Of all the other tribes that inhabited Italy down to the classical period, of whose speech there is any record (whether explicit or in the form of names and glosses), it is impossible to maintain that any one does not belong to the Indo-European group. Putting aside the Etruscan, and also the different Greek dialects of the Greek colonies, like Cumae, Neapolis, Tarentum, and proceeding from the south to the north, the different languages or dialects, of whose separate existence at some time between, say, 600 and 200 B.C., we can be, sure, may be enumerated as follows: (I) Sicel, (2) South Oscan.
(2) Too little is known of the Sicel language to make clear more than its Indo-European character.
South-eastern Sicily, ever since P. Orsi excavated the Sicel cemetery near Lentini in 1877, has proved a mine of early remains, among which appear in regular succession Aegean fabrics and motives of decoration from the period of the second stratum at Hissarlik.
Had placed at Catania after their expulsion by the original inhabitants in 461 B.C., which absorbed or incorporated an already existing Sicel town named Inessa.
The town occupies the site of an unknown Sicel city, the cemeteries of which have been explored.
2), which in turn was so called from its winter frost (14Xa in the Sicel dialect; cf.
The descendants of the original settlers kept the land in their own hands, and they gradually brought the Sicel inhabitants to a state not unlike villenage.
734 B c.), and mentions that Archias expelled the Sicel inhabitants from the island.
Their presence there was definitely proved by the discovery in 1905 of a rock-cut tomb of the beginning of the second Sicel period (see Sicily) on the west side of the island (Orsi in Notizie degli Scavi, 1905, 381), while similar tombs may be seen both on the north and south edges of the terrace of Epipolae, and on the peninsula of Plemmyrium.
Whether the inland Sicel town of Henna was ever a Syracusan settlement is doubtful.
In 485 the Gamori, who had been expelled by the Demos and the Sicel serfs, and had taken refuge at Casmenae, craved help of Gelo, the successor of Hippocrates, who took possession of Syracuse without opposition, and made it the seat of his power.
The discoveries of recent years in the south-eastern portion of Sicily, including especially the objects found in Sicel and Greek cemeteries, may be studied here.
Here Sicel tombs have been found, in some of which it appears that the Athenian dead were hastily buried (Freeman iii.
In the hills to the west of Syracuse many Sicel villages must have existed; cemeteries of the second and third period have been found at Pantalica 15 m.
It occupies the site of Agyrion, an ancient Sicel city which was ruled by tyrants, one of whom, Agyris, was the most powerful ruler in the centre of Sicily.
The ancient town (of Sicel origin, probably, despite its Greek name) takes its name from the headland (icey5aXal, head) upon which it stood (1233 ft.); its fortifications extended to the shore, on the side where,the modern town now is, in the form of two long walls protecting the port.
The founders of Megara Hyblaea settled here temporarily, according to Thucydides, in the winter of 729-728 B.C., but it seems to have remained almost if not entirely uninhabited until the Athenians used it as a naval station in their attack on Syracuse early in 414 B.C. A number of tombs were excavated in 1894, containing objects belonging to a transitional stage between the second and third Sicel period, attributable roughly to r000-goo B.C., and with a certain proportion of Mycenean importations.
Extensive Sicel cemeteries have been explored to the north of the town (Not.
It was probably of Sicel origin, though its foundation was ascribed to some of the companions of Aeneas.
That the Sicels spoke a tongue closely akin to Latin is plain from several Sicel words which crept into Sicilian Greek, and from the Siceliot system of weights and measures - utterly unlike anything in old Greece.
As we go on, we hear of both Sicel and Sican towns; 1 but we may suspect that any approach to true city life was owing to Greek influences.
