Rhegion

Dionysios of Halikarnassos, Roman Antiquities 17.3
Artimedes of Chalcis had an oracle bidding him, wherever he should find the male covered by the female, there to abide and to sail no farther. When he had sailed round Pallantium in Italy, he beheld a vine twining over a wild fig-tree; and reflecting that the vine was feminine and the fig-tree masculine, and the clinging was the sexual “covering,” he assumed that the oracle had its fulfilment. Accordingly, he drove out the barbarians who were in possession of the place and colonized it himself. The place is called Rhegium, either because there was an abrupt headland or because in this place the earth split and set off from Italy Sicily which lies opposite, or else it is named after some ruler who bore this name.

Lycophron, Alexandra 856 ff
The recesses wherein a heifer shall fashion an orchard for the goddess Hoplosmia, furnished with trees. And it shall be for all time an ordinance for women of the land to mourn the nine-cubit hero [Achilles], third in descent from Aiakos and Doris, the hurricane of battle strife, and not to deck their radiant limbs with gold, nor array them in fine-spun robes stained with purple – because a goddess to a goddess presents that great spur of land to be her dwelling-place.

Strabo, Geography 6.1.6
Rhegium was founded by the Chalcidians who, it is said, in accordance with an oracle, were dedicated, one man out of every ten Chalcidians, to Apollo, because of a dearth of crops, but later on emigrated hithera from Delphi, taking with them still others from their home. But according to Antiochus, the Zanclaeans sent for the Chalcidians and appointed Antimnestus their founder-in‑chief. To this colony p23also belonged the refugees of the Peloponnesian Messenians who had been defeated by the men of the opposing faction. These men were unwilling to be punished by the Lacedaemonians for the violation of the maidens which took place at Limnae, though they were themselves guilty of the outrage done to the maidens, who had been sent there for a religious rite, and had also killed those who came to their aid. So the refugees, after withdrawing to Macistus, sent a deputation to the oracle of the god to find fault with Apollo and Artemis if such was to be their fate in return for their trying to avenge those gods, and also to enquire how they, now utterly ruined, might be saved. Apollo bade them go forth with the Chalcidians to Rhegium, and to be grateful to his sister; for, he added, they were not ruined, but saved, inasmuch as they were surely not to perish along with their native land, which would be captured a little later by the Spartans. They obeyed; and therefore the rulers of the Rhegini down to Anaxilas were always appointed from the stock of the Messenians. According to Antiochus, the Siceli and Morgetes had in early times inhabited the whole of this region, but later on, being ejected by the Oenotrians, had crossed over into Sicily. According to some, Morgantium also took its name from the Morgetes of Rhegium. The city of Rhegium was once very powerful and had many dependencies in the neighbourhood; and it was always a fortified outpost threatening the island, not only in earlier times but also recently, in our own times, when Sextus Pompeius caused Sicily to revolt. It was named Rhegium, either, as Aeschylus says, because of the calamity that had befallen this region, for, as both he and others state, Sicily was once “rent” from the continent by earthquakes, “and so from this fact,” he adds, “it is called Rhegium.” They infer from the occurrences about Aetna and in other parts of Sicily, and in Lipara and in the islands about it, and also in the Pithecussae and the whole of the coast of the adjacent continent, that it is not unreasonable to suppose that the rending actually took place. Now at the present time the earth about the Strait, they say, is but seldom shaken by earthquakes, because the orifices there, through which the fire is blown up and the red-hot masses and the waters are ejected, are open. At that time, however, the fire that was smouldering beneath the earth, together with the wind, produced violent earthquakes, because the passages to the surface were all blocked up, and the regions thus heaved up yielded at last to the force of the blasts of wind, were rent asunder, and then received the sea that was on either side, both here34 and between the other islands in that region. And, in fact, Prochyte and the Pithecussae are fragments broken off from the continent, as also Capreae, Leucosia, the Sirenes, and the Oenotrides. Again, there are islands which have arisen from the high seas, a thing that even now happens in many places; for it is more plausible that the islands in the high seas were heaved up from the deeps, whereas it is more reasonable to think that those lying off the promontories and separated merely by a strait from the mainland have been rent therefrom. However, the question which of the two explanations is true, whether Rhegium got its name on account of this or on account of its fame (for the Samnitae might have called it by the Latin word for “royal,” because their progenitors had shared in the government with the Romans and used the Latin language to a considerable extent), is open to investigation. Be this as it may, it was a famous city, and not only founded many cities but also produced many notable men, some notable for their excellence as statesmen and others for their learning; nevertheless, Dionysius demolished it, they say, on the charge that when he asked for a girl in marriage they proffered the daughter of the public executioner; but his son restored a part of the old city and called it Phoebia.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s