Greeks in Sicily

March 12, 2009 / Art & Archaeology
greektheater1A tour in Sicily is a lesson in Greek history. We are told there are almost as many Greek ruins here as there are in Greece. In Agrigento, it doesn’t take much to imagine the silence and reverence of the ancient Greeks as they gathered to worship their Gods at the Tempio della Concordia (Temple of Concord, as it is called today). Or, to wonder at their artistry and strength as they carved and constructed the columns of the Temple of Hercules.

greektheater2There is a story that the dictator Dionysius, a Greek who fought the Carthaginians in Sicily, incarcerated his enemies in a stone cave near an amphitheater and that due to the great acoustics he was able to eavesdrop on them even during performances. He was a playwright too and his name is often connected to early Greek drama.

In Siracusa, the ruins of the Greek theatre give a sense of the high regard the Greeks held for their dramas. There is ample seating and a very large performance area. Other ruins of Greek theatres also dot the Sicilian countryside. One amphitheater is carved into the stone landscape and makes for a very hard seat! The plays were unusually long. Did the patrons bring pillows?

— Contributed by an Sal, an ItalianNotebook reader, for the 1st Anniversary Readers’ Note Contest. Many thanks!

3 Responses to “Greeks in Sicily”

  1. The first foto is beautiful! I, too, wish it could have been clicked to make it larger. It’s the picture all of us wish we could take.

  2. Lynn Michaels

    Can’t wait to try the recipe (or rather, extended suggestions).

    I’m arriving in Rome next Tuesday and I’ll be looking for your “girlfriends.”

    Always look forward to my Notebook for the day. I know it’s the weekend when ther isn’t one waiting for me in the morning. Thanks!


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