Himera (Greek: Ἱμέρα), was an important ancient Greek city of Sicily, situated on the north coast of the island, at the mouth of the river of the same name (the modern Grande), between Panormus (modern Palermo) and Cephaloedium (modern Cefalù). Its remains lie within the borders of the modern comune of Termini Imerese.

Himera Viktoriatempel
Remains of the Temple of Victory at Himera
Himera is located in Italy
Shown within Italy
LocationBuonfornello, Province of Palermo, Sicily, Italy
Coordinates37°58′26.39″N 13°49′26.35″E / 37.9739972°N 13.8239861°ECoordinates: 37°58′26.39″N 13°49′26.35″E / 37.9739972°N 13.8239861°E
Site notes
ManagementSoprintendenza BB.CC.AA. di Palermo
Public accessYes
WebsiteArea Archeologica e Antiquarium di Himera ‹See Tfd›(in Italian)


Foundation and earliest history

Imera tempio della vittoria mod
Ideal reconstruction of the Temple of Victory.

Himera was the first Greek settlement on this part of the island and was a strategic outpost just outside the eastern boundary of the Carthaginian-controlled west. Thucydides says it was the only Greek city on this coast of Sicily,[1] which must however be understood with reference only to independent cities. Mylae, which was also on the north coast and certainly of Greek origin, was a dependency of Zancle (modern Messina). All authorities agree that Himera was a colony of Zancle, but Thucydides tells us that the emigrants from Zancle mingled with a number of Syracusan exiles, resulting in a city with Chalcidic institutions and a Doric dialect.

The foundation of Himera is placed subsequent to that of Mylae (as, from their relative positions, might naturally have been expected) both by Strabo and Scymnus Chius: its date is not mentioned by Thucydides, but Diodorus tells us that it had existed 240 years at the time of its destruction by the Carthaginians, which would fix its first settlement in 648 BCE.[2] There is very little information as to its early history: an obscure notice in Aristotle,[3] from which it appears to have at one time fallen under the dominion of the tyrant Phalaris, being the only mention found of it, until about 490 BCE, when it afforded a temporary refuge to Scythes, tyrant of Zancle, after his expulsion from the latter city.[4] Not long after this event, Himera fell itself under the yoke of a despot named Terillus, who sought to fortify his power by contracting a close alliance with Anaxilas, at that time ruler both of Rhegium (modern Reggio di Calabria) and Zancle. But Terillus was unable to resist the power of Theron, despot of Agrigentum (modern Agrigento), and, being expelled by him from Himera, had recourse to the assistance of the Carthaginians, a circumstance which became the immediate occasion of the first great expedition of that people to Sicily, 480 BCE.[5]

First interaction with Carthage

The magnitude of the armament sent under Hamilcar, who is said to have landed in Sicily with an army of 300,000 men, sufficiently proves that the conquest of Himera was the pretext, rather than the object, of the war. However, it is likely that the growing power of Himeria in the immediate vicinity of the Carthaginian settlements of Panormus and Solus had already caused concern among the Carthaginians. Hence it was against Himera that the first efforts of Hamilcar were directed. Theron, who had thrown himself into the city with all the forces at his command, was able to maintain its defence until the arrival of Gelon of Syracuse. Despite the numerical inferiority of his forces, he defeated the army of the Carthaginians with such slaughter that the Battle of Himera in 480 BCE was regarded by the Greeks of Sicily as worthy of comparison with the contemporary victory of Salamis.[6] The same feeling probably gave rise to the tradition or belief, that both triumphs were achieved on the very same day.[7]

