Tarentum (Taras, modern Taranto), located on the southern coast of Apulia, Italy, was a Greek and then Roman city. Controlling a large area of Magna Graecia and heading the Italiote League, Tarentum, with its excellent harbour, was a strategically significant city throughout antiquity. Thus, it would play a pivotal role in the wars between Pyrrhus and Rome in the 3rd century BCE and again during the Second Punic War when Hannibal occupied southern Italy. While little remains today of ancient Tarentum's buildings, the city's museum boasts one of the largest collections of Greek pottery in the world and has many fine bronzes, gold jewellery and floor mosaics.

More about: Tarentum