Selinunte (Greek: Σελινοῦς; Latin: Selinus) is an ancient Greek archaeological site situated on the south coast of Sicily between the valleys of the rivers Belice and Modione in the province of Trapani.
Selinus was one of the most important of the Greek colonies in Sicily. It was founded, as we learn from Thucydides, by a colony from the Sicilian city of Megara, or Megara Hyblaea, under the conduct of a leader named Pammilus, about 100 years after the settlement of that city, with the addition of a fresh body of colonists from the parent city of Megara in Greece. The date of its foundation cannot be precisely fixed, as Thucydides indicates it only by reference to that of the Sicilian Megara, which is itself not accurately known, but it may be placed about 628 BCE. Diodorus indeed would place it 22 years earlier, or 650 BCE, and Hieronymus still further back, 654 BCE; but the date given by Thucydides, which is probably entitled to the most confidence, is incompatible with this earlier epoch.
The name is supposed to have been derived from the quantities of wild parsley (σελινὸς) which grew on the spot; and for the same reason a leaf of this parsley was adopted as the symbol of their coins.
By the 19th century, the site of the ancient city was wholly desolate, with the exception of a solitary guardhouse, and the ground for the most part thickly overgrown with shrubs and low brushwood; but the remains of the walls could be distinctly traced throughout a great part of their circuit.
They occupied the summit of a low hill, directly abutting on the sea, and bounded on the west by the marshy valley through which flows the river Madiuni, the ancient Selinus; on the east by a smaller valley or depression, also traversed by a small marshy stream, which separates it from a hill of similar character, where the remains of the principal temples are still visible.
The space enclosed by the existing walls is of small extent, so that it is probable the city in the days of its greatness must have covered a considerable area without them: and it has been supposed by some writers that the present line of walls is that erected by Hermocrates when he restored the city after its destruction by the Carthaginians. No trace is, however, found of a more extensive circuit, though the remains of two lines of wall, evidently connected with the port, are found in the small valley east of the city. Within the area surrounded by the walls are the remains of three temples, all of the Doric order, and of an ancient style; none of them were standing until the temple designated "Temple E" was re-erected in the 20th century, but the foundations of them all remain, together with numerous portions of columns and other architectural fragments, sufficient to enable one to restore the plan and design of all three without difficulty.
The largest of them is 70 m long by 25 m broad, and has 6 columns in front and 18 in length, a very unusual proportion. All these are hexastyle and peripteral. Besides these three temples there is a small temple or Aedicula, of a different plan, but also of the Doric order. No other remains of buildings, beyond mere fragments and foundations, can be traced within the walls; but the outlines of two large edifices, built of squared stones and in a massive style, are distinctly traceable outside the walls, near the northeast and northwest angles of the city, though their nature or purpose is unclear.
But much the most remarkable of the ruins at Selinus are those of three temples on the hill to the east, which do not appear to have been included in the city, but, as was often the case, were built on this neighbouring eminence, so as to front the city itself. All these temples are considerably larger than any of the three above described; and the most northerly of them is one of the largest of which we have any remains. It had 8 columns in front and 17 in the sides, and was of the kind called pseudo-dipteral. Its length was 110 m, and its breadth 55 m, so that it was actually longer than the great Temple of Olympian Zeus at Agrigentum, though not equal to it in breadth. From the columns being only partially fluted, as well as from other signs, it is clear that it never was completed; but all the more important parts of the structure were finished, and it must have certainly been one of the most imposing fabrics in antiquity. Only three of the columns are now standing, and these imperfect; but the whole area is filled up with a heap of fallen masses, portions of columns, capitals, and other huge architectural fragments, all of the most massive character, and forming, as observed by Swinburne, one of the most gigantic and sublime ruins imaginable. The two other temples are also prostrate, but the ruins have fallen with such regularity that the portions of almost every column lie on the ground as they have fallen; and it is not only easy to restore the plan and design of the two edifices, but it appears as if they could be rebuilt with little difficulty. These temples, though greatly inferior to their gigantic neighbour, were still larger than that at Segesta, and even exceed the great temple of Neptune at Paestum; so that the three, when standing, must have presented a spectacle unrivalled in antiquity. All these buildings may be safely referred to a period anterior to the Carthaginian conquest (409 BCE), though the three temples last described appear to have been all of them of later date than those within the walls of the city.
Model: Nikon E4300
Software: Capture NX 1.0.0 W
Exposure Time: 296208/100000000 sec
ISO Speed Ratings: 50
Focal Length: 17.4 mm
Date Taken: 2005-12-30 12:56
Metering Mode: Pattern
Flash: Flash did not fire, auto mode
File Size: 193 kb
Critiques | Translate
evanrizo (456) 2008-03-19 2:48
Ciao Paolo, except that the image is very good framed and shows us also the around place of the temple the notice-information are very interesting.
