Greek Cities in Italy and Sicily

Greek Cities in Italy and Sicily

Greek Cities in Italy and Sicily

Greek Cities in Italy and Sicily

Excerpt

My idea in writing this book has been to supply a need which others must have felt besides myself. The scholarly visitor to Lower Italy and Sicily has up till now been obliged to take his choice between travelling with a large, though always inadequate, library and travelling with nothing more than a Baedeker. There existed no single volume in which he could find all those details of topography and local archaeology which are the first interest of any man who retains a love for classical literature and a feeling for the romance of Greek history.

A beginning, indeed, was made by F. Lenormant, whose La Grande Grèce remains to this day a standard authority. But this work is already fifty years old, and is no longer adequate as a treatment of the whole subject. An immense amount has been discovered since Lenormant wrote, and during the last thirty years Italian archaeologists have made remarkable progress in the identification and exploration of Greek sites which were still only empty names to the past generation. Nevertheless, these discoveries have been almost confined to Calabria; we have learned little more of the coasts of the Gulf of Taranto. Consequently, as there is virtually no fresh material for Sybaris and Tarentum, I have made no attempt to replace the eloquent chapters in which the gifted French scholar has described these places. Every one with a taste for literature will wish to read these chapters of Lenormant for himself, and my aim has been not to rewrite a classic but only to supplement it with an account of new discoveries made since it was written.

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