Listed 6 sub titles with search on: Archaeological sites
for destination: "SELINOUS
Archaeological sites (6)
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Perseus Building Catalog
Selinus, Temple C
Summary: Hexastyle peripteral temple on the highest point of the
acropolis built during the first half of the 6th century B.C.
Date: ca. 600 B.C. - 550 B.C.
Hexastyle peripteral temple with seventeen columns on the sides. The cella building
comprised an adyton, a long and narrow cella, and a pronaos.
History: Erected in the 6th century B.C. and probably dedicated to Apollo,
the temple is thought to have fallen during an earthquake in the 5th century A.D.,
burying a Byzantine settlement, although the city had been sacked in 409 B.C.
by the Carthaginians. Fourteen columns of the north colonnade were re-erected
beginning in 1925, and the earthquake of 1968 disrupted this reconstruction. Since
then, scaffolding has covered it.
The triglyph frieze carried carved metopes and was surmounted by a cornice revetted
with polychrome terracotta slabs. Two gorgoneia, also of painted terracotta, decorated
both pediments of the temple. On the temple roof, the ridge pole was covered by
the kalypteres also of polychrome terracotta. The columns are quite large (6 x
17), monolithic, and nearly 2 m in diameter at the base, except for the thicker
Lisa M. Cerrato, ed.
This text is cited Nov 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains 37 image(s), bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.
Selinus, Temple E
Summary: The southernmost of the east group of temples at Selinus,
this is a Doric temple probably dedicated to Hera.
Date: ca. 490 B.C. - 470 B.C.
Period: Early Classical
This is hexastyle peripteral with 15 columns to the side, probably set within
a temenos, as suggested by a recently discovered wall. Its plan comprises pronaos,
cella, adyton, and opisthodomos in antis.
Four of the metopes were discovered in 1831. Toppled by an earthquake, its colonnades
were recontructed in 1958.
In the adyton stands the base for the cult statue of the patron deity, probably
Hera. The pronaos frieze carried sculptural metopes, four of which are in the
Lisa M. Cerrato, ed.
This text is cited Nov 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains 68 image(s), bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.
Selinus, Temple F
Summary: The earliest of the three temples in the east group, east
of the city, situated between Temple E and Temple G.
Date: ca. 550 B.C.
This was a hexastyle temple with 14 columns on the side with a pronaos, calla,
adyton, but no opisthodomos.
At a certain time in the city's history, the Selinuntines built three temples
on the hill to the east of the city and acropolis, beyond the river Cottone. The
middle of the 6th century B.C. marked the start of this construction, since this
is the date attributed to the oldest of the three, Temple F.
This temple was most likely dedicated to Athena or Dionysios.
Lisa M. Cerrato, ed.
This text is cited Nov 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.
Selinus, Temple G
Summary: One of the largest temples of antiquity, Temple G was left
unfinished at the time of the city's destruction in 409 B.C.
Date: ca. 500 B.C.
This temple was hypaethral since the central nave was left unroofed. The vast
cella, preceded by a pronaos of four columns, had three doors corresponding to
the three inner naves formed by two rows of ten monolithic columns in two tiers.
The variations in style and the fact that many columns are unfluted indicate that
the temple was under construction for a long period of time and was not complete
at the time of the city's destruction in 409 B.C.
The columns are over 16 m high with a base diameter of 3.4 m and they weigh approximately
100 tons each. One column remains standing and the fallen capitals at the site
give an impression of the colossal scale of the unfinished building. The size
and scope of the temple, as well as the length of time devoted to its construction,
lend it many peculiarities and variations of style not found in other Doric temples.
Its columnar arrangement (8 x 17) is matched only by the Parthenon. This temple
was probably dedicated to Apollo or Zeus.
Lisa M. Cerrato, ed.
This text is cited Nov 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains 66 image(s), bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.
Perseus Site Catalog
Periods: Archaic, Classical, Hellenistic
Type: Fortified city
Summary: Wealthy colony on the SW coast of Sicily
The city was the westernmost colony in Sicily. The acropolis
occupies a low hill along the southern coast of the island, with harbors on either
side -- the western one formed by the mouth of the river Selinus (modern Modione)
and the eastern one by the river Calici (modern Cotone). Neither river is much
more than a marsh today. The city extended northwards onto the hill now known
as the Manuzza, and to the east onto ridge occupied by three great Doric temples,
and was surrounded by fertile agricultural land. A native Sican settlement had
occupied the site of the later Archaic cemetery to the NE, and coexisted with
the Greek settlement in its early years. Corinthian pottery of the mid-seventh
century as been found on the necropolis (which lay on either side of the river
Selinus, extending up to 5 km. from the town) and at the sanctuaries, and there
are some traces of temple building in the seventh century as well (Temples X and
Y on the acropolis). A Greek grid-planned town on the Manuzza hill to the north
of the acropolis is conspicuous in aerial photographs, and has recently been partly
excavated. A major sanctuary dedicated to the Chthonic deities Demeter, Zeus and
Hekate was situated on the west bank of the river Selinus (the Sanctuary of Demeter
Malophoros). On the acropolis were four large Doric temples, two of the sixth
century, two of the fifth, and a small shrine. None of these has been securely
attributed to specific deities, but are identified by letters (Temples A, C, D,
and O; Shrine B). Defensive walls girded the acropolis, most of whose standing
remains can be dated to the late sixth or early fifth centuries B.C. To the north
of the city lay a small Archaic temple and altar. On the plateau to the east of
the city, across the Calici river, were three more sixth-century Doric temples,
Temples E, F, and G (also known as R, S and T respectively). The material remains
are impressive, particularly the stone metopes and terracotta gorgoneia from Temple
C (now in the Palermo Museum) and the massive, unfinished Temple G, attributed
to Apollo and one of the largest Greek temples ever attempted. The city was destroyed
by Carthaginians in 409 BC (Diod. Sic. 13.54-62). Though the area of the acropolis
was resettled by survivors and by the Carthaginians, Selinus never regained prominence.
