Canal March

The quadruple Syracuse

Antonio Alvar

The Professor of Latin Philology at the Universidad de Alcalá, Antonio Alvar, presents a journey through the Greek and Roman past of the city of Syracuse, considered one of the best ports of the central Mediterranean and which would become the biggest city on the Mediterranean during the fifth century BC. On the basis of ancient literary sources including Ovid, Pindar, Plautus and Ausonius, some of the city’s highlights are described: the legend of the nymph Arethusa and its foundation by settlers from Corinth during the eighth century BC, the papyrus trade, the splendour of the fifth century BC with victories in the Panhellenic Games as well as the city’s participation in the Peloponesian War and Plato’s trips there. After the Roman conquest in the year 212 BC, it became the capital of a Roman province, the period from which the forum, amphitheatre and thermal baths all date.

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