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tyranny, and was succeeded in it by Hippocrates in 498, under whom
it attamed a very high pitch of power, and by Gelon, in 491, who
succeeded in making himself master of Syracuse itself, and removed
much of the population thither. These returned to their native city
in 466, and a period of prosperity followed until 406, when the town
was besieged, and in the next year taken by the Carthaginians. After
various fortunes, its final ruin was effected by the removal of its
inhabitants to Phintias, the city founded by the tyrant of Agri-
gentum. To the W. of the town are the broad plains named Campi
Greloi, celebrated for their extreme fertility. Ciela was the birth-
place of Apollodorus, a comic poet, and the place to which iEschylus
retired, and where he ended his days. Agrigentnm, Girgenti, the
Aer&gai* of the Greeks and of the Latin poets, was situated about
midway between Gela and
Selinus. It stood on a
hill between 2 and 3 miles
from the sea, at the base
of which flowed the small
river Acragas. It was j.
founded by Gela in B.C. U
582. It soon fell under the \
power of despots, of whom
Phalaris (about 570) was
the first, and who was suc-
ceeded by Alcamenes, Al- Coin of Agrigentum.
cander, Tljeron, who de-
feated the Carthaginians in 480, and Thrasydseus in 472. A democracy
followed, and under it Agrigentum spent 60 years of the greatest pro-
sperity, during which its population is computed to have amounted to
200,000. This happy period was terminated by the destruction of the
city in 405, by the Carthaginians. It was rebuilt by Timoleou in 340,
and again attained a high pitch of power. In 309 it took the lead in the
war against Agathocles, but without success. After his death Phintias
became despot of the city. In the First Punic War it was held by the
Carthaginians, and was consequently besieged by the Romans, who took
it after 7 months, in 262. It was again taken and destroyed by the
Carthaginians in 255, retaken and held by them in the Second Punic
War, and finally recovered by Rome in 210. Under the Romans it
still flourished, though not again historically famous. Its ruins are
extensive and beautiful : 7 among them we may notice the so-called

^ Iminanisque Gela, fluvii cognomine dicta. jEn, iii. 702.

The rirer Gela is at times an impetuous torrent ; hence Ovid —

Et te, Torticibus non adeunde Gela. Fast, iv. 470.

• Ovid adopts the Greek form in the line,—

TTimeraque et Didymen, Acragantaque Tauromenonque. — Fast. iv. 475.
' Thewj justify the encomium vhich Pindar passes on it as "the fairest of
mortal cities :'* —

AiWaj or, 0iAa7Aac, icaA-
\irra fip<ynav iroAtuff,


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600 SICILIA. fiooK IV.

temples of Juno Ladnia end of Concord, both of the Doric order, the
basement and some fragments of the great temple of Olympian Jove,
and the foundation walla of several other temples. Agrigentum was
the birth-place of Empedocles and other famous men : it was celebrated
for the luxury, the hospitality, and the lavish expenditure of its
citizens, .the last of which qualities was specially manifested in their
sepulchrHl monuments. HenuBlaa, sumamed lOnfift, stood at the mouth
of the river Halycus, between Agrigentum and Selinus. Its surname
was attributed traditionally to its having been founded by Minos, king
of Crete. In historical times it appears first as a colony of Selinus ; it
was subsequently, in BC. 510, seized by Spartans, who gave it the name
of Heraclea. It was soon after destroyed by the Ciu^haginians, but
was rebuilt, and remained in their hands, with but few intervals, until
the time of the Roman conquest. During this period it derived impor-
tance from the circumstance that the Halycus formed the boundaiy
between the Carthaginian and Greek districts. Stliniu was situated at
the mouth of the river of the same name, in the S.W. part of the island.
It was foimded by the Sicilian Megara about B.C. 628, and probably
derived its name from the abundance of parsley (<r<Aiy^f) found there.*
It was the most westerly of the Qreek cities, and was consequently
exposed to the attacks of the Carthaginians, who destroyed it on two
occasions, viz. in 409, when no less than 16,000 of its citizens were
killed, and 5000 taken captive, and in 250 when its inhabitants were
removed to Lilybsum. Near it were some sulphureous springs, called
Themue SelinuntisB, which were much frequented by the Romans.
The circuit of the walls, the remains of 3 large and 1 small Doric
temples within the walls, and 3 temples of yet laiger dimensions outside
the walls, of the largest of which 3 columns are still standing, mark the
site of the town at Torre dti FtUci, lilyteum, Martala, was situated
on the promontory of the same name in the extreme W. of the island.
It was founded by Carthaginians about b.c. 397, and became their
stronghold in Sicily, being the nearest point to the African continent.*
In 250 it was increased by the Addition of the population of Selinus,
and in the sam^ year commenced the siege of it by the Romans, which
lasted for 10 years, and was brought to a close by the peace at the
conclusion of the First Punic War. Thenceforth it remained in the
hands of the Romans, under whom it became the chief port for African
commerce, and the residence of one of the 2 quseetors of Sicily. Nu-
merous vases, sculptures, and coins, have been found on its site : the
latter are of a Greek character, a circumstance which shows the
predominating influence of the Greeks in Sicily.

