Cotrone, Diocese of (COTRONENSIS), a suffragan of Reggio. Cotrone is a city of the province of Catanzaro, in Calabria, Southern Italy, on the Ionian Sea. It is the ancient Croton, an Achwan colony founded c. 707 B.C., and long one of the most flourishing cities of Magna Graecia. Its inhabitants were famous for their physical strength, and for the simple sobriety of their lives. It was the birthplace of Milo, the famous athlete, and it was at Croton that Pythagoras founded his school. In 380 B.C. the city was taken by Dionysius the Elder of Syracuse and in 296 B.C. by Agathocles. Later it was pillaged by Pyrrhus. In the Second Punic War it was seized by Hannibal, but some time later became a Roman colony. About A.D. 550, it was unsuccessfully besieged by Totila, King of the Goths, and at a later date became a part of the Byzantine Empire. About 870 it was taken and sacked by the Saracens, who put to death the bishop and many people who had taken refuge in the cathedral. Later on it was conquered by Normans and thenceforth shared the fate of the Kingdom of Naples.
According to local legend the Gospel was preached there by St. Dionysius the Areopagite. Its first known bishop was Flavianus, during whose episcopate occurred the siege of the city by Totila. Other bishops were: Theodosios (642); Petrus (680); Theotimus (790); and Nicephorus (870). Worthy of note “are: Antonio Sebastiano Minturno (1565), a polished writer and poet; the Spanish Dominican, Juan Lopez (1595); the Theatine, Tommaso dai Monti (1599), famous for his zeal; and Niceforo Melisseno Commeno (1628), who had previously rendered signal service to the Holy See in the Orient and in France. The diocese has a population of 14,-000, with 10 parishes, 29 churches and chapels, 24 secular priests, and 5 religious orders of women.