Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The origins of the Elymians are unknown. Thucydides wrote about the Elymians as refugees from Troy. When the city was destroyed, to avoid being captured by the Achaeans, a group of Trojans escaped and, after a long journey through the Mediterranean sea, landed in Sicily, close to the Sicani. Plutarch remembers the Trojan origin of the Segestans. Others wrote about their Anatolian origins.
The three most important cities of the Elymians were: Segesta (called Egesta by the ancient Greeks), the political center; Eryx (the modern Erice), the city that hosted the religion most diffused through the Elymian region; and Entella.
There has been speculation that the Elymians may have been related to the ancient Ligurians. This hypothesis is largely based on the following extraordinary coincidence: the names of the above-mentioned three Elymian cities coincide exactly with the names of three ancient coastal cities of Liguria: Segesta Tigulliorum (the modern Sestri Levante ), Eryx (the modern Lerici), and Entella (the modern Lavagna ).
On the other hand, numerous connections have been pointed out between what is known of Elymian religion and mythology and the religion and mythology of ancient Anatolia.
The Elymians were strong enough to resist Greek colonies such as Selinunte.
This ancient city was the political and administrative center for the Elymian people. It has one of the best preserved temples and an amazing theater.
This ancient city was the religious center for the Elymian people. Eryx was founded at the top of a mount, close to Drepanon the actual Trapani.
Some tablets were found near the modern Contessa Entellina. They have been referred to as "Nakone's Decrees ". The characters used in them are Greek, but the language is completely different. Evidently, the Elymians used the Greek alphabet to write their language.
Other cities were Elima , Halyciae (referred to as Alicia in modern Italian sources), Iatae , Hypana .
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