(3). Om the N. Coast. — Eryx, S. GiuUano, was situated on the W. slope
of the hill of the same nsune,^ about 2 miles from the sea-coast. Both

VeUtii 'AjcpoyovTOf t&-
V<^^>' Ko\mvav, Pyth. xli. 1.

" It seems to have been yet more famous for its palm-trees :—

Teque datis linquo ventis, palmota Selinus. ^n. iii. 705.

Audax Hybla faris, palmisque arbusta Selinus. — Sil. Ital. xiv. 200.
' The entrance to the harbour was dangerous fTom shoals and reefs : —

Et vada dura lego saxis LibybeTa cffiois. ^m. iii. 706.

* See note 7, p. 591.


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Chap. XXVIII. TOWNS. 601

the town and the famous temple of Yenus appear to have been of
Pelasgic oiigin, nor do the Greeks ever appear to have settled here. It
passed into the hands of the Carthaginians, and remained under them
until its capture by Pynhus in b.c. 278. It was destroyed by the
Carthaginians in 260, and its inhabitants removed to Drepanum. It
appears to have been partly rebuilt, and it was again the scene of opera-
tions between the Romans and the Carthaginians in the First Punic
War. Drepanum, or Drepana, Trapani, was situated about 6 miles
from Eryx, immediately opposite to the Agates. It derived its name
from the promontory on which it stood, which resembled a sickle
(ip€irdyri) in shape.* It was founded by the Carthaginian general
Hamilcar in b.c. 260, and was peopled with the inhabitants of Eryx;
it was retained by Carthage until the end of the First Punic War,
when it was besieged by Lutatius Catulus, and taken after the battle
of the iEgates in 241. Segetta, the Egpesta or JEgetta of the Greeks,
was situated on a hill about 6 miles from the sea-coast, and 3 miles
N.W. of Calatafimi. Its origin was mythically ascribed to the Tro-
jans,3 and it appears to have been neither a Greek nor a native Sicanian
town. It was engaged in. perpetual hostilities with the neighbouring
town of SelinuB, and is historically famous as having given occasion to
the Athenian expedition against Sicily. In 409 it was taken and des-
troyed by the Carthaginians, was rebuilt, and captured in 307 by
Agathocles, who destroyed its citizens, changed its name to Dicseopolis,
and peopled it with fugitives from all quarters. It was, however,
reoccupied by its old inhabitants, and fell under the power of the
Carthaginians until 264, when it was taken by the Romans. Its site is
marked by the ruins of a temple and theatre, the former of which is in
a very perfect state, and is one of the most striking ruins in Sicily : it is
of the Doric order, and has 6 columns in front and 14 on each side.
PanormuB, Palermo^ stood on an extensive bay, now named the Gulf of
PcUermOf about 50 miles
from the W. extremity of
the island. It was of Phoe-
nician origin, and was origi- /
nally called Machanath *"'& L
camp," but received its I
historical name from the >
Greeks, who named it from
its spacious bay, Panormus,
or *' all-port." The Car-
thaginians made it one of Coin of Panormus.
their chief naval stations,

and, with the exception of a short time when Pyrrhus became master of
it in 276, they held it until 254, when it was taken by the Romans.
Under its walls the Carthaginians were defeated by C. Metellus in
250. Under the Romans it became a flourishing town, and received

2 Virgil makes it the scene of the death of Anchiscs : —

Hinc Drepani me portns et illsetabilis ora

Accipit. Hie, pelagi tot tempestatibaa actus,

Hen genitorem, onmis cuns casosque leramen,

Amitto Anchisen. ^n. iU. 707.

