The Trinacria The word or term Trinacria
means "triangle" as for the shape of Sicily, the largest island in the
Mediterranean. The Greeks called it Trinakrias, the Romans called it
Trinacrium, meaning "star with 3 points". Today its known as Sicily,
or Sicilia in Italian.
Below is a mosaic of the trinicria which dates
back to the 3rd century BC. The photo appears in the book TRINAKIE
Breve storia semiseria della Sicilia by Nino Cirnigliaro with photos by Ciccio
Gurrieri, Utopia Edizioni, 1994, Ragusa. The Greeks circumnavigated the island
and noted the three capes, Peloro, Passero, and Lilibeo, forming three points
of a triangle in the northeast, the southeast, and the west. "Taken by its
beauty they likened its shores to the legs of a woman" and represented the
island with the TRINAKIE.
The Sicilian Banner recently adopted by the autonomous
region of Sicily has the Trinacria in its center on a shield of yellow gold
and red-orange. This is a photograph that I took of the banner as it now
hangs in the Palazzo Reale, the seat of the Regional Parliament.
The head in the center was that of Medusa, whose
hair was turned into snakes by the outraged goddess Athene. In their wisdom,
the Sicilian parliament replaced the Medusa head with one that is less
threatening to the innocent onlooker who, after all, should not be anticipating
being turned to stone.