formerly colonized by the Greeks…
Magna Graecia is the geographical area of the southern Italian peninsula, formerly colonized by the Greeks from the 8th century B.C. The term Magna Graecia therefore refers to the populations and civilisations, rather than to a territorial and political entity.
In the cities of Magna Graecia, trade, agriculture and handicrafts soon developed. Trade was immediately an excellent channel of exchange with the Greeks of the motherland, importing everything from grain to artefacts, from literary works to marble and so on. The colonists also came into contact with the Carthaginians, who, however, soon proved to be fearsome enemies.
From the mother country Greece, art, literature and philosophy decisively influenced the life of the colonies. In Magna Graecia, much credit was given to culture. Suffice to say that the polis achieved a rate of engineering, education, and culture equal to the one of the motherland. The Hellenic colonists, after subjugating the indigenous populations, established libraries and study centres that trained the most skilled philosophers, literati, mathematicians and doctors.
Crotone was colony of Magna Graecia, founded between 740 B.C. and 718 B.C., in the early period of the First Messenian War, in a locality situated between the mouth of the river Esaro and the promontory Lacinio. Promontory where the temple of Hera Lacinia was later erected, which served as a sanctuary, bank, information agency, refreshment centre and resting place for sailors. It was the Achaeans who founded the city, attracted by the enchanting site and the security of making good fortune there.
Crotone, founded by the Achaeans, became a Polis in the perfect organisation of all the other Greek Polis, following the order and tradition of the Hellenic institutions. The founding territory consisted of a spot, which formed a double harbour, the only shelter for ships travelling from Taranto to Reggio and vice versa. The city in the 6th century was well known for its salubrious climate, fertile countryside, the beauty of its women, its exceptional doctors, including Democedes, who also became a doctor to the Persian emperor Darius, and its strong athletes, of whom the multi-Olympian Milo was a symbol.
The coming of Pythagoras benefited the prosperity of athletics in Crotone. In fact, the great philosopher’s doctrine did not neglect the health of the body. In Crotone, Pythagoras founded the Pythagorean School through which he instructed young people in music, philosophy and, of course, mathematics.
Madonna of Capocolonna
between history and faith
The promontory of Capo Colonna has always been a sacred place, where there was a temple dedicated to Hera Lacinia. With the coming of Christianity in Italy, the cult of Hera Lacinia was replaced with the cult of the Virgin Mother and so on the promontory of Capo Colonna a church dedicated to Mary was built, inside which was placed a painting of the Madonna. An ancient tradition says that the Icon was brought to Crotone by San Dionigi himself, converted by San Paolo, who remained there as the first Bishop. According to this tradition the painting would be the work of St. Luke the Evangelist.
It is said that, on June 1, 1519, the Turks, who wanted to invade the area, took possession of the painting of the Virgin trying to set it on fire. But the fire, despite being lit for several hours, could not consume nor scratch the image, from which, according to the legend, sprinkled rays of light. The canvas had to be destroyed in some way, and the Turks decided to take it aboard a galette heading towards the mouth of the Neto river. The boat got stuck, leaving only after the canvas was thrown into the sea, floating on the waves, and lying on the shore of a small clay promontory. It was an old fisherman who recovered the image, hiding it inside an old chest of his house. He hid it for years, until, on his deathbed, he decided to tell his confessor his secret.
Over the years the cult of the Madonna of Capo Colonna acquires more and more importance and strength so that on May 12, 1988, by Papal decree, the Madonna of Capocolonna is proclaimed Patroness of the Archdiocese of Crotone and Santa Severina. So, on the third Saturday of the month there is the great pilgrimage to Capo Colonna (a promontory of about 15 km far from the city) which takes place throughout the night, after the picture comes out of the basilica at about one in the morning, greeted by the faithful and gets to Capo Colonna at first light, where it resides throughout the day on Sunday. In the evening, it is embarked and taken by sea to the tourist port of Crotone, greeted on its return by fireworks. Every seven years the painting carried in procession is the original and not the modern miniature: the festivities are prolonged and the painting, on its return, is not embarked and carried by sea but placed on a cart pulled by oxen.
The festivity of the Madonna of Capocolonna is also an excellent opportunity to get to know a beautiful and welcoming land eager to let the whole world discover its glorious past and the legitimate expectation for a better future. The event is dedicated to music and provides an articulated program full of shows, conferences, concerts, rides, and attractions.
An ancient Greek philosopher…
The figure of the Greek Pythagoras is shrouded in the mists of legend. However, his name is still linked to an important statement discovered ten centuries before his birth and probably proved after his death: the Pythagorean theorem.
Pythagoras, who lived in the 6th century B.C., is an ancient Greek philosopher. He was a mathematician, thaumaturge, astronomer, scientist, and politician.
He is remembered as the founder of the philosophical school named after him, located in Crotone, where mathematical knowledge and its applications, such as the well-known theorem of Pythagoras, were developed. His thought had, however, importance for the development of the western science, since he intuited, for the first time, the effectiveness of the mathematics to describe the world.
A significant piece of information is its transfer from Greece to southern Italy, where he founded, in Crotone, a famous philosophical school – which is considered the source and origin of the so-called «Italic philosophy» – in the forms of a religious community with intent of moral and political regeneration. The doctrine that characterizes the Pythagorean philosophy is the one that considers the number as the essence of all things, as every aspect of reality was brought back to a mutual relationship or harmony of numerable quantities (model par excellence was considered the concordance of sounds, synphonia, realized in music through mathematical intervals).
Pythagoras’ disciples The disciples of Pythagoras lived in a community organized and governed by the laws of the master himself; they studied the disciplines of the quadrivium (music, arithmetic, geometry, and astronomy). They also believed in the magical power of numbers and in orphic cults. The Pythagoreans were the first to found a school of higher learning, in Metapontum and Kroton, very similar to today’s universities.