The inhabitants of Sybaris – said to number 100,000 – were so fond of luxury and their excesses so legendary that we derive the modern word sybaritic from their reputation. The city’s laws and institutions were apparently made to ensure the greatest comfort and wellbeing of its citizens, including the banning from the city of all noisy traders, such as metalworkers, and the planting of trees along every street for shade. Cooks were so highly prized that they were apparently bought and sold in the marketplace for great sums and were allowed to patent their recipes, while inventions ascribed to the Sybarites include pasta and the chamberpot. This was all too much for the Crotonians, who under their general Milo destroyed the city in 510 BC, diverting the waters of the river over the site to complete the job

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