In the province of Trapani in Sicily‚ the Archaeological Park of Segesta is located. This park is an authentic open-air treasure of inestimable value as it is one of the most famous Doric temples in the world for its state of conservation. The ancient Segesta rises in a splendid position‚ among gentle red-brown hills that contrast with the various shades of green of the surrounding landscape. A place that definitely deserves a visit during your holiday in Sicily.
An ancient history…
According to the historian Thucydides‚ Segesta was founded by the Elimi‚ ancient people who lived in western Sicily. They were descended from refugees who had escaped the Trojan war and who had come to these places guided by the mythical Enea.
The exact date of foundation of Segesta is not known but it is known that around the IVth century the city was already inhabited and was already one of the main Hellenized centers of the Mediterranean basin.
…and full of conflict
Segesta and Selinunte were rival cities and Selinunte often violated his territory. In the fifth century‚ to defeat Selinunte‚ Segesta asked for help to Athens and to Carthage‚ while while Selinunte turned to Syracuse‚ to Agrigento and Gela. In 409 BC the Carthaginians arrived in Sicily and completely devasted Selinunte. Segesta was in turn destroyed by the Syracusan Agathocles in 307 BC. In 276 BC the city surrendered to the powerful army of Pirro‚ returning under Punic control.
From 260 BC Segesta was reborn with the Romans who defended it from attempts of Trojan conquest and guaranteed Segesta the status of a free city‚ exempting it from paying taxes and giving it a certain political autonomy and territorial control. It was in 104 BC that from Segesta began the slave revolts in Sicily‚ the so-called servile wars. Segesta was destroyed by the vandals during the fifth century‚ after which there is no longer any certain historical information about the city.
Must see :
- The Doric Temple
- The Greek Theater
- The Acropolis.