Sites & cities that bear the name of Agira


Today in : Italy
First trace of activity : ca. 5th century B.C.E
Last trace of activity : today
Recorded names : Ἀγύριον, Agyrion, Agyrium, Ἀγύρινα, Agyrina, Agirium, شنت فيلب, Shanta Fīlibb, Aggira, San Filippo d'Argiriò

Description : Agira (Italian pronunciation: ; Sicilian: Aggira, Ancient Greek: Ἀγύριον) is a town and comune in the province of Enna, Sicily (southern Italy). It is located in the mid-valley of the River Salso, 35 kilometres (22 miles) from Enna. Until 1861 it was called San Filippo d'Argiriò, in honour of its saint Philip of Agira. Agira stands on the site of the ancient Sicel city of Agyrion (Ancient Greek: Ἀγύριον - Agyrion), or Agyrium, and Agyrina (Ancient Greek: Ἀγύρινα), which was ruled by tyrants, one of whom, Agyris, was the most powerful ruler in the centre of Sicily. He was a contemporary of Dionysius the Elder, and with him successfully resisted the Carthaginian forces led by Mago when they invaded the territory of Agyrium in 392 BC. Agira was not colonised by the Greeks until the Corinthian general Timoleon drove out the last tyrant in 339 BC, settled 10,000 Greeks, according to Diodorus Siculus, a native of the city, and erected various splendid buildings; no traces remain, as the modern city overlies the ancient one. Diodorus Siculus credits Heracles with the foundation of sacred precincts of Iolaus and of Geryon, and the creation of a nearby lake. In the mid fifth century, Agyrium was the first Sicilian city to mint bronze coinage in the Greek fashion. The Romans called it Agirium. Under their control it underwent a decline, as a result of the heavy taxation imposed on it. In 1063, it was taken by the Normans under Count Roger I of Sicily (Ruggero in Italian), who defeated the Saracens near the river Salso. Agira is mentioned by Muhammad al-Idrisi by the name Shanta Fīlibb (i.e., Saint Philip of Agira), written as شنت فيلب in the Arabic script. Agira passed through the hands of the Hohenstaufen, the Angevines and Aragonese, and in about 1400 it became state property of Sicily. Over the years the town has been influenced by Spanish and Jewish arrivals, both leaving their architectural mark, the latter a synagogue.

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