HERACLEA

Not too far from the Ionic coast, near to Policoro, is where one will find the Heraclea Archaeological site.

History

It was founded by Taranto and Thourioi during 433 BC on the ruins of the much older Siris. Heraclea assumed an important political role by hosting reunions of populations belonging to the Italiota league during 374 BC.

With the beginning of clashes between Rome and Taranto, Heraclea was stage for one of the proverbial victories of Pirro against the Romans, namely the Battle of Heraclea (280 BC), where Pirro was victorious thanks to him utilising animals, more precisely war elephants.

During 272 BC, it became a confederate city of the Roman Republic.

The Tavole di Heraclea (bronze tablets inscribed in Greek) date back to this period and are one of the main documents which deepen our knowledge of Magna Greek.
During 215 BC, Heraclea was conquered by the Carthaginian General Hannibal, but it soon returned under the influence of Rome.
After the Social Wars, it became a municipality in ’89 BC. In 72 BC it was devastated by the Servile War experience, led by Spartaco.

It progressively lost its importance during the Imperial era.

A visit to the Archaeological Site

Here one can find the foundations of the Athena Temple, Demetra Temple, acropolises, tracks or walls and Necropolises.
The major finds from Heraclea are preserved in the Siritide National Museum.

Place of interest

The Heraclea Archaeological Park; Athena Temple; Demetra Temple, Siritide Acropolises, National Museum.

HERACLEA
Achaeological Site

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