History of Sicily
2 The First Peoples: 2.7.1 Town of Sican origin

Main places of Sican origin:


It is the city over which the mythical king Sicano Cocalo ruled before he moved his residence to Camico. Di-Blasi calls it Indara[1] In the past, it was wanted to place the site of this town in the Ragusa beach called Longobardo, but the definitive identification of the place with that of the ancient city of Caucana caused the site of Inico to be moved to the west. The most widespread opinion is that which places it in the territory of Menfi where archaeological finds dating back to the Iron Age (IX-VIII century BC) have been found in Contrada Montagnoli del Belice.



It is the city that legend has it built by the Cretan Daedalus and in which King Sicano Cocalo moved there, it is believed that the site is that of S. Angelo di Muxaro, 26 km northwest of Agrigento, where they actually prehistoric inhabitants of the Copper and Bronze Age have been discovered and, recently, in a sort of natural hypogea at a depth of 20-30 meters, Mycenaean bronzes and ceramics (8.80th century BC) have been found. Among the tombs identified belonging to the bronze, of particular interest is the tomb called the tomb of the prince, consists of a large circular chamber with a domed vault, with a diameter of m. 3.50 and approximately XNUMX m high, with an adjoining round burial chamber. This tomb and other smaller ones found (some dating back to the XNUMXth century BC) have a typology similar to the Mycenaean tombs, thus reconfirming the relations existing between Sicily and the Aegean world, even before the Greek colonization.


Of uncertain location, it must have been in eastern Sicily, not far from Agrigento, as historical sources know that it was beaten, together with Camico, by the tyrant of Agrigento Falaride (XNUMXth century BC).



The probable site is to be placed in the vicinity of Corleone (Mountain of Horses). The city is remembered by Cicero [2], during his oratory against the governor Verre, as one of the cities he plundered. The geographer Filippo Cluverio also places Schera in the vicinity of Corleone.



The town that according to the writer Solarino[3] was of Sican origin was sacked by Nicias during the Athenian expedition of 415 BC As can be deduced from the stories of Plutarch[4] and Diodorus Siculus[5]. The site of this town is perhaps to be assigned near Carini near Palermo. The Carini area is affected by various archaeological remains, including the Caves of Maccagnone and Carburangeli) which testify to the presence of man since the upper Paleolithic.



Its name derives from Tria Kalá "Three beautiful things" thus recalls Diodorus Siculus (lib. XXXVI, 7):

< They say that Triocala is so named for having three beauties: as before, the abundance of running waters, excellent for their sweetness; second, a surrounding region which produces wines and oil and can be admirably cultivated; third, the exceptionally strong position, as if it were a large, impregnable rock.>

Of uncertain location, it must have been west of Agrigento, not far from Caltabellotta. Historiography remembers it as that city, which during the second servile war in Sicily (104-100 BC), hosted the headquarters of a rebel slave leader named Salvius who had assumed the royal title of Tryphon. It appears in the list of cities looted by the thief-governor Verre[6].



It could be the same Scirtea not far from Triocala, interested in the same events during the second servile war[7]A certain onomastic resemblance led to the belief that the site was located with the Acristia Castle near Caltabellotta. A group of fugitives from Scirtea would have founded Burgio.



Alunzio also known by the name of Haluntium, was probably of Sican origin, the site is to be located on a hill on the northern coast of Sicily, not far from Tindari, where today the town of San Marco di Alunzio stands. Historiographic tradition has it that this city was founded by Aeneas who passed from Sicily to the head of some Trojans[8].

A curious episode told by Cicero (Verrine lib. IV.51) is linked to this city:

When the governor Verre found himself visiting these places, he did not personally enter the city in order not to face the fatigue of the climb which was difficult and steep; instead he called Arcágato di Alunzio, a character respected throughout the area, and entrusted him with the task of immediately bringing down from the city to the sea all the chiseled silverware and possibly also all the Corinthian vases existing in Alunzio. The good Arcágato was forced to announce in public the content of the order received. The population did not have the courage to oppose the order of Verre who, with the typical tranquility of a tyrant, awaited the arrival of Arcágato and the silverware, lying on his litter by the sea, at the foot of the city. Once the booty had been brought down, Verre's men tore off almost all the silver objects, the coatings and the embedded reliefs, leaving the perfectly smooth silverware to the poor inhabitants of Alunzio.



Known as Omphake, we want to identify the site with that of the current Butera (CL), where the remains of a Sican-Sicilian necropolis were found not far away, the necropolis is located in Piano della Fiera, and in addition to the characteristic tombs in oven of the Sicilian populations, there are also stepped tombs and a large dolmen tomb with enclosure dating back perhaps to the seventh century. BC According to the historian Pausanias[9] the Sican town was conquered by the Greek colonists at the time of the foundation of Gela (about 690 BC).



Of this city there is no news from literary sources, but about its existence we would have news from some coins preserved in the British Museum in London. The site was identified a few km from Castroreale (ME) near the villages of Rodi and Milici, about 7 km from the coast; the remains indicate that the city was fortified and that it was abandoned towards the XNUMXth century BC, perhaps destroyed by Messina during its expansion. Cave tombs from the Bronze Age (XVIII-XV century BC) and Iron Age (IX-VIII century BC) have been found, the remains belonging to the Bronze Age could suggest a Sican origin of the town Not far away flows the Longano river which would have given the town its name.

Other places frequented at the time of the Sicans:

Notes: the distinction between the localities of Sican origin from those of Sicilian origin is not always clear, therefore some of the localities indicated below could have a later origin due to the Sicilians.

Your name



Tindari, tourist resort in the municipality of Patti (ME)


Adrano (CT)


Palazzolo Acreide (SR)


Alia (PA)


Alimena (PA)


Monte Vecchio in the municipality of San Fratello (PA)


On Monte Sella about 40 km north-east of Enna (it is not certain whether it is Sican or Sicilian)


Bronte (CT)


Buccheri (SR)


Buscemi (SR)


Caltagirone (CT)


Near the hamlet of Testa dell'Acqua between the municipalities of Noto and Palazzolo Acreide.


Casteltermini (AG)


Castelvetrano (TP)


Trapani (TP)

En Naan

Enna (EN)


Gela (CL)


Isnello (PA)


Monte Cassaro near Castronovo di Sicilia (PA)




Centuripe (EN)


Maletto (CT)


Marineo (PA)


Location Serra Orlando about 5 km from Aidone


Canicattì (AG)


Mussomeli (CL)


Not far from Butera (CL)


Not far from ferla (SR)


Partanna (TP)

Petra Caulonia

Pietraperzia (EN)


Ribera (AG)


Rossomanno, 5 km from Valguarnera


Town of Sabucina, 6 km from Caltanissetta

Santo Stefano Quisquina

Santo Stefano Quisquina (AG)


San Cataldo (CL)




[1]              (14.25.I) History of the Kingdom of Sicily. vol.I.

[2]              Cicero: Verrine lib.III.103

[3]              (5.78.I) Raffaele Solarino: The County of Modica

[4]              (40.145) Plutarch: Life of Nicias.

[5]              (39.129)

[6]              Cicero: Verrine. lib V.10.

[7]              Diodorus Siculus lib. XXXVI, 8

[8]              (14.43.I) Giovanni E. Di-Blasi: History of the Kingdom of Sicily.

[9]              (Pausanias lib. VIII.46)



History of Sicily by Ignazio Caloggero

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