AREA ARCHEOLOGICA DI LEONTINOI

 
L'area archeologica

In the hills of Leontinoi, in the present-day municipalities of Lentini and Carlentini, there is archaeological evidence documenting the history of the site from the Neolithic to the Iron Age. The Greek city was colonised by the Chalcidans in 729 BC. As a result of the war between Leontinoi and nearby Megara, which were fighting over the territory, it became Polemarco Panaitios remembered as the first tyrant of Sicily. Together with the other cities of 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. an alliance was made with Athens, where the famous orator Gorgias from Leontinoi was sent as ambassador. After the Peace of Gela in 424 B.C. Leontinoi was annexed to 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 repopulation at the end of the 5th century B.C. with citizens from other parts of the world. C. with citizens from Akragas, Gela and Kamarina. In 405 B.C. it was fortified by the tyrant Dionysius, who stored grain from its rich territory and settled several thousand soldiers there. It was included in the Syracusan kingdom of Hieron II when the Romans occupied a large part of the island. Hieronymus, the last king of Syracuse, was killed there. From 214 B.C., when the city was occupied by the Romans, a progressive decline of the city began, although the territory of Campi Leontini continued to be among the most productive on the island. The monumental remains of the Greek city in the park include the South Gate and the adjacent fortification, in the territory of Carlentini. The remains of the North Gate are still being excavated by the University of Catania in collaboration with the Park.

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