previous next

AGYRION (Agira) Sicily.

A city of ancient but uncertain origins, 25 km NE of Enna at the head of the valley of Katane. The city occupied the slopes of a prominent hill (824 m), commanding the valley of the Kyamosoros (Salso) to the N, and the valley of the Chrysas (Dittaino) to the S. The main road connecting inland Sicily with Katane passed through Agyrion; another road ran S to Morgantina. The modern town overlies the ancient site; although little is known of the physical remains, certain monuments are mentioned by Diodoros (4.24.80; 16.83.3), who was a native. These monuments are attributed to the benevolence of either Herakles or Timoleon. To the former, who passed through in the course of his tenth labor, are credited the foundation of precincts of Iolaos and of Geryon, and the creation of a nearby lake. To Timoleon, who settled 10,000 Greeks at Agyrion after 339 B.C., Diodoros attributes a major building program. The theater he described as being the finest in Sicily after the one at Syracuse; it is thought to have stood near the churches of S. Pietro and SS. Trinità. Diodoros also mentions a city wall with towers, and tombs adorned with pyramids. The quarries that were the source of stone for the Temple of the Meteres at Engyon are thought to be located in the Fronté district. Of the pre-Timoleonic settlement hardly anything is known; a painted roof-tile of the second half of the 6th c. was found on the summit of the hill and may belong to a small temple. Our knowledge of Roman Agyrium is equally limited.


G. Favaloro, Agyrium (1922) 33f; L. Bernabó Brea, NSc (1947) 250; G. Uggeri, “La Sicilia nella ‘Tabula Peutingeriana,’” Vichiana 6 (1969) 163.


hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: