Messina


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Messina

(mās-sē`nä), city (1991 pop. 231,693), capital of Messina prov., NE Sicily, Italy, on the Strait of Messina, opposite the Italian mainland. It is a busy seaport and a commercial and light industrial center. Manufactures include processed food, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and construction materials. Founded (late 8th cent. B.C.) by Greek colonists and named Zancle, the city was captured (5th cent. B.C.) by Anaxilas of Rhegium and renamed Messana. It became involved in several wars, particularly against Syracuse and Carthage, and was taken in 282 B.C. by mercenaries called Mamertines. The Romans answered an appeal for help from the Mamertines and intervened in Sicily, thus precipitating the first of the Punic WarsPunic Wars,
three distinct conflicts between Carthage and Rome. When they began, Rome had nearly completed the conquest of Italy, while Carthage controlled NW Africa and the islands and the commerce of the W Mediterranean.
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. Messina was subsequently allied with Rome, and it shared the history of the rest of SicilySicily
, Ital. Sicilia, region (1991 pop. 4,966,386), 9,925 sq mi (25,706 sq km), S Italy, mainly situated on the island of Sicily, which is bounded by the Mediterranean Sea on the west and south, by the Ionian Sea on the east, and by the Tyrrhenian Sea on the north, and
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. The city was conquered by the Arabs in the late 9th cent. A.D. but was liberated by the Normans in 1061. It developed a thriving silk industry (which declined in the 18th cent.). Messina later came under the rule of the Angevins, the Aragonese, and the Spanish Bourbons. A heroic insurrection against the Bourbons took place from 1774 to 1778. Garibaldi took Messina in July, 1860, but the Bourbon garrison resisted in the citadel until Mar., 1861. The city suffered a severe plague in 1743 and major earthquakes in 1783 and 1908. The earthquake of Dec. 28, 1908, destroyed 90% of Messina's buildings, including fine churches and palaces, and cost about 80,000 lives; afterward the city was completely rebuilt in conformity with standards for quake-resistant construction. In World War II, the Sicilian campaign ended with the fall of Messina to the Allies on Aug. 17, 1943. Of interest in the city are the Norman-Romanesque cathedral (rebuilt after 1908) and the National Museum. Messina has a university, founded in 1548.

Messina

 

a city and port in Italy, on the northeastern coast of Sicily, on the Strait of Messina. Population, 257,700 (1972). Next to Palermo, Messina is the largest and most economically important city in Sicily. It has chemical, fruit-canning, textile, ship-repair, and ship-building industries. Citrus fruits and canned fruits and vegetables are exported. Messina has a university, which was founded in 1548. Earthquakes frequently occur in the city.

Messina has churches built in the 12th and 13th centuries and a cathedral built from the 12th to 16th centuries; they have all been partially rebuilt in the 20th century. There also are 16th-century fountains. The city was founded as Zancle circa 730 B.C. by Greek colonists at the site of a settlement of the Siculi tribe. It was renamed Messana circa 493 B.C.


Messina

 

a city in the extreme north of the Republic of South Africa, in Transvaal Province. It is linked by railroad with Pretoria. Population, 12,500 (1967, estimate). Messina is an important South African center for the mining of copper ores. It was founded in 1904 after deposits of copper ores were discovered.

Messina

a port in NE Sicily, on the Strait of Messina: colonized by Greeks around 730 bc; under Spanish rule (1282--1676 and 1678--1713); university (1549). Pop.: 252 026 (2001)
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