Metaponto: An Italiote-Greek City in Basilicata

Metaponto Basilicata

Metaponto [Grk: Μεταπόντιον] is a fraction of Comune Di Bernalda with 1,000 inhabitants, in the province of Matera, Basilicata.

Achaeans founded it in the second half of the seventh century BC and soon became one of the most important cities of Magna Graecia in today's Southern Italy.

However, various traditions assign a much earlier origin. Strabo and Solinus claim the city was founded by the Greek hero Nestor returning from the Trojan War.

In 280 BC, during the Battle of Heraclea, it allied itself with Pyrrhus and Taranto against Rome.

Upon the defeat of Pyrrhus, Metaponto was severely punished, and some exiles found refuge in Pisticci, the only city that had remained faithful to Metaponto during the War.

Other Metapontine exiles found hospitality in Genusium, modern-day Ginosa.

Later, in 207 BC, the town gave refuge to Hannibal, for which the Romans destroyed the city.

It would regain its splendor around the 1st century BC as a federated city.

The ancient archaeological ruins of Metaponto are a short distance from the town in the region of Basilicata.

By The Grecanici Nation.

Guest Contributor

This piece was written for Greek City Times by a Guest Contributor