According to the legend, Strabonus, the ancient greek geographer form the first century B.C., wrote about Giason and the Argonauts that, after grabbing the golden ram, reached the beaches in Sele plain and had a temple built, dedicated to Hera Argiva.
Historians, conversely, claim that in this area a colony from Sibari settled down in the middle 7th century B.C., determined and committed to build a harbour on the Mediterranean sea. As time passed by, the colony would thrive more and more, and turned into the main city of Poseidon. Thanks to its naturally favourable position, Poseidon and its motherland Sibari started busyness and tradings with Etruscans. The finding of amphoras and other archaeological finds testify such a correspondence. Poseidon soon became one of the most important cities in the Mediterranean area. In 510 B.C. Crotone attacked and torn down Sibari: its inhabitants fled to Poseidon bringing all their richness along. At this time the first temples and monuments started to be built. In 400 B.C. the city was conquered by the Lucans, who gave the name of Paistom to it, or Paistos. After several other mishaps, in 273 B.C. the city was made part of the roman empire, and became Paestum. Under Rome, the city resumed its ancient splendour and the building of new temples. During Christian era, Paestum also became an important city where many members of the clergy settled down. Because of a malaria epidemic though, the population decreased substantially. During the following centuries, Paestum was deeper and deeper covered by woods and marshes, and became thoroughly hidden eventually. It was to be discovered and its beauties brought back to life in the 19th century, under king Charles of Borbon . More and more historians and archaeologists became interested and fascinated by this ancient city's beauty. Today this site is a big pentagon plain, surrounded by sturdy walls and is endowed with 4 ancient main doors; two main roads meet forming a perfect right angle.