After the Battle of Himera

This victory left Theron in the undisputed possession of the sovereignty of Himera, as well as of that of Agrigentum. He appears to have focused on Agrigentum, and leftthe government of Himera to his son Thrasydaeus. But the young man, by his violent and oppressive rule, soon alienated the minds of the citizens. They applied for relief to Hieron of Syracuse, at that time on terms of hostility with Theron. The Syracusan despot, however, betrayed their overtures to Theron. He took vengeance on the Himeraeans, putting to death a large number of the disaffected citizens and driving others into exile.[8] Shortly after, seeing that the city had suffered greatly from these severities and that its population was much diminished, he sought to restore its prosperity by establishing there a new body of citizens whom he collected from various quarters. The greater part of these new colonists were of Dorian extraction, and though the two bodies of citizens were blended into one and continued to live harmoniously together, at this period Himera became a Doric city. Himera adopted the institutions and followed the policy of the other Doric states of Sicily.[9] This settlement seems to have taken place in 476 BCE,[10] and Himera continued subject to Theron until his death, in 472 BCE, but Thrasydaeus retained possession of the sovereignty for a very short time after the death of his father, and his defeat by Hieron of Syracuse was speedily followed by his expulsion both from Agrigentum and Himera.[11] In 466 BCE we find the Himeraeans, in their turn, sending a force to assist the Syracusans in throwing off the yoke of Thrasybulus; and, in the general settlement of affairs which followed soon after, the exiles were allowed to return to Himera, where they appear to have settled quietly together with the new citizens.[12] From this period Diodorus expressly tells us that Himera was fortunate enough to escape from civil dissensions,[13] and this good government must have secured to it no small share of the prosperity which was enjoyed by the Sicilian cities in general during the succeeding half-century.

But though we are told in general terms that the period which elapsed from this re-settlement of Himera until its destruction by the Carthaginians (461–408 BCE), was one of peace and prosperity, the only notices we find of the city during this interval refer to the part it took at the time of the Athenian expedition to Sicily, 415 BCE. On that occasion, the Himeraeans were among the first to promise their support to Syracuse: hence, when Nicias presented himself before their port with the Athenian fleet, they altogether refused to receive him; and, shortly after, it was at Himera that Gylippus landed, and from whence he marched across the island to Syracuse, at the head of a force composed in great part of Himeraean citizens.[14]

Destruction by Carthage


In 409 BC the prosperity of the city was brought to an abrupt end by the great Carthaginian expedition to Sicily. The ostensible object of the expedition was the support of the Segestans against their neighbours, the Selinuntines. The Carthaginians, though, had greater ambitions. Immediately after the destruction of Selinus, Hannibal Mago, who commanded the expedition, hastened to turn his arms against Himera. That city was ill-prepared for defence; its fortifications were of little strength, but the citizens made a desperate resistance, and by a vigorous sally inflicted severe loss on the Carthaginians. They were at first supported by a force of about 4000 auxiliaries from Syracuse under the command of Diocles, but that general became seized with a panic fear for the safety of Syracuse itself and abandoned Himera, leaving the unfortunate citizens to contend singlehanded against the Carthaginian power. Their defenses failed and the city was soon taken by storm. A large part of the citizens were killed and at least 3000 of them, who had been taken prisoners, were put to death by Hannibal as a sacrifice to the memory of his grandfather Hamilcar.[15] The city itself was utterly destroyed, its buildings razed to the ground, and even the temples themselves were not spared.

