Temple E Is Electric

Today considered Europe’s largest archeological site, Selinunte was a Greek city built on the southwestern coast of Sicily by colonists from the eastern Sicilian Greek outpost of Megara Hyblea. Founded around 651 BC, it displayed its power by building massive temples dedicated to various gods, like this one pictured, Temple E, which scholars believe was…

Holding Court in Siracusa

The Duomo of Siracusa represents layers of history. The foundation–both base and walls of the structure–is an ancient, Doric-style Temple of Athena, built in the 5th century BCE (Once inside, you can easily see the columns of the Greek temple!). During the Byzantine age in the 7th century CE, the temple was converted into a…

The Temple of Apollo

When you arrive on Siracusa’s Ortigia island from the land at the Piazza Pancali, you’ll find the remains of an ancient Doric temple dedicated to Apollo, the god of the sun, light, music, poetry, and prophecy. The Temple of Apollo was built in the first half of the 6th century B.C.E. The ancient Roman scholar…

Ancient Origins

In ancient Greek times in Sicily, especially in the eastern coastal cities such as Catania and Siracusa, extending to Enna, in the island’s center, Demeter and her daughter Persephone were venerated with fervor. Pictured here on this krater (a cistern used for mixing water with fermented grapes to make wine) from 425-400 BCE, now in…

It’s Your Cue

It’s the 5th century B.C.E. Imagine you are an actor, ready to walk on to the stage. This is what you might see (minus the photographer) in Siracusa. Note: Theater was performed during the daylight hours so the audience could see the action on stage. The Greeks designed amphiteaters so that the actors’ voices would…

Where Ancient Myths Linger

The Cathedral of Syracuse was constructed in the 7th century C.E., engulfing the 5th century B.C.E. Greek Temple of Athena. The original Doric-style columns of the temple, pictured, are visible both inside and outside of the “Duomo” that houses the relics of the city’s patron saint, Santa Lucia. The statue in this photo is one…

Selinunte Brought To Life

Before leaving for the US today, yesterday I found a few minutes to see the artifacts from Selinunte, Europe’s largest archeological park in southwestern Sicily, at the ever-under-renovation Salinas Archeological Museum in Palermo. I was thrilled to see the metopes from the temples, like this one pictured from Temple C. Dated to be from c….

‘Tis His Season

The current grape harvest season makes me think of Dionysus (The Romans called the God of wine Bacchus.). This is a terracotta bowl fragment featuring a relief of Dionysus, god of wine, vegetation, theater, and ecstasy, from Morgantina, an ancient Greek town in Sicily (3rd to 1st century B.C.E.).