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Erice: The temple of the Goddess of love

  • Erice
  • Culture

Erice: The temple of the Goddess of love

It was precisely the cult of fertility and love that marked Erice.

Famous in antiquity for its shrine atop the mountain, to which sailors termed, “The temple of the Goddess of love”.  

You can walk among the flat area around the magnificent fortress that is aged and often beaten by misty waves.

It has a beautiful outdoor altar, like a “false Aphrodite’s well”. Erice represents  a place of myth, vestige, and nature that is mysteriously sensual.    

Destroyed during the First Punic War by the Carthaginians, who transferred its inhabitants to Drepanum (Trapani), Erice was conquered by Rome in 248 BC.

Perhaps at that time it was a heap of ruins. However, the temple of the goddess came to life again with renewed splendor thanks to the victors.

Suetonius writes: “Claudius restored the temple of Venus Erycina in Sicily, which had fallen into ruin through time, at the expense of the Roman taxpayers”.

Ad Diodorus adds: “They (the Romans), exceeded all peoples who had preceded them for the tributes they paid unto the goddess”.

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