, Ptol.; Ἀλούντιον
, Dionys.: Ἀλοντῖνος
, Haluntinus), a city on the N. coast of Sicily, between Tyndaris and Calacta. Its foundation was ascribed by some authors to a portion of the companions of Aeneas, who remained behind in Sicily under a leader named Patron (Dionys. A. R. 1.51
); but it probably was, in reality, a Sicelian town. No mention of it is found in Diodorus, nor is it noticed in history prior to the Roman conquest of Sicily.
But in the time of Cicero it appears to have been a place of some importance.
He mentions it as having suffered severely from the exactions of Verres, who, not content with ruinous extortions of corn, compelled the inhabitants to give up all their ornamental plate. (Cic. Ver. 3.43
.) We learn from inscriptions that it retained the rank of a municipium, and was a flourishing town at least as late as the reign of Augustus.
Its site has been a matter of much dispute, but there are very strong arguments to prove that it occupied the same situation as the modern town of San Marco,
which rises on a lofty hill of steep and difficult ascent, about 3 miles from the Tyrrhenian [p. 1.113]
sea. (Smyth's Sicily,
This position exactly accords with that described by Cicero, who tells us that Verres would not take the trouble to visit the town himself “quod erat difficili ascensu atque arduo,” but remained on the beach below while he sent Archagathus to execute his behests (4.23). Various inscriptions also are preserved at S. Marco,
or have, been discovered there, one of which begins with the words τὸ Μουνικίπιον τῶν Ἀλοντίνων.
(Castell. Inscr. Sicil.
p. 55; Böckh, C. I.
No. 5608.) Notwithstanding these arguments, Cluverius, following Fazello, placed Aluntium at a spot near S. Filadelfo,
where the ruins of an ancient city were then visible, and regarded S. Marco
as the site of Agathyrna.
It must be admitted that this arrangement avoids some difficulties [AGATHYRNA
]; but the above proofs in favour of the contrary hypothesis seem almost conclusive. (Cluver. Sicil.
p. 294; Fazell. de Reb. Sic.
9.4. p. 384.)
|COIN OF ALUNTIUM.|