Temple of Concordia, Agrigento
The Temple of Concordia is an ancient Greek temple in the Valle dei Templi in Agrigento on the south coast of Sicily, Italy. It is the largest and best-preserved Doric temple in Sicily and one of the best-preserved Greek temples in general of the Doric order; the temple was built c. 440–430 BC. The well-preserved peristasis of six by thirteen columns stands on a crepidoma of four steps The cella measures 28.36 m × 9.4 m. The columns are 6 m high and carved with harmonious entasis, it is constructed, like the nearby Temple of Juno, on a solid base designed to overcome the unevenness of the rocky terrain. It has been conventionally named after Concordia, the Roman goddess of harmony, for the Roman-era Latin inscription found nearby, unconnected with it. If still in use by the 4th-and 5th century, it would have been closed during the persecution of pagans in the late Roman Empire; the temple was converted into a Christian basilica in the 6th century dedicated to the apostles Peter and Paul by San Gregorio delle Rape, bishop of Agrigento and thus survived the destruction of pagan places of worship.
The spaces between the columns were filled with altering its Classical Greek form. The division between the cella, the main room where the cult statue would have stood in antiquity, the opisthodomos, an adjoining room, was destroyed, the walls of the cella were cut into a series of arches along the nave; the Christian refurbishments were removed during the restoration of 1785. According to another source, the Prince of Torremuzza transferred the altar elsewhere and began restoration of the classic building in 1788. According to authors of a 2007 article, it is "apart from the Parthenon, the best preserved Doric temple in the world." BibliographyBarone, P. M.. "Ground-penetrating radar investigations into the construction techniques of the Concordia Temple". Archaeological Prospection. 14: 47–59. Doi:10.1002/arp.300. Standish, Frank Hall; the shores of the Mediterranean. Edward Lumley. Pp. 132–133
World Heritage Site
A World Heritage Site is a landmark or area, selected by the United Nations Educational and Cultural Organization as having cultural, scientific or other form of significance, is protected by international treaties. The sites are judged important to the collective interests of humanity. To be selected, a World Heritage Site must be an classified landmark, unique in some respect as a geographically and identifiable place having special cultural or physical significance, it may signify a remarkable accomplishment of humanity, serve as evidence of our intellectual history on the planet. The sites are intended for practical conservation for posterity, which otherwise would be subject to risk from human or animal trespassing, unmonitored/uncontrolled/unrestricted access, or threat from local administrative negligence. Sites are demarcated by UNESCO as protected zones; the list is maintained by the international World Heritage Program administered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, composed of 21 "states parties" that are elected by their General Assembly.
The programme catalogues and conserves sites of outstanding cultural or natural importance to the common culture and heritage of humanity. Under certain conditions, listed sites can obtain funds from the World Heritage Fund; the program began with the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World's Cultural and Natural Heritage, adopted by the General Conference of UNESCO on 16 November 1972. Since 193 state parties have ratified the convention, making it one of the most recognized international agreements and the world's most popular cultural program; as of July 2018, a total of 1,092 World Heritage Sites exist across 167 countries. Italy, with 54 sites, has the most of any country, followed by China, France, Germany and Mexico. In 1954, the government of Egypt decided to build the new Aswan High Dam, whose resulting future reservoir would inundate a large stretch of the Nile valley containing cultural treasures of ancient Egypt and ancient Nubia. In 1959, the governments of Egypt and Sudan requested UNESCO to assist their countries to protect and rescue the endangered monuments and sites.
In 1960, the Director-General of UNESCO launched an appeal to the member states for an International Campaign to Save the Monuments of Nubia. This appeal resulted in the excavation and recording of hundreds of sites, the recovery of thousands of objects, as well as the salvage and relocation to higher ground of a number of important temples, the most famous of which are the temple complexes of Abu Simbel and Philae; the campaign, which ended in 1980, was considered a success. As tokens of its gratitude to countries which contributed to the campaign's success, Egypt donated four temples: the Temple of Dendur was moved to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the Temple of Debod was moved to the Parque del Oeste in Madrid, the Temple of Taffeh was moved to the Rijksmuseum van Oudheden in the Netherlands, the Temple of Ellesyia to Museo Egizio in Turin; the project cost $80 million, about $40 million of, collected from 50 countries. The project's success led to other safeguarding campaigns: saving Venice and its lagoon in Italy, the ruins of Mohenjo-daro in Pakistan, the Borobodur Temple Compounds in Indonesia.