Diodorus, who relates the total destruction of Himera, tells us expressly that it was never rebuilt, and that the site remained uninhabited down to his own times.[13] It seems at first in contradiction with this statement, that he elsewhere includes the Himeraeans, as well as the Selinuntines and Agrigentines, among the exiled citizens that were allowed by the treaty, concluded with Carthage, in 405 BCE, to return to their homes, and inhabit their own cities, on condition of paying tribute to Carthage and not restoring their fortifications.[16] And it seems clear that many of them at least availed themselves of this permission, as we find the Himeraeans subsequently mentioned among the states that declared in favour of Dionysius I of Syracuse, at the commencement of his great war with Carthage in 397 BCE; though they quickly returned to the Carthaginian alliance in the following year.[17] The explanation of this difficulty is furnished by Cicero, who tells us that, after the destruction of Himera, those citizens who had survived the calamity of the war established themselves at Thermae, within the confines of the same territory, and not far from their old town.[18] Diodorus gives a somewhat different account of the foundation of Thermae, which he represents as established by the Carthaginians themselves before the close of the war, in 407 BCE.[19] But it is probable that both statements are substantially correct, and that the Carthaginians founded the new town in the immediate neighbourhood of Himera, in order to prevent the old site being again occupied; while the Himeraean exiles, when they returned thither, though they settled in the new town, naturally regarded themselves as still the same people, and would continue to bear the name of Himeraeans. How completely, even at a much later period, the one city was regarded as the representative of the other, appears from the statement of Cicero, that when Scipio Aemilianus, after the capture of Carthage, restored to the Agrigentines and Gelenses the statues that had been carried off from their respective cities, he at the same time restored to the citizens of Thermae those that had been taken from Himera.[20] Hence we cannot be surprised to find that, not only are the Himeraeans still spoken of as an existing people, but even that the name of Himera itself is sometimes inadvertently used as that of their city. Thus, in 314 BCE, Diodorus tells us that, by the treaty between Agathocles and the Carthaginians, it was stipulated that Heracleia, Selinus and Himera should continue subject to Carthage as they had been before.[21] It is much more strange that we find the name of Himera reappear both in Mela and Pliny, though we know from the distinct statements of Cicero and Strabo, as well as Diodorus, that it had ceased to exist centuries before.[22]

Foundation of Thermae

The new town of Thermae or Therma called for the sake of distinction Thermae Himerenses,[23] which thus took the place of Himera, obviously derived its name from the hot springs for which it was celebrated, and the first discovery of which was connected by legends with the wanderings of Hercules.[24] It appears to have early become a considerable town, though it continued, with few and brief exceptions, to be subject to the Carthaginian rule. In the First Punic War its name is repeatedly mentioned. Thus, in 260 BCE, a body of Roman troops were encamped in the neighborhood, when they were attacked by Hamilcar, and defeated with heavy loss.[25] Before the close of the war, Thermae itself was besieged and taken by the Romans.[26] Cicero relates that the Roman government restored to the Thermitani their city and territory, with the free use of their own laws, as a reward for their steady fidelity.[27] They were on hostile terms with Rome during the First Punic War, so it can only be to the subsequent period that these expressions apply; but the occasion to which they refer is unknown. In the time of Cicero, Thermae appears to have been a flourishing place, carrying on a considerable amount of trade, though the orator speaks, of it as oppidum non maximum.[28] It seems to have received a colony in the time of Augustus, whence we find mention in inscriptions of the Ordo et Populus splendidissimae Coloniae Augustae Himeraeorum Thermitanorum:[29] and there can be little doubt that the Thermae colonia of Pliny in reality refers to this town, though he evidently understood it to be Thermae Selinuntiae (modern Sciacca), as he places it on the south coast between Agrigentum and Selinus.[30] There is little subsequent account of Thermae; but, as its name is found in Ptolemy and the Itineraries, it appears to have continued in existence throughout the period of the Roman Empire, and probably never ceased to be inhabited, as the modern town of Termini Imerese retains the ancient site as well as name.[31] The magnificence of the ancient city, and the taste of its citizens for the encouragement of art, are attested by Cicero, who calls it in primis Siciliae clarum et ornatum; and some evidence of it remained, even in the days of that orator, in the statues preserved by the Thermitani, to whom they had been restored by Scipio, after the conquest of Carthage; and which were valuable, not only as relics of the past, but from their high merit as works of art.[32] The numerous examples of coins from Himera testify to the city's wealth in antiquity.


site of Himera during first battle

The exact position of Himera was a subject of controversy until recent times. Cluverius was followed by almost all writers in the 19th century and placed it on the west bank of the river San Leonardo which flows past the west side of Termini. On this supposition the inhabitants moved from one bank of the river to the other; and this would readily explain the texts in which Himera and Thermae appear to be regarded as identical, and where the river Himera is also said to be flowing past Thermae.[33]

