Agrigento in Sicily

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Sicily / Agrigento / History




history agrigentoAkragas was founded in 581 BC by Greek colonists from Gela, initially originate from Rhodos and Crete. However the site was already occupied during prehistory.
Its function was be firstly a defensive place against Carthaginian invasions. The city is strengthened under the reign of Falaride from -570 to - 554. A discover was allotted to this tyrant, an instrument of torture where its enemies were locked inside a large bronze bull under which one a fire was lit ! As a tyrant fully assumed, he was hated by his people, thus he was publicly lapidated.
It is under Terone (- 488 to -472), that the city reaches its apogee where in -480 was the victory in Himere of the Greeks against Carthage, which temporarily puts a term at the conflict.
At this time, Akragas counted about 200.000 citizens.

history of agrigentoIn -406 the Carthaginians destroyed most of the city.
Timoleon, a Corinthian general, reconquered it into -338, it rebuilt it and installed a democratic regime there.
In -210, the Romans conquered the city, they named it Agrigentum.

After the fall of Rome, the city passes under the control of the Byzantines (East Roman Empire) then the Arabs in the IXth century. This last one developed a new urban center on the heights, at the actual place of the medieval old town. But it seems that the inhabitants had already moved to this place under the Byzantines. Girgenti became the capital of the Berber Kingdom. Normans seized the city in 1087. Agrigento thrived, they built the churches of S. Nicola, S. Maria dei Greci, and of S. Biagio.


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