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The temple of Victoria seen from the Antiquarium

Himera was an ancient Greek city ​​on the north coast of Sicily .

The Victoria Temple


Himera is located at the Buonfornello station on the Messina – Fiumetorto railway line, which was closed in 2005 , 47 km east of Palermo, 10 km from Termini Imerese between the Imera Settentrionale (“Fiume Grande”) and the Torto river on the Tyrrhenian Sea . Behind the more than 1 km wide beach level, the city hill rises fairly steeply about 100 m west of the northern Himera river.


Himera was a Chalkidian - Doric mixed colony that was founded around 648 BC. Was founded by Zankle and the Myletiden expelled from Syracuse on the north coast of Sicily. The place was (apart from Mylai ) the only old Greek colony on the north coast of Sicily.

The great year of Himeras was 480 BC. Chr .: From the by Theron of Akragas threatened tyrant Terillos called landed the Carthaginians - supposedly in agreement with the attacking in the east Xerxes - at Himera, but were Theron in league with Gelon of Syracuse defeated . Internal battles led to a great bloodbath in 476 and the population was replenished with new settlers.

In the Peloponnesian War , Himera was loyal to Syracuse. 409 BC Himera fell victim to a great Carthaginian offensive and was avenged for the role that Himera played in the battle of 480 BC. Had played, totally destroyed; the survivors were settled in the Carthaginian colony of Thermai Himeraiai, today's Termini Imerese .

The destruction meant the end of the city.


The city of Himera was discovered in the 16th century. The excavations began around 1926 and lasted until 1930. During that time the temple of Victoria was excavated. From 1963 the city was systematically explored. Parts of the upper town were also excavated.


The Victoria Temple ( 37 ° 58 ′ 26.2 ″  N , 13 ° 49 ′ 26.9 ″  E ) and the museum near the Upper Town can be visited. In the Antiquarium of the archaeological zone, finds from Himera and the surrounding area can be viewed, including finds from the necropolis of Cefalù . Outstanding exhibits are the wedding grave, the lion's head as a gargoyle of the Victoria Temple and a prehistoric container from the 13th century BC.

Other finds from Himera can be found in the Municipal Museum of Termini Imerese and in the Archaeological Museum Antonino Salinas in Palermo .


  • Dieter Mertens : Cities and Buildings of the Western Greeks. From the colonization time to the crisis around 400 BC . Hirmer Verlag, Munich 2006, ISBN 3-7774-2755-1 .
  • Hans Meier-Welcker : Himera and the fortunes of the Greek Sicily . Boldt, Boppard am Rhein 1980, ISBN 3-7646-1757-8 .
  • Martin Dietrich: The Battle of Himera 480 BC A battle of the western Greeks against the Carthaginians during the Persian Wars . In: Antike Welt, 51 (2020), Issue 4, pp. 49–55.

Individual evidence

  1. [RE 8 (1913), col. 1613]
  2. LAW 1 (1965), col. 1300
  3. Diod. 11,48f. , [KlP 2 (), col. 1148]
  4. (Diod. 13, 79, 8; 13, 114, 1), [DNP 5 (1998), col. 560]

Coordinates: 37 ° 58 ′ 0 ″  N , 13 ° 49 ′ 0 ″  E