UNESCO initiated, with the International Council on Monuments and Sites, a draft convention to protect the common cultural heritage of humanity. The United States initiated the idea of cultural conservation with nature conservation; the White House conference in 1965 called for a "World Heritage Trust" to preserve "the world's superb natural and scenic areas and historic sites for the present and the future of the entire world citizenry". The International Union for Conservation of Nature developed similar proposals in 1968, they were presented in 1972 to the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm. Under the World Heritage Committee, signatory countries are required to produce and submit periodic data reporting providing the World Heritage Committee with an overview of each participating nation's implementation of the World Heritage Convention and a "snapshot" of current conditions at World Heritage properties. A single text was agreed on by all parties, the "Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage" was adopted by the General Conference of UNESCO on 16 November 1972.
The Convention came into force on 17 December 1975. As of May 2017, it has been ratified by 193 states parties, including 189 UN member states plus the Cook Islands, the Holy See and the State of Palestine. Only four UN member states have not ratified the Convention: Liechtenstein, Nauru and Tuvalu. A country must first list its significant natural sites. A country may not nominate sites. Next, it can place sites selected from that list into a Nomination File; the Nomination File is evaluated by the International Council on Monuments and Sites and the World Conservation Union. These bodies make their recommendations to the World Heritage Committee; the Committee meets once per year to determine whether or not to inscribe each nominated property on the World Heritage List and sometimes defers or refers the decision to request more information from the country which nominated the site. There are ten selection criteria – a site must meet at least one of them to be included on the list
Temple of Heracles, Agrigento
The Temple of Heracles or Temple of Hercules is a greek temple in the ancient city of Akragas, located in the Valle dei Templi in Agrigento. The building, in the archaic Doric style, is found on the hill of the temples, on a rocky spur near the Villa Aurea; the name Temple of Heracles is an attribution of modern scholarship, based on Cicero's mention of a temple dedicated to the hero non longe a foro "not far from the agora", containing a famous statue of Heracles. That the agora of Akragas was in this area has not yet been demonstrated, but the identification is accepted; the traditionally accepted chronology of the temple identifies it as the most ancient of the Akragantine temples, dating to the final years of the 6th century BC. This dating is based on stylistic characteristics its proportions, number of columns, the profile of the columns and of their capitals. However, some connect the temple with the activities of Theron, claiming that it contains innovations compared to the architectural practice of the 6th century.
In that case, it could be identified with the temple of Athena recorded by Polyaenus in relation to the building activities of Theron in connection with his seizure of power. The remains of the entablature constitute a problem for dating, because there are two types of Cymatium with gutters and lion heads: the first, less well-preserved than the other, datable to the 460s BC and the second datable to around the middle of the fifth century; the first cymatium is the original and was replaced by the second a few decades and therefore the temple's foundation is to be dated to the years before the Battle of Himera. The building was restored in the Roman period with some modifications the division of the naos into three, which could indicate a dedication to multiple divinities. If still in use by the 4th-and 5th century, it would have been closed during the persecution of pagans in the late Roman Empire. In the 20th century, the intervention of the restorers has been able to reconstruct nine of the columns on the southeastern side through anastylosis as well as part of the entablature and some of the capitals.
The building, sitting on a crepidoma of three steps, itself on top of a substructure on the northern and western sides. It is a peripteros temple of unusually elongated proportions, with six columns along the front and fifteen columns on the sides. Inside the peristasis is a long naos, bounded by a pronaos at the front and an opisthodomos at the back, both in antis, the remains of which seem to indicate that the destruction of the building was caused by an earthquake. In the building's remains the presence of internal stairs for the inspection of the roof can be seen in the walls between the pronaos and the naos, which became a typical feature of Akragantine temples; the tall columns are topped by wide capitals, with a deep gulf between the stem and the echinus, which might indicate the comparative antiquity of the building, along with the elongation of the naos and the wide separation of the columns from the naos. On the eastern side of the temple are the remains of the large altar of the temple.
Valle dei Templi Archaeological Park
Catania is the second largest city of Sicily after Palermo located on the east coast facing the Ionian Sea. It is the capital of the Metropolitan City of Catania, one of the ten biggest cities in Italy, the seventh largest metropolitan area in Italy; the population of the city proper is 320,000 while the population of the city's metropolitan area, Metropolitan City of Catania, stood at 1,116,168 inhabitants. Catania was destroyed by catastrophic earthquakes in 1169 and 1693, by several volcanic eruptions from the neighbouring Mount Etna, the most violent of, in 1669. Catania was founded in the 8th century BC by Chalcidians. In 1434, the first university in Sicily was founded in the city. In the 14th century and into the Renaissance period, Catania was one of Italy's most important cultural and political centres; the city is noted for its history, culture and gastronomy. Its old town, besides being one of the biggest examples of baroque architecture in Italy, is a World Heritage Site, protected by UNESCO.
