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ADRANON (Adrano) Sicily.

A city on the SW slopes of Mt. Aetna near the Simeto river, ca. 28 km NW of Catania. It was founded by Dionysios of Syracuse ca. 400 B.C., near the sanctuary of the ancient Sikel deity Adranos, who was connected with volcanic phenomena and was therefore traditionally assimilated to the Greek Hephaistos (Plut. Vit. Tim. 12; Ael. NA 2.3). The city was conquered by Timoleon in 343-342 B.C. and fell under Rome in 263 B.C. Pliny includes it in his list of stipendiary cities.

The site was explored at the beginning of this century, but the first excavation was carried out in 1959. The perimeter of the wall circuit is known for long stretches. It delimits the urban area on the E and W sides. On the S side, along the Simeto, defense was provided by a steep ravine; the N side has almost entirely disappeared under modern buildings. The walls were built of isodomic blocks of lava stone and are particularly well preserved on the E side (Cartalemi district); at the NE end a rectangular tower has been incorporated into the Church of San Francesco.

Excavation has brought to light some houses of the 4th c. containing Italiote pottery and an interesting hoard of contemporary coins. No other monument of the city is as yet known, not even the site of the Sanctuary of Adranos. The city minted coins during the time of Timoleon (among the types appears Adranos as river deity). Two excavation campaigns have investigated the wall circuit as well as part of the archaic necropolis which stretches SE of the city (Sciare Manganelli). The graves are of a type unusual in Sicily: small and crude circular structures in lava stone which vaguely recall the Mycenean tholoi.

The finds, among which are archaic small bronzes of considerable interest, are exhibited in the Archaeological Museum located within the Norman Castle of Adrano.


G. Sangiorgio-Mazza, Storia di Aderinò (1820); S. P. Russo, Illustrazicone storico-archeologica di Aderniò (1897); P. Orsi, ed. P. Pelagatti, “Adrano e la città sicula del Mendolito 1898-1909,” ArcStorSir (1967-68)P; id., “A. insigne ripostiglio di bronzi siculi,” NSc (1919) 387; id., “Ghianda fittile iscritta. Epigrafi laterizie sicule,” NSc (1912) 414; id., “Deposito di terrecotte ieratiche,” NSc (1915) 227; G. Parlangeli in Kokalos 10-11 (1964-65) 211ff; P. Pelagatti, op.cit., 245ff.


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