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ADRA´NUM or HADRA´NUM (Ἀδρανόν, Diod. Steph. B. sub voce HAITRANUM, Sil. Ital.: Eth. Ἀδρανίτης, Eth. Hadranitanus: Adernò, a city of the interior of Sicily, situated at the foot of the western slope of Mt. Aetna above the valley of the Simeto, and about 7 miles from Centuripi. We learn from Diodorus (14.37) that there existed here from. very ancient times a temple of a local deity named Adranus, whose worship was extensively spread through Sicily, and appears to have been connected with that of the Palici. (Hesych. sub voce Παλικοί.) But there was no city of the name until the year 400 B.C. when it was founded by the elder Dionysius, with a view to extend his power and influence in the interior of the island. (Diod. l.c.) It probably continued to be a dependency of Syracuse; but in 345 B.C. it fell into the hands of Timoleon. (Id. 16.68; Plut. Tim. 12.) It was one of the cities taken by the Romans at the commencement of the First Punic War (Diod. xxiii. Exc. Hoesch. p. 501), and probably on this account continued afterwards in a relation to Rome inferior to that of most other Sicilian cities. This may perhaps account for the circumstance that its name is not once mentioned by Cicero (see Zumpt ad Cic. Verr. 3.6, p. 437); but we learn from Pliny that it was in his time included in the class of the “stipendiariae civitates” of Sicily. (H. N. 3.8.)

Both Diodorus and Plutarch speak of it as a small town owing its importance chiefly to the sanctity of its temple; but existing remains prove that it must have been at one time a place of some consideration. These consist of portions of the ancient walls and towers, built in a massive style of large squared blocks of lava; of massive substructions, supposed to have been those of the temple of Adranus; and the ruins of a large building which appears to have belonged to Roman Thermae. Numerous sepulchres also have been discovered and excavated in the immediate neighbourhood. The modem town of Adernò retains the ancient site as well as name: it is a considerable place, with above 6000 inhabitants. (Biscari, Viaggio in Sicilia, pp. 57--60; Ortolani, Diz. Geogr. della Sicilia, p. 13; Bull. dell. Inst. Arch. 1843, p. 129.)

Stephanus Byzantinus speaks of the city as situated on a river of the same name: this was evidently no other than the northern branch of the Simeto (Symaethus) which is still often called the Finme d'Aderno.



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  • Cross-references from this page (2):
    • Diodorus, Historical Library, 14.37
    • Plutarch, Timoleon, 12
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