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Syracuse: Altar of Hiero


Altar of Hiero, Siracusa (Italy). Photo Marco Prins. Syracuse: the ancient capital of Sicily.
 
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With a length of 198 m, a width of 22¾ m and an estimated height of about 15 m, the Altar of king Hiero II (satellite photo) was the largest altar from the ancient world. 450 bulls could be sacrificed in one go.

Altar of Hiero, Siracusa (Italy). Photo Marco Prins. It was dedicated to Zeus Eleutherios, "Zeus the Liberator", and was dedicated by Hiero II (241-215) after he had expelled the tyrants who had succeeded king Agathocles. In front of it was a portico that dates back to the age of the emperor Augustus, to which was added a swimming pool.

The altar itself was demolished in the sixteenth century by the Spaniards.
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© Jona Lendering for
Livius.Org, 2008
Revision: 30 January 2008
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