Summary: Temple; in the northern portion of the island of Ortygia.
Date: ca. 565 B.C.
6 x 17; double row of columns in front of cella; pronaos-distyle in antis; no interior columns(?); adyton; four stepped crepidoma; small staircase on the east end.
The Temple of Apollo is the earliest example of monumental stone architecture in Sicily. As identified by inscription, the temple was dedicated by Cleo[sthen]es, presumably a tyrant of Syracuse. The temple's early date is attested to by its massive proportions, narrowly spaced columns, and spreading column capitals. Possible influence from eastern Ionic temples may be seen in the wider central intercolumniation and the lack of anta projections, typical to the Doric style. Other variations from the mainland Doric style include the lack of entasis, a reduced number of flutes on the columns (16), and a lack of correlation in the spacing of the triglyphs with the columns below. On the northeast angle column, the fluting was not carried down to the stylobate, perhaps a sign of incompletion.
Carol A. Stein, ed.
This text is cited Nov 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains 12 image(s), bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.
Summary: Altar; to the south of the theater.
Date: 269 B.C. - 215 B.C.
The altar of Zeus Eleutherios (the Liberator) was constructed by Hieron II, tyrant of Syracuse, as part of his building program in this area; it is approximately contemporaneous with the nearby theater and nymphaeum. Diodorus states that 450 oxen were able to be sacrificed simultaneously atop the altar during the annual feast of Zeus Eleutherios. Despite its enormous length (600 Doric feet; ca. 196 m), the altar was quite narrow and it stood ca. 11 m high. Narrow stairways were located at each end of the front, flanked by telamones.
Carol A. Stein, ed.
This text is cited Nov 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains 2 image(s), bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.
Summary: Doric temple, its remains now incorporated in a modern cathedral
Date: ca. 470 B.C.
6 x 14; no interior columns; pronaos and opisthodomos each distyle in antis Double angle contraction
Carol A. Stein, ed.
This text is cited Nov 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains 8 image(s), bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.
Summary: Temple; across the Great Harbor, outside of the city.
Date: ca. 555 B.C.
6 x 17; double colonnade in front of cella; pronaos - distyle in antis; no interior columns; adyton.
Similar in plan to the Temple of Apollo on Ortygia, the Temple of Zeus Olympios has at least one improvement on its famous predecessor: the elimination of the widened central intercolumniation along the short ends. On both of the two standing column fragments, the fluting was not carried down to the stylobate (cp. Temple of Apollo at Syracuse ), perhaps a sign of incompletion.
Carol A. Stein, ed.
This text is cited Nov 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains 13 image(s), bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.
Periods: Archaic, Classical, Hellenistic, Roman
Type: Fortified city and port
Summary: The richest Greek city of Sicily and a western rival of Athens.
The city of Syracuse is located at the SE corner of Sicily and included the offshore island of Ortygia. Ortygia, which forms the N arm of the natural harbor at Syracuse, was a naturally defensible site with a source of fresh water. It was the position first occupied by the Greek colonists who fortified it, laid out a linear grid pattern of streets, and constructed their earliest sanctuaries, including temples of Athena and Apollo. The narrow island remained a citadel of the city even after it was joined to the mainland at ca. 550 B.C. In addition to the large deep harbor (Great Harbor) S of the island, the construction of moles formed a small second harbor N of the island. These facilities made Syracuse one of the principal ports of the western Mediterranian. On the mainland W of Ortygia, and extending to the N, was the commercial and administrative center of Syracuse, the district of Achradina. The agora, shops, and public buildings were in this area adjoining the quays and dry docks of the harbors. West of Achradina was the district of Neapolis, where the theater, ampitheater, and many of the major monuments were located. Northwest of Achradina and Neapolis was the residential district of Tyche. The slopping terrain of the Tyche district reached up to the plateau of Epipolae, which was a largely undeveloped area of the city. This high ground was, for stratigic reasons, included within the city's defensive walls which extended far to the W, to the fortress of Euryalos. The well-designed fortress was constructed as an independent strong point at the northwestern extreme of the city's defenses where the only level approach to the Epipolae plateau is located. The latest city walls of Syracuse extended for ca. 31 km and were built by Dionysios at the beginning of the 4th century B.C. A major sanctuary of Olympian Zeus is also located at Syracuse, ca. 3 km S of the city, on the banks of the Cyane river.
In 734 B.C. Corinthians, led by Archias, overcame a local Sicel settlement on the island of Ortygia and established the colony of Syracuse. The island, forming the N side of the Great Harbor and with its own source of fresh water, the spring of Arethusa, remained the citadel of Syracuse. The city, however, soon extended to the mainland, and in the mid 6th century B.C., Ortygia was connected to the mainland by a causeway. In the course of the 5th century B.C. the wealth, cultural development, and political power of Syracuse rivalled Athens itself. In 485 B.C., Gelon, the tyrant of Gela, who had gained control over most of Sicily, seized Syracuse and made it his capital. In 480 B.C. Gelon led the Greeks in a victory over the Carthaginians at Himera. Gelon's brother, who succeeded him, defeated the Etruscians in a naval battle in 474 B.C. and ensured the dominance of Syracuse over the entire southwestern Mediterranian basin. In 415-413 B.C. Syracuse was victorious in a war with Athens. Between 410 and 397 B.C. Syracuse was again victorious over the Carthaginians and renewed its claim to supremacy in the western Mediterranian. In the middle of the 4th century B.C., however, Carthage again invaded Sicily and threatened Syracuse. In 344 B.C., the Corinthian Timoleon was sent to Sicily at the request of the Greek cities there in order to repel the Carthaginians. Timoleon took possession of Syracuse and led the Sicilian Greeks to victory in 339 B.C. Timoleon rebuilt the Greek cities and established democratic governments in each. Syracuse continued to better the Carthaginians in battle and in the 3rd century B.C. became allied with Rome. Later the city attempted to reject the alliance and at ca. 212 B.C., after a two year siege, the Romans conquered Syracuse. The Roman plunder and looting of art from Syracuse is said to have created the first appreciation of Classical Greek art in Rome. Syracuse declined under Roman rule and was finally destroyed by the Saracens in A.D. 878.
Donald R. Keller, ed.
This text is cited Aug 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains 127 image(s), bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.
Receive our daily Newsletter with all the latest updates on the Greek Travel industry.Subscribe now!