After Heracleium comes a cape belonging to Locris, which is called Zephyrium; its harbor is exposed to the winds that blow from the west, and hence the name. Then comes the city Locri Epizephyrii, a colony of the Locri who live on the Crisaean Gulf, which was led out by Evanthes only a little while after the founding of Croton and Syracuse. Ephorus is wrong in calling it a colony of the Locri Opuntii. However, they lived only three or four years at Zephyrium, and then moved the city to its present site, with the cooperation of Syracusans [for at the same time the latter, among whom . . .]. And at Zephyrium there is a spring, called Locria, where the Locri first pitched camp. The distance from Rhegium to Locri is six hundred stadia. The city is situated on the brow of a hill called Epopis.
The Locri Epizephyrii are believed to have been the first people to use written laws. After they had lived under good laws for a very long time, Dionysius, on being banished from the country of the Syracusans, abused them most lawlessly of all men. For he would sneak into the bed-chambers of the girls after they had been dressed up for their wedding, and lie with them before their marriage; and he would gather together the girls who were ripe for marriage, let loose doves with cropped wings upon them in the midst of the banquets, and then bid the girls waltz around unclad, and also bid some of them, shod with sandals that were not mates (one high and the other low), chase the doves around--all for the sheer indecency of it.
However, he paid the penalty after he went back to Sicily again to resume his government; for the Locri broke up his garrison, set themselves free, and thus became masters of his wife and children. These children were his two daughters, and the younger of his two sons (who was already a lad), for the other, Apollocrates, was helping his father to effect his return to Sicily by force of arms. And although Dionysius--both himself and the Tarantini on his behalf--earnestly begged the Locri to release the prisoners on any terms they wished, they would not give them up; instead, they endured a siege and a devastation of their country. But they poured out most of their wrath upon his daughters, for they first made them prostitutes and then strangled them, and then, after burning their bodies, ground up the bones and sank them in the sea.
Now Ephorus, in his mention of the written legislation of the Locri which was drawn up by Zaleucus from the Cretan, the Laconian, and the Areopagite usages, says that Zaleucus was among the first to make the following innovation--that whereas before his time it had been left to the judges to determine the penalties for the several crimes, he defined them in the laws, because he held that the opinions of the judges about the same crimes would not be the same, although they ought to be the same. And Ephorus goes on to commend Zaleucus for drawing up the laws on contracts in simpler language. And he says that the Thurii, who later on wished to excel the Locri in precision, became more famous, to be sure, but morally inferior; for, he adds, it is not those who in their laws guard against all the wiles of false accusers that have good laws, but those who abide by laws that are laid down in simple language . . .
The Halex River, which marks the boundary between the Rhegian and the Locrian territories, passes out through a deep ravine; and a peculiar thing happens there in connection with the grasshoppers, that although those on the Locrian bank sing, the others remain mute. As for the cause of this, it is conjectured that on the latter side the region is so densely shaded that the grasshoppers, being wet with dew, cannot expand their membranes, whereas those on the sunny side have dry and horn-like membranes and therefore can easily produce their song. And people used to show in Locri a statue of Eunomus, the cithara-bard, with a locust seated on the cithara. Timaeus says that Eunomus and Ariston of Rhegium were once contesting with each other at the Pythian games and fell to quarrelling about the casting of the lots;
so Ariston begged the Delphians to cooperate with him, for the reason that his ancestors belonged to the god and that the colony had been sent forth from there; and although Eunomus said that the Rhegini had absolutely no right even to participate in the vocal contests, since in their country even the grasshoppers, the sweetest-voiced of all creatures, were mute, Ariston was none the less held in favor and hoped for the victory; and yet Eunomus gained the victory and set up the aforesaid image in his native land, because during the contest, when one of the chords broke, a grasshopper lit on his cithara and supplied the missing sound. The interior above these cities is held by the Brettii; here is the city Mamertium, and also the forest that produces the best pitch, the Brettian. This forest is called Sila, is both well wooded and well watered, and is seven hundred stadia in length.
After Locri comes the Sagra, a river which has a feminine name. On its banks are the altars of the Dioscuri, near which ten thousand Locri, with Rhegini, clashed with one hundred and thirty thousand Crotoniates and gained the victory--an occurrence which gave rise, it is said, to the proverb we use with incredulous people, "Truer than the result at Sagra." And some have gone on to add the fable that the news of the result was reported on the same day to the people at the Olympia when the games were in progress, and that the speed with which the news had come was afterwards verified. This misfortune of the Crotoniates is said to be the reason why their city did not endure much longer, so great was the multitude of men who fell in the battle.
Λάβετε το καθημερινό newsletter με τα πιο σημαντικά νέα της τουριστικής βιομηχανίας.Εγγραφείτε τώρα!