The lightness, colors and sharpness are fantastic.
mimagica (645) 2008-03-19 2:53
viva la Sicilia con tutte le sue bellezze. Selinunte è affascinante e questa foto gli rende merito.
albertopiubello (2623) 2008-03-19 2:54
mi è caduto subito l'occhio sulla tua foto per la bella luce; l'angolo è ottimo ed il tempio ben posizionato.
Avevo visitato la valle dei templi di Agrigento ma non avevo mai visto Selinunte: è ugualmente impressionante.
snunney (98265) 2008-03-19 3:11
A very good composition of these still imposing ruins. Excellent point of view that puts them in context for us. Colours and clarity are very good. Very comprehensive and interesting note.
avishek_khan (544) 2008-03-19 3:31
What an wonderful composition this is! The ruins of the ancient temples spanning over the green grassy expanse look awesome. The light is remarkably perfect.
difty93 (545) 2008-03-19 7:33
This is a beatiful panoramic photo of the italian landscape!
nice POV and colors!
chrisnet (22978) 2008-03-19 8:14
Sicily is a superb island with wonderful architectures! Good framing of the temple and the ruins, thanks for this interesting and historical view.
Budapestman (82620) 2008-03-19 10:01
Great shot for this place with beautiful details, the composition is very attractive. Colours and lights are splendid, note is excellent. Great! Have a nice day
ls7902 (7348) 2008-03-19 11:02
Such a charming tones of yellow & green. The stone slabs & sprinkling of white & yellow flowers make an attractive foreground. I like this composition with the temple nicely position along the line of more stone ruins. Best regards. Latiff.
bostankorkulugu (42426) 2008-03-19 11:15
greece in italy... my two beloved countries together... not your best shot technically but beautiful compo with the flowers on the foreground and good light as it is always in sicily... ciao... korkut
Cretense (68703) 2008-03-19 12:20
Excellent capture of this fantastic archaeological site! Perfect framing, perfect composition, blinding colours and very impressive sharpness and overall definition! Congratulations!
gneufeld (15890) 2008-03-19 12:47
A great image from a while ago shot with a small point and shoot? Excellent colors and details with effective contrasts and sharpness. Well done and TFS. Gerald
meltemi (0) 2008-03-19 13:21
visione mitica, meravigliosa la vista sui templi in queste condizioni atmosferiche, ottima la luce e il primo piano sui fiori primaverili, di grande utilità la nota, complimenti.
Wanda1 (15142) 2008-03-19 22:01
A lovely wide view of this ancient place. I like the foreground detail with the flowers, and the shot has good depth to the ruins beyond. Nice natural colouring.
COSTANTINO (64766) 2008-03-20 4:09
splendida foto da un posto molto interessante
con ottimi colori e luminosita. Bel lavoro veramente.
sacavem (18620) 2008-03-20 4:54
Very beautiful image of Temple of Hera.Good work to capture this image. Very good colour, contrast and definition. A good POV and good the presented depth.
Regards, and have a nice weekend,
scobert (5355) 2008-03-20 10:10
Superb photograph and notes! When I look at your photo my imagination starts to roam and I can almost envision all of the ancient civilizations (Phoenicians, Greeks, Carthaginians, Romans, Corsairs, Venetians, etc.) who occupied or traveled through this area. Wouldn't it be fun to travel in a time machine to witness all of the activity here throughout the centuries?! Your composition and beautiful lighting does great justice to this old site. Outstanding!
paololg (31448) 2008-03-20 15:02
La zona archelogica è di per se bella, ma con la luce che hai dato a questa immagine l'effetto è ancora più suggestivo. Bellissimo il primo piano. Complimenti, sei sempre bravo.
marietom (34609) 2008-03-21 3:50
Superbe composition, où premier plan et plan plus lointains sont très nets. Les couleurs sont jolies aussi.
cherryripe (21033) 2008-03-23 3:14
This looks more like spring than winter with all those flowers in the foreground. The green contrasts nicely with the colour of the ruins. The temple is nicely placed upper right.
carper (96) 2008-03-26 4:18
a very nice shot here Paolo,
good orginal point of view, nice balance and very nice to look at, and what a note, good photojob here, well done, have a nice evening.
PaulVDV (28815) 2008-04-11 12:30
First of all: I thought this was a Spring picture but then I saw you took it in December. Wow, Sicilia !
The colours are really nice, also those of the temple against the blue sky.
I like your POV and the composition very mmuch.
dareco (17134) 2008-04-15 6:48
A very beautiful picture with perfect color! An interesting scene and note. Very nice detail and sharpness. TFS
testmaniac (13508) 2008-05-14 11:04
Ciao Paolo, very nice photo with good composition, colors and POV! Very good photo job!
TFS and regards,
jmdias (63990) 2008-05-23 8:21
marvelous pov. The light and colors are fantastic too. I think we can see how is the place around the temple. The little flowers and other details are very interesting too.