Ortygia, the cradle of the goddess Artemis

Some findings in the heart of Ortygia have provided proof of ancient worship in this land.
Of particular interest was a Greek protocorinthian vase, called oinochoe by the Greeks, which depicts a goddess identified in the figure of Artemis.


Apollo’s twin sister, Artemis was revered as the goddess of hunting and moonlight. The oinochoe fragment, the oldest proof of the worship of Artemis in Ortygia, shows the Greek goddess according to the iconography of the Potnia Theron, the “Mistress of Animals” who holds in her hands a deer and a leopard.
Artemis was one of the first deities introduced to Sicily. In Syracuse, a solemn feast took place in honour of the goddess considered, for all intents and purposes, the city’s protector, like the patron saints of modern times.
The feast, which took place between March and April, is remembered in the story of the siege of Syracuse by the Roman consul Marcus Claudius Marcellus, for its connotation of joy and wide participation of the inhabitants.
The importance of the worship of Artemis in Syracuse seems to be confirmed in a passage by Pindar who defines the whole island of Ortygia as the “home of Artemis”.
The goddess of hunting is also linked to worship at the Fountain of Arethusa .

Inside the Cathedral of Ortygia

Crypt of San Marciano

Syracuse during the tyranny of Dionysius

The Dionysian Walls: a masterpiece of Greek engineering

The Gladiator performances

Temple of Apollo

The catacombs of San Giovanni

The Senatorial Palace

The Museion and the Grotta del Ninfeo

Traces of Christianity in Syracuse

King Hyblon’s kingdom: Pantalica, between history and legend

Byzantine Pantalica

The Ear of Dionysius and the Grotta dei Cordari

Where seas and civilisations meet

The functions of Castello Maniace

Legends and magic echoes in the Latomie of Syracuse

Roman Syracuse, a military power thanks to the genius of Archimedes

The Athenaion of the tyrant Gelon

The architecture of the Piazza

The Jews, a wandering people

Piazza del Duomo, a sacred place of the ancient Greeks

The Euryalus Fortress

The Cathedral of Syracuse

The Church of St. Lucia to the Abbey

Castello Maniace

The Spanish fortification

The cultural significance of tragedy

Pantalica: where nature and history merge

Giudecca, the hidden Jewish heart of Syracuse

The Venationes

The Culture of Pantalica

The Church of San Giovanni alle Catacombe

Ortygia. Venus rising from the waters of the port

The Roman Amphitheatre

Neapolis from past to present

The Greek Theatre of Syracuse

The Altar of Hieron II: Blood and fire place