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
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;
7 (1966) 865-68; TCI Guida d'Italia: Sicilia
H. L. ALLEN