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Bruttium (brŭˈtēəm) [key], ancient region, S Italy, roughly occupying the present Calabria, the "toe" of the Italian peninsula. Bruttium faced Sicily across the Strait of Messina. Inhabited in the interior by the Brutii (whose chief town was Cosenza) and by the Lucani, it was settled (8th cent. B.C.) along the coast by Greek colonists. Sybaris and Crotona were among the most prosperous towns of the colonies of Magna Graecia. The Romans conquered Bruttium in the 3d cent. B.C. Rhegium and Vibo Valentia were important Roman cities of Bruttium. The region passed to Byzantium after the fall of Rome and became known as Calabria.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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