Agrigento (Italian: [aɡriˈdʒɛnto] ; Sicilian: Girgenti [dʒɪɾˈdʒɛndɪ] or Giurgenti [dʒʊɾˈdʒɛndɪ]; Ancient Greek: Ἀκράγας, romanized: Akrágas; Latin: Agrigentum or Acragas; Punic: ’GRGNT; Arabic: كركنت, romanized: Kirkant, or جرجنت Jirjant) is a city on the southern coast of Sicily, Italy and capital of the province of Agrigento.

Founded around 582...Read more

Agrigento (Italian: [aɡriˈdʒɛnto] ; Sicilian: Girgenti [dʒɪɾˈdʒɛndɪ] or Giurgenti [dʒʊɾˈdʒɛndɪ]; Ancient Greek: Ἀκράγας, romanized: Akrágas; Latin: Agrigentum or Acragas; Punic: ’GRGNT; Arabic: كركنت, romanized: Kirkant, or جرجنت Jirjant) is a city on the southern coast of Sicily, Italy and capital of the province of Agrigento.

Founded around 582 BC by Greek colonists from Gela, Agrigento, then known as Akragas, was one of the leading cities during the golden age of Ancient Greece. The city flourished under Theron's leadership in the 5th century BC, marked by ambitious public works and the construction of renowned temples.

Despite periods of dormancy during the Punic Wars, Agrigento emerged as one of Sicily's largest cities in the Republican era. During the Principate, Agrigento's strategic port and diverse economic ventures, including sulfur mining, trade and agriculture, sustained its importance throughout the high and late Empire. Economic prosperity persisted in the 3rd to 4th centuries AD, but excavations show decline in activity after the 7th century.

Akragas was founded on a plateau overlooking the sea, with two nearby rivers, the Hypsas and the Acragas, after which the settlement was originally named. A ridge, which offered a degree of natural fortification, links a hill to the north called Colle di Girgenti with another, called Rupe Atenea, to the east. According to Thucydides, it was founded around 582-580 BC by Greek colonists from Gela in eastern Sicily, with further colonists from Crete and Rhodes. The founders (oikistai) of the new city were Aristonous and Pystilus. It was the last of the major Greek colonies in Sicily to be founded.[1]

Archaic period

The territory under Akragas's control expanded to comprise the whole area between the Platani and the Salso, and reached deep into the Sicilian interior. Greek literary sources connect this expansion with military campaigns, but archaeological evidence indicates that this was a much longer term process which reached its peak only in the early fifth century BC.[2] Most other Greek settlements in Sicily experienced similar territorial expansion in this period.[3] Excavations at a range of sites in this region inhabited by the indigenous Sican people, such as Monte Sabbucina, Gibil-Gabil, Vasallaggi, San Angelo Muxano, and Mussomeli, show signs of the adoption of Greek culture.[4] It is disputed how much of this expansion was carried out by violence and how much by commerce and acculturation.[4] The territorial expansion provided land for the Greek settlers to farm, native slaves to work these farms,[5] and control of the overland route from Acragas to the city of Himera on the northern coast of Sicily.[6] This was the main land route from the Straits of Sicily to the Tyrrhenian Sea and Acragas' control of it was a key factor in its economic prosperity in the sixth and fifth centuries BC, which became proverbial. Famously, Plato, upon seeing the living standard of the inhabitants, was said to have remarked that "they build like they intend to live forever, yet eat like this is their last day."[7] Perhaps as a result of this wealth, Acragas was one of the first communities in Sicily to begin minting its own coinage, around 520 BC.

Around 570 BC, the city came under the control of Phalaris, a semi-legendary figure, who was remembered as the archetypal tyrant, said to have killed his enemies by burning them alive inside a bronze bull. In the ancient literary sources, he is linked with the military campaigns of territorial expansion, but this is probably anachronistic. He ruled until around 550 BC.[8][2] The political history of Acragas in the second half of the sixth century is unknown, except for the names of two leaders, Alcamenes and Alcander.[9] Acragas also expanded westwards over the course of the sixth century BC, leading to a rivalry with Selinus, the next Greek city to the west. The Selinuntines founded the city of Heraclea Minoa at the mouth of the Platani river, halfway between the two settlements, in the mid-sixth century BC, but the Acragantines conquered it around 500 BC.[10]

Emmenid period  Didrachm of Acragas, 490–483 BC.

