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TYNDARIS (Tindani) Sicily.

The modern village, built upon the ancient site, is between Cape Calavà and the Cape of Milazzo on the Gulf of Patti, 10 km E of the town of Patti on the main highway that encircles the island.

Tyndaris began as a colony of Dionysios I in 396 B.C. It remained faithful to Rome during the Punic wars and prospered under the Empire. Pliny (2.206) records a landslide of the 1st c. A.D., in which part of the town fell away into the sea 280 m below the steep cliffs. Tyndaris became a diocese, and its role in Gnaeco-Roman events ended with the advent of the Arabs.

The site extends ca. 1 km SE-NW. The Greek acropolis is covered by the modern sanctuary of the black Madonna, and the agora by the village; tests, however, have been carried out. The ashlar circuit wall with its later accretions is the most imposing monument datable to the colony's beginnings. The single-nave Republican basilica marks the SE boundary of the excavations open to the public. Its restoration is in progress. A walk to the upper decumanus, which leads NW from its start at the basilica, reveals the museum on the left, and the insulae of Graeco-Roman houses and a public bath on the right. The two peristyle houses and the baths nearby show signs of later embellishment. Poor huts of the 4th-5th c. A.D. lie over the baths. At the end of the decumanus is the Greek theater (remodeled by the Romans).


P. Zanker, “Zwei akroterfiguren aus Tyndanis,” RM 72 (1965) 93-99; L. Bernabò Brea & M. Cavalier, “Tindari—area urbana: l'insula IV e le strade che la circondano,” BA s. 5, 50 (1965) 205-9; EAA 7 (1966) 865-68; TCI Guida d'Italia: Sicilia (1968) 389-94.


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    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 2.94
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