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HALONTION (S. Marco di Alunzio) Sicily.

A city in the province of Messina between Apollonia (Steph. Byz.) and Agathyrnon (Plin. 3.90), on a steep hill of the Crasto massif, near the coast. Historical information is scant; it was civitas decumana and contributed one ship to the fleet against pirates in the 1st c. B.C. (Cic. Verr. 3.43.103; 5.39,86); it was municipium in the early Imperial period (IG 14.367).

Its most important monument is the small Hellenistic temple at the entrance to the modern village, locally called a temple of Hercules; it has a rectangular plan (ca. 20 x 7 m), entrance on the E side and isodomic construction. It was built extra moenia on a rocky cliff and owes its preservation to its transformation into a Christian church. Remains of the Hellenistic city walls (in isodomic blocks of local marble) are to be seen near the mediaeval gate of S. Antonio, uphill to the E of the temple. The original city plan can no longer be deduced from the few fragmentary archaeological remains recently uncovered (apsidal room near the Chiesa Madre; architectural fragments under the Castle); the steepness of the hill and the dense, at times spasmodic, expansion of the mediaeval-modern village suggest that the ancient system must have been closer to the irregular one of today than to the regular system prevalent in the Hellenistic world (orthogonal, with successive terraces).


BIBLIOGRAPHY

A. Salinas, NSc (1880) 191P.

G. SCIBONA

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