Paestum

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Paestum

(pĕst`əm), ancient city of Lucania, S Italy. It was a colony of the Greek city of Sybaris (c.600 B.C.) and was first named Posidonia. It flourished with the rest of Magna GraeciaMagna Graecia
[Lat.,=great Greece], Greek colonies of S Italy. The Greek overseas expansion of the 8th cent. B.C. founded a number of towns that became the centers of a new, thriving Greek territory.
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 through the 6th cent. B.C. The Romans took the city in 273 B.C.; they called it Paestum. The ruins, near the present Pesto, include some of the finest and best-preserved Doric temples in existence.

Paestum

 

(Greek, Poseidonia), an ancient city in southwestern Italy, a colony of Sybaris founded circa 600 B.C. on the western shore of Lucania, near the mouth of the Silarus (modern Sele) River.

In the fourth century B.C., Paestum was conquered by the Lucanians, who gave the city its name. In 273 B.C., Paestum became a Roman colony. It was destroyed by Saracens in the ninth century.

In the southern part of Paestum’s central and sacred area is the sanctuary of Hera with two Doric peripteroi—the temple of Hera I (the so-called Basilica; mid-sixth century B.C.) and the temple of Hera II (the Temple of Neptune; second quarter of the fifth century B.C.)—distinguished by the severity and grandeur of deliberately ponderous forms. The sanctuary of Athena is in the northern part of the sacred area. It contains the so-called Temple of Ceres (second half of the sixth century B.C.), in which the Doric order is combined with Ionic elements (for example, the columns of the pronaos). Unique examples of ancient frescoes, mainly of the fourth century B.C., were discovered in Paestum’s necropolis. There is an archaeological museum at the site.

REFERENCES

El’nitskii, L. A. “Obzor arkheologicheskikh otkrytii v oblasti Zapadnogo Sredizemnomor’ia.” Vestnik drevnei istorii, 1939, no. 1.
Krauss, F. Die Tempel von Paestum, vol. 1. Berlin, 1959—.
Sestieri, P.C. Paestum. Rome, 1961.

Paestum

an ancient Greek colony on the coast of Lucania in S Italy