century town name
LOCRI, a people of Greece who are found in two different districts, on the YEgean coast opposite Eubrea and on the Corinthian Gulf between Phocis and iEtolia. The former are divided into the northern Locri Epicnemidii, so called from Mount Cnemis, and the southern Locri Opuntii, whose chief town was Opus ; but the name Opuntii is applied to the whole district by Thucydides, Herodotus, &c. Homer knows no distinction of tribes among the Locri. They were considered by Aristotle to be a Lelefrian tribe ; but they became Hellenized at an early time, and rank in Homer along with the other Greek tribes before Troy. Their national hero is Ajax Oileus, who often appears on coins. The Locri Ozolte. on the Corinthian Gulf were a rude and barbarous race who make no appearance in Greek history till the Peloponnesian War. It is said that they separated from the eastern Lodi four genera tions before the Trojan war, but Homer does not mention them. The most probable view is that the Locri were once a single race spread from sea to sea, that subsequent immigrations forced them into two separate districts, and that the eastern Locri advanced with the growth of civilization, while the remote Ozolte remained ignorant and barbarous.
A colony of Locrians, probably Opuntians, though Strabo expressly calls them Ozohe, settled at the southwest extremity of Italy about the end of the 8th century B.C. They are often called Locri Epizephyrii from the promontory Zephyrion 15 miles south of the city. The earliest and most famous event recorded in the history of the Italian Locri is the legislation of Zaleucus about the middle of the 8th century B.C. The Locri boasted that Zaleucus was the first of the Greeks to promulgate a written code of laws. A body of laws under his name existed in the city throughout the historical period, but the name of Zaleucus is almost as much surrounded with legend as that of Lycurgus. The Locrians are said to have defeated the people of Crotona in a great battle at the Sagras, perhaps some time in the 6th century B.C., and in this flourishing period they founded colonies along the south coast of the peninsula. Their nearest neighbour was Rhegium, and the continual wars that raged between the two cities often drew other states into their quarrels. They sent ships to aid Sparta in the Lacedeemonian war. They were allied with the elder Dionysius of Syracuse, who gave them great accessions of territory (389-88 B.c.); the younger Dionysius ruled them as tyrant (356 n.c.). They admitted a Roman garrison before the expedition of Pyrrhus, but sided against the Romans with him and with Hannibal (216 n.c.). The town was finally captured by Scipio (205 n.c.). From this time we hear little of Locri. It seems still to have existed in the 6th century A.D., but in the Middle Ages it had disappeared entirely. The site and remains have been described by the Due de Luynes (Ann. Inst. Arch., ii.). It possessed a famous temple of Proserpine. The town is celebrated by Pindar, 01. x. and xi.