* Virgil attribates its foundation to Acestes and calls the town Acesta : —

Urbem appellabunt permisso nomine Acestam. — jEn. ▼. 718,
Silius Ttalicus (xiv. 220) describes it as Drqfana Acesta.


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602 SICILIA. Book IV.

several special privilegee. It also received colonies under AugustuB,
Vespasian, and Hadrian. The town consisted of an inner and outer
city, each with its separate inclosure of walls. Numerous inscriptions
and coins have been found on its site. Himira was situated some
distance E. of Panormus, near Termini, It was founded by Chalcidians

of Zancle, mixed with Sy-
racusans, in b.c. 648. The
earliest notice of it is in

S560, when it was under
the power of Phalaris of
Agrigentum. In 490 it re-
ceived Scythes, the tyrant
of Zancle, and shortly after
itself became subject to a
tyrant named Terillus, and
Coin of Himera. it was at his invitation that

the Carthaginians made
their first great expedition into Sicily, which ended in their total defeat
by Theron of Agrigentum and Gelon of Syracuse in 480. The town then
became subject to Theron, who placed his son Thrasydseus in chai^ of
it. In 476 a large niunber of disofifected citizens were put to death and
exiled, and the town was replenished with Dorian settlers. On the
{leath of Theron in 472 Himera became independent, and enjoyed a
high state of prosperity until 408, when it was taken and destroyed by
the Carthaginians. In 405 the surviving inhabitants founded a new
town, named ThermsB, from some hot springs ; this appears to have
become an important town, and a Roman colony under Augiistus. The
baths were much frequented by the Romans, and still exist under the
name of Bagni di S. Calogero. The old town was probably situated
about 8 miles to the W. at Torre di BonfomeUo, where vases, bronses,
&c., have been found. Himera was the birth-place of the poet Stesi-
choi*us,^ and Thermae of the tyrant Agathocles. MylsB, MUazzo, was
situated on a promontory, opposite to the Lipareean Islands. It was
founded by Zanclseans some time before B.C. 648, and always remained
a dex)endency of Messana. In 427 it was attacked by the Athenians
under Laches ; in 315 it was captured by Agathocles ; and in 270 it
was the scene of the defeat of the Mamertines by Hiero of Syracuse.
It sank into insignificance under the Romans.^ The bay, which lies
£. of the promontory, was the scene of the defeats of the Carthaginian
fleet by Duilius in 2»)0, and of the fleet of Sextus Pompeius by Agrippa ,
in 30. Near Mylie stood a famous temple of Diana.*

(4). In the Jn(«r{or.— Centnripa, Centorhi, stood on a lofty hill, S.W.
of Mount ^tna, and appears in the first instance as a stronghold of the
Siculi, and as generally preserving its independence, though occasionally
under tyrants, and at one time subject to Agathocles. In the First
Punic War it was taken by the Romans, and it became subsequently
one of the most important cities of Sicily, being situated in the midst
of a remarkably fertile corn-producing district. HyMa, sumanied

* Littora Thermaruiii, prisca dotata Camocna,
Annavere sues, qua mcrgitar Himera ponto

^Eollo. SiL. ITAL. xiv. 2S2.

* Et justi quondam portus, nunc littore solo

Subdidium infidum fugientibus ipqaora. Hylic. Id. xir. SOI.

* Hille Thoantece tedes Phacelina Diau». lo. xiv. 260.


