agrigento defined in 1939 year

agrigento - Agrigento;
agrigento - City and port of Sicily, on the S. coast, known before the Fascist period as Girgenti, and in ancient times Agrigentum or, according to the Greeks, Akragas. Founded by colonists from Gela about 581 b.c., it soon acquired both wealth and territory, and had, it is said, at one time a population of 200,000. Agrigentum had many handsome temples, that of Jupiter being one of the finest in Sicily. The Carthaginians destroyed the city in 405, but it was rebuilt by Timoleon in 340. It was sacked during the first Punic War, and again in 210 B.C. But it remained a great trading centre for several centuries, among the commodities dealt in being sulphur from the neighbouring mines. It has medieval walls, a 14th cent, cathedral, and catacombs. Sulphur, salt, grain, oil, fruit, etc., are exported through Porto Empedocle. During the Anglo-American invasion of Sicily in July, 1943, U.S. warships bombarded Agrigento, and after 24 hrs. of confused fighting, the city surrendered to U.S. troops, July 16. Over 4,000 Italian prisoners were taken.

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