Fazello identified the Himera river with the Grande, the mouth of which is 8 miles from Termini and this view is adopted by most modern scholars.[34] This distance is not too great to be reconciled with Cicero's expression, that the new settlement was established non longe ab oppido antique;[32] while the addition that it was in the same territory [35] would seem to imply that it was not very near the old site. It may be added that, in this case, the new site would have had the advantage in the eyes of the Carthaginians of being nearer to their own settlements of Solus and Panormus, and, consequently, more within their command. But Fazello's view that the site of Torre di Bonfornello on the seacoast (on the west bank of the Fiume Grande, close to its mouth), though having no ruins, is supported by abundant ancient relics, such as vases and bronzes, and numerous sepulchres had also been brought to light.[36]


The only visible remains of the city consist of the Tempio della Vittoria (Temple of Victory), a Doric structure supposedly built to commemorate the defeat of the Carthaginians (although recently some scholars have come to doubt this hypothesis). To the south of the temple was the town's necropolis. Some artifacts recovered from this site are kept in a small antiquarium. However, the more impressive displays are in Palermo's Museo Archeologico Regionale.

Rainwater spouts from the temple roof (Palermo museum)

Famous people

Himera is said to be the birthplace of the poet Stesichorus but in fact he was born in the Magna Graecian town of Metauros (modern Gioia Tauro)[37][38][39][40][41] in 630BC. He moved to Himera in later life and wrote his poetry whilst a resident of the town. Ergoteles, whose victory at the Olympic games is celebrated by Pindar, was a citizen, but not a native, of Himera.[42] On the other hand, Thermae had the honour of being the birthplace of the tyrant Agathocles.[43]


  1. ^ vi. 62, vii. 58.
  2. ^ Thuc. vi. 5; Strab. vi. p. 272; Scymn. Ch. 289; Diod. xiii. 62; Hecat. fr. 49; Scyl. p. 4. § 13.
  3. ^ Rhet. ii. 20.
  4. ^ Herod. vi. 24.
  5. ^ Id. vii. 165.
  6. ^ Herod. vii. 166, 167; Diod. xi. 20-23; Pind. Pyth. i. 152.
  7. ^ Herod. l. c.
  8. ^ Diod. xi. 48.
  9. ^ Id. xi. 49.
  10. ^ There is a confusion about this date, though, because Diodorus relates the circumstances in the year of Phaedon, Ol. LXXVI. 1, which would place it in 476 BCE, he adds that the new colony subsisted 58 years, until its destruction by the Carthaginians, which would refer it to the year 466 BCE. This last date is clearly incompatible with the fact that Theron died in 472 BCE.
  11. ^ Id. xi. 53.
  12. ^ Id. xi. 68, 76.
  13. ^ a b xi. 49.
  14. ^ Thucydides vi. 62, vii. 1, 58; Diod. xiii. 4, 12.
  15. ^ Diod. xiii. 59-62; Xen. Hell. i. 1. 37.
  16. ^ Id. xiii. 114.
  17. ^ Id. xiv. 47, 56.
  18. ^ Cicero ''In Verrem ii. 3. 5.
  19. ^ Diod. xiii. 79.
  20. ^ Cicero In Verrem ii. 3. 5, iv. 33.
  21. ^ Diod. xix. 71.
  22. ^ Strabo vi. p. 272; Mel. ii. 7. § 16; Plin. iii. 8. s. 14.
  23. ^ Θερμαὶ αἱ Ἱμερᾶαι, Pol.; Θερμαὶ Ἱμέραι, Ptol.; Θερμὰ, Θερμὰ Ἱμεραῖα, Diod.
  24. ^ Diod. iv. 23, v. 3; Pindar Ol. xii. 28.
  25. ^ Pol. i. 24; Diod. xxiii. 9. Exc. H. p. 503.
  26. ^ Pol. i. 39; Diod. xxiii. 20. Exc. H. p. 506.
  27. ^ quod semper in amicitia fideque mansissent, Cicero In Verrem ii: 37.
  28. ^ Id. ii. 46, 75, iii. 42.
  29. ^ Castell. Inscr. Sicil. p. 47; Gruter. Inscr. p. 433, no. 6..
  30. ^ Plin. iii. 8. s. 14.
  31. ^ Ptol. iii. 4. § 4; Antonine Itinerary p. 92; Tabula Peutingeriana.
  32. ^ a b Cicero In Verrem ii. 3. 5.
  33. ^ Silius Italicus xiv. 232; Plin. iii. 8. s. 14; Vib. Sequest. p. 11.
  34. ^ Richard Talbert, Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World, (ISBN 0-691-03169-X), Map 47 & notes.
  35. ^ in ejusdem agri finibus, l. c..
  36. ^ Tommaso Fazello ix. 2.
  37. ^ http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/565868/Stesichorus
  38. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-12-19. Retrieved 2015-07-13.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  39. ^ http://www.calabria.nu/magna.htm#Like
  40. ^ https://books.google.com/books?id=xFhMG7G1q5kC&pg=PA254&lpg=PA254&dq=Stesichorus+was+born+in+Metauros&source=bl&ots=RDiNzxAeNk&sig=bhoz-8O94Ns0NdqfrJaJDV5azC0&hl=en&sa=X&ei=I0y1U4XFDoemkQW1_ICYCw&ved=0CC8Q6AEwBA#v=onepage&q=Stesichorus%20was%20born%20in%20Metauros&f=false
  41. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-12-19. Retrieved 2015-07-13.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  42. ^ Pind. Ol. xii.; Paus. vi. 4. § 11.
  43. ^ Diod. xix. 2.