The city remained under Punic control until 250 B.C. when, after Carthage had
again razed the city, the site was essentially deserted. The acropolis was refortified
in the Byzantine period, and the sanctuary of the Chthonic divinities was also
Thucydides asserts that Selinus was founded in 628/7 BC,
one hundred years after the foundation of her metropolis, Megara Hyblaea in western
Sicily (Thuc. 6.4.2). Pammilos of Megara (Nisaia) in Central Greece led the expedition
as oikist (founder), for the Hyblaeans had requested an oikist be sent from their
own metropolis. They were following a customary ritual which underlined the continuity
of the colony with the original community, even at one remove (cf. the case of
Epidamnos, Thuc. 1.24.2). Against Thucydides' conveniently round figure of 100
years after the foundation of Megara Hyblaea, the later authors Diodorus and Eusebius
give a discordant foundation date of 651/0 BC (Diod. Sic. 13.59.4). Their date
may be borne out by archaeological finds, but here one is always in danger of
relying upon circular evidence. As a rule, a defensible island, promontory or
escarpment was the most common site for a new colony, but Selinus had only a fairly
low fortified hill (although in antiquity the acropolis was probably more like
a peninsula since the harbors on either side extended much further inland than
they do today). Pammilos could have chosen a more defensible site with better
harbors and with equally fertile land to the east, so it is a puzzle why this
site was chosen Similar questions are asked of the site of Himera on the north
coast of Sicily, which was founded three years after Selinus according to Diodorus
(Diod. Sic. 13.62.56; cf. Diod. Sic. 13.54.1). Both western Sicilian cities may
have been convenient stops on the coasting route to and from Spain and north Africa,
and Himera to Etruria as well. Both could have been settled to facilitate trade
with Phoenician colonies (Selinus with Motya, Himera with Panormus [modern Palermo]
and Soloeis), or to block eastward Punic expansion. In any case Greek colonial
expedition were unwelcome further west. The Phoenicians and the native Elymi of
northeast Sicily repulsed Dorian colonists from Lilybaion, a peninsula overlooking
Motya (ca. 570 BC), and from Mt. Eryx, betwen Motya and Panormus (ca. 510 BC).
The former had some bearing on Selinus, for the would-be colonists briefly joined
the Elymi of Segesta against her (Diod. Sic. 5.9) and the latter had some bearing
on Minoa, a Selinuntine colony at the mouth of the Halycus River (modern Platani),
for the survivors of the attempted colony of Herakleia at Mt. Eryx captured and
refounded it as Herakleia Minoa (Hdt. 5.43-46). However, there is evidence of
mostly amicable relations between the colonists of Himera and Selinus and the
Punic colonists to their west. A metrical epitaph for a fallen Greek (Selinuntine?)
dated to the first half of the fifth century has been unearthed in Motya, which
had a sizable Greek element (Diod. Sic. 46.53.2). Further, Hamilcar of Carthage,
called in by the tyrants of Himera and Rhegion, counted upon the aid of Selinus
against Theron of Akragas and Gelon of Syracuse in the Battle of Himera (480 BC).
Selinus could also have been founded to open commercial contacts with the native
Elymi in the northeast corner of the island (at sites such as Segesta). In support
of this, Early Corinthian pottery has been found at the Elymian town of Segesta
and at a Selinuntine sanctuary to Herakles up the Hypsas river near Poggioreale
(close to Elymian Entella), and the pottery can be dated as early as any found
at Himera or Selinus. Fostering good relations with the neighboring peoples, Sicans,
Elymi, and Phoenicians, would have allowed the Selinuntines to become prosperous
through agriculture and commerce while occupying a not particularly strong site,
similar to the position of their metropolis (Megara and Hyblon, Hdt. 6.4.1). Pammilos
as oikist would have overseen the division of the land into kleroi (allotments)
of relatively equal size or value for each colonist. He would also have set aside
land for the gods in sacred precincts, where monumental stone temples would later
be built. Cult practice in these precincts probably reflects the continuity of
institutions from the original mother city to later colonies. Demeter and her
daughter Persephone (possibly worshipped in Selinus as Pasikrateia, "all-powerful",
Meiggs & Lewis, no. 38) held particular prominence in agriculturally rich Sicily,
the site of Persephone's abduction. Demeter's cult title of Malophoros is attested
only here and at Megara (Nisaia) (Paus. 1.44.3), and is confirmed by inscriptions
and several thousand terracotta statuettes of the goddess carrying a pomegranate.
