Syracuse (Italian Siracusa; ancient Syracusa; see also List of traditional Greek place names) is a city on the eastern coast of Sicily and the capital of the province of Syracuse, Italy.
Once described by Cicero as "the greatest Greek city and the most beautiful of them all", the ancient core of Syracuse is part of the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Syracuse was founded in 734 BC by Greek settlers from Corinth, who called it Sirako ("swamp").
The settlers found the land to be fertile and the native tribes to be reasonably well-disposed to their presence.
The city grew and prospered, and for some time stood as the most powerful Greek city anywhere in the Mediterranean.
In the 5th century BC Syracuse came to be ruled by tyrants, who ruled until 211 BC, with some interruptions.
In the late 5th century, Syracuse found itself at war with Athens, which sought more resources to fight the Peloponnesian War.
The Syracusans enlisted the aid of a general from Sparta, Athens' foe in the war, to defeat the Athenians, destroy their ships, and leave them to starve on the island (see Sicilian Expedition).
In 401 BC, Syracuse contributed a force of 3000 hoplites and a general to Cyrus the Younger's Army of the Ten Thousand.
Not long after, in the early 4th century BC, the tyrant Dionysius managed to fight a war against Carthage and keep that power from capturing the whole of Sicily.
Perhaps the most famous Syracusan was the natural philosopher Archimedes.
Among his many inventions were various military engines including the claw of Archimedes, used to resist a Roman siege.
The city held out for three years, but fell in 212 BC to Marcus Claudius Marcellus.
For a more information about Syracuse see Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This page was retrieved and condensed from (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syracuse) December 2005
All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License (see Copyrights for details).
This information was correct in December 2005. E. & O.E.
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We did enjoy our tripping around.
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