APT Basilicata

APT Basilicata

Basilicata turistica

Policoro - The ancient Heraclea

National Museum of Siritide
Via Colombo, 8
Tel. 0835 972154 - Fax 0835 973842

Heraclea was founded over the ruins of Siris by the inhabitants of Taranto in 434/433 B.C.

The new town, named after Hercules, inherited political institutions and language from Taranto, becoming an important place.

In 374 B.C., Heraclea replaced Thourioi, fallen into the Lucanians' hands, as the capital of the Italiot League. After this event, Heraclea experienced the time of its greatest political splendour.

In 280 B.C., Heraclea was involved in the war between Rome and Taranto. The famous battle when Pyrrhus defeated the Romans with his elephants took place in this area, more precisely near the present-day Panevrino.

The ‘Tavole’ of Heraclea, at present kept at the Museum of Naples, regarded as a fundamental document to learn about not only Heraclea, but the whole of Magna Graecia, probably date from this time.

Towards the end of the Republican Age, Heraclea was upset by social riots and in 72 B.C. it was disturbed by Spartacus passing through. The population left the low part of the town and found shelter in the high part. It declined during the Imperial Age.