View of Reggio Calabria and Etna

REGGIO CALABRIA

Reggio Calabria is officially called Reggio di Calabria, and can be found on the Western banks of the straight of Messina. Reconstructed after the terrible earthquakes of 1793 and 1908, it now has a modern appearance, a regular layout with rectilinear roads, which cross at right angles like a chessboard.

The old Reggio (from Greek Rhegion, in its time adaptation of a local place-name) was founded around 720BC by the Calcidesi dell’Eubea, to which can be added, at least after the 600’s, groups of Esuli Messeni. After a period of political unrest, it was tyrannically governed by Anassila, established in 494BC. Shortly after, Zancle took possession and transferred numerous Esuli Messeni (from which came the name of Messana or Messene), forming an alliance with Terillo of Imera and invoking the help of the Carthaginians; but the defeated suffered by the Carthaginians at Imera (480), constricted the them to accept defeat at Siracusa. On his death, power passed to the younger children, under the guidance of Micito (476-467), who formed an alliance with Taranto, re-taking the northwards political expansion, but then gravely defeated by the Iapigi. A further alliance with Athens in 433, during the Archidamica war, served as a base for the army of Athens, but during the expedition of Sicily, it remained neutral, limiting itself to providing supplies.
The traditional hostility with Siracusa, at the end, led to its destruction in 387BC, work of Dionigi I. It was then successfully reconstructed by Dionigi II, with the name of Febea, later managing to regain its independence, but also having to fight with the indigenous Bruzi population. Finally asking help against them from the Romans (282), who sent mercenary garrison troops from Campania, but who shortly afterwards in 280, during the war against Pirro, took possession of the City, which could only be liberated in 270. Therefore becoming a faithful ally of Rome in 89BC, a Town Hall was erected, and later, it received numerous columns from Augusto, yet still preserving its characteristics of a Greek City.
In 410, Reggio was the final point of an invasion by the Visigoti of Alarico. During the Gothic war, it was an important Byzantine fortress, conquered by Totila in 549, regaining stability through the Byzantine Artabano (551). Under the Western Empire, the City knew notable economic posterity and in the 8th Century, its old Episcopal seat of Latin Rites, was transformed into Metropolia (that is, a metropolitan diocese) of Greek rites, with dignity and given primate of Calabria for its title.
Conquered by the Longobards (916-918) and numerous times during the same period by the Arabs of Sicily, Reggio finally fell (1060) under the dominion of the Normans by the hand of Roberto il Guiscardo and Ruggero d’Altavilla, who took it away, definitively, from the Byzantines. Robert il Guiscardo, Duke of Puglia and Calabria, later received from Pope Gregorio VII, the restitution of the Latin Rites from the Reggina Episcopal seat (1081).

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REGGIO CALABRIA
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Calabria region of Italy

 

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