External links

Battle of Himera (409 BC)

Near the site of the first battle and great Carthaginian defeat of 480 BC, the Second Battle of Himera was fought near the city of Himera in Sicily in 409 between the Carthaginian forces under Hannibal Mago (a king of Carthage of the Magonid family, not the famous Hannibal of the Barcid family) and the Ionian Greeks of Himera aided by an army and a fleet from Syracuse. Hannibal, acting under the instructions of the Carthaginian senate, had previously sacked and destroyed the city of Selinus after the Battle of Selinus in 409. Hannibal then destroyed Himera which was never rebuilt.

Battle of Himera (480 BC)

The Battle of Himera (480 BC), supposedly fought on the same day as the more famous Battle of Salamis, or at the same time as the Battle of Thermopylae, saw the Greek forces of Gelon, King of Syracuse, and Theron, tyrant of Agrigentum, defeat the Carthaginian force of Hamilcar the Magonid, ending a Carthaginian bid to restore the deposed tyrant of Himera. The alleged coincidence of this battle with the naval battle of Salamis and the resultant derailing of a Punic-Persian conspiracy aimed at destroying the Greek civilization is rejected by modern scholars. Scholars also agree that the battle led to the crippling of Carthage's power in Sicily for many decades. It was one of the most important battles of the Sicilian Wars.

Battle of Selinus

The Battle of Selinus, which took place early in 409 BC, is the opening battle of the so-called Second Sicilian War. The ten-day-long siege and battle was fought in Sicily between the Carthaginian forces under Hannibal Mago (a king of Carthage of the Magonid family, not the famous Hannibal of the Barcid family) and the Dorian Greeks of Selinus. The city of Selinus had defeated the Elymian city of Segesta in 415, an event that led to the Athenian invasion of Sicily in 415 and ended in the defeat of Athenian forces in 413. When Selinus again worsted Segesta in 411, Carthage, responding to the appeal of Segesta, had besieged and sacked Selinus after the Carthaginian offer of negotiations had been refused by the Greeks. This was the first step towards Hannibal's campaign to avenge the Carthaginian defeat at the first battle of Himera in 480. The city of Selinus was later rebuilt, but never regained her former status.