Hers was one of the first sanctuaries established (quadrangular, 50 x 60 m.) and
here some of the earliest finds of pottery at Selinus have been unearthed. The
main structure within the precinct is her megaron with an altar in front. Also
within the precinct wall was a shrine to her consort, Zeus Meilichios, whom farmers
would invoke with chthonic Demeter at the time of sowing. Subterranean Zeus was
dreadful and beneficent -- he offered purification after blood-feud and ensured
the growth fo crops. His epithet ("Gentle One") may be a euphemism in the way
that the treacherous Black Sea was called the Euxine ("Kind to Travelers"), or
it may indicate his role in appeasing the dead. Inscribed stelai, sometimes with
two heads sculpted at the top, were dedicated to Meilichios -- perhaps remnants
of primal aniconic stone-worship (cf. Jeffery 1990, 255, 270-1, 277:31-2), or
perhaps the result of Punic influence. His cult seems to have been under the care
of an aristocratic Selinuntine genos, the kleulidai, in the same way that in Megara
his cult was under the care of an (unrelated) genos. There was also a temple of
Hekate (cf. Jeffery 1990, 271, 277.41) and an elaborate propylon to the whole
complex. The precinct seems to have served both Greeks (from the mainland as well
as colonists) and natives. The propylon was partially remodelled during the Punic/Hellenistic
period, and the megaron of Demeter was modified in the Byzantine period. The colossal
Temple X, on the acropolis south of Temple C, and the smaller Temple Y (from which
some decoration survives -- metopes and cornice decoration) were leveled to their
foundations by the sixth century, when Selinus undertook an impressive series
of temple-building projects, the first of which was Temple C (mid-sixth century;
see Selinus,Temple C ). It was built upon the highest point of the acropolis,
and now lies in ruins. This is one of the earliest examples of Archaic temple
building in the Doric style: hexastyle (six columns on the fronts), constructed
on a notably elongated plan, with a narrow cella and with large, tapered columns
(some monolithic, some drums). Carved metopes from the Doric frieze survive, as
well as two painted terracotta gorgoneia from each pediment (a Western Greek phenomenon,
with other examples found at Syracuse, Gela and one in stone at Corcyra). The
limestone of the friezes and columns was covered with plaster and painted as well.
The first altar of the temple lies to the southeast and the later altar is to
the east. Not much later are Temple D on the acropolis and Temple F (S) on the
eastern plateau (both second half of the 6th century BC). Both are about the same
width as temple C; both are hexastyle, and both have narrow cellas, but they are
not as elongated as Temple C. The sculptured metopes of Temple F have survived.
This temple also has enigmatic intercolumnar screen walls. The massive Temple
G (T), dedicated to Apollo, was begun not much later on the eastern plateau, the
first colossal temple in the West to vie with the great Ionic temples of Asia
Minor. It measures some 50.1 x 110.36 m. Like the Ionic temples, it is octastyle
(8 columns on the fronts). The work was begun on the east side in the late 6th
century, and moved slowly west, until finally the west side was nearing completion
in the fifth century BC; different parts of the temple thus show markedly different
styles. The interior was so vast that it was probably never intended to be roofed.
The ambitious project was abandoned some time before (or because of) the Carthaginian
attack of 409 BC, and column drums of matching proportions have been left half-carved
in the quarries 9 km to the northwest at Cusa/Campobello. While work on Temple
G was in progress, the Selinuntines began Temples A and O on the acropolis and
Temple E (R) on the eastern plateau (ca. 480 BC, after the defeat of Hamilcar
at Himera). The temples exhibit a more developed Doric style, with the spacing
between columns contracting as they reached the corners. The sculptured metopes
of Temple E were made of limestone covered with plaster, but with marble inserts
for heads, hands and feet of female figures ("acrolithic" sculpture). The ruins
of Temple F have been restored, while Temples A and O were joined together in
the medieval period and rebuilt as a fortified tower. Pammilos would have erected
at least a wooden palisade on the acropolis, and this was replaced by stone fortifications,
much of which survives. Most of the remains of the extensive circuit wall can
be dated to the late 6th/early 5th c. BC, with evidence of repairs made by Hermocrates
ca. 408 BC. The fortifications and gate complex at the northern end of the acropolis,
leading out to the Manuzza hill and residential quarter, are particularly impressive.
This text is cited Oct 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains 403 image(s), bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.