Six Battles of Thermopylae

2 August 2008
Thermopylae

Thermopylae

I’ve visited Thermopylae three times, have walked a bit through the mountains, climbed into an electric pylon to make the photo to the right – in short, it’s a place I like, even though it is, to quote a poet, “a guilty landscape” with almost too many historical associations. It is hard to imagine that this was once a narrow road along the coast and the site of six ancient battles. I already had something online, but expanded it. There’s a page about the landscape, a page about the famous battle in 480 BCE against the Persians, a page with Herodotus’ account, and a page with the other five battles (actually, six, but one of them was not really at Thermopylae).


Segesta

21 July 2008
The unfinished temple

The unfinished temple

Segesta (or Egesta) was a town on ancient Sicily, and is well-known for the Unfinished Temple that attracts thousands of visitors every year. Its history is dominated by a conflict with the nearby Greek city of Selinus, which forced the Segestans to ally themselves to Carthage, to Athens, to Pyrrhus, and to anyone who could offer support against the Selinuntians. Rome became Segesta’s protector during the First Punic War; after this conflict, Segesta’s countryside was exploited through villas with many slaves, and the town itself went into decline. I put online a brief history and some photos of the Unfinished Temple and the Theater.