Battle of the Himera River (311 BC)

The Battle of the Himera River was fought in 311 BC between Carthage and Syracuse near the mouth of the Himera river (the modern Salso river). Hamilcar, grandson of Hanno the Great, led the Carthaginians, while the Syracusans were led by Agathocles. Agathocles initially surprised the Carthaginians with an attack on their camp, but the Greeks lost the battle when they were attacked by unexpected Carthaginian reinforcements. The Greek army took many casualties as it retreated. Agathocles managed to gather the remains of his army and retreat to Syracuse, but lost control of Sicily.

In classical antiquity the name Himera was used for two rivers on Sicily: the Grande and the Salso. The Grande flows north towards its mouth at the site of ancient Himera, the Salso follows a southern course to its mouth in modern Licata. The battle took place near the mouth of the Salso river because the Carthaginians positioned themselves on the hill of Ecnomus during the battle. This hill lies west of Licata.

Battle of the Himera River (446 BC)

The Battle of the Himera River was fought in 446 BC between Syracuse and Acragas near the Himera river. The latter had declared war on Syracuse because their common enemy, the Sicel leader Ducetius, had returned to Sicily to colonize Cale Acte. Syracuse had exiled rather than executed Ducetius in 450 BC. Syracuse defeated Acragas and the conflict was settled with a peace treaty.

In classical antiquity the name Himera was used for two rivers on Sicily: the Grande and the Salso. The Grande flows north towards its mouth at the site of ancient Himera, the Salso follows a southern course to its mouth in modern Licata. It is not certain near which river the battle took place.

Chimera (Aria album)

Chimera (Russian: Химера) is Aria's eighth studio album, and the last to feature vocalist Valery Kipelov.

Ergoteles of Himera

Ergoteles (Ancient Greek: Ἐργοτέλης) or Ergotelis, was a native of Knossos and Olympic runner in the Ancient Olympic Games.

Civil disorder (ancient Greek: Stasis) had compelled him to leave Crete. He came to Sicily and was naturalized as a citizen of Himera. He won the Olympic dolichos (running race) of 472 BC and 464 BC, as well as winning twice in both Pythian and Isthmian games.

A four-line inscribed epigram of c. 450 BC found in Olympia commemorates the six Ergotelian victories. The base of an inscribed statue at Olympia, which was seen and exploited by the geographer Pausanias, was rediscovered in 1953. Pindar honoured Ergoteles with the following Epinikion hymn:

The Ergotelis multi-sport club established in 1929 in Heraklion, Crete, was named after Ergoteles, in commemoration of the first Olympic champion native to the modern Heraklion prefecture.


Gelon aka Gelo (Greek: Γέλων Gelon, gen.: Γέλωνος; died 478 BC), son of Deinomenes, was a 5th-century BC ruler of Gela and Syracuse and first of the Deinomenid rulers.

Grande River (Sicily)

The Grande River (Greek: Ἱμέρας, Latin: Himera; Italian: Fiume Grande or Imera Settentrionale) is a river of Sicily, rising in the heights near Cozzo Levanche, and flowing approximately 35 kilometres (22 mi) through the comuni of Caltavuturo, Campofelice di Roccella, Cerda, Collesano, Scillato, Sclafani Bagni, Termini Imerese and Valledolmo (all in the Province of Palermo) to the Tyrrhenian Sea at the site of the ancient city of Himera. The drainage area is approximately 342 square kilometres (132 sq mi), making it one of the principal rivers of Sicily to flow into the Tyrrhenian.


Hamilcar (Punic: 𐤇𐤌𐤋𐤊‬, ḤMLK, or 𐤇𐤌𐤋𐤒𐤓𐤕, ḤMLQRT, "Melqart is Gracious"; Greek: Ἁμίλκας, Hamílkas; Hebrew: אחי-מלקרת‎) was a common Carthaginian masculine given name. The name was particularly common among the ruling families of ancient Carthage.