Catania has been a native or adoptive homeland of some of Italy's most famous artists and writers, including composers Vincenzo Bellini and Giovanni Pacini, writers Giovanni Verga, Luigi Capuana, Federico De Roberto and Nino Martoglio. The city is the main industrial and commercial center of Sicily, it is the home of the largest in Southern Italy. The ancient indigenous population of the Sicels named their villages after geographical attributes of their location; the Sicilian word, means "grater, flaying knife, skinning place" or a "crude tool apt to pare". Other translations of the name are "harsh lands", "uneven ground", "sharp stones", or "rugged or rough soil"; the latter etymologies are justifiable since, for many centuries following an eruption, the city has always been rebuilt within its black-lava landscape. Around 729 BC, the ancient village of Katane became the Chalcidian colony of Katánē where the native population was Hellenized; the Naxian founders, coming from the adjacent coast used the name for their new settlement along the River Amenano.
Around 263 BC, the city was variously known as Catăna. The former has been used for its supposed assonance with catina, the Latin feminization of the name catinus. Catinus has two meanings: "a gulf, a basin or a bay" and "a bowl, a vessel or a trough", thanks to the city’s distinctive topography. Around 900, when Catania was part of the emirate of Sicily, it was known in Arabic as Balad al-fīl and Madinat al-fīl; the former means "The Village of the Elephant", while the latter means "The City of the Elephant". The Elephant is the lava sculpture over the fountain in Piazza Duomo. Most a prehistoric sculpture, reforged during the Byzantine Era, it appears to be a talisman, reputedly powerful enough to protect the city from enemies and to keep away misfortune, plagues, or natural calamities. Another Arab toponym was Qaṭāniyyah from the Arabic word for the "leguminous plants". Pulses like lentils, peas, broad beans, lupins were chiefly cultivated in the plains around the city well before the arrival of Aghlabids.
Afterwards, many Arabic agronomists developed these crops and the citrus orchards in the area around the city. The toponym Wadi Musa, or "Valley of Moses", was used. Catania is located at the foot of Mount Etna; as observed by Strabo, the location of Catania at the foot of Mount Etna has been both a curse and a blessing. On the one hand, violent outbursts of the volcano throughout history have destroyed large parts of the city, whilst on the other hand the volcanic ashes yield fertile soil suited for the growth of vines. Two subterranean rivers run under the city; the Köppen Climate Classification subtype for this climate is "Csa". It has one of the hottest in the whole country of Italy. Temperatures of 40 °C are surpassed every year a couple of times,Winters are mild with chilly nights. Most of precipitation is concentrated from October to March, leaving late spring and summer dry; the city receives around 500 millimetres of rain per year, although the amount can vary from year to year. During winter nights lows can go under 0 °C.
Highs under 10 °C can happen during winter. Snow, due to the presence of Etna that protects the city from the northern winds, is an uncommon occurrence, but occasional snow flurries have been seen over the recent years in the hilly districts, more substantial in the northern hinterland. More light snowfalls occurred on 9 February 2015, 6 January 2017 and 5 January 2019, but the last heavy snowfall dates back to 17 December 1988; as of January 2015, there are 315.601 people residing in Catania, of whom 47.2% are male and 52.8% are female. Minors totalled 20.50 percent of the population compared to pensioners. This compares with the Italian average of 19.94 percent. The average age of Catania residents is 41 compared to the Italian average of 42. In the five
Sortino is a town and comune in the Province of Syracuse, Sicily. It is located in the Anapo river valley; the Necropolis of Pantalica, part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of "Syracuse and the Rocky Necropolis of Pantalica" is situated between Sortino and Ferla. Sortino has fifteen Roman Catholic churches.. The main one is the Chiesa Madre di S. Giovanni Evangelista. Others are: Chiesa del Monastero Chiesa di S. Sebastiano Chiesa di S. Sofia Chiesa di S. Benedetto Chiesa di S. Pietro Chiesa dei Cappuccini Chiesa del Collegio Chiesa di S. Antonio Abate Chiesa di S. Mauro Chiesa della SS. Annunziata Chiesa del Purgatorio Chiesa del Carmine Chiesa di S. Francesco d'Assisi Chiesa di S. Giuseppe Riedstadt, Germany Murter, Croatia
Thucydides was an Athenian historian and general. His History of the Peloponnesian War recounts the fifth-century BC war between Sparta and Athens until the year 411 BC. Thucydides has been dubbed the father of "scientific history" by those who accept his claims to have applied strict standards of impartiality and evidence-gathering and analysis of cause and effect, without reference to intervention by the deities, as outlined in his introduction to his work, he has been called the father of the school of political realism, which views the political behavior of individuals and the subsequent outcomes of relations between states as mediated by and constructed upon the emotions of fear and self-interest. His text is still studied at military colleges worldwide; the Melian dialogue is regarded as a seminal work of international relations theory, while his version of Pericles' Funeral Oration is studied by political theorists and students of the classics. More Thucydides developed an understanding of human nature to explain behaviour in such crises as plagues and civil war.
