Battle of Cumae

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Battle of Cumae
Date 474 BC
Location In the Bay of Naples
Result Victory for Syracuse and Cumae
Loss of Etruscan territory in Italy to the Romans, Samnites, and Gauls

The Battle of Cumae was a naval battle in 474 BC between the combined navies of Syracuse and Cumae against the Etruscans.

The Greek city of Cumae was founded in 8th century BC in an area towards the southern Etruscan border. By 504 the southern Etruscans were defeated by the Cumaeans, but they still maintained a powerful force. In 474 they were able to raise a fleet to launch a direct attack on Cumae. [1]

Hiero I of Syracuse allied with Aristodemus, the tyrant of Cumae, to defend against Etruscan expansion into southern Italy after he was called for military assistance. In 474 they met and defeated the Etruscan fleet at Cumae in the Bay of Naples. After their defeat, the Etruscans lost much of their political influence in Italy. They lost control of the sea and their territories were eventually taken over by the Romans, Samnites, and Gauls. The Syracusans dedicated a captured Etruscan helmet at the great panhellenic sanctuary at Olympia, a piece of armour found in the German excavations there. The Etruscans would later join the failed Athenian expedition against Syracuse in 415 BC, which contributed even further to their decline.[citation needed]

The battle was later honored in Pindar's first Pythian Ode.[1]

Cumae acropolis seen from lower city AvL