Siracusa | Syracuse Pictures Photos Images & Fotos { 59 images } Created 5 Sep 2009

Pictures images photos of Syracuse, one of the most famous cities of the Ancient Greek world. The city was founded by Ancient Greek Corinthians in the south of Sicily and became a very powerful city-state. Syracuse was allied with Sparta and Corinth, exerting influence over the entire Magna Grecia area of which it was the most important city. Archimedes (. 287 BC – c. 212 BC), the Greek mathematician, physicist, engineer, inventor, and astronomer, lived and died in Syracuse. He was considered to be the greatest mathematician of antiquity and one of the greatest of all time calculating a remarkably accurate approximation of pi. The Roman’s besieged Syracuse in 212 BC and eventually broke and and sacked the city. The soldiers were under orders not to harm Archimedes but unfortunately an over zealous soldier who may not have recognized Archimedes killed him. Syracusa became the Roman capital of Sicily but its glory faded as did its status. After the fall of the western Roman Empire Syracuse was taken first by the Vandals then recaptured for the Eastern Byzantine Roman Empire by by Belisarius in 535. In the 9th century Muslims started to conquer Sicily and Syracuse fell to the Aghlabids after another siege in 878. The new Emirate of Sicily moved the capital of the Island from Syracuse to Palermo. The Cathedral was converted into a mosque and the quarter on the Ortygia island was gradually rebuilt along Islamic styles. The city, nevertheless, maintained important trade relationships, and housed a relatively flourishing cultural and artistic life: several Arab poets, including Ibn Hamdis, the most important Sicilian poet of the 12th century, flourished in the city. In 1038, the Byzantine general George Maniakes reconquered the city, sending the relics of St. Lucy to Constantinople. The eponymous castle on the cape of Ortygia bears his name, although it was built under the Hohenstaufen rule. In 1085 the Normans entered Syracuse, one of the last Arab strongholds, after a summer-long siege by Roger I of Sicily and his son Jordan of Hauteville, who was given the city as count. New quarters were built, and the cathedral was restored, as well as other churches. In 1542 and 1693 southern Sicily was devastated by two earthquakes. The reconstruction was carried out in the style of the Baroque and Syracuse Cathedral is a wonderful example of Sicilian Baroque. After the Unification of Italy of 1865, Syracuse regained its status of provincial capital. In 1870 the walls were demolished and a bridge connecting the mainland to Ortygia island was built.

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