Doric Temple at Segesta
Segesta represents another excellent example of Greek style civilization in Sicily. If you have been following this blog you know that this is one of the places where the original people of Sicily, called the Elymi, settled. There is a long and storied history of the settlement of Siciily. The Eymi (or Elymians) are one of the major groups of people to settle Sicily. I provide a short summary here in case you missed my Erice 1995 entry:
After the fall of Troy, some Trojans settled on the western tip of Sicily. Along with the people already settled there they became known as the Elymi, and the towns they developed were Segesta and Erice.
Spocklogic at Segesta
Segesta was a place that always seemed to be an enemy with the Greek colony of Selinunte
(see my previous entry - Selinunte 2005
). Segesta allied with Carthage to destroy Selinunte in the 4th century BC. That's the short history story, but like many places in ancient times, there is a storied history in centuries of human progress, continued conflict, and eventual demise. So it was then and so it remains today. Man does not seem able to learn the lessons from history. This is something of the history of the place in introduction, but very basic and brief. This is a travel journey, not a lesson in sociopolitical problems that plague mankind. At the site of Segesta are some wonderful things to see. The landscape here is pastoral, with hills and grass and vistas to appreciate.
Participants at Segesta
There is a Doric temple here (dating to the 5th century BC) that stands impressive and proud, weathered for sure, but otherwise well preserved and in tact. It's unusual in its Hellenic style too for a place not populated by Greeks in ancient times. A hilltop, nearby on Mount Barbaro, you can find a Greek style amphitheatre that looks out onto the vista in the distance. It's quite a spectacular sight and worth the hike up the hilltop in a gradual walk, not too taxing. The amphitheatre itself was carved out of the mountaiside itself. There is some dispute about its age, but is believed to have been made around the same time as the temple in the 5th century BC.
This was the second part of an excursion day that included touring Selinunte too. Arriving there we toured the ruins of Segesta, then had an evening of festivity nearby. There were musicians to greet us as we arrived, food to eat, wine to drink and dancing into the night. It sounds a great deal of fun, and it was, but a very long day in touring the sights of Western Sicily. We did not arrive back to Erice until late in the evening - almost midnight. A full day of fun and lectures would resume early in the morning next day...
Segesta Sights & Attractions review
Experience the Elymian people
The civilization of Sicily is believed to have its origins from several groups of ancient people considered as 'indigenous' inhabitants. One of these … read entire review