People named Hamilcar include:

Hamilcar the Magonid, "King" of Carthage, led the Carthaginian forces at the Battle of Himera in 480 BC during the First Sicilian War

Hamilcar, a general against Timoleon of Syracuse

Hamilcar, a brother of Gisco, possibly brother of Hanno,, with whom he was executed in the middle of the 4th century BC

Hamilcar the Rhodian, possibly a Carthaginian spy in the entourage of Alexander the Great, executed when returning to Carthage.

Hamilcar, son of Gisgo and grandson of Hanno the Great, led a campaign against Agathocles of Syracuse during the Third Sicilian War. He defeated Agathocles in the Battle of the Himera River in 311 BC. He was captured during the Siege of Syracuse and then killed in 309 BC.

Hamilcar, a general in Sicily and Africa from 261 to 255 BC during the First Punic War, distinct from the Hamilcar mentioned by Diodorus

Hamilcar was a Carthaginian commander whose greatest achievement was winning the Battle of Drepanum in 249 BC during the First Punic War.

Hamilcar Barca (c. 270–228 BC) served as a Carthaginian general during and after the First Punic War. His son was Hannibal, famous for his exploits during the Second Punic War.In various forms, the name sometimes appears in other cultures. The Italian name Amilcare was one of the given names of the dictator Benito Mussolini and the composer Amilcare Ponchielli. The Portuguese name Amílcar was one of the given names of the prominent African revolutionary Amílcar Cabral.

Hamilcar I of Carthage

Hamilcar I (Punic: 𐤇𐤌𐤋𐤊, ḤMLK) was a Magonid king of Carthage in present-day Tunisia from 510 to 480 BCE.

Humera Airport

Humera Airport (IATA: HUE, ICAO: HAHU) is an airport serving Humera, a town in the northwestern Tigray Region of Ethiopia. The name of the city and airport may also be transliterated as Himera or Himora.

Humera Airport is located at 13°49′49″N 036°52′54″E, which is 59 km (37 miles) southeast of Humera (14°18′N 036°37′E). Humera's current airport opened in July 2009. It was constructed by the Ethiopian Airports Enterprise over a three-year period, at a cost of over 182 million birr (about 16 million U.S. dollars based on July 2009 exchange rates).

List of ancient Greek tyrants

This is a list of tyrants from Ancient Greece.


The River Salso (Sicilian: Salsu), also known as the Imera Meridionale (Greek: Ἱμέρας; Latin Himera), is a river of Sicily. It rises in the Madonie Mountains (Latin: Nebrodes Mons; Sicilian: Munti Madunìi) and, traversing the provinces of Enna and Caltanissetta, flows into the Mediterranean at the western end of the Gulf of Gela at the seaport of Licata, in the Province of Agrigento. Its small deltaic system there is dominated by marine processes rather than fluvial ones. It is a seasonal torrent, with brief but violent floods during the winter rains (from November to February), and all but dry in summer droughts. In November 1915 the iron bridge across the river's mouth collapsed during floods, and 119 people were swept away in the flood and lost. The Salso, which is the longest river of Sicily at 144 kilometres (89 mi), has a drainage basin area of about 2,122 square kilometres (819 sq mi).

The river's historically changeable meanders across the low coastal plain have been artificially channeled into the Canale di Sicilia, and the marshes drained for agriculture. Until the late nineteenth century it had two distributory channels, the second debouching 5 kilometres (3 mi) to the west. The mouth of the Salso has been advancing during historical times, and wind and wave formerly distributed its sand and silt to the beaches of the Gulf of Gela.


The Sicani (Greek Σικανοί Sikanoi) or Sicanians were one of three ancient peoples of Sicily present at the time of Phoenician and Greek colonization. The Sicani dwelt east of the Elymians and west of the Sicels, having, according to Diodorus Siculus, the boundary with the last in the ancient Himera river (Salso) after a series of battles between these tribes.

