Heraclea. 1. An ancient town of Magna Graecia near the Gulf of Tarentum, between the rivers Siris and Aciris, was a colony from Thurii and Tarentum, and, till the time of Alexander of Epirus, the central meeting-place of the Italian-Greek colonies. Here Pyrrhus beat the Romans in 280 B. c, and the city was still prosperous in the days of Cicero. In 1753 fragments of inscriptions were discovered here, one relating to a temple, and the other containing the Lex Julia Municipalis of 45 B.C. These are now in the National Museum at Naples.
2. Heraclea Minoa, in Sicily, near which Regulus defeated the Carthaginian fleet, 256 B.C.
3. Heraclea Pontica, in Phrygia, where there are coal-pits which supply Constantinople.
4. The name of one of the islands called Sporades.