PARCO ARCHEOLOGICO DI LEONTINOI E MEGARA

 
Parco archeologico di Leontinoi
Area archeologica di Capo Beo

The Park

The Archaeological Park of Leontinoi e Megara, established by the Assessorial Decree no. 011/GAB of 07/03/2019, includes the archaeological areas of Leontinoi, Monte San Basilio and Megara Iblea, located in the northern part of the province of Syracuse. In the hills of Leontinoifalling within the current municipalities of Lentini and Carlentini, there is archaeological evidence documenting the history of the site from the Neolithic to the Iron Age.

 

History

The Greek city became a colony of the Chalcidans in 729 BC. As a result of the war between Leontinoi and the nearby Megara, contending for the territory, became Polemarco Panaitios remembered as first tyrant of Sicily. Together with other towns in eastern Sicily at the beginning of the 5th century BC. Leontinoi was subjugated by Hippocrates of Gela.

 

The tyrant Hieron transferred the inhabitants of Catania and Naxos there in 476 BC. The city regained its independence a few years later. In 433 B.C. the following was stipulated an alliance with Athens, where the famous orator Gorgias of Leontinoi was sent as ambassador. After the peace of Gela del 424 a.C.

Leontinoi became part of the territory of Syracuse and thus involved in the military events of the second Athenian expedition to Sicily. Its barycentric role in the geopolitical chessboard of eastern Sicily was the reason for its repopulating alla fine del V sec. a.C. con cittadini provenienti da Akragas, Gela e Kamarina.

 

Nel 405 a.C. il tiranno Dionigi fortified the city and stored grain from its rich territory, settling several thousand soldiers there. It was included in the Syracusan kingdom of Ierone II when the Romans occupied a large part of the island. It was here that Hieronymus, the last king of Syracuse, was killed. From 214 B.C., the year the Romans occupied the city, a progressive decline of the city began, although the territory of the Campi Leontinoi continued to be among the most productive on the island.

Della città greca nel Parco archeologico di Leontinoi e Megara sono tuttora fruibili i resti monumentali della South Gate. Sign of the adjacent fortification, in the territory of Carlentini. The remains of the North Gate are still the subject of excavations conducted by theUniversity of Catania in cooperation with the Park.

 

The settlement

The village continued to live with an construction recovery in the Middle Ages. The stone houses mentioned by Al Muqadasi nel X sec. d.C. si riferiscono probabilmente alle abitazioni rupestri caratteristiche della città, di cui le fonti medievali ricordano l’importanza della fortification. Despite the damage suffered in the earthquakes of 1167, 1542 and 1693, the settlement continued to insist on three hills and the adjoining valleys.

 

Particularly important were the fortified sectors of the Castrum Vetus redeveloped at the time of Frederick II (its remains are preserved and accessible on the Tirone-Castellaccio hill) and of the Castellum Novum made in the same period. During the Middle Ages, numerous oratories and rock sanctuaries were built both within the town and in the suburbs. Places that still preserve important pictorial evidence.

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