Zancle (Greek: Ζάγκλη): Greek city on Sicily, modern Messina.
- Founded c.730 when the Greeks expanded their trade network to Sicily and Etruria. Zancle controls the Strait of Messina. Across the water is Rhegion.
- There are two stories about the city's origin. According to Thucydides, the first settlers were Greek pirates from Cumae who took over an already existing Siculian town.note[Thucydides, Peloponnesian War 6.4.] According to Strabo of Amasia, the settlers arrived from Naxos in Sicily.
- The Greek name Zancle means "scythe" and refers to the shape of the harbor
- c.493: Shorty after the Persians have suppressed the Ionian Revolt, refugees from Samos and Miletus flee to the far west, where the tyrant of Rhegion, Anexilaus, suggests them not to build a new city but capture Zancle. The Samians do so; the Zancleans sought support from the tyrant Hippocrates of Gela; he, however, allowed himself to be bribed away.note[Herodotus, Histories 6.22-24.]
- The city is renamed Messana to honor Messene, the native city of Anaxilaus.note[Thucydides, Peloponnesian War 6.4.]
- 397 The Carthaginians sack Messana but are driven out by Dionysius, the tyrant of Syracuse, who repopulates Messana.
- 343 Intervention by Timoleon of Syracuse
- Agahthocles of Syracuse conquers the city
- c.282 The Mamertine mercenaries, expelled from Syracuse, take Messana
- 264 The Roman consul Appius Claudius Caudex captures Messana; outbreak of the First Punic War
- 241 BCE Messana recognized as Roman ally. The city suffers from the slave wars.
- During the civil wars, Pompey the Great attacked the fleet of Julius Caesar in Messana; later, it was a base for Pompey's son Sextus; still later the city was occupied by Octavian. The Tenth Legion, which serves as garrison, receives the nickname Fretensis, "of the straits"