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Heraclea Minoa, an ancient town on the south coast of Sicily, at the mouth of the river Halycus (today Platani), near the modern Montallegro, some 20 m. N.W. of Agrigento. It was at first an outpost of Selinus (Herod. v. 46), then overthrown by Carthage, later a border town of Agrigentum.

Diodorus Siculus writes that the name is derived from the mythical king of Crete Minos. After the escape of Daedalus from Crete Minos trying to find him visited Sicily and established the city of Minoa. The Grave of Minos was here and accordiing to Diodorus the remains were given to the Cretans. Spartans in the 6th century are assumed to have added the name Heraclea in honour of Heracles.

It passed into Carthaginian hands by the treaty of 405 B.C., was won back by Dionysius in his first Punic war, but recovered by Carthage in 383. From this date onwards coins bearing its Semitic name, Ras Melkart, become common, and it was obviously an important border fortress. It was here that Dion landed in 357 B.C., when he attacked Syracuse. The Agrigentines won it back in 309, but it soon fell under the power of Agathocles. It was temporarily recovered for Greece by Pyrrhus. (T. As.)

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