Locride History

The name “Locride” originated from an area in central Greece, that the Achei left in the fifth century b.C. for Capo Zefirio, now known as Capo Bruzzano.

The magno-greek period (from the 7th century b.C. to the 2nd century A.D) is the most splendid era for the Locride; it is the period of Locri Epizephiri and Kaulon settlements founded by the Greek colonists in the 7th century b.C.

There are many stories dating back to ancient Locri; the institution of the matriarch or the laws approved by the famous legislator Zaleuco, considered the oldest in Europe. The whole of the archaeological zone of Locri Epizephiri is rich of evidences from its glorious past. Locri was prosperous and industrious until the end of the Middle Ages. It was abandoned after the frequent raids of Saracen pirates. Consequently, the inhabitants found refuge on the hills, where they founded the city of Jerax, the modern-day Gerace, as well as other settlements such as Grotteria, Gioiosa, Caulonia, Stilo and Bivongi.

After the Normans, the Svevi came. In 1268 the kingdom belonged to the Angioini and in 1480 to the Aragonese, who took Feudalism to its end.

The Spaniards arrived in 1505, until the Austrian rule (1710). The burbonic period, (1710-1860), was full of great suffering and impoverishment for the poor while the nobles held great power. Remarkable was the reaction against the abuse of power, led by the philosopher Tommaso Campanella, which was suppressed severely. Apart from a short period of French rule from 1806 to 1815, the burbonic period lasted until the unification of Italy and saw an increase in the economy and in the production of mines.

After the mining movement and the wave of liberalism, Garibaldi invaded Calabria, in a barbaric manner. In 1861 also Calabria became part of the Unification of Italy, which was the start of a harsh period: poverty, abandonment and bitter delusions. The small industry was surpassed by the huge one in the North, and thus began the unrelenting phenomenon of emigration. The instability and abandonment produced fertile land for the birth of ‘ndrangheta’, of the secret freemasonries and of the corrupted and nepotistic political system. This made the majority of honest and industrious Calabrian victims of instability, abuse of power and violence.

 

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