In spite of his stature as a historian, modern historians know little about Thucydides's life. The most reliable information comes from his own History of the Peloponnesian War, which expounds his nationality and native locality. Thucydides says that he fought in the war, contracted the plague, was exiled by the democracy, he may have been involved in quelling the Samian Revolt. Thucydides identifies himself as an Athenian, telling us that his father's name was Olorus and that he was from the Athenian deme of Halimous, he survived the Plague of Athens, which killed many other Athenians. He records that he owned gold mines at Scapte Hyle, a coastal area in Thrace, opposite the island of Thasos; because of his influence in the Thracian region, Thucydides wrote, he was sent as a strategos to Thasos in 424 BC. During the winter of 424–423 BC, the Spartan general Brasidas attacked Amphipolis, a half-day's sail west from Thasos on the Thracian coast, sparking the Battle of Amphipolis. Eucles, the Athenian commander at Amphipolis, sent to Thucydides for help.
Brasidas, aware the presence of Thucydides on Thasos and his influence with the people of Amphipolis, afraid of help arriving by sea, acted to offer moderate terms to the Amphipolitans for their surrender, which they accepted. Thus, when Thucydides arrived, Amphipolis was under Spartan control. Amphipolis was of considerable strategic importance, news of its fall caused great consternation in Athens, it was blamed on Thucydides, although he claimed that it was not his fault and that he had been unable to reach it in time. Because of his failure to save Amphipolis, he was exiled: I lived through the whole of it, being of an age to comprehend events, giving my attention to them in order to know the exact truth about them, it was my fate to be an exile from my country for twenty years after my command at Amphipolis. Using his status as an exile from Athens to travel among the Peloponnesian allies, he was able to view the war from the perspective of both sides. Thucydides claimed that he began writing his history as soon as the war broke out, because he thought it would be one of the greatest wars waged among the Greeks in terms of scale:Thucydides, an Athenian, wrote the history of the war between the Peloponnesians and the Athenians, beginning at the moment that it broke out, believing that it would be a great war, more worthy of relation than any that had preceded it.
This is all that Thucydides wrote about his own life, but a few other facts are available from reliable contemporary sources. Herodotus wrote that the name Olorus, Thucydides's father's name, was connected with Thrace and Thracian royalty. Thucydides was connected through family to the Athenian statesman and general Miltiades and his son Cimon, leaders of the old aristocracy supplanted by the Radical Democrats. Cimon's maternal grandfather's name was Olorus, making the connection quite likely. Another Thucydides lived before the historian and was linked with Thrace, making a family connection between them likely as well. Combining all the fragmentary evidence available, it seems that his family had owned a large estate in Thrace, one that contained gold mines, which allowed the family considerable and lasting affluence; the security and continued prosperity of the wealthy estate must have necessitated formal ties with local kings or chieftains, which explains the adoption of the distinctly Thracian royal name Óloros into the family.
