Pandosia (Pandosia: Eth. Pandosinos). A city of Bruttium, situated
near the frontiers of Lucania. Strabo describes it as a little above Consentia,
the precise sense of which expression is far from clear (Strab. vi. p. 256); but
Livy calls it imminentem Lucanis ac Bruttiis finibus. (Liv. viii. 24.) According
to Strabo it was originally an Oenotrian town, and was even, at one time, the
capital of the Oenotrian kings (Strab. l. c.); but it seems to have certainly
received a Greek colony, as Scylax expressly enumerates it among the Greek cities
of this part of Italy, and Scymnus Chius, though perhaps less distinctly, asserts
the same thing. (Scyl. p. 4. § 12; Scymn. Ch. 326.) It was probably a colony of
Crotona; though the statement of Eusebius, who represents it as founded in the
same year with Metapontum, would lead us to regard it as an independent and separate
colony. (Euseb. Arm. Chron. p. 99.) But the date assigned by him of B.C. 774 seems
certainly inadmissible. But whether originally an independent settlement or not,
it must have been a dependency of Crotona during the period of greatness of that
city, and hence we never find its name mentioned among the cities of Magna Graecia.
Its only historical celebrity arises from its, being the place near which Alexander,
king of Epirus, was slain in battle with the Bruttians, B.C. 326. That monarch
had been warned by an oracle to avoid Pandosia, but he understood this as referring
to the town of that name in Thesprotia, on the banks of the Acheron, and was ignorant
of the existence of both a town and river of the same names in Italy. (Strab.
vi. p. 256 ; Liv. viii. 24 ; Justin, xii. 2; Plin. iii. 11. s. 15.) The name of
Pandosia is again mentioned by Livy (xxix. 38) in the Second Punic War, among
the Bruttian towns retaken by the consul P. Sempronius, in B.C. 204; and it is
there noticed, together with Consentia, as opposed to the ignobiles aliae civitates.
It was therefore at this time still a place of some consequence; and Strabo seems
to imply that it still existed in his time (Strab. l. c.), but we find no subsequent
trace of it. There is great difficulty in determining its position. It is described
as a strong fortress, situated on a hill, which had three peaks, whence it was
called, in the oracle Pandosia trikolonos (Strab, l. c.) In addition to the vague
statements of Strabo and Livy above cited, it is enumerated by Scymnus Chius between
Crotona and Thurii. But it was clearly an inland town, and must probably have
stood in the mountains between Consentia and Thurii, though its exact site cannot
be determined, and those assigned by local topographers are purely conjectural.
The proximity of the river Acheron affords us no assistance, as this was evidently
an inconsiderable stream, the name of which is not mentioned on any other occasion,
and which, therefore, cannot be identified.
Much confusion has arisen between the Bruttian Pandosia and a town
of the same name in Lucania (No. 2.); and some writers have even considered this
last as the place where Alexander perished. (Romanelli, vol. i. pp. 261- 263).
It is true that Theopompus (ap. Plin. iii. 11. s. 15), in speaking of that event,
described Pandosia as a city of the Lucanians, but this is a very natural error,
as it was, in fact, near the boundaries of the two nations (Liv. viii. 24), and
the passages of Livy (xxix. 38) and Strabo can leave no doubt that it was really
situated in the land of the Bruttians.
This text is from: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854) (ed. William Smith, LLD). Cited August 2004 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks
- Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854) (ed. William Smith, LLD)