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Selinunte  A  485-460  BC

Mertens, D., Der Tempel von Segesta  Deutsches Archaologisches Institut Rom. 1984

photo By Mboesch -, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Berve, Griechische Temple und Heiligturiter Himner Verlag, Munich, 1961: 221-222

Koldeway, R., O. Puchstein, Die Griechisheen Tempel in Unteritalien und Sicilien. Berlin, 1899

Musche, H.F. Monumnta Graeca et Romana. In Religious Architecture. Vol 2(1968), Fasc. 1

Woodward, Robert J., "An Architectural Investigation into the Relationship between Doric Temple Architecture and Identity in the Archaic and Classical Periods." 2012, Doctoral thesis.


Selinunte was one of the most important cities of Greek Italy, second  only to Syracuse. However, Selinunte's success soon earned it the envy of the Carthaginians who controlled pockets of western Sicily. In 409BC, the Carthaginians sent some 100,000 men to lay siege to the Selinunte, which was only able to hold out for nine days. The subsequent sacking involved the massacre of some 16,000 of the town’s inhabitants while most of the remaining citizens were taken into slavery. Only two thousand managed to escape and make their way to Agrigento.

The archaeology of Selinunte is unique, mainly because the entire city simply ceased to exist as a major population center in less than two weeks. Built between 480 and 460 BC, the peristyle measured around 40 x 16 meters along the stylobate and had 6 by 14 columns. The pronaos had a mosaic pavement depicting the Punic goddess of fertility, Tanit.  Little remains of Temple 'A' except for the rocky basement and the altar which was constructed between 490 and 460 BC. Inside there was a pronaos in antis, a naos with an adyton and an opisthodomos in antis. The naos was a step higher than the pronaos and the adyton was a step higher again. In the wall between the pronaos and the naos were two spiral staircases which led to the gallery above.

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