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ancient Greek city in Italy on the Gulf of Tarentum, near the mouth of the Bradanus (Bradano) River. It was founded by an Achaean colony from Sybaris and Croton about 700 BC. Pythagoras died at Metapontum c. 500. The city declined after 207 when its inhabitants, who had supported Hannibal in the years following his victory at the Battle of Cannae (216), followed the defeated Carthaginian general in his retreat