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date: 26 January 2021


  • Arthur Geoffrey Woodhead
  •  and R. J. A. Wilson


Catana (Κατάνη, Lat. Catina, mod. Catania), founded from *Naxos (2) in 729 bce, lies on the sea at the SE side of Mt. Aetna; to the south and west stretches the fertile Catania plain, coveted by the Syracusans, whose superior power dominated Catana for much of its history. Its lawgiver *Charondas was its most famous citizen in its early period. *Hieron (1) I removed the Catanaeans to Leontini and renamed the city Aetna, repeopling it with Doric mercenaries. In 461 these were expelled and the old name restored. The Athenians used Catana as a base in 415–413. Captured by *Dionysius (1) I in 403, it from then on formed part of the Syracusan empire, with brief intervals of independence or subjection to *Carthage. After 263, when the Romans captured it, it became a civitas decumana, and it flourished under the Roman republic (Cic. 2 Verr.

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