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Calabria ecclesiastical region


In the late antique period Calabria was the territory between the vast area of ​​Bari and Capo di Leuca, i.e. the Salento. United to Apulia in the Diocletian age, it coincided with the territory of the II Regio, according to the division implemented by Augustus. The Byzantines established, in the VII century, the Duchy of Calabria, which included both the ancient Calabria from which it took its name, and the present one. Therefore, after the Lombard conquest of much of the South and until the VIIIIX century, the duchy included the possessions that remained under the Byzantine domination in Salento and in today's Calabria: the name remained with the latter after the Byzantines framed the whole Puglia in the province, or theme, of Longobardia. In the aforementioned imperial restructuring the ethnic and the current Basilicata, respectively, formed the III Regio and the province of Lucania et Bruttii as a single territory. The religious substratum, prior to and underlying the introduction of Christianity, on a general level, must be identified in those tendencies between Magna Graecia and Panhellenic traditions and local cults on two floors: on the one hand the official cults of the polis, which have in the sanctuary of Hera Lacinia in Crotone, and in the Persephonion and in all the most important cultural centers of the city area, in Locri, the highest examples;
on the other, the currents of mystery religiosity representative of the three great Hellenic religions, whose influence was stronger on the spirituality of the Mediterranean world: the religious and philosophical-scientific tradition of Pythagoreanism, Orphism and Dionysism, the latter in the dimension mystic-orgiastic of the back henein, as attested in the bruzio territory by the famous decree de Bacchanalibus of 186 BC coming from the territory of Tiriolo. However, at the state of research, the diffusion in the current Calabria (Bruzio) of the Roman imperial age of oriental cults attested in the West, unlike the widespread involvement of nearby regions such as Sicily and Campania;
on the contrary, the Egyptian ones are located only in Locri and Reggio. Insufficient clues, but tending to suggest a certain closure to cults coming from the East, precisely in coincidence with the opening to the Christian message. In fact, a first documented Christian presence in the region is given by Acts 28,13.

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