The Storyteller of Sicily: from the beginning to year Zero (ep. 1)

12 Oct 2021

My name is Orlando and I am a storyteller. I travel the island, stopping where they welcome me offering a good food. When the children see me coming they shout: “The storyteller has arrived!”.
People run to the square, bring a chair and a good meal, waiting for me to end up asking: “What do you want me to tell you?”
“Tell us the history of Sicily!”, they answer all together.

Therefore I begin my tale: “At the beginning there was a great explosion and soo after the world was divided into water and land: a single sea, the Panthalassa; and a single land, the Pangea.
Other explosions followed which divided Pangea into continents and islands scattered across the Panthalassa.
Sicily, however, was still submerged in the Mediterranean Sea, which teemed with life, and remained there for a while longer.

About 6 million years ago the Strait of Gibraltar closed and the Mediterranean Sea dried up leaving all its inhabitants on the dry seabed: fish, molluscs, shells, plants and all forms of marine life.
There was another explosion, the noise was incredible, the Mediterranean seabed emerged and like a giant it became a mountain carrying everything that once inhabited its seabed: rocks, fossils and shells of all shapes …

Meanwhile, Sicily was inhabited by strange animals: zebra-striped horses, hippos, dwarf elephants and many others.
At a certain point, mankind also appeared on our island, perhaps coming on foot from the African continent.
Man lived in caves to defend himself from excessively luxuriant fauna and flora

And in the cave of San Teodoro the oldest Sicilian of all time was found.

We gave her the name of Thea, and for the times she looks really beautiful!
Time passes, man gathers in villages like in Castelluccio and in Pantalica, today Uneso heritage, were you can see 5000 tombs carved on the rock!

Time still passes, three peoples in ancient times reigned over Sicily.
The Siculi to the east, who had their kingdom in the marvelous fortress of Palikè, who has got a cave at the base where the sorcerer on duty apparently housed, and two volcanic lakes close by.
Once here there was a forest and a navigable river, today a splendid place, surrounded by gardens of oranges and wheat. Their king was called Ducezio.
Then there were the Sicani, in the center of the island, who had a king named Cocalo. His three beautiful daughters drowned Minos in the bathtub, the mythical king of Crete, who came to Sicily in pursuit of Daedalus, the famous architect of the Labyrinth and father of Icarus, the one who
flew with wax wings.
And finally, there were also the Elimi, to the west, who made Erice their stronghold. On the summit, there was the most famous temple of antiquity, which had a lighthouse that attracted sailors from all over the Mediterranean, attracted by the handmaids of Venus.

At a certain point the Phoenicians, the people who dominated the seas, arrived from the East.
They landed in Sicily around the year 1000 BC. and they founded Palermo, Solunto and the splendid Mozia, located on an islet right in front of the current Marsala.
Today at the museum of Marsala you can admire the wreck of one of their ships.
The Greeks also arrived. It happened in the eighth century BC in today’s Giardini Naxos where they founded their first city. They married Sicilian women and founded a new lineage: the Siceliota, of a Sicilian mother and a Greek father.
And since the mother is always the mother, the Siceliota has always felt himself more Sicilian than Greek.

Bacchus, God of wine.

The Sicelioti brought temples, theaters, wealth, civilization, culture, power.
Zeus became the God of the Gods and with him all his siblings: Apollo grazed his flock in the center of Sicily; Poseidon with his trident reigned over the sea; Demeter was worshiped in the fields; Dionisio was the God of wine, Hephaestus made weapons in the belly of Etna.
Sicily became the queen of the Mediterranean, the Sicelioti were illustrious and glorious over the centuries, the magnificence of that time is still visible all over the island.

Archimedes invents everything, Empedocles is the philosopher of philosophers, Theocritus sings for shepherds and nature.
Time passes and in the third century BC brought us the Romans, the greatest power of all time. They brought grain, other temples and amphytheatre and general serenity …
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