1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Mineo

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MINEO, a town of the province of Catania, Sicily, 34 m. S.W. of Catania by rail. Pop. (1901), 9828. It occupies the site of the ancient Menaenum, founded by Ducetius in 459 B.C. There is some doubt as to whether this town was also the birthplace of Ducetius, owing to confusions in nomenclature (see E. A. Freeman, History of Sicily, ii. 361). Remains of fortifications still exist, though it seems uncertain whether they are of Greek or of Byzantine origin (Notizie degli Scavi, 1899, p. 70). Four miles to the north is the Lacus Palicorum, a small lake in a crater, which still sends up carbonic acid gas. 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. There is now nothing to suggest twin deities; in ancient times there were probably two craters, whereas now there is only one. It was here that Ducetius, a few years later, founded a new seat for his power, the city of Palica.