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Chap. XXVIII. TOWNS. 603

Xi^er, was situated S. of ^tna, and near the Symsethus, probably at
Patemo, It was a city of the Siculi, and became in later times depen-
dent on Catana. Its history is unimportant, and much confusion exists
in the notices of this and of the other Hybla. Enna, or Henna, Castro
Giovanni, was situated nearly in the centre of the island, where it
occupied a position of re-
markable strength, on the
level summit of a gigantic
hill, the sides of which
are precipitous. It was a j
Siculian town, and retained
its independence until the '
time of Dionysius of Sy-
racuse, who gained posses-
sion of it by treachery.

In 214 its citizens were CoiuofEnnft.

massacred by the Homans,

and in the Servile War in 134-132 it became the head-quarters of the
insurgents. Enna was celebrated in mythology as the place whera Pluto
canied off Proserpine :' it possessed a very famous temple of Ceres.

Of the less important towns we may notice— (1). On ike E. Coast —
GaUipolis, a colony of Naxos, N, of Tauromenium, destroyed at an early
period, probably by Hippocrates of Qe\& ; and Helfinim, or HelSnu, at
the mouth of a river of the same name,^ about 25 miles S. of Syracuse, of
which it was a dependency, and probably a colony. On tlte S. Coast —
Motya, between Lilybseum and Drepanum, a PhoBUician colony, captured
by Dionysius of Syracuse in 397, after a desperate defence, but recovered
by Himilco in 396, who, however, removed its inhabitants to Lilybsum
— Solos, or Solnntnm, Solanto, about 12 miles east of Panormus, a
Phoenician colony, and one of their last positions in the island, subse-
quently in the hands of the Carthaginians, with whom it remained
until the First Punic War— Oe^Lal<Bdiiun,> G^alu, E. of Himera, oiigi-

' This event is said to have taken place at a small lake, fringed with flowery
meadows, and surrounded by lofty moimtains, with a cavern near it, whence Pluto
issued. The place is still shown, but the flowers have disappeared. Ovid call^
the lake Fergus (see p. 592). The myth is told at length in Met. v. 385-408, and
more briefly by Silius Italicus : —

Enna de(km lucis sacras dedit ardua dextnu.

Hie specus, ingcntem laxans tellaris hiatum,

Ceecum iter ad manes tenebroeo limite pandit.

Qua novus ignotas Hymennus venit in oras.

Hac Stygius quondam, stimulante Cupidine, rector

Ansus adire diem, nuestoque Acheronte relioto

Egit in illicitas currum per inania terras.

Turn rapta prepceps Ennaea virgine flexit

AttonitOM codU visu lucemque paventea

In Styga rursus equos, et pnedam condidit ambris.~xiv. 238.
" This river, now the Ahi$ao, stagnates about its mouth, but in its upper
course is a brawling impetuous torrent : the following descriptions are equally
correct of its difTerent parts : —

Exsupero pr»plngue solum stagnantis Helori. — jBn. iii. 698.

Undie clamosus Helorus. Sil. Ital. xiv. 269.

• Qnaeque procelloso CephalcDdias ora profUndo

Qeruleis horret campis posoentia cete. lo. xiv. S52.

2 D 2


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604 SICILU. Book IV.

ually only a fortress on a lofty rook belonging to the Himeneans, bat
afterwards a town, first noticed in 396, and captured by treachery by
the Romans in 254 — ^HaUea, or Alttia, near Tumi, on the K. coast, a
Siculian town, founded in b.c. 403 by citizens of Herbita and others,
and under the Romans one *of the chief towns of Sicily, until ruined
by the exactions of Verres — Calaete,* Caranta, situated E. of Halesa, on
a portion of the coast which, for its beauty and fertility, was named
" the fair coast," a name which was subsequently affixed to a town
founded by Sicilians and others about b.c. 400 — Alimtiiim, San Marco,
K. of Calacte, a place which suffered severely from the exactions of
Verres — TyndArii, Tindaro, W. of Mylsc, founded by the elder Diony-
sius in B.C. 395, and peopled with Messenians, the head-quarters of
Agrippa in the war against Sextus Pompeius — and AhMmiim, between
Tyndaris and Mylse, about 4 miles from the N. ooast, a city of the
Siculi, and at one time a place of importance, but from the time of
Hiero insignificant.

