Temple of Apollo, Paestum (ca. 450 BC)
Paestum is one of the oldest cities in Italy, having been founded by Greek colonists sometime around the end of the 7th century BC, who originally named it Poseidonia. Little is known about the city’s early history, but it appears that the Greeks had a good and prosperous relationship with the local Oscan culture.
In the third century BC the Poseidonians sided with the invader Pyrrhus against Rome, and after his defeat the town acquired its current name of Paestum. During the invasion of Italy by Hannibal the city remained faithful to Rome and continued to prosper during the Roman imperial period.
Paestum contains a range of ruins from both the Greek and Roman periods. Among the oldest are two temples to Hera and Apollo built in 550 BC and 450 BC by the Greek colonists. Also of particular interest is the Roman Forum, the small Roman temple nearby (dated to around 200 BC and dedicated to Jupiter, Juno and Minerva) and a small amphitheater.