1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Motya

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MOTYA, an ancient Phoenician settlement in Sicily, on a low island [mod. S. Pantaleo], 5 m. north of Lilybaeum [mod. Marsala]. It was the centre of the Phoenician trade in Sicily. It was accessible from the mainland by a mole, which is still used as a track for wagons. The line of the city wall, of rough rectangular blocks of stone without mortar, may still be traced all round the coast, with two gates, one on the north towards the mole, which is still in part preserved, and one on the south. The date of its foundation is uncertain. In 398 B.C. it was taken after a desperate struggle (which, owing to the height and strength of the houses, continued even after a breach had been made in the city wall) by Dionysius of Syracuse, but recovered in the next year: it was, however, abandoned by the Carthaginians, and its place taken by Lilybaeum on the mainland. (T. As.)