Theron, a member of the Emmenid family, made himself tyrant of Acragas around 488 BC. He formed an alliance with Gelon, tyrant of Gela and Syracuse. Around 483 BC, Theron invaded and conquered Himera, Acragas’ neighbour to the north. The tyrant of Himera, Terillus joined his son-in-law, Anaxilas of Rhegium, and the Selinuntines in calling on the Carthaginians to come and restore Terillus to power. The Carthaginians did invade in 480 BC, the first of the Greco-Punic Wars, but they were defeated by the combined forces of Theron and Gelon at the Battle of Himera. As a result, Acragas was affirmed in its control of the central portion of Sicily, an area of around 3,500 km2.[11][12][13] A number of enormous construction projects were carried out in the Valle dei Templi at this time, including the Temple of Olympian Zeus, which was one of the largest Greek temples ever built, and the construction of a massive Kolymbethra reservoir. According to Diodorus Siculus, they were built in commemoration of the Battle of Himera, using the prisoners captured in the war as slave labour. Archaeological evidence indicates that the boom in monumental construction actually began before the battle, but continued in the period after it. A major reconstruction of the city walls on a monumental scale also took place in this period.[14] Theron sent teams to compete in the Olympic games and other Panhellenic competitions in mainland Greece. Several poems by Pindar and Simonides commemorated victories by Theron and other Acragantines, which provide insights into Acragantine identity and ideology at this time.[15] Greek literary sources generally praise Theron as a good tyrant, but accuse his son Thrasydaeus, who succeeded him in 472 BC, of violence and oppression. Shortly after Theron's death, Hiero I of Syracuse (brother and successor of Gelon) invaded Acragas and overthrew Thrasydaeus. The literary sources say that Acragas then became a democracy, but in practice it seems to have been dominated by the civic aristocracy.[16]

Classical and Hellenistic periods  Tetradrachm of Acragas, ca. 410 BC.

The period after the fall of the Emmenids is not well-known. An oligarchic group called "the thousand" was in power for a few years in the mid-fifth century BC, but was overthrown - the literary tradition gives the philosopher Empedocles a decisive role in this revolution, but some modern scholars have doubted this.[17] In 451 BC, Ducetius, leader of a Sicel state opposed to the expansion of Syracuse and other Greeks into the interior of Sicily, invaded Acragantine territory and conquered an outpost called Motyum. The Syracusans defeated and captured Ducetius in 450, but subsequently allowed him to go into exile. Outraged by this comparatively light punishment, the Acragantines went to war with Syracuse. They were defeated in a battle on the Salso river, which left Syracuse the pre-eminent power in eastern Sicily. The defeat was serious enough that Acragas ceased to mint coinage for a number of years.[18]

Ancient sources considered Acragas to be a very large city at this time. Diodorus Siculus says that the population was 200,000 people, of which 20,000 were citizens. Diogenes Laertius put the population at an incredible 800,000. Some modern scholars have accepted Diodorus' numbers,[19][20] but they seem to be far too high. Jos de Waele suggests a population of 16,000-18,000 citizens,[21] while Franco de Angelis estimates a total population of around 30,000-40,000.[22]

When Athens undertook the Sicilian Expedition against Syracuse from 415-413 BC, Acragas remained neutral. However, it was sacked by the Carthaginians in 406 BC. Acragas never fully recovered its former status, though it revived following the invasion of Timoleon in the late fourth century onwards and large-scale construction took place in the Hellenistic period. During the early 3rd century BC, a tyrant called Phintias declared himself king in Akragas, also controlling a variety of other cities. His kingdom was however not long-lived.

Roman period

The city was disputed between the Romans and the Carthaginians during the First Punic War. The Romans laid siege to the city in 262 BC and captured it after defeating a Carthaginian relief force in 261 BC and sold the population into slavery. Although the Carthaginians recaptured the city in 255 BC the final peace settlement gave Punic Sicily and with it Akragas to Rome. It suffered badly during the Second Punic War (218–201 BC) when both Rome and Carthage fought to control it. The Romans eventually captured Akragas in 210 BC and renamed it Agrigentum, although it remained a largely Greek-speaking community for centuries thereafter. It became prosperous again under Roman rule.[citation needed] In the 2nd century BC, Scipio Africanus Minor bestowed upon the city a statue of Apollo by Myron, housed in the Temple of Asclepius as a symbol of their alliance during the Third Punic War.[23]

Cicero noted Agrigentum as a civitas decumana and socius, highlighting its loyal service in the Third Punic War. He ranked Agrigentum among Sicily's largest cities, emphasizing its pivotal port and role in Roman governance, including hosting the governor's assize circuit. Additionally, he mentioned a sizable population of Roman citizens coexisting harmoniously with the Greek populace, likely engaged in commerce linked to the port.[23]

The city's inhabitants received full Roman citizenship following the death of Julius Caesar in 44 BC.[citation needed]

An inscription shows that the city was promoted to the status of colonia by Septimius Severus and renamed "Colonia Septimia Augusta Agrigentorum."[24]

A resilient Christian community endured into late antiquity, although archaeological evidence suggests a decline in activity after the 7th century, possibly due to disrupted trade routes following the Arab conquest of Carthage in AD 698.[23]

Middle Ages

After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the city successively passed into the hands of the Vandalic Kingdom, the Ostrogothic Kingdom of Italy and then the Byzantine Empire. During this period the inhabitants of Agrigentum largely abandoned the lower parts of the city and moved to the former acropolis, at the top of the hill. The reasons for this move are unclear but were probably related to the destructive coastal raids of the Saracens and other peoples around this time. In 828 AD the Saracens captured the diminished remnant of the city; the Arabic form of its name became كِركَنت (Kirkant) or جِرجَنت (Jirjant).

