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Was founded c.580 bce by the Geloans (see gela) in Sican territory in central southern Sicily. One of the most substantial Hellenic cities in size and affluence, it occupied a large bowl of land, rising to a lofty acropolis on the north and protected on the other by a ridge. Its early acquisition of power was owed to the tyrant Phalaris. In 480Theron was the ally of Gelon in his victory at Himera. After expelling Thrasydaeus, Theron's son, Acragas had a limited democratic government, in which Empedocles, its most famous citizen, took part in his generation. Acragantine 6th- and 5th-cent. prosperity is attested by a remarkable series of temples, the remains of which are among the most impressive of any Greek city, and by its extensive, wealthy necropoleis. Sacked by the Carthaginians in 406, Acragas revived to some extent under Timoleon and Phintias (286–280 bce), but suffered much in the Punic Wars. By the late republic, to which period a temple, a bouleutērion and a gymnasium belong, it was again wealthy, and under Augustus it was one of the Sicilian cities favoured with a grant of ius Latii. In the post-Roman period its inhabited area contracted to the old acropolis, where the heart of the modern city (which covers only a fraction of the area of its ancient counterpart) still lies. See neutrality.


Ancient descriptions

Pindar, Pythian Odes 12 beg.Find this resource:

    Polybius 9. 27.Find this resource:

      Strabo 6. 2. 5.Find this resource:

        Modern works

        R. Stillwell and others, Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites (1976), 23–26.Find this resource:

          Bibliografia topografica della colonizzazione greca in Italia e nelle isole tirreniche 1984, 66–128.Find this resource:

            E. Gabba and G. Vallet (eds.), La Sicilia antica (1980), 1. 485–495.Find this resource:

              J. A. De Waele, Acragas Graeca: Die historische Topographie des griechischen Akragas auf Sizilien 1 (1971).Find this resource:

                Veder Greco: Le necropoli di Agrigento (1988).Find this resource:

                  L. Braccesi and E. de Miro (eds.), Agrigento e la Sicilia greca (1992).Find this resource:

                    R. J. A. Wilson, Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt 2. 11. 1 (1988) 177–85.Find this resource:

                      R. J. A. Wilson, Sicily under the Roman Empire (1990) passim.Find this resource:

                        M. H. Hansen and T. H. Nielsen (eds.), An Inventory of Archaic and Classical Poleis (2004), no. 9.Find this resource:

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