Abstract: The Greeks in Sicily
Lecturer: Barbara Barletta
Beginning in the 8th century B.C.E., Greek settlers established new homes in Sicily. This island proved to be extremely productive in terms of both agriculture and trade. It thus became one of the wealthiest and most powerful areas of the Greek world. At the same time as the Greeks of the mainland celebrated their victory over the Persians, those of Sicily were victorious against the Carthaginians.
Because the initial colonies were founded before the emergence of large-scale architecture and sculpture in the homeland, the Sicilian Greeks developed their own distinctive traditions. Their temples were larger and often more innovative than those of the mainland and their sculpture, limited by the lack of marble, relied on other materials and techniques. This lecture explores the artistic traditions of Sicily, discussing how they were different from, yet drew upon, those elsewhere. With the conquest of Syracuse by Rome in 212 B.C.E., the Sicilian Greeks lost their independence but their rich heritage lived on through a new power.