Panormus (Sicily) 75 Palermo - Πάνορμος

Πάνορμος - Panormus, Archaic to Late Antique polis, Palermo in Sicily, Italy
polis

Modern description Princeton Encyclopedia

The ancient town is under the well-known city on the NW coast of Sicily. Together with Soloeis and Motya, it belonged to that group of W Sicilian cities to which, according to Thucydides (6.2), the Phoenicians retreated when the Greeks arrived in Sicily, especially in E Sicily where the Phoenicians themselves had settled. Greek imports found in the necropolis, especially proto-Corinthian vases, seem to confirm the foundation date mentioned by Thucydides, that is, ca. mid 7th c. B.C. The name of the city was presumably given to it by the Greeks, who must have been on excellent terms, at least at the commercial level, with the local inhabitants, as attested by the considerable Greek material found within the necropolis.
Besides Thucydides' account, no other information is available until the first Punic war; it is likely however that the city was involved in earlier Graeco-Punic relationships on account of its strategic position and harbor. The Phoenicians always defended Panormos not only during the Punic wars fought by Dionysios of Syracuse but also, more than a century later, when Pyrrhos made one last attempt to unify Sicily under Greek political domination. On that occasion (276 B.C.), Pyrrhos conquered the city but held it for only a short time. The Romans occupied it in 254 B.C. but in 250 B.C., Asdrubal tried to recapture it on behalf of the Carthaginians; he was defeated by the Consul Metellus near the river Oreto. Again in 247 B.C. the Carthaginian general Hamilcar Barca occupied the plateau of Mount Eircte near Panormos, which is almost certainly to be identified with Monte Pellegrino, while the Romans held the city at the foot of the mountain. After three years, Hamilcar abandoned his position and the city passed into Roman hands.
The habitation center was delimited by the sea to the N, Piazza Indipendenza to the S, and the two streams Papireto and Kemonia to the W and E respectively. The entire area was divided into palaeapolis to the S and neapolis to the N, and was surrounded by walls of which a few stretches remain, though heavily repaired in later periods.
The necropolis of Palermo occupies a considerable area defined by Piazza Indipendenza to the N, Via Cuba and Via Pindemonte to the S, Corso Pisani to the E, and Via Danisinni to the W. Several hundred graves have been found, both inhumation and cremation burials in rock-cut chambers or pits. Inhumation was practiced in limestone sarcophagi, cremation in amphoras and pots of various shapes and sizes. From the extent of the cemetery it is estimated that Panormos, after the Punic period, had a population of ca. 30,000, deserving Polybios' description of it (1.38) as the most important city of the Carthaginian dominions. The finds from the necropolis consist largely of Greek vases, both imports and local imitations, of various shapes and periods; there are also objects of silver, bronze, bone, glass, and a few coins and limestone cippi. Panormos had its own mint.
The Archaeological Museum in Palermo is one of the most important in Italy, containing all the archaeological material found in Selinus, Soloeis, Panormos, and many other Sicilian cities, as well as objects from various private collections. (V. TUSA)

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