Professional Researchers Tracing YOUR Genealogy
Segesta (Trapani Province) called Egesta by the Greeks and Segesta by the Romans, was with Erice and Entella one of the most advanced centers of Elymian civilization. Unfortunately very little is known of this population of Elymians. According to Thucydides they were a combination of the Trojans and Phocaeans who mixed with the Sicans of western Sicily.
Segesta very quickly became the most prosperous of the Elymian cities, and a commercial center for the goods marketed in the Egastan emporium (the modern Gulf of Castellammare). Now known as Calatafimi-Segesta.
The ancient sources tell of its age-long rivalry with Selinunte, which led first to the ill-starred Athenian expedition to Sicily in 415-413 BC and then to the request for help made in about 409 BC to the Carthaginians, who destroyed not only Selinunte but also Agrigento, Gela and Himera.
Having thus entered into alliance with Carthage, Segesta was later besieged by Dionysius I of Siracusa, in 397 BC, and obliged to break its alliance with Carthage. In 306 BC, now an ally of Syracuse against which it had previously rebelled, it was destroyed by Agathocles. In 277 BC it fell to Pyrrhus, King of Epirus.
On the outbreak of the First Punic War, Segesta was the first city to side with the Romans, who therefore declared it a free and immune city. Notwithstanding, a slow period of decline began for Segesta, culminating in its destruction by the Vandals in the early Middle Ages.
The city stood on a vast plateau between the two peaks of Monte Barbaro in a naturally well defended position. Very little is however known about it: it was probably built between the 5th and 4th centuries BC with a regular grid layout, surrounded by walls of the classic or Hellenistic age.
Of interest: Theatre, Temple and the Sanctuary at Contrada Mango
Churches (Trapani Diocese) include the following:
S. Silvestro Papa (Chiesa Madre, 16th Century)
Maria SS. Consolatrice
Maria SS. Immacolata
S. Giuliano Martire
Links to other sites about Segesta include:
Italian Postal Codes
My latest book on CD is titled Sicily, Part 1 and Part 2 is now available on 2 CDs. With a file for each town (plus many other files), it relates the history of Sicily as reflected in the photos, records and festivals of its towns. It contains over 2500 text and photo files and can be ordered at CD order.
© Kathy Kirkpatrick 2002-2011
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