Pictures & Images of Sicily. Photos of Sicilian Historic & Landmark Sites { 27 galleries }

Pictures of Sicily and Sicilian landmarks and historical monuments. Sicily is one of the most surprising Islands in the Mediterranean and was an at the centre of ancient and medieval Mediterranean history. The ancient greeks realised the potential of the fertile plains of Sicily and built the new city states of Magna Graecia in Sicily. Great ancient Greek cities like Syracuse can be found on Sicily and it was there that Archimedes had his eureka moment. All around the southern coast of Sicily are important archaeological and UNESCO World Heritage sites, so If you want to see some of the best Greek Temples or Greek theatres go to Sicily.

The Carthaginians realised the potential of Sicily and came into conflict with both the Greeks and later the Romans who occupied Sicily in 143 BC. Many of the Punic War battle between the Romans and Carthaginians took place off the shores of Sicily and despite the incredible efforts of Hannibal crossing the alps into Italy, the Carthaginians eventually lost.
The Romans developed Sicily into a grain production Island. Huge estates produced wheat that was handed out as the dole to the citizens of Rome. Sicilian Romans grew rich on the land and the extent of their wealth can be seen today at the ruins of Villa Romana del Casale. The Villa de Casale is in the heart of Sicily and was at a centre of a huge latifundium, agricultural estate, around the 4th century AD. The site was excavated in the 1960s to reveal the largest in situ Roman mosaics yet found. The mosaics of the Villa are both large and sumptuous depicting hunting scenes, wild animals from Africa, scenes from the Circus and the famous Bikini Girls, Roman women exercising in Bikini style dress.

When the Western Roman Empire went into decline Sicily was occupied by the Ostrogoths but in the 6th century the Eastern Roman Byzantines reconquered the Island and held the Sicily until it was conquered in 827 by Islamic Berbers and Arabs. The arabic influences are still visible in Sicily today. The Arabs were skilled at irrigation and brought exotic fruits such as lemons to Sicily. The value and skill of Islamic Sicilians was realised in 1030 when Sicily was conquered by Normans. Rather than expelling the Arabs the Normans let them stay. Under Roger II Sicily became not only a tolerant Kingdom where Christians, Jew and Muslims lived in peace together but also a major centre of Culture. The Norman kings embraced Muslim culture as can be seen in the Palatine Palace Chapel in the Norman Palace in Palermo. The interior decoration of the Palatine Chapel fuses Byzantine Roman Mosaics with Berber designs to make a political statement. This open minded thinking attracted the great artists, writers and thinkers to the Sicilian court of Roger II. Download pictures of Sicily as stock photos or buy as photo wall art on line.

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