Ancient Cities and Conflict


Selinunte has been an significant area/city occupied since at least 600 BC and was known to be important to early Greeks as the most western site in Sicily. But it’s position also made it a point of contact with other ancient Greek powers such as Athens as well the Phoenicians and Carthaginians.

Also it was early days when contact with the Elymian residents of another early city Segesta resulted in ongoing conflicts.  Over the years, a number of major battles occurred. Each city often sought help from larger states. Selinunte from the Carthageans, and Segesta  brought in Athens in a siege of Syracuse, an ally of Segesta. But this was unsuccessful and the result was a defeat of the Athenians.

Later Segesta sought and received help from the Carthaginians. Selinunte was not prepared for vast army said to number 100,000 that descended on the area. The result was almost total aninhalation of the city around 409 BC.  The surviving city was said to continue to exist in some form till 200 BC when the Romans pushed back the Carthaginians in the Punic wars, and the city was abandoned.

Much of what we visited dates back to prior to the defeat of the city in 409, so some 2,500 years. Reconstruction of what is supposed to be a temple dedicated to the goddess Hera is a stunning site.


Yet it is not the largest temple at the site, that one still exists only in rubble, as so many pieces have been looted that it was decided not worth the effort to replace missing parts.

The area also has areas similar to Pompeiu with outlines of homes along streets, and even a bathing tub.

The site allows you to walk down and gaze upon some of the same views an ancient inhabitant might have seen.

And the site is one of few that you can still walk through and touch history…



  1. Wow wow wow. Astonishing and amazing. Beautiful shots scott!

    Wendy Shaw


    Spark Ideas

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