, Diod. Plut. Ἀσσίναρος
, Thuc.), a small river on the E. coast of Sicily, between Syracuse and Helorus; memorable as the scene of the final catastrophe of the Athenian armament in Sicily, and the surrender of Nicias with the remains of his division of the army. (Thuc. 7.84
; Diod. 13.19
; Plut. Nic. 27
It is clearly identified by the circumstances of the retreat (as related in detail by Thucydides), with the river now called the Falconara,
but more commonly known as the Fiume di Noto,
from its proximity to that city.
It rises just below the site of the ancient Neetum (Noto Vecohio
), and after flowing under the walls of the modern Noto,
enters the sea in a little bay called Ballata di Noto,
about 4 miles N. of the mouth of the Helorus (F. Abisso
). Being supplied from several subterranean and perennial sources it has [p. 1.240]
a considerable body of water, as described by Thucydides in the above passage.
A curious monument still extant near Helorum is commonly supposed to have been erected to commemorate the victory of the Syracusans on this occasion; but it seems too far from the river to have been designed for such an object. [HEELORUM.] Plutarch tells us (Nic.
28), that the Syracusans instituted on the occasion a festival called Asinaria;
and it is said that this is still celebrated at the present day, though now converted to the honour of a saint. (Smyth's Sicily,
p. 179; Fazell. de Reb. Sic.
4.1. p. 198; Cluver. Sicil.