Old Calabria By Norman Douglas














































































 -  In proof, they say that if you dig near
Tarsia below the present river-level, you will pass through beds - Page 260
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In Proof, They Say That If You Dig Near Tarsia Below The Present River-Level, You Will Pass Through Beds Of Silt And Ooze To Traces Of Old Walls And Cultivated Land.

Tarsia used to lie by the river-side, and was a flourishing place, according to the descriptions of Leandro Alberti and other early writers; floods and malaria have now forced it to climb the hills.

The current of the Crati is more spasmodic and destructive than in classical times when the river was "navigable"; and to one of its inundations may be due this legend of the deluge; to the same one, maybe, that affected the courses of this river and the Coscile, mingling their waters which used to flow separately into the Ionian. Or it may be a hazy memory of the artificial changing of the riverbed when the town of Sybaris, lying between these two rivers, was destroyed. Yet the streams are depicted as entering the sea apart in old maps such as those of Magini, Fiore, Coronelli, and Cluver; and the latter writes that "near the mouth of the Crati there flows into the same sea a river vulgarly called Cochile." [Footnote: In the earlier part of Rathgeber's astonishing "Grossgriechenland und Pythagoras" (1866) will be found a good list of old maps of the country.]

This is important. It remains to be seen whether this statement is the result of a personal visit, or whether he simply repeated the old geography. His text in many places indicates a personal acquaintance with southern Italy - Italian, says Heinsius, non semel peragravit - and he may well have been tempted to investigate a site like that of Sybaris.

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