Sicilian Culture

The People, The History, The Culture

Timeline of Sicily

Ancient Sicily

800 to 400 BC
Iron culture of the Sicani and Siculi tribes flourish. These tribes were Indo-European relatives of the Latins of the Italian mainland who had migrated and gradually absorbed into Greek's superior culture.

734 BC
The earliest known Greek colony, Naxos, is founded on the island of Sicily, as well as the absorption of eastern Sicily into Magna Graecia (Greater Greece) begins.  Syracuse (Siracusa) is also founded by Greek colonists from Corinth.

730 BC
Zankle-Messene (Messina) founded by Greek colonists from Kyme and Chalcis.

729 BC
Katane (Catania) founded by Greek colonists from Chalcis.

700 BC
Motya and Panormos (Palermo) founded by Phoenician colonists from Carthage. Pheonicians establish their own colonies in western Sicily in response to pressure from Greeks.

688 BC
Gela founded by Greek colonists from Rhodes and Crete.

628 BC
Selinus (Selinunte) founded by Greek colonists from Megara Hyblaea

580 BC
Akragas (Agrigento) founded by Greek colonists from Gela.

550 BC
Carthaginian General Mago successfully campaigns the Sicilian Greeks and establishes the 150 year Magonid dynasty.

490 BC
Greek philosopher, statesman, poet, teacher and physiologist Empedocles born at Akragas (Agrigento).

480 BC
Greeks (led by Gelon) route the Carthaginians (led by Hamilcar) at Himera.

450 BC
The Elymians abandon the unfinished Temple of Segesta.

415 BC
The Battle of Syracuse occurs: The forces of Syracuse route an Athenian invasion fleet (invited by the Elymians), eclipsing the Greek homeland to become the greatest Greek city in the world.

409 BC
Carthage attacks and destroys Selinus, and gains revenge for the defeat at Himera by conquering the town and sacrificing 3,000 captured Greeks.

397 BC
Carthaginian Motya falls to the Greeks led by Dionysius of Syracuse.

287 BC
Greek mathematician, scientist and inventor Archimedes is born in Syracuse.

264 BC
The First Punic War.  War between Carthage and Syracuse on one hand, Rome on the other begins with a mercenary revolt in the town of Messina.

262 BC
The Romans conquer Agrigentum (Agrigento).

254 BC
The Romans conquer Carthaginian Panormos (Palermo) after a long siege.

241 BC
The First Punic War ends with Rome victorious in the naval battle of Drepanum (Trapani). Rome declares Sicily as its first "province."

212 BC
Syracuse falls to the Romans, Archimedes is killed.

210 BC
Rome completely replaces both Carthage and Greece as the ruling power in Sicily

Roman Sicily

135 - 132 BC
One of two major slave insurrections on Sicliy during Roman rule occurs, inspiring the reform movement of the Gracchi.

102 - 99 BC
The second of Roman Sicily's slave insurrections.

74 - 70 BC
The infamous propraetorship of the Roman politician Gaius Verres

42 BC
Sicily is occupied by the Roman soldier Pompey the Younger. 


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