mercoledì 5 febbraio 2014

What to visit nearby (1): Archaeological Park of Selinunte

The emphasis and wonder that arouse the ruins of Selinunte are legendary . The superlatives , metaphors , passionate tones that characterize the impressions of the great travelers of Selinunte may be contained in a book of hyperbole . Click on the photos to enlarge

Algernon Charles Swinburne wrote : " The ruins of Selinunte are scattered in various splendid piles , the number of columns still standing from afar resemble a large city with many spiers ... " . Guy de Maupassant , Selinunte is " an immense accumulation of collapsed columns , now aligned with and adjacent to the ground as dead soldiers, now plunged in a chaotic manner ."

                     In fact, the uniqueness of Selinunte is given by the vast amount of its ruins , by their size and their value, all of which , together, it is difficult to trace in other parts of the Western world. In 1993 was established the archaeological park , 270 acres large , and there is no day of the year , from spring to autumn , that large groups of visitors is estimated at between columns and sections of the moss that caresses , among decoration of the stands and clumps of mastic that grow in the cracks between those blocks of stone yellow gold worked by man , poised on one another in the Wild grew up with them , some clearing, small hedges , bushes, flowers , parsley flakes , a few trees, many varieties of green , all out of time, the museum arbitrary challenge to the measure and harmony .


                         You get lost among stones and sky , we hide behind the drums and it reappears under a lintel , tiny temples under the surviving giants dumb to remember the glory of their being gods. He was born rich , Selinunte, founded in the mid-seventh century BC by colonists from Megara Hyblaea , near Syracuse, in the heart of the domains spintisi Carthaginian island. The most western of the Greek colonies in Sicily was the wolf's den , between the Elimi Segesta and Phoenician-Punic Mozia . But for two centuries was prosperous and powerful , with its own brand , populous - it seems - of 80,000 inhabitants, on a limestone hill surrounded by two rivers, the Modione (the ancient Selinus ) and Cottone , on whose banks grew, luxuriant , wild parsley ( Selinus , in fact: in order to Selinunte) , in a fertile land - according to legend, tempered by the great Empedocles , named for the occasion - that sloped down toward the Sea of ​​Africa , beyond which the observed , concerned , the terrible Carthage. Yet the relationship between the two cities were for a long time of peaceful coexistence , based mainly on trade.

             Apart from the frequent border disputes with Segesta, Selinunte were being stabilizing, along with the original pro- Greek soul , customs , fashions typically Punic . And maybe that's why his artistic development is more complex and original than that of other Greek colonies in eastern Sicily , as can be seen in the extraordinary metopes adorning the fronts of temples, of which sixteen are specimens that are the most proud of regional Archaeological Museum in Palermo, ie , even in the so-called Efebo of Selinunte in bronze, efebo.jpg ( 40092 bytes ) recently moved to the Museum of Castelvetrano , which has , in addition to setting the whole Greek, indigenous clear characteristics .

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