The History and Sights of Calabria

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  • Topic: Calabria, Sicily, Italy
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  • Published : April 18, 2008
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The History and Sights of Calabria

Calabria is a region in southern Italy, south of Naples located at the “toe” of the peninsula. The capital of the region is Cosenza. The region is bounded between Basilicata, the Tyrrhenian Sea, and the Ionian Sea. The region has a population of two million and that number is still rising. Calabria was first settled by Italic Oscan – speaking tribes. Two of these tribes consisted of Oenotri, or the “vine-cultivators” and the Itali. Greek contact with the latter resulted in the entire peninsula (modern Italy) taking the name of the tribe. Greeks settled profusely along the coast at an early date and several of their settlements, including the first Italian city called Rhegion (Reggio Calabria). The region never regained it prosperity after being conquered by the Romans in the 3rd century BC. The Greeks were also conquered by the 3rd century BC by Oscan tribes from the north, including a branch of the Samnites called the Lucanians and an offshoot of the Lucanians called the Bruttii. The Bruttii established the main cities of Calabria, including the capital Cosenza, formerly known as Consentia. After the Roman Empire was conquered, the people of Calabria were driven inland by the spread of Malaria and due to pirate raids. During the Gothic War, Calabria was horrified because they would then learn they would now be under the rule of the Byzantine Empire. Previously the breadbasket of Rome, in the 9th and 10th centuries, Egypt was conquered therefore they became stuck between Byzantine Rule and the Arab emirs in Sicily. Not only was the region subjected to raids, but it was also population deflated and the morals of the people of Calabria were demolished. Around 1060, Normans under the leadership of Robert Guiscard's brother Roger established a presence in this borderland, and organized a government along Byzantine lines that was run by the local Greek magnates of Calabria. The Hauteville clan later formed the precursors of...
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