Visiting Selinunte, Sicily – a city of ancient history

Selinunte Temple, ©zoutedrop/Flickr

Selinunte Temple, ©zoutedrop/Flickr

The ancient city of Selinunte was founded in the 7th century BC and had been a flourishing settlement until the year of 409 BC. Its glory lasted more than two centuries and it was popular and well known all over Sicily. There are several touristic attractions in Selinunte: ruins, temples and other constructions which are all worth visiting.

Selinunte is situated in Trapani, on the southwestern shores of Sicily. It is known as the acropolis as it is located in the middle of an archeological park, on high ground and overlooks the Mediterranean Sea. If you are a fan of ancient culture and history, then Selinunte is for you. Soak up the ancient history of the Greeks and Italians. Come, visit, admire, enjoy!

The beginning

The city of Selinunte was founded during the 7th century BC, more precisely between 650-630 BC by a Greek colonist called Doric. Many historians mention and talk about the town of Selinus such as Thucydides or Diodorus Siculus. The residents of Selinus built port which became quite active and often used. They also fought many battles with the inhabitants of Entella and Segesta over the borderlines. Around 580 BC the parts made a treaty, set up the borderlines which was followed by a century full of peace.

Selinunte Port, ©Hansrudolf/Flickr

Selinunte Port, ©Hansrudolf/Flickr

Wealth and prosperity

Thanks to its commerce the town became wealthy and rich in a short time and managed to develop the settlement of Selinus. Lots of splendid temples were constructed and other elegant buildings which made the town very famous and important in Italy. The Carthaginians in western Sicily became very envious of Selinus and this led to its demise.

Selinunte Temple, ©zoutedrop/Flickr

Selinunte Temple, ©zoutedrop/Flickr

Wars and destruction

A war started out in the year of 480 BC in which the residents of Selinus stayed neutral. They did not choose to side with the Greeks when they scored victory over the Carthaginians. This move made a bad impression on both the fellow Greeks and the Carthaginians as well. In 409 BC the political situation changed and the diplomats of Selinunte established an alliance with Agrigento and Syracuse.

The sanctuary of Demeter Malaphoros, ©Alun Salt/Flickr

The sanctuary of Demeter Malaphoros, ©Alun Salt/Flickr

Thanks to this agreement another seventy years of peace and well being came along. During this time more and more beautiful temples were constructed. Nonetheless the Carthaginians never stopped soughing after power in Sicily. At the end war could not be avoided for long. Selinunte got involved in the battles between Athens and Syracuse.

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