The Archaeology of Ancient Sicily

By R. Ross Holloway | Go to book overview

Since the 1960s English readers have turned to two admirable works for knowledge of Sicilian archaeology, T.J. Dunbabin’s (1948, repr. 1964) The Western Greeks, The History of Sicily and South Italy from the Foundation of the Greek Colonies to 480 B.C, Oxford, and L. Bernabo Brea’s (1957) Sicily before the Greeks, London. Both, however, have aged. More recent books in English concerned with Greek Sicily have brought the treatment of The Western Greeks up to date only in part. Among these one may mention A.G. Woodhead (1962), The Greeks in the West, London; M.I. Finley (1968), A History of Ancient Sicily to the Arab Conquest, London; E. Sjöqvist (1973), Sicily and the Greeks, The Jerome Lectures, Ann Arbor, Mich., and J. Boardman (1980), The Greeks Overseas, 2nd edn, London. For prehistory Bernabò Brea’s treatment has found no successor outside Italy, although Sicilian prehistory and Greek colonization were placed in a wider context by R.R. Holloway (1981), Italy and the Aegean: 3000-700 BC, Archaeologia Transatlantica, vol. 1, Providence, RI, and Louvain. A collection of photographs by Max Hirmer with commentary was published by E. Langlotz (1965), Ancient Greek Sculpture of South Italy and Sicily, New York, while a thorough collection of sculpture in stone and bronze from the same region was published by R.R. Holloway (1975), Influences and Styles in the Late Archaic and Early Classical Greek Sculpture of Sicily and Magna Graecia, Louvain.
The bibliography in Italian is understandably richer. B. Pace’s (1935) Arte e Civiltà nella Sicilia Antica, Milan, (4 vols, 2nd edn of vol. 1, Milan, 1949, is still basic. More recent is the work by a team of authors under the editorship of E. Gabba and G. Vallet (1980), La Sicilia Antica, Palermo, 2 vols in 5 parts. A similar, and magnificently illustrated, volume, edited by G. Pugliesi Carratelli (1985) Sikanie, storía e civiltà della Sicilia greca, Milan, has been sponsored by the Credito Italiano; a companion volume dealing with the indigenous people of Sicily and Italy has been announced. A detailed summary ofSicilian prehistory is given by S. Tusa (1983), La Sicilia nella preistoria, Palermo.
An important bibliographical tool is now being produced under the editorship of G. Nenci and G. Vallet (1977 ff.), Bibliografia Topografica della Colonizzazione Greca in Italia e nelle Isole Tirreniche, Pisa and Rome. Vol. 5 (1987) carries the bibliography of individual sites through ‘Crotone’. A noteworthy addition to general bibliographies is G.A.M. Arena (1985) Bibliografia Generate delle Isole Eolie, Biblioteca dell’ Archivio Storico Messinese, vol. 3. There are two older works with excellent topographical coverage. The first is Enciclopedia dell’Arte Antica (1958-73) in seven volumes with supplement and atlas, Rome. A further supplement is in preparation. The second is R. Stillwell (ed.) (1976) The Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites, Princeton, NJ. A detailed bibliography for the preceding years was published by P.G. Guzzo and R. Paris in (1983) Bollettino d’arte pp. 99-135 and as a supplement to the same periodical (1985) pp. 5-59. Otherwise the basic bibliographic source is the annual Archäologische Bibliographie of the German Archaeological Institute.
Reports of current work are to be found in Sicilia Archeologica, Trapani, in Kokalos, Palermo, especially in the volumes of Kokalos devoted to the successive congresses of Sicilian archaeology, the Proceedings of the Fifth Congress in (1980-1) vols 26-7 and of the Sixth Congress in (1984-5) vols 30-1. Reports published at intervals and in each case covering several years’ work are found in Archaeological Reports (Society for the Promotion of Hellenic Studies) and Archäologischer Anzeiger (German Archaeological Institute).
There are two excellent and recent archaeological guidebooks for Sicily. The guide of F. Coarelli and M. Torelli (1984), Sicilia, Guide archeologiche Laterza, covers the entire island. The guide by V. Tusa and E. De Miro (1983), Sicilia occidentale, Itinerari archeologici, Newton Compton, covers central Sicily as well as the west. Both have extensive bibliographies.
The titles grouped in the following bibliography include only works published after 1980. Some of the greatest names ofSicilian archaeology are therefore absent. First and foremost among them is Paolo


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The Archaeology of Ancient Sicily
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • List of Illustrations ix
  • Preface xvii
  • 1 - Prehistoric Sicily 1
  • 2 - Early Greek Sicily 43
  • 3 - Late Archaic and Classical Greek Sicily 97
  • 4 - Coinage 121
  • 5 - Later Greek, Punic and Roman Sicily 141
  • 6 - The Villa at Piazza Armerina 167
  • Notes 179
  • Bibliography (1980-9) 185
  • Index 203


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