Agrigento History

Despite its foundation being attributed to Daedalus who fled from King Minos of Crete to Sicily, history dictates that Agrigento was founded in approximately 580 BC by Greek colonists who gave it the name Akragas after the river which runs through the eastern part of the city (now known as the San Biagio river). The city grew quickly, becoming a rich and famous Greek colony famed for the indulgent lifestyle of its inhabitants. The city remained neutral throughout the conflicts between Athens and Syracuse but eventually was overthrown by the Carthiginians in 406 BC. Akragas suffered extensively during Roman times as Rome and Carthage battled over control of the city and it was finally captured by Rome in 210 BC who renamed it Agrigentum. The city returned to prosperity during Roman rule but after the fall of the Empire the city passed to Byzantine control until 828 AC when the Saracens took the diminished city. The Normans captured the city in 1087 and, despite the population falling during the Medieval period, the city was revived after the 18th Century.

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