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SO´LUS or SOLUNTUM (Σολόεις, Thuc.; Σολοῦς, Diod.: Eth. Σολουντῖνος, Diod., but coins have Σολοντῖνος; Soluntinus: Solanto), a city of Sicily, situated on the N. coast of the island, about 12 miles E. of Panormus, and immediately to the E. of the bold promontory called Capo Zaffarana. It was a Phoenician colony, and from its proximity to Panormus was one of the few which that people retained when they gave way before the advance of the Greek colonies in Sicily, and withdrew to the NW. corner of the island. (Thuc. 6.2.) It afterwards passed together with Panormus and Motya into the hands of the Carthaginians, or at least became a dependency of that people. It continued steadfast to the Carthaginian alliance even in B.C. 397, when the formidable armanent of Dionysius shook the fidelity of most of their allies (Diod. 14.48); its territory was in consequence ravaged by Dionysius, but without effect. At a later period of the war (B.C. 396) it. was betrayed into the hands of that despot (Ib. 78), but probably soon fell again into the power of the Carthaginians. It was certainly one of the cities that usually formed part of their dominions in the island; and in B.C. 307 it was given up by them to the soldiers and mercenaries of Agathocles, who had made peace with the Carthaginians when abandoned by their leader in Africa. (Diod. 20.69.) During the First Punic War we find it still subject to Carthage, and it was not till after the fall of Panormus that Soluntum also opened its gates to the Romans. (Id. xxiii. p. 505.) It continued to subsist under the Roman dominion as a municipal town, but apparently one of no great consideration, as its name is only slightly and occasicnally mentioned by Cicero. (Verr. 2.42, 3.43.) But it is still noticed both by Pliny and Ptolemy (Plin. Nat. 3.8. s. 14; Ptol. 3.4.3, where the name is corruptly written Ὀλουλίς), as well as at a later period by the Itineraries, which place it 12 miles from Panormus and 12 from Thermae (Termini). (Itin, Ant. p. 91; Tab. Peut.) It is probable that its complete destruction dates from the time of the Saracens.

At the present day the site of the ancient city is wholly desolate and uninhabited. It stood on a lofty hill, now called the Monte Catalfano, at the foot of which is a small cove or port, with a fort, still called the Castello di Solanto, and a station for the tunny fishery. The traces of two ancient roads, paved with large blocks of stone, which led up to the city, may still be followed, and the whole summit of the hill is covered with fragments of ancient walls and foundations of buildings. Among these may be traced the remains of two temples, of which some capitals, portions of friezes, &c. have been discovered; but it is impossible to trace the plan and design of these or any other edifices. They are probably all of them of the period of the Roman dominion. Several cisterns for water also remain, as well as sepulchres; and some fragments of sculpture of considerable merit have been discovered on the site. (Fazell. de Reb. Sic. viii. p. 352; Amico, Lex. Top. vol. ii. pp. 192--195; Hoare's Class. Tour, vol. ii. p. 234; Serra di Falco, Ant. della Sicilia, vol. v. pp. 60--67.)



hide References (5 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (5):
    • Diodorus, Historical Library, 14.48
    • Thucydides, Histories, 6.2
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 3.8
    • Diodorus, Historical Library, 20.69
    • Claudius Ptolemy, Tetrabiblos, 3.4
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