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Greek ZANKLE, Latin MESSANA, capital of Messina provincia, in the extreme northeastern Sicily, Italy. It lies on the lower slopes of the Peloritani Mountains, on the Strait of Messina opposite Reggio di Calabria.

730-725 BC It was an ancient Siculan colony, first mentioned about 730 BC, founded by settlers from Chalcis (Ionic Greece), who called it Zankle ("Sickle"), from the shape of the harbour.

494-493 BC In the early 5th century BC it was occupied by Greek fugitives from Persian-occupied Miletus and Samos. The fugitives were assisted by Anaxilas, tyrant of Rhegium (Reggio di Calabria), who then ruled over Rhegium and Zankle, the name of which he changed to Messene in honour of his native region of Messenia in the Peloponnese.

Messana/ Zankle Tetradrachma , Messana/ Zankle Tetradrachma ,

489-461 BC Anaxilas drives out the Samii and repeoples the city with the Messeni (renamed the city Messana) later the son of Anaxilas ruler over the city.

461-396 BC Messana independent.

397/6 BC Destroyed by the Carthaginian Himilco, a blow from which it only slowly recovered

During the 4th Cent. Rebuilt by Dionysios of Syracuse. Liberated by Timoleon

314 BC The city is occupied by the Syracusan tyrant Agathocles during in the war between the Carthaginians, due to its alliance with Gela and Akragas.

289 BC It fell to the the Mamaertines (Mamertini), Campanian mercenaries in the service of Agathocles, who made it the centre for their domination of Sicily. The inhabitants were massacred and the new regime ruled the city until Roman times.

280 BC Revolt of the Campanians (mercenaries) in Rhegium; this is the first time the Mamertines at Messana are mentioned. The two cities seem to have succeeded in retaining their position against Pyrrhus and to have barred his way across the Straits of Messina.

270 BC Rhegium conquered by the Romans. The decline of the Mamertines begins.

265/4 BC Hieron II of Syracusa defeated the Mamertines at the Longanus river. The domain of the Mamertines is restricted to the city of Messana. The Mamertines call for help both to Carthage and to Rome. The Carthaginians placed a garrison in the city, but in the end Messana placed itself under the protection of the Romans.

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