Or Calabria Ulte-Riore I, a province forming the S. extremity of Italy, bordering on the Ionian sea, the strait of Messina, the Tyrrhenian sea, and the province of Catanzaro; area, 1,515 sq. m.; pop. in 1872, 353,608. It is traversed by many mountains and numerous small rivers. The country is not favorable to pasturage and agriculture, but is rich in timber, oil, silk, and minerals. (See Calabria.) The province is divided into the districts of Reggio, Gerace, and Palmi.
A City (Anc. Rhegium), capital of the province, on the strait and 9 m. S. E. of the city of Messina; pop. about 18,000 (as a commune, in 1872, 35,235). It is situated in a most beautiful region, is the seat of an archbishop, and has a handsome cathedral, a theological seminary, a gymnasium and public library, an active trade in local products, and manufactories of silks, linens, and pottery. Its bay presents the remarkable optical phenomenon known as fata morgana. - The ancient Rhe-gium was an important city of Magna Graecia, colonized by Euboeans and Messenians about 740 B. C. It was governed under an aristocratic constitution by a body of 1,000. Under Anaxilaus, who gained supreme power in the early part of the 5th century B. C., it became very prosperous. His sons, however, were expelled by the people. In 427 the Rhegians supported the Athenians against Syracuse, but in 415 remained neutral. In 388 Dionysius the Elder besieged the city, which was desperately defended by Phyton. After 11 months of resistance it was compelled by famine to surrender. Phyton and his family were put to death, the inhabitants were sold as slaves, and the walls were razed to the ground.
It was partially rebuilt by Dionysius the Younger. On the arrival of Pyrrhus in Italy in 280 it formed an alliance with the Romans, and received a garrison of 4,000 Campanian troops. The soldiers, taking advantage of an alleged defection, massacred the male inhabitants, took possession of their property, and made slaves of their wives and children. In 271 the Romans reduced the city after a long siege, executed all the surviving soldiers, and Rhegium came again into the hands of its former inhabitants. During the Punic wars it remained faithful to Rome. After the fall of the western empire it was subject to the emperors of the East. It was taken by Totila in A. D. 549, by the Saracens in 918, by Robert Guiscard in 1060, and by Pedro III. of Aragon in 1283; and during the 16th century it was three times sacked by the Turks. The modern city was almost entirely destroyed by the earthquake of 1783, and rebuilt on a larger and finer scale; and it was again much damaged by an earthquake in 1841.