(2). In the Interior,— MtSL^ at the S. foot of the mountain of the
same name, originally a Siculian town with the name of Inessa, but
afterwards occupied by the colonists whom Hieix> had sent to Gatana,
and who changed its name to iEtna ; it was a strongly situated place,
vainly attacked by Laches in 426, seized by Dionysius in 403, and
peopled by him with Campanian mercenaries, who held it till 339.
Agyrivm, 8. Filippo d'Arairo, on the summit of a lofty hill, between
Ceuturipa and Enna, a Siculian town, first noticed in b.c 4o4 as the
residence of a powerful prince, named Agyris, under the Romans a
place of wealth and importance from the fertility of its territory in
com, also known as the birth-place of the historian Diodorus Siculus^
Engymn, Gangi Vetere, S. of Halesa, celebrated for its temple of the
Magna Mater, which was plundered by Verres. HaliojB, Salemi, 10
miles S. of Segesta, a town which, in the First Punic War, joined the
Romans at an early period, and was rewarded with immunity from
taxes and other privileges. 'RntelU, JRoeca d'EnteUot on the left bank
of the Hypsas, said to have been founded by Aoestes, first noticed in
B.C. 404 as being seized by the Campanian mercenaries, and held by
them until about 345, when the Carthaginians obtained possession of
it. Herbita, Nicosia, 10 miles N.W. of Agyrium, first noticed in b.c
44^, as under the rule of a tyrant^ named Archonides, who held out
against Dionysius of Syracuse ; it is better known in connexion with
the exactions of Verres. Morgantia, S.W. of Catana, a Siculian town,
first noticed in B.C. 459, as being taken by Ducetius, and repeatedly
mentioned during the Second Punic War. MeiUBniim, Mineo, about 1 8
miles W. of Leontini, a Siculian city, founded by Ducetius in B.C. 459,
conquered by IMonysius in 396, and mentioned by Cicero as one of the
flourishing towns of Sicily at that time. Aer», Palazzolo, on a lofty
hill, 24 miles W. of Syracuse, of which it was a colony, planted in b,c.
663, and to which it was valuable as a military post, ffntmfaflr.
founde<l by Syracusans in B.C. 643, and noticed by Herodotus as the
place whither the exiled Qamori retired.

Off the coast of Sicily lie two groups of islands^the JBgitMlntiila,
off the W. angle, containing three islands, named HiSra, JBgflsa, and
Phorbantia, and historically famous for the victory obtained by Luta-
tins Catulus over the Carthaginians in b.c. 241, which put an end to

* Littus plfcoea Calacte. Su- Ital. xir. 251.

Digitized by VjOOQ IC


the first Punic War.^ : and the volcanic group variously named JBolie,
from the Homeric island iEolus,' VuleaaiflB or HephsBstin, from their
volcanic character/ and liparMD, after lapara, the largest of the group,
a name which they still retain as the Lipari Idands. There are 7
larger and several smaller islands : of these, Hiera, Vvlcano, the most
southerly, and Strongj^le* StromMit the most northerly, were active
volcanoes : lip&ra was the only one that possessed any cdusiderable
population, together with a town, founded by Dorians from Cuidus in
BX. 627, and a place of some historical importance : Didjhne. Salinat
derived its name from the twin conical mountains on it ; PhcBnicflsa,
Fdictidi, from its palms {ipoiytnts) ; EricAsa, Alicudij from its heath
(iptiKri)^ and EuonfmoSf Panaria, from the circumstance of its lying
on the left hand, as one sailed from Lipara to Sicily.

