The monumentalization of Akragas

Empedocles, the political philosopher

Empedocles was another very important political figure for Akragas. He lived from 492 to 430 BC and after Theron’s death abolished tyranny. He was entrusted with the government of the city. He was a very wise and respected individual, not only for his political role but also for his writings and recognised philosophical and medical knowledge. During this period ancient Agrigento reached the height of its power, which still echoes amongst its ruins.
The economic situation continued to prosper even after Theron’s reign, making Akragas one of the richest Greek cities, and its inhabitants the most opulent in Sicily.
The fields flourished, cultivated with vineyards and olive groves, and the products were exchanged in the copious and thriving trade with Carthage. In the meantime, the temple construction sites that crowded the southern part of the city continued uninterrupted.
Diodorus tells us that the people of Agrigento in that period enjoyed great prosperity and were accustomed to luxury from birth. It was for this very reason that, as Diogenes Laërtius recounts, Empedocles criticised his fellow citizens, stating that “the Agrigentines live luxuriously as if they would die tomorrow, but build their houses as if they would live forever”.
A legend tells that Empedocles died in 430 BC by throwing himself into Etna ‘s crater.

The Temple of Hera Lacinia

The cult of Demeter and Persephone

The walls of Akragas in the fifth century BC

The Akragas building sites

The Temple of Concordia

The Eleusinian mysteries

The Kolymbetra Garden

The sanctuary of the chthonic deities

Akragas in the beginning

Theron, tyrant of the arts and victories

The Temple of Demeter

Phalaris, the terrible tyrant

The Sanctuary of Asclepius: a place of welcome for the sick

A monument for the victory over Carthage: the Temple of Olympian Zeus

The most beautiful city of mortals

Empedocles, the political philosopher

From pagan cults to Christian worship: the Church of St. Gregory

The Temple of Heracles

The lively decorations of the temple

The Temple of Asclepius

The Twelve Labours of Heracles

Reinforcement of natural ramparts

Sacrifices for the goddesses that made the fields fertile

Vegetation in the Gardens