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Listed 6 sub titles with search on: Various locations  for wider area of: "SIRACUSA Province SICILY" .

Various locations (6)

Ancient place-names



Palicorum lacus

LEONTINI (Ancient city) SICILY
  Palicorum lacus (he ton Palikon limne: Lago di Naftia), a small volcanic lake in the interior of Sicily, near Palagonia, about 15 miles W. of Leontini. It is a mere pool, being not more than 480 feet in circumference, but early attracted attention from the remarkable phenomena caused by two jets of volcanic gas, which rise under the water, causing a violent ebullition, and sometimes throwing up the water to a considerable height. On this account the spot was, from an early period, considered sacred, and consecrated to the indigenous deities called the Palici, who had a temple on the spot. This enjoyed the privileges of an asylum for fugitive slaves, and was much resorted to also for determining controversies by oaths; an oath taken by the holy springs, or craters as they are called, being considered to possess peculiar sanctity, and its violation to be punished on the spot by the death of the offender. The remarkable phenomena of the locality are described in detail by Diodorus, as well as by several other writers, and notwithstanding some slight discrepancies, leave no doubt that the spot was the same now called the Lago di Naftia, from the naphtha with which, as well as sulphur, the sources are strongly impregnated. It would, however, seem that in ancient times there were two separate pools or craters, sometimes termed fountains (krenai), and that they did not, as at the present day, form one more considerable pool or lake. Hence they are alluded to by Ovid as Stagna Palicorum ; while Virgil notices only the sanctuary or altar, pinguis et placabilis ara Palici. (Diod. xi. 89; Steph. Byz. s. v. Palike; Pseud.-Arist. Mirab. 58; Macrob. Sat. v. 19; Strab. vi. p. 275; Ovid, Met. v. 406; Virg. Aen. ix. 585; Sil. Ital. xiv. 219; Nonn. Dionys. xiii. 311.) The sacred character of the spot as an asylum for fugitive slaves caused it to be selected for the place where the great servile insurrection of Sicily in B.C. 102 was first discussed and arranged; and for the same reason Salvius, the leader of the insurgents, made splendid offerings at the shrine of the Palici. (Diod. xxxvi. 3, 7.)
  There was not in early times any other settlement besides the sanctuary and its appurtenances, adjoining the lake of the Palici; but in B.C. 453, Ducetius, the celebrated chief of the Siculi, founded a city close to the lake, to which he gave the name of Palica (Palike), and to which he transferred the inhabitants of Menaenum and other neighbouring towns. This city rose for a short time to considerable prosperity; but was destroyed again shortly after the death of Ducetius, and never afterwards restored. (Diod. xi. 88, 90.) Hence the notices of it in Stephanus of Byzantium and other writers can only refer to this brief period of its existence. (Steph. B. l. c.; Polemon, ap. Macrob. l. c.) The modern town of Palagonia is thought to retain the traces of the name of Palica, but certainly does not occupy the site of the city of Ducetius, being situated on a lofty hill, at some distance from the Lago di Naftia. Some remains of the temple and other buildings were still visible in the days of Fazello in the neighbourhood of the lake. The locality is fully described by him, and more recently by the Abate Ferrara. (Fazell. de Reb. Sic. iii. 2; Ferrara, Campi Flegrei della Sicilia, pp. 48,105.)

This text is from: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854) (ed. William Smith, LLD). Cited August 2004 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Island off Syracuse.


Perseus Project Index. Total results on 27/4/2001: 81

Anapus river

  Anapus (Anapos). (Anapo), one of the most celebrated and considerable rivers of Sicily, which risesabout a mile from the modern town of Buscemi, not far from the site of Acrae; and flows into the great harbour of Syracuse. About three quarters of a mile from its mouth, and just at the foot of the hill on which stood the Olympieium, it receives the waters of the Cyane. Its banks for a considerable distance from its mouth are bordered by marshes, which rendered them at all times unhealthy; and the fevers and pestilence thus generated were among the chief causes of disaster to the Athenians, and still more to the Carthaginians, during the several sieges of Syracuse. But above these marshes the valley through which it flows is one of great beauty, and the waters of the Anapus itself are extremely limpid and clear, and of great depth. Like many rivers in a limestone country it rises all at once with a considerable volume of water, which is, however, nearly doubled by the accession of the Cyane. The tutelary divinity of the stream was worshipped by the Syracusans under the form of a young man (Ael. V. H. ii. 33), who was regarded as the husband of the nymph Cyane. (Ovid. Met. v. 416.) The river is now commonly known as the Alfeo, evidently from a misconception of the story of Alpheus and Arethusa; but is also called and marked on all maps as the Anapo. (Thuc. vi. 96, vii. 78; Theocr. i. 68; Plut. Dion. 27, Timol. 21; Liv. xxiv. 36; Ovid. Ex Pont. ii. 26; Vib. Seq. p. 4; Oberlin, ad loc.; Fazell. iv. 1, p. 196.)
  It is probable that the Palus Lysimeleia (he limne he Lusimeleia kaloumene) mentioned by Thucydides (vii. 53), was a part of the marshes formed by the Anapus near its mouth. A marshy or stagnant pool of some extent still exists between the site of the Neapolis of Syracuse and the mouth of the river, to which the name may with some probability be assigned.

This text is from: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854) (ed. William Smith, LLD). Cited October 2004 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

Asinarus river

  Asinarus or Assinarus (Asinaros, Diod. Plut. Assinaros, Thuc.), a small river on the E. coast of Sicily, between Syracuse and Helorus; memorable as the scene of the final catastrophe of the Athenian armament in Sicily, and the surrender of Nicias with the remains of his division of the army. (Thuc. vii. 84, 85; Diod. xiii. 19; Plut. Nic. 27.) It is clearly identified by the circumstances of the retreat (as related in detail by Thucydides), with the river now called the Falconara, but more commonly known as the Fiume di Noto, from its proximity to that city. It rises just below the site of the ancient Neetum (Noto Vecohio), and after flowing under the walls of the modern Noto, enters the sea in a little bay called Ballata di Noto, about 4 miles N. of the mouth of the Helorus (F. Abisso). Being supplied from several subterranean and perennial sources it has a considerable body of water, as described by Thucydides in the above passage. A curious monument still extant near Helorum is commonly supposed to have been erected to commemorate the victory of the Syracusans on this occasion; but it seems too far from the river to have been designed for such an object. Plutarch tells us (Nic. 28), that the Syracusans instituted on the occasion a festival called Asinaria; and it is said that this is still celebrated at the present day, though now converted to the honour of a saint. (Smyth's Sicily, p. 179; Fazell. de Reb. Sic. iv. 1. p. 198; Cluver. Sicil. p. 184.)

This text is from: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854) (ed. William Smith, LLD). Cited October 2004 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

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