Palermo is close on 3,000 years old. I find that pretty hard to grasp. How do you come to terms with such antiquity as an Australian? European history started in my country about 230 years ago.
Palermo was called Ziz by the Phoenicians – a name which has close connections to my own first name. It shared this sobriquet with a city in Persia, the Susa that we know today in Iran and my name is along the lines of ‘coming from Susa’. How neat is that?
It must be Fate that draws me to Palermo.
The Phoenicians fascinate me. Did you struggle with the Latin gerundive in school? The way we were taught about the gerundive, a 1st/2nd declension adjective formed the same way as the gerund, was with the gerundive of obligation – Carthago delenda est – Carthage must be destroyed.
Cato the Elder was given the credit for repeatedly hammering the Senate with this political phrase.
In any case, Carthage was destroyed. The Romans went in for total warfare against the Phoenicians and and utterly destroyed their main city of Carthage at the end of the Third Punic War. The surviving inhabitants were sold into slavery and it is said that the ruins were sown with salt in vengeful savagery.
Rome couldn’t tolerate another great trading empire in the Mediterranean, and that brutality was the result.
Ah well, it was all a long time ago.