3/13/18: On Tuesday, we left Palermo and visited the ancient site of Segesta. Segesta was inhabited by the Elymians, a group of people whose background is very uncertain. We do know, however, that they were not Greek, and that they were allied with the Athenians and factored heavily in the Athenian expedition to Sicily. According to Thucydides, the Segestans needed help in their skirmishes against the people of Selinunte. They fooled the Athenians into thinking they actually had wealth, and the temple (pictured below) might be an example of that. This temple was begun in the 420s BCE, just years before the Athenians would have come to Segesta to see if they had enough money to support their expedition. It was unfinished, too, suggesting that the Segestans’ wealth wasn’t actually great.
After Segesta, we ventured to Mt. Erice for the night. The drive up the cliff of the mountain was both beautiful and terrifying—it felt like we might flip over at every curve. Once we approached the small town at the top, however, we were covered in fog and couldn’t see a thing. It felt like exploring a ghost town.