previous next


PETRA (Πέτρα), “rock,” the name of several towns. I. In Europe.


PETRA PERTUSA, in Umbria. [INTERCISA] [p. 2.583]


Πέτρα: Eth. Πετρῖνος, Petrinus: Petralia), a city of Sicily, mentioned both by Pliny and Ptolemy among the inland towns of the island. Cicero also notices the Petrini among the communities that suffered from the exactions of Verres (Cic. Ver. 3.39; Plin. Nat. 3.8. s. 14; Ptol. 3.4.14); and their name is mentioned at an earlier period by Diodorus as submitting to the Romans during the First Punic War. (Diod. 23.18; Exc. H. p. 505.) The name is written Petraea by Silius Italicus (14.248), and the Petrinae of the Antonine Itinerary is in all probability the same place. (Itin. Ant. p. 96.) Though so often mentioned by ancient authors, they afford very little clue to its position; but it is probable that the name is retained by the modern Petralia, a small town about 8 miles W. of Gangi, supposed to represent the ancient Engyum. [ENGYUM.] Ptolemy indeed places these two towns near one another, though he erroneously transfers them both to the neighbourhood of Syracuse, which is wholly at variance with the mention of Petra in Diodorus among the towns subject to the Carthaginians as late as B.C. 254. (Cluver. Sicil. p. 367.) [E.H.B]


A fortress of Macedonia, among the mountains beyond Libethra, the possession of which was disputed by the Thessalian Perrhaebi and the Macedonian kings. (Liv. 39.26, 44.32.) It commanded a pass which led to Pythium in Thessaly, by the back of Olympus. By this road L. Aemilius Paullus was enabled to throw a detachment on the rear of the Macedonian army which was encamped on the Enipeus, after the forces of Perseus had been overthrown at the pass of Petra by P. Scipio Nasica, who had been sent against it with the consul's eldest son Q. Fabius Maximus. (Liv. 45.41.) Petra was situated on a great insulated rock naturally separated from the adjoining mountain at the pass which leads from Elasóna or Sérvia into the maritime plains of Macedonia. Here, which is at once the least difficult and most direct of the routes across the Olympene barrier, or the frontier between Macedonia and Thessaly, exactly on the Zygós, are the ruins of Petra. (Leake, Northern Greece, vol. iii. pp. 337,430.) [E.B.J]


A fortress of the Maedi, in Thrace. (Liv. 40.22.)


A town in Illyricum, situated upon a hill upon the coast, which had only a moderately good harbour. (Caes. B.C. 3.42.)


A place in the Corinthia. [Vol. I. p. 685a.]


A place in the immediate neighbourhood of Elis. [Vol. I. p. 821a.]

hide References (6 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (6):
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 3.8
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 45, 41
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 39, 26
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 40, 22
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 44, 32
    • Claudius Ptolemy, Tetrabiblos, 3.4
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: