1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Centuripe

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CENTURIPE formerly Centorbi, anc. Κεντόριπα or Centuripae), a town of Sicily, in the province of Catania, situated 2380 ft. above sea-level in a commanding situation, 7 m. N. of the railway station of Catenanuova-Centuripe, which is 28 m. W. from Catania. Pop. (1901) 11,311. Thucydides mentions it as a city of the Sicels. It became an ally of the Athenians at the time of their expedition against Syracuse, and maintained its independence almost uninterruptedly (though it fell under the power of Agathocles) until the First Punic War. Cicero describes it, perhaps with some exaggeration, as being far the largest and richest city of Sicily, and as having a population of 10,000, engaged in the cultivation of an extensive territory. It was granted Latin rights before the rest of Sicily. It appears to have suffered much in the war against Sextus Pompeius, and not to have regained its former prosperity under the empire. Frederick II. entirely destroyed it in 1233, but it was soon rebuilt. Considerable remains of the ancient city walls and of buildings, mostly of the Roman period, still exist, and numerous antiquities, including some fine Hellenistic terra-cottas, have been discovered in casual excavations.

See F. Ansaldi, I Monumenti dell’ antica Centuripi (Catania, 1851); P. Orsi in Atti del Congresso Internazionale di Scienze Storiche (Rome, 1904), v. 177.  (T. As.)