(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.
. 3.43.103; 5.39,86); it was municipium in the
early Imperial period (IG
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).
A. Salinas, NSc