History. — The history of Sicily resolves itself very much into those
of its several towns. These have been already related, but it may be
useful to give a connected statement of the states which held the pre-
dominant power at different periods. During the 6th cent. B.C. Gela
and Agrigentum were the most powerful cities. Syracuse first rose
under Gelon in 485, and attained the ascendency over the Greek towns,
both under him and under his successor Hiero. On the expulsion of
Thrasybulus in 467, most of the towns adopted a democratic govern-
ment, and from 461 to 409 they retained their independence of Syracuse,
and enjoyed the highest degree of prosperity. The Cai'thaginians, who
had failed in their first endeavour to obtain a footing in Sicily in b.c.
480, were more successful in 409, when they took Selinus, Himera,
and Agrigentum, and established themselves firmly in the W. of the
island. To counteract this power, the Greek cities threw themselves
more under the authority of Syracuse, which was raised by Dionysius I.
to the sovereignty of all eastern Sicily. Internal dissensions followed,
and at length, by the aid of Timoleon in 343, the cities were restored to
liberty. Again Syracuse became predominant under Agathocles from
^17 to 289. Agrigentum had now revived, and* was the second town in
Sicily. Under Hiero II. Syracuse was flourishing, and the other cities.

' His super, »▼!

Flore virens, avot JEgates abolere, parentum

Dedecus, ac Siculo demergerc foedera ponto. Sil. Ital. I. 60.

' It was the fabled residence of .Solos, the god of the winds : —

Nimborum in patriam, loca fcsta fiirentibus Austria,

.£oliam Tenit. Hie vasto rex .Solus antro

Luotantes ventos tempestatesque sonoras

Imperio premit, ae vinclis et caroere fhcnat.

Illi indignantes, magno com murmore mentis,

Circum claustra fremunt. Celsa sedet .Solus arce,

Sceptra tenens ; moUitqoe animos, et temperat ims. — jSn. i. 5 1 .
* Or as being (according to the mythical account) the workshop of Yalcan : -
Jam siccato nectare turgens

Brachia Vulcanus Liparcpa nigra tahema. Juv. xiii. 44.

Insula Sicaninm juxta latus .£oliamqae

Erigitor Liparen, fumantibus ardua saxis :

'Qiiam subter specus et Cyclopum exesa caminis

Antra JEtneea tonant, ralidique incudibus ictus

Auditi referunt gemitum, striduntque cavernis

i^trlctursB Chalybum, ct fomacibus ignis anhclat ;

Vulcani domus, et Vulcanla nomine tellus. .En. viii. 416.


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606 MELITA. Book IV.

which adopted the side of Carthage in the First Punic War, were reduced
by the Romans. In the Second Punic War, Syracuse fell in 212, and
the whole island waak reduced to the condition of a Roman province.
It suffered severely from the Servile wars in 135-132, and 103-100,
from the exactions of Yerres, and subsequently from those of Sextus
Pompeius. It was originally governed by a pi'sstor and two qusestors,
but it was placed by Augustus imder a proconsul.

§ 4. Mellta, Malta, lies about 50 miles S. of Sicily: it iB about
17 miles long, and 9i broad, and is separated only by a narrow

channel from the island

of GFanlotf Oozo. Melita

was conveniently situated

\ as a trading station, and

7 was from an early period

' occupied by a Phoenician

settlement. It passed into

the hands of the Cartha-

Coin of Mciita. giuians, who held it until

the Second Punic War,

when it was taken by Tib. Sempronius, in B.C. 218. It was famous

for its wool,* and for the manufacture of a fine cotton fabric,

known at Rome as ** vestis Melitensis." It derives its chief interest

from the shipwreck of St. Paul on its coasts (Acts, xxviii.) : the

memory of this event is preserved in the title of St PauCs Bay, on

the N.E. coast of the island. W. of Melita lies the small and barren

isle of Cos^ra.* PanteUaria.

§ 5. The large island of Sardinia, the Sardo of the Greeks, lies S.
of Corsica, and N.W. of Sicily, and is distant only 120 geographical
miles from the coast of Africa. Its form resembles an oblong paral-
lelogram i^ its length is above 140 geographical miles, and its
average breadth about 60. It is traversed by a chain of mountains

* Telaque superba

Lanigera Mellte. Sxl. Ital. xiv. 250.

• Ovid contrasts the barrenness of Cosyra with the fertility of Malta : the
contrast does not hold good as regards the latter island, which is rocky and

Fertilis est MeUte, sterili vioina Cosyrro

Insula, quam Libyci verberat nnda freti. Fast. iii. 567.

' It resembles somewhat the print of a man's foot, and hence was named
IchnOsa by the Greeks :—

Insula, fluctisono circumTallata profUudo,

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