, Diod., Steph. Byz.: Ἀβάκαινα
, Ptol.: Eth. Ἀβακαινῖνος
: nr. Tripi
, Ru.), a city of Sicily, situated about 4 miles from the N. coast, between Tyndaris and Mylae, and 8 from the former city.
It was a city of the Siculi, and does not appear to have ever received a Greek colony, though it partook largely of the influence of Greek art and civilisation. Its territory originally included that of Tyndaris, which was separated from it by the elder Dionysius when he founded that city in B.C. 396 (Diod. 14.78
). From the way in which it is mentioned in the wars of Dionysius, Agathocles, and Hieron (Diod. 14.90
, xxii. Exc. Hoeschel. p. 499), it is clear that it was a place of power and importance: but from the time of Hieron it disappears from history, and no mention is found of it in the Verrine orations of Cicero. Its name is, however, found in Ptolemy (3.4.12
), so that it appears to have still continued to exist in his day. Its decline was probably owing to the increasing prosperity of the neighbouring city of Tyndaris.
There can be little doubt that the ruins visible in the time of Fazello, at the foot of the hill on which the modern town of Tripi
is situated, were those of Abacaenum.
He speaks of fragments of masonry, prostrate columns, and the vestiges of walls, indicating the site of a large city, but which had been destroyed to its foundations.
The locality does not seem to have been examined by any more recent traveller. (Fazellus, de Reb. Sic.
9.7; Cluver. Sicil. Ant.
There are found coins of Abacaenum, both in silver and copper.
The boar and acorn, which are the common type of the former, evidently refer to the great forests of oak which still cover the neigh. bouring mountains, and afford pasture to large herds of swine.
|COIN OF ABACAENUM.|