Metaponto is a small town of about 1,000 people in the province of Matera, Basilicata. Metapontum was a Greek city founded by an Achaean Colony. Pythagoras tomb was shown at Metapontum in the time of Cicero. Metapontum or Metapontium was an important city of Magna Graecia, situated on the gulf of Tarentum, between the river Bradanus and the Casuentus (modern Basento). It was distant about 20 km from Heraclea and 40 km from Tarentum.
There are very few mentions of Metapontum during the first ages of its existence; however, it seems certain that it rose rapidly to a considerable amount of prosperity, for which it was indebted to the extreme fertility of its territory. The same policy which had led to its foundation would naturally unite it in the bonds of a close alliance with the other Achaean cities, Sybaris and Crotona; and the first occasion on which we meet with its name in history is as joining with these two cities in a league against Siris, with the view of expelling the Ionian colonists of that city.
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