The Info List - Segesta

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(Ancient Greek: Ἔγεστα, translit. Egesta;[1] Sicilian: Siggésta) was one of the major cities of the Elymian people, one of the three indigenous peoples of Sicily. The other major cities of the Elymians
were Eryx and Entella. It is located in the northwestern part of Sicily
in Italy, near the modern comune of Calatafimi-Segesta
in the province of Trapani. The Hellenization
of Segesta
happened very early and had a profound effect on its people.[2]


1 History 2 The temple 3 Further reading 4 References 5 External links

History[edit] According to the tradition used in Virgil's Aeneid, Segesta
was founded jointly by the territorial king Acestes (who was son of the local river Crinisus by a Dardanian woman named Segesta
or Egesta) and by those of Aeneas' folk who wished to remain behind with Acestes to found the city of Acesta. The belief that the name of the city was originally Acesta or Egesta and changed to Segesta
by the Romans to avoid its ill-omened meaning in Latin is disproved by coins showing that Segesta
was indeed the earlier name.[citation needed] The population of Segesta
was mixed Elymian and Ionian Greek, though the Elymians
were soon Hellenized and took on external characteristics of Greek life. Segesta
was in constant conflict with Selinus
(modern Selinunte), which probably tried to assure itself a port on the Tyrrhenian Sea. The first clashes were in 580-576 BC, and again in 454 BC, but later the conflict would have repercussions for all of Sicily. In 415 BC Segesta
asked Athens
for help against Selinus, leading to a disastrous Athenian expedition in Sicily
(415-413 BC). Later they asked Carthage
for help, leading to the total destruction of the city of Selinus
by the hands of Carthage. Segesta
remained an ally of Carthage, it was besieged by Dionysius of Syracuse in 397 BC, and it was destroyed by Agathocles in 307 BC, but recovered. In 276 BC the city was allied with Pyrrhus. In 260 BC It surrendered to the Romans. The city was not punished by the Romans for its long alliance with Carthage, but owing to the mythical common origin of the Romans and the Elymians
(both descendants of refugees from Troy) it was granted the state of a "free and immune" city. In 104 BC the slave rebellion led by Athenion started in Segesta. Little is known about the city under Roman rule, but it is probable that the population gradually moved to the port city of Castellammare del Golfo due to better trading opportunities. The city was destroyed by Vandals. The ruins of the city are located on the top of Monte Bàrbaro at 305 m above sea level. The city was protected by steep slopes on several sides and by walls on the more gentle slope towards the temple. The hilltop offers a view over the valley towards the Gulf of Castellamare. The city controlled several major roads between the coast to the north and the hinterland.

The Greek theatre

Very little is known about the city plan. Aerial photography indicates a regular city plan, built in part on terraces to overcome the natural sloping terrain. The current remains might be from the reconstruction after the destruction of the city by Agathocles. Current archaeological work indicates that the site was reoccupied by a Muslim community in the Norman period. Excavations have unearthed a Muslim necropolis and a mosque from the 12th century next to a Norman castle. Evidence suggests that the mosque was destroyed after the arrival of a new Christian overlord at the beginning of the 13th century. The city appears to have been finally abandoned by the second half of the 13th century. The temple[edit]

Temple in Thomas Cole´s picture from 1843

On a hill just outside the site of the ancient city of Segesta
lies an unusually well preserved Doric temple. It is thought to have been built in the 420's BC by an Athenian architect[3] and has six by fourteen columns on a base measuring 21 by 56 meters, on a platform three steps high. Several elements suggest that the temple was never actually finished. The columns have not been fluted as they normally would have been in a Doric temple and there are still tabs present in the blocks of the base (used for lifting the blocks into place but then normally removed). It also lacks a cella and was never roofed over. The temple is also unusual as the city was not mainly populated by Greeks. It can also be noted that this temple lacks any painted or sculptured ornamentation, altar, and deity dedication.[4] This temple escaped destruction by the Carthaginians in the late 5th century. Further reading[edit] Burford, Alison (1961). "Temple Building at Segesta". The Classical Quarterly. 11 (1–2): 87–93. doi:10.1017/S0009838800008417.  References[edit]

^ Trismegistos GEO ID: 22277 http://www.trismegistos.org/place/22277 ^ Janelli, Lorena; Cerchiai, Luca; Longo, Fausto (June 2004). The Greek Cities of Magna Graecia
Magna Graecia
and Sicily. J. Paul Getty Museum. p. 272. ISBN 978-0892367511.  ^ Scully, Vincent. 1969. The earth, the temple, and the gods; Greek sacred architecture. New York: Praeger. ^ Grinnell, Isabel Hoopes. 1943. Greek temples.

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Segesta.

Official website (in Italian) Photos of the site Segesta See Palermo's Segesta
Page Panoramic virtual tour inside the Doric temple

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Magna Graecia

South Italy

Alision Brentesion Caulonia Chone Croton Cumae Elea Heraclea Lucania Hydrus Krimisa Laüs Locri Medma Metapontion Neápolis Pandosia (Lucania) Poseidonia Pixous Rhegion Scylletium Siris Sybaris Sybaris
on the Traeis Taras Terina Thurii


Akragas Akrai Akrillai Apollonia Calacte Casmenae Catana Gela Helorus Henna Heraclea Minoa Himera Hybla Gereatis Hybla Heraea Kamarina Leontinoi Megara Hyblaea Messana Naxos Segesta Selinous Syracuse Tauromenion Thermae Tyndaris

Aeolian Islands

Didyme Euonymos Ereikousa Hycesia Lipara/Meligounis Phoenicusa Strongyle Therassía



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Archaeological sites in Sicily

Province of Agrigento

Heraclea Minoa Akragas

Valle dei Templi
Valle dei Templi
- Temple of Concordia - Temple of Heracles - Temple of Juno - Temple of Olympian Zeus

Province of Caltanissetta


Bosco Littorio Greek baths of Gela

Gibil Gabib Monte Bubbonia Polizzello archaeological site Sabucina Vassallaggi

Province of Catania

Aetna (city) Katáne Palike Sant'Ippolito (Caltagirone)

Province of Enna

Centuripe Morgantina Villa Romana del Casale

Province of Messina

Abacaenum Halaesa Naxos Ancient theatre of Taormina Tindari Villa Romana di Patti

Province of Palermo

Entella Grotta dell'Addaura Hippana Ietas Himera Pirama Soluntum

Province of Ragusa

Akrillai Hybla Heraea Kamarina Kaukana

Province of Syracuse



Casmenae Cava del Rivettazzo Colonne di San Basilio Helorus Netum Megara Hyblaea Syrakousai

Roman amphitheatre of Syracuse Altar of Hieron Ear of Dionysius Galermi Aqueduct Greek Theatre of Syracuse Grotta del Ninfeo Temple of Athena Temple of Apollo

Necropolis of Cassibile Necropolis of Pantalica Thapsos Villa Romana del Tellaro

Province of Trapani

Eryx/Erice Drepanum Halyciae Grotta del Genovese Monte Polizzo Motya Segesta Selinunte

Temple C Temple E Temple F Cave di Cusa

Roman furnaces in Alcamo

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 236392