|© 1998 Bernard SUZANNE||Last updated December 13, 1998|
|Plato and his dialogues : Home - Biography - Works - History of interpretation - New hypotheses - Map of dialogues : table version or non tabular version. Tools : Index of persons and locations - Detailed and synoptic chronologies - Maps of Ancient Greek World. Site information : About the author.|
This page is part of the "tools" section of a site, Plato and his dialogues, dedicated to developing a new interpretation of Plato's dialogues. The "tools" section provides historical and geographical context (chronology, maps, entries on characters and locations) for Socrates, Plato and their time. By clicking on the minimap at the beginning of the entry, you can go to a full size map in which the city or location appears. For more information on the structure of entries and links available from them, read the notice at the beginning of the index of persons and locations.
Large island at the tip of Italy (area 1).
Greek settlers started arriving in Sicily during the VIIIth century B. C. from various cities of Greece. Naxos was founded in 734 B. C. by settlers from Chalcis, also responsible for the foundation of Leontini (around 729), Zancle (between 750 and 725) and Catania. Syracuse was a colony of Corinth established in 733, while a little further north, settlers from Megaris founded a city to which they gave the same name as their mother city. More Greek cities were founded during the VIIth century B. C., including Gela by settlers from Crete and Rhodes (around 680), which was itself at the origin of Acragas (around 580), Selinous, a colony of Sicilian Megara and Himera, founded by citizens from Zancle and Syracuse (around 625).
Meanwhile, Phoenicians from Carthage were settling the western part of Sicily, which eventually led to the battle of Himera in 480, won by Theron, tyrant of Acragas, allied to Gelon, tyrant of Syracuse, over the Carthaginian general Amilcar.
Sicily played a major role in the eventual defeat of Athens in the Peloponnesian war, through the doomed expedition against it suggested by Alcibiades in 415, that ended in the massacre of several thousands Athenians troops and their general Nicias after Alcibiades had gone over to Sparta in the wake of the affairs of the Herms and of the parodies of mysteries in which he was accused of being implicated.
Sicily was the birthplace of rhetoric, through people such as Tisias of Syracuse, Corax and later Gorgias of Leontini and Lysias, whose father Cephalus (staged in Plato's Republic) was of Sicilian origin.