Temple of Athena (Syracuse)

The Temple of Athena is a Doric temple built in Syracuse in the 5th century BC by the tyrant Gelo after his victory over the Carthaginians at the Battle of Himera.

The temple was preceded by a cult site which dated back to the 8th century BC, with an altar discovered in excavation at the beginning of the twentieth century, and by an earlier temple from the middle of the sixth century BC.


Terillus (Greek: Τήριλλος; fl. early 5th century BC) was a son of Crinippus, tyrant of Himera, in Sicily.

Nothing is known about how Terillus rose to power. Nor is there any information available to historians about the duration or events of his reign. Rather, knowledge about Terillus relies on his interactions with other historical figures.

Terillus sought to consolidate his power as tyrant of Himera by giving his daughter Cydippe in marriage to Anaxilas, the ruler of Rhegium. Terillus also maintained good relations with the Carthaginian general Hamilcar.

Hence, when Terillus was expelled from Himera by Theron, tyrant of Agrigentum, Terillus sought assistance from the Carthaginians. His son-in-law, Anaxilas, not only supported his request to the Carthaginians for assistance, but offered his own children as hostages to the Carthaginians. In response, the Carthaginians decided to assist Terillus' bid to be restored to power in Himera. Yet, they used Terillus' request as the basis for extending their own power in Sicily. So the expulsion of Terillus by Theron of Acragas became the excuse for a major Carthaginian expedition under Hamilcar against the Greek cities in Sicily, which would end in a major Carthaginian defeat in the Battle of Himera in 480 BC.Nothing is known of the fate of Terillus after the defeat of his allies at Himera.

Theron of Acragas

Theron (Greek: Θήρων, gen.: Θήρωνος; died 473 BC), son of Aenesidamus, was a Greek tyrant of the town of Acragas in Sicily from 488 BC. According to Polyaenus, he came to power by using public funds allocated for the hire of private contractors meant to assist with a temple building project, to instead hire a personal group of bodyguards. With this force at his disposal, he was able to seize control of the town's government. He soon became an ally of Gelo, who at that time controlled Gela, and from 485 BC, Syracuse. Gelo later became Theron's son-in-law.

Theron went to war with the city of Selinunte and the tyrant of Himera, Terillus. The latter, expelled from his city, therefore sought an alliance with Carthage through his son-in-law Anaxilas, tyrant of Rhegium. Theron occupied Himera but was then besieged in this city by a Carthaginian army, assisted by Terillus. In 480 BC, Theron, with the support of Gelo, won a great victory outside the walls of Himera against the Carthaginians and their allies. During the reign of Theron, Acragas along with Syracuse and Selinunte formed a kind of "triumvirate" which dominated Greek Sicily at the time. Theron died in 473 BC and was briefly succeeded by his son Thrasydaeus, before he was defeated by Gelo's brother and successor, Hiero I. After that defeat, Acragas came under the control of Syracuse.

Pindar dedicates two Olympian odes, 2 & 3, to Theron, both for the same victory in the chariot race at the Olympic Games of 476 B.C. The poet Simonides of Ceos was also active at Theron's court.

Traditional Berber religion

The traditional Berber religion is the ancient and native set of beliefs and deities adhered to by the Berber autochthones of North Africa. Many ancient Berber beliefs were developed locally, whereas others were influenced over time through contact with other traditional African religions (such as the Ancient Egyptian religion), or borrowed during antiquity from the Punic religion, Judaism, Iberian mythology, and the Hellenistic religion. The most recent influence came from Islam and pre-Islamic Arab religion during the medieval period. Some of the ancient Berber beliefs still exist today subtly within the Berber popular culture and tradition. Syncretic influences from the traditional Berber religion can also be found in certain other faiths.

Archaeological sites in Sicily
Province of Agrigento
Province of Caltanissetta
Province of Catania
Province of Enna
Province of Messina
Province of Palermo
Province of Ragusa
Province of Syracuse
Province of Trapani

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