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Tindari, anciently Tyndaris or Tyndarion (Greek: Τυνδαρίς, Strab.; Τυνδάριον, Ptol.) is a small city (a frazione) in the comune of Patti, in the Province of Messina in Sicily, between Barcellona Pozzo di Gotto and Cefalù.

Tindari has a famous sanctuary and is also famous for the poem "Vento a Tindari", written by Salvatore Quasimodo.



Tyndaris was situated on a bold and lofty hill standing out as a promontory into the spacious bay of the Tyrrhenian Sea bounded by the Punta di Milazzo on the east, and the Capo Calavià on the west, and was distant according to the Itineraries 36 miles from Messana (modern Messina).[1] It was a Greek city, and one of the latest of all the cities in Sicily that could claim a purely Greek origin, having been founded by the elder Dionysius in 396 or 395 BC. The original settlers were the remains of the Messenian exiles, who had been driven from Naupactus, Zacynthus, and the Peloponnese by the Spartans after the close of the Peloponnesian War. These had at first been established by Dionysius at Messana, when he repeopled that city; but the Spartans having taken umbrage at this, he transferred them to the site of Tyndaris, which had previously been included in the territory of Abacaenum. The colonists themselves gave to their new city the name of Tyndaris, from their native divinities, the "Tyndaridae" or Dioscuri, and readily admitting fresh citizens from other quarters, soon raised their whole population to the number of 5000 citizens.[2] The new city thus rose at once to be a place of considerable importance.

It is next mentioned in 344 BC, when it was one of the first cities that declared in favor of Timoleon after his landing in Sicily.[3] At a later period we find it mentioned as espousing the cause of Hieron, and supporting him during his war against the Mamertines, 269 BC. On that occasion he rested his position upon Tyndaris on the left, and on Tauromenium (modern Taormina) on the right.[4] Indeed the strong position of Tyndaris rendered it in a strategic point of view as important a post upon the Tyrrhenian, as Tauromenium was upon the Sicilian sea, and hence we find it frequently mentioned in subsequent wars. In the First Punic War it was at first dependent upon Carthage; and though the citizens, alarmed at the progress of the Roman arms, were at one time on the point of revolting to Rome, they were restrained by the Carthaginians, who carried off all the chief citizens as hostages.[5] In 257 BC, the Battle of Tyndaris took place off Tyndaris, between that city and the Liparaean islands, in which a Roman fleet under Gaius Atilius Regulus obtained some advantage over the Carthaginian fleet, but without any decisive result.[6] The Roman fleet is described on that occasion as touching at the promontory of Tyndaris, but the city had not yet fallen into their hands, and it was not till after the fall of Panormus (modern Palermo), in 254 BCE, that Tyndaris expelled the Carthaginian garrison and joined the Roman alliance.[7]

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