Segesta

Segesta (Sicilian: Siggésta) was one of the major cities of the Elymian people (the other were Eryx and Entella). It was destroyed by Agathocles in 307 BC, but recovered.

 

Segesta, Greek temple

The temple at Segesta was probably never finished.

Photo: Per-Erik Skramstad / Wonders of Sicily

 

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Segesta, temple

The temple at Segesta.

Photo: Per-Erik Skramstad / Wonders of Sicily

 

In 414BC hostilities flared up between Segesta and Selinus (Selinunte). Since Segesta didn't get any help from Akragas (Agrigento), they went to to Athens during the winter 416/415 to beg for help. Athens had for a long time had ambitions in Sicily, and now saw an opportunity to help their allies and even add new conquests to their empire. After a series of problems during the preparations, the fleet finally left for Sicily. The Athenian expedition in Sicily (415-413 BC) was a complete disaster for Greece. Later Segesta asked Carthage for help, leading to the total destruction of the city of Selinus by the hands of Carthage. Segesta remained an ally of Carthage, it was besieged by Dionysius of Syracuse in 397 BC, and it was destroyed by Agathocles in 307 BC, but recovered.

 

Ancient theatre, Segesta

The Greek theatre at Segesta.

Photo: Per-Erik Skramstad / Wonders of Sicily

 

 

Ancient Greek theatre, Segesta

The view from the Greek theatre is spectacular.

Photo: Per-Erik Skramstad / Wonders of Sicily

Decree (detail of a bronze tablet) by the Entellans in honour of the Segestans

Decree (detail of a bronze tablet) by the Entellans in honour of the Segestans: «Under the archons Artemidoros, son of Eielos and Gnaios son of Oppios, in the first day of the month of Panamos. Since the Segestans have always been benevolent towards us, while we were in our land as well as after we were expelled from there, and when many of our people were captured, both men and women, they made their best endeavour to help them return safely to their city, it was decided by the council and the assembly that they shall enjoy forever the benevolence of the people of Entella as well as isopoliteia. The archons shall place this decree in the bouleterion after having it engraved on a bronze tablet.» (Archeological Museum, Palermo)

 

 

Coin from Segesta, circa 420 BC.
Description: Sicily, Segesta Æ Trias. Circa 420 BC. Head of the nymph Segesta right, wearing hair-band / Hound standing right with tail curved upwards; around, four pellets. CNS 2; SNG Copenhagen 586; SNG ANS 655-657. 7.54g, 17mm, 4h. Very Fine. Very Rare. From the Eckenheimer collection.

Source: Roma Numismatics Ltd (with permission)

Coin from Segesta, circa 410-400 BC.
Description: Sicily, Segesta Æ Trias. Circa 410-400 BC. Head of the Nymph Segesta to right / Hound standing to right; four pellets within incuse circles around. Hurter, Segesta p.141ff, pl. 29, 7; CNS I p. 296 17. 4.15g, 21mm, 3h. Very Fine. Rare. From the Eckenheimer collection.

Source: Roma Numismatics Ltd (with permission)

 

 

Lizard at Segesta, Sicily

Lizard living at the ancient theatre in Segesta.

Photo: Per-Erik Skramstad / Wonders of Sicily

 

 

the ancient temple in Segesta

The ancient temple at Segesta. The ladies have started the 20-25 minutes walk up to the theatre. There's a bus service you can use if you like.

Photo: Per-Erik Skramstad / Wonders of Sicily

 

Segesta, temple, tempio

The ruins and the location is overwhelmingly beautiful.

Photo: Per-Erik Skramstad / Wonders of Sicily

 

 

 

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Segesta, temple, tempio

Tourists at Segesta.

Photo: Per-Erik Skramstad / Wonders of Sicily

 

 

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Segesta greek temple

The doric temple at Segesta is remarkably well preserved.

Photo: Per-Erik Skramstad / Wonders of Sicily

 

 

The ancient Greek temple at Segesta

If you choose to walk up to the theatre, you get several rewarding views of the temple, especially if you leave the road.

Photo: Per-Erik Skramstad / Wonders of Sicily

 

 

Doric Temple at Segesta, Sicily

Staggering detail of the Doric Temple at Segesta.

Photo: Per-Erik Skramstad / Wonders of Sicily

 

 

 

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The remains of the mosque at Segesta (AD 12th century)

Source: Pier Paolo Racioppi "Mosque" in Discover Islamic Art, Museum With No Frontiers

The remains of a mosque are located in the immediate vicinity of the ancient theatre of Segesta, outside the fortified area of the late medieval settlement. It is laid out over an irregular rectangle 20.5 m long and 11.4 m wide, and was constructed in a single phase using a uniform building technique (limestone blocks bound with mud). The floor is bare rock. The mihrab niche on the south side, correctly oriented to within a few degrees of southeast, is 2 m wide on the inside and 1.5 m deep. It is rectangular on the outside and protrudes from the wall by about a metre. There are no traces of a minbar.

It was probably a rural mosque from Norman times, which was built, along with the fortified settlement, on high ground by an Islamicised people fleeing the lands gradually being conquered by the Normans.

It is not clear whether it served just the village or the entire surrounding area. An Islamic necropolis has been discovered nearby.
The mosque was dated from the discovery during excavations of ceramic remains dating back to the 12th century.

Source: Pier Paolo Racioppi "Mosque" in Discover Islamic Art, Museum With No Frontiers, 2016. Link

 

Chaos (Kaos)

Segesta in opening sequence of Kaos, Taviani brothers

Segesta seen from the raven's point of view. Screenshot from the opening sequence of Kaos (directed by Paolo and Vittorio Taviani). The film depicts four Pirandello short stories.

 

 

 

 

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