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CAMICUS (Καμικὸς), a city or fortress of Sicily, which, according to the mythical history of that island, was constructed by Daedalus for Cocalus, the king of the Sicanians, who made it his royal residence, and deposited his treasures there, the situation being so strong and so skilfully fortified as to be altogether impregnable. According to the same legend, it was here also that Minos, king of Crete, who had pursued Daedalus to Sicily, was treacherously put to death by Cocalus, and secretly buried; his bones were said to have been discovered in the time of Theron. (Diod. 4.78, 79; pp. 273--279; Arist. Pol. 2.10; Steph. Byz. v. Καμικός, Tzetz. Chil. 1.506--510.) The same story is alluded to by Herodotus (7.170), who tells us that the Cretans sent an expedition to Sicily to avenge the death of Minos, and besieged Camicus for five years, but without success. It was also chosen by Sophocles as the subject of one of his tragedies, now lost, called the Καμίκιοι (Athenae.iii. p.86, ix. p.388; Soph. fr. 299--304, ed. Dind.). From the words of Herodotus it has been erroneously inferred that Camicus occupied the site on which Agrigentum was afterwards founded, and the citadel or acropolis of that city has been regarded by many writers as the fortress of Daedalus. (Smyth's Sicily, p. 204; Swinburne's Travels, vol. ii. p. 273.) But we find mention in historical times of a fortress named Camicus, as existing in the territory of Agrigentum, but quite apart from the city. It was occupied by Hippocrates and Capys, the cousins of Theron, when they were expelled by him from Agrigentum (Schol. ad Pind. Pyth. 6.4.), and is again mentioned among the fortresses reduced by the Romans in the First Punic War, after the conquest of Agrigentum. (Diod. xxiii. Exc. Hoesch. p. 503.) We are told also that it was situated on a river of the same name (Steph. Byz. v. Ἀκράγας; Vib. Sequest. p. 7), which is supposed by Cluverius to be the one now called Fiume delle Canne, which flows into the sea about 10 miles W. of Girgenti; and the fortress may probably have stood in the neighbourhood of the modern town of Siculiana, but its precise site is unknown. (Cluver. Sicil. p. 221; Serra di Falco, Ant. della Sicilia, vol. iii. pp. 76, 80; Siefert, Akragas, pp. 17, 18.)


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  • Cross-references from this page (3):
    • Herodotus, Histories, 7.170
    • Diodorus, Historical Library, 4.78
    • Diodorus, Historical Library, 4.79
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