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
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
(1897); P. Orsi, ed. P. Pelagatti, “Adrano e la
città sicula del Mendolito 1898-1909,” ArcStorSir
; 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.