Following the Norman conquest of Sicily, the city changed its name to the Norman version Girgenti.[25] In 1087, Norman Count Roger I established a Latin bishopric in the city. Normans built the Castello di Agrigento to control the area. The population declined during much of the medieval period but revived somewhat after the 18th century.

Modern period  Viaduct Akragas, opened in 1970.

In 1860, as in the rest of Sicily, the inhabitants supported the arrival of Giuseppe Garibaldi during the Expedition of the Thousand (one of the most dramatic events of the Unification of Italy) which marked the end of Bourbon rule.[26][27] In 1927, Benito Mussolini through the "Decree Law n. 159, 12 July 1927"[28] introduced the current Italianized version of the Latin name.[29] The decision remains controversial as a symbol of Fascism and the eradication of local history. Following the suggestion of Andrea Camilleri, a Sicilian writer of Agrigentine origin, the historic city centre was renamed to the Sicilian name "Girgenti" in 2016.[30] The city suffered a number of destructive bombing raids during World War II.

^ de Angelis 2016, pp. 72–73. ^ a b Adornato, Gianfranco (2012). "Phalaris: Literary Myth or Historical Reality? Reassessing Archaic Akragas". American Journal of Archaeology. 116 (3): 483–506. doi:10.3764/aja.116.3.0483. S2CID 190232495. ^ de Angelis 2016, pp. 94–101. ^ a b de Miro 1962, pp. 143–144. ^ de Angelis 2016, pp. 56–60. ^ de Waele 1971, p. 6. ^ The Book of Greek and Roman Folktales, Legends, and Myths. Princeton University Press. 14 February 2017. ISBN 9781400884674. ^ de Waele 1971, pp. 68–69, 77–78. ^ de Waele 1971, p. 166. ^ de Miro 1962, pp. 144–146. ^ de Waele 1971, pp. 52, 109–115. ^ Asheri, David (1988). "Carthaginians and Greeks". In Boardman, John; Hammond, N. G. L.; Lewis, D. M.; Ostwald, M. (eds.). The Cambridge Ancient History IV (2 ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 766–776. ^ de Angelis 2016, pp. 106–108. ^ Fiorentini, Graziella; de Miro, Ernesto (2009). Agrigento V. Le fortificazioni. Roma: Gangemi. pp. 63–65. ISBN 978-88-492-1686-8. ^ Pavlou, Maria (2010). "Pindar Olympian 3: Mapping Acragas on the Periphery of the Earth". The Classical Quarterly. 60 (2): 313–326. doi:10.1017/S0009838810000182. S2CID 170885878. ^ Westermark 2018, pp. 14–15. ^ de Angelis 2016, pp. 210–211. ^ Westermark 2018, pp. 16–17. ^ Ring, Trudy; Salkin, Robert M.; Boda, Sharon La (1 January 1994). International Dictionary of Historic Places: Southern Europe. Taylor & Francis. ISBN 9781884964022. Retrieved 19 September 2016 – via Google Books. ^ Hornblower, Simon (6 January 2005). A Commentary on Thucydides: Books IV-V.24. Clarendon Press. ISBN 9780199276257. Retrieved 19 September 2016 – via Google Books. ^ "La popolazione di Akragas antica". Φιλίας χάριν‎: Miscellanea di studi classici in onore di Eugenio Manni. Roma: G. Bretschneider. 1980. pp. 747–60. ISBN 978-8885007390. ^ de Angelis 2016, p. 197. ^ a b c Pfuntner, Laura (2019-01-07), 3. The Southwestern Coast: Economic Integration, Political Privilege, and Urban Survival, University of Texas Press, pp. 107–122, doi:10.7560/317228-005, ISBN 978-1-4773-1723-5, S2CID 241124857, retrieved 2024-02-08 ^ Pfuntner, Laura (2016). "Celebrating the Severans Commemorative Politics and the Urban Landscape in High Imperial Sicily". Latomus. 75 (2): 437–438. ^ Sicilia, Esplora. "La Storia di Agrigento - Sicilia". Archived from the original on 16 October 2017. Retrieved 19 September 2016. ^ "Expedition of the Thousand: Italian campaign". Retrieved 19 September 2016. ^ "Garibaldi and the 1,000". The Economist. Retrieved 19 September 2016. ^ "Augusto - Automazione Gazzetta Ufficiale Storica". Archived from the original on 31 October 2016. Retrieved 19 September 2016. ^ "AGRIGENTO in "Enciclopedia Italiana"". Archived from the original on 26 October 2019. Retrieved 19 September 2016. ^ "Agrigento, ritorno al passatoIl sindaco: si chiamerà Girgenti (ma solo nel centro storico)". Corriere della Sera (in Italian). Retrieved 2018-12-03.
Photographies by:
Statistics: Position
Statistics: Rank

Add new comment

Esta pregunta es para comprobar si usted es un visitante humano y prevenir envíos de spam automatizado.

498632715Click/tap this sequence: 4196

Google street view

Where can you sleep near Agrigento ?
481.610 visits in total, 9.174 Points of interest, 404 Destinations, 47 visits today.