, thought over the vision, fresh in his mind. He struggled in himself for a long time over the decision: the god ordered him to go: the law prohibited his going. Death was the penalty for the man who wished to change his nationality.
Bright Sol had hidden his shining face in Ocean’s stream, and Night had lifted her starriest face: the same god seemed to appear to him, to admonish him in the same way, and warn of worse and greater punishment if he did not obey. He was afraid, and prepared, at once, to transfer the sanctuary of his ancestors to a new place. There was talk in the city, and he was brought to trial, for showing contempt for the law. When the case against him had been presented, and it was evident the charge was proven, without needing witnesses, the wretched defendant, lifting his face and hands to heaven, cried: ‘O you, whose twelve labours gave you the right to heaven, help me, I beg you! Since you are the reason for my crime.’
The ancient custom was to vote using black and white pebbles: the black to condemn: the white to absolve from punishment. Now, also, the harsh verdict was determined in this way, and every pebble dropped into the pitiless urn was black: but when the urn was tipped over and the pebbles poured out for the count, their colour had changed from black to white, and, acquitted through the divine power of Hercules, Alemon’s son was freed.
He first gave thanks to that son of Amphitryon, his patron, and with favouring winds set sail on the Ionian Sea. He sailed by Neretum, of the Sallentines, Sybaris, and the Spartan colony of Tarentum, the bay of Siris, Crimisa, and the Iapygian fields. He had barely passed the lands that overlook those seas, when he came, by destiny, to the mouth of the river Aesar, and near it the tumulus beneath which the earth covered the sacred bones of Croton. He founded the city of Crotona there, in the land commanded by the god, and derived the name of the city from him, whom the tumulus held. Such were the established beginnings, according to reliable tradition, of that place, and the cause of the city’s being sited on Italian soil.
Pauasnias, Description of Greece 3.3.1
On the death of Alkamenes, Polydoros his son succeeded to the throne, and the Lacedaemonians sent colonies to Croton in Italy and to the Locri by the Western headland. The war called the Messenian reached its height in the reign of this king. As to the causes of the war, the Lacedaemonian version differs from the Messenian.
Pausanias, Description of Greece 3. 19.11–13
A story too I will tell which I know the people of Krotona tell about Helen. The people of Himera too agree with this account. In the Black Sea at the mouths of the Ister is an island sacred to Achilles. It is called White Island and its circumference is twenty stades. It is wooded throughout and abounds in animals, wild and tame, while on it is a temple of Achilles with an image of him. The first to sail thither legend says was Leonymos of Krotona. For when war had arisen between the people of Krotona and the Lokroi in Italy, the Lokrians, in virtue of the relationship between them and the Opountians, called upon Aias son of Oileus to help them in battle. So Leonymos the general of the people of Krotona attacked his enemy at that point where he heard that Aias was posted in the front line. Now he was wounded in the breast, and weak with his hurt came to Delphoi. When he arrived the Pythian priestess sent Leonynios to White Island, telling him that there Aias would appear to him and cure his wound. In time he was healed and returned from White Island, where, he used to declare, he saw Achilles, as well as Aias the son of Oileus and Aias the son of Telamon. With them, he said, were Patroklos and Antilochos; Helen was wedded to Achilles, and had bidden him sail to Stesichoros at Himera, and announce that the loss of his sight was caused by her wrath.
Strabo, Geography 6.1.12-13
The first city is Croton, within one hundred and fifty stadia from the Lacinium; and then comes the River Aesarus, and a harbour, and another river, the Neaethus. The Neaethus got its name, it is said, from what occurred there: Certain of the Achaeans who had strayed from the Trojan fleet put in there and disembarked for an inspection of the region, and when the Trojan women who were sailing with them learned that the boats were empty of men, they set fire to the boats, for they were weary of the voyage, so that the men remained there of necessity, although they at the same time noticed that the soil was very fertile. And immediately several other groups, on the strength of their racial kinship, came and imitated them, and thus arose many settlements, most of which took their names from the Trojans; and also a river, the Neaethus, took its appellation from the aforementioned occurrence. According to Antiochus, when the god told the Achaeans to found Croton, Myscellus departed to inspect the place, but when he saw that Sybaris was already founded—having the same name as the river near by—he judged that Sybaris was better; at all events, he questioned the god again when he returned whether it would be better to found this instead of Croton, and the god replied to him (Myscellus was a hunchback as it happened): “Myscellus, short of back, in searching else outside thy track, thou hunt’st for morsels only; ’tis right that what one giveth thee thou do approve;” and Myscellus came back and founded Croton, having as an associate Archias, the founder of Syracuse, who happened to sail up while on his way to found Syracuse. […] Next in order, at a distance of two hundred stadia, comes Sybaris, founded by the Achaeans; it is between two rivers, the Crathis and the Sybaris. Its founder was Is of Helice. In early times this city was so superior in its good fortune that it ruled over four tribes in the neighborhood, had twenty- five subject cities, made the campaign against the Crotoniates with three hundred thousand men, and its inhabitants on the Crathis alone completely filled up a circuit of fifty stadia. However, by reason of luxury and insolence they were deprived of all their felicity by the Crotoniates within seventy days; for on taking the city these conducted the river over it and submerged it. Later on, the survivors, only a few, came together and were making it their home again, but in time these too were destroyed by Athenians and other Greeks, who, although they came there to live with them, conceived such a contempt for them that they not only slew them but removed the city to another place near by and named it Thurii, after a spring of that name. Now the Sybaris River makes the horses that drink from it timid, and therefore all herds are kept away from it; whereas the Crathis makes the hair of persons who bathe in it yellow or white, and besides it cures many afflictions.