Once exiled, Thucydides took permanent residence in the estate and, given his ample income from the gold mines, he was able to dedicate himself to full-time history writing and research, including many fact-finding trips. In essence, he was a well-connected gentleman of considerable resources who, after involuntarily retiring from the political and military spheres, decided to fund his own historical investigations; the remaining evidence for Thucydides' life comes from and rather less reliable ancient sources. According to Pausanias, someone named Oenobius had a law passed allowing Thucydides to return to Athens shortly after the city's surrender and the end of the war in 404 BC. Pausanias goes on to say that Thucydides was murdered on his way back to Athens, placing his tomb near the Melite gate. Many doubt this
Agrigento is a city on the southern coast of Sicily and capital of the province of Agrigento. It is renowned as the site of the ancient Greek city of Akragas, one of the leading cities of Magna Graecia during the golden age of Ancient Greece with population estimates in the range of 200,000 to 800,000 before 406 BC. Agrigento was founded on a plateau overlooking the sea, with two nearby rivers, the Hypsas and the Akragas, a ridge to the north offering a degree of natural fortification, its establishment took place around 582–580 BC and is attributed to Greek colonists from Gela, who named it "Akragas". Akragas grew becoming one of the richest and most famous of the Greek colonies of Magna Graecia, it came to prominence under the 6th-century tyrants Phalaris and Theron, became a democracy after the overthrow of Theron's son Thrasydaeus. At this point the city could have been as large as 100,000 to 200,000 people. Although the city remained neutral in the conflict between Athens and Syracuse, its democracy was overthrown when the city was sacked by the Carthaginians in 406 BC.
Akragas never recovered its former status, though it revived to some extent under Timoleon in the latter part of the 4th century. The city was disputed between the Carthaginians during the First Punic War; the Romans laid siege to the city in 262 BC and captured it after defeating a Carthaginian relief force in 261 BC and sold the population into slavery. Although the Carthaginians recaptured the city in 255 BC the final peace settlement gave Punic Sicily and with it Akragas to Rome, it suffered badly during the Second Punic War when both Carthage fought to control it. The Romans captured Akragas in 210 BC and renamed it Agrigentum, although it remained a Greek-speaking community for centuries thereafter, it became prosperous again under Roman rule and its inhabitants received full Roman citizenship following the death of Julius Caesar in 44 BC. After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the city successively passed into the hands of the Vandalic Kingdom, the Ostrogothic Kingdom of Italy and the Byzantine Empire.
During this period the inhabitants of Agrigentum abandoned the lower parts of the city and moved to the former acropolis, at the top of the hill. The reasons for this move are unclear but were related to the destructive coastal raids of the Saracens and other peoples around this time. In 828 AD the Saracens captured the diminished remnant of the city. Following the Norman conquest of Sicily, the city changed its name to the Norman version Girgenti. In 1087, Norman Count Roger I established a Latin bishopric in the city. Normans built the Castello di Agrigento to control the area; the population declined during much of the medieval period but revived somewhat after the 18th century. In 1860, as in the rest of Sicily, the inhabitants supported the arrival of Giuseppe Garibaldi during the Expedition of the Thousand which marked the end of Bourbon rule. In 1927, Benito Mussolini through the "Decree Law n. 159, July 12, 1927" introduced the current Italianized version of the Latin name. The decision remains controversial as the eradication of local history.
Following the suggestion of Andrea Camilleri, a Sicilian writer of Agrigentine origin, the historic city centre was renamed to the Sicilian name "Girgenti" in 2016. The city suffered a number of destructive bombing raids during World War II. Agrigento is a major tourist centre due to its extraordinarily rich archaeological legacy, it serves as an agricultural centre for the surrounding region. Sulphur and potash have been mined locally since Minoan times until the 1970s, were worldwide exported from the nearby harbour of Porto Empedocle. In 2010, the unemployment rate in Agrigento was equal to 19.2% twice the national average. Ancient Akragas covers a huge area—much of, still unexcavated today—but is exemplified by the famous Valle dei Templi; this comprises a large sacred area on the south side of the ancient city where seven monumental Greek temples in the Doric style were constructed during the 6th and 5th centuries BC. Now excavated and restored, they constitute some of the largest and best-preserved ancient Greek buildings outside of Greece itself.
They are listed as a World Heritage Site. The best-preserved of the temples are two similar buildings traditionally attributed to the goddesses Hera Lacinia and Concordia; the latter temple is remarkably intact, due to its having been converted into a Christian church in 597 AD. Both were constructed to a peripteral hexastyle design; the area around the Temple of Concordia was re-used by early Christians as a catacomb, with tombs hewn out of the rocky cliffs and outcrops. The other temples are much more fragmentary, having been toppled by earthquakes long ago and quarried for their stones; the largest by far is the Temple of Olympian Zeus, built to commemorate the Battle of Himera in 480 BC: it is believed to have been the largest Doric temple built. Although it was used, it appears never to have been completed; the remains of the temple were extensively quarried in the 18th century to build the jetties of Porto Empedocle. Te