Founded by colonists from Sparta in the 8th cent. BC, Taranto was a town of Magna Graecia and was powerful enough to resist the Romans until 272 BC It was destroyed (927) by the Arabs but was later rebuilt by the Byzantines. As a part of the kingdom of Naples the city was strongly fortified and was held as a principality by various lords. Its harbor, protected by the Italian fleet, was bombed several times in World War II. Much of the Italian navy was caught and destroyed there.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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