But the form of the tombs always remains the same, a small low chamber hewn in the rock, with a rectangular opening about 2 by 22 ft., out of which open other chambers, each with its separate doorway; and inhumation is adopted without exception, whereas in a Greek necropolis a low percentage of cases of 1 Leontini, Megara, Naxos, Syracuse, Zancle are all recorded as sites where the Sicel gave way to the Greek (in regard to Syracuse [q.v.] this has recently been proved to be true), while many other towns remained Sicel longer, among them Abacaenum, Agyrium, Assorus, Centuripae, Cephaloedium, Engyum, Hadranum, Halaesa, Henna, Herbessus, Herbita, Hybla Galeatis, Inessa, Kale Akte, Menaenum, Morgantina.
After the failure of Ducetius to re-establish the Sicel nationality, Greek civilization triumphed over that of the Sicels entirely, and it has not yet been possible to trace the survivals of the latter.
But there were also independent Sicel towns in the interior, and there was a strong religious intercommunion between the two races.
Sicel Henna (Enna, Castrogiovanni) is the special seat of the worship of Demeter and her daughter.
For now comes the great Sicel movement under Ducetius, who, between force and persuasion, came nearer towards uniting his people into one body than had ever been done before.
Return, enabled him to carry out his schemes, and, with the help of another Sicel prince of Herbita, who bore the Greek name of Archonides, he founded Kale Akte on the northern coast.
But his work was cut short by his death in 440; the hope of the Sicel people now lay in assimilation to their Hellenic neighbours.
Ducetius's own foundation of Kale Akte lived on, and we presently hear of Sicel towns under kings and tyrants, all marking an approach to Greek life.
Dionysius then planted mercenaries at Leontini, conquered some Sicel towns, Henna among them, and made alliances with others.
He took the Sicel Cephaloedium (Cefalu), and even the old Phoenician border-fortress of Solous was betrayed to him.
He beat back a Rhegine expedition; but his advance was checked by a failure to take the new Sicel settlement of Tauromenium.
Both sides failed in their chief enterprises, and the main interest of the story comes from the glimpses which we get of the Sicel states.
The two tyrants drove Carthage to a peace by which she abandoned all her Sicel allies to Dionysius.
Besides Tyndaris and Tauromenium, the foundation of Halaca marks another step in Sicel progress towards Hellenism, while the Carthaginians founded their strong town and fortress of Lilybaeum in place of Motya.
Among these changes the most marked is the settlement of Campanian mercenaries in Greek and Sicel towns.
The cities, Greek and Sicel, were occupied by tyrants.
Timoleon drove out all the tyrants, and it specially marks the fusion of the two races that the people of the Sicel Agyrium were admitted to the citizenship of free Syracuse.
Meanwhile Acragas, deeming Agathocles and the barbarians alike weakened, proclaimed freedom for the Sicilian cities under her own headship. Many towns, both Greek and Sicel, joined the confederacy.
Panormus, Segesta, with Centoripa, Halesa and Halikye, once Sicel but now Hellenized, kept the position of free cities (liberae et immunes, Cic. Ver y .
The spread of Hellenic culture among the Sicels had in return made a Greek home for many Sicel beliefs, traditions and customs. Bucolic poetry is the native growth of Sicily; in the hands of Theocritus it grew out of the germs supplied by Epicharmus and Sophron into a distinct and finished form of the art.
In Latin the one name Siculi takes in all the inhabitants of the island; no distinction is drawn between Greek and Sicel, or even between Greek and Phoenician cities.
Inscriptions too from Sicel and Phoenician cities are commonly Greek, even when they commemorate men with Phoenician names, coupled perhaps with Greek surnames.
By it was the temple of the Palici, twin Sicel gods, the most holy place in Sicily, where an oath taken was especially binding, and an inviolable asylum for fugitive slaves.
The ancient Catina was founded in 729 B.C. by colonists from Naxos, perhaps on the site of an earlier Sicel settlement - the name is entirely un-Greek, and may be derived from KaTlvov, which in the Sicel language, as catinum in Latin, meant a basin, and would thus be descriptive of the situation of the town.
From its mouth, Sicel tombs and Christian catacombs, and farther up the river a cave village of the early middle ages, have been explored (Notizie degli Scavi, 1902, 411, 631; Romische Quarlalschrift, 1902, 205).