Presenter: Dustin McKenzie (Confirmation seminar)

Sicily was colonised by Greek city-states from as early as the 8th Century BC, fought over by Greeks and Carthaginians for hundreds of years, and eventually became the launching point for Roman imperial expansion after their annexation of the island in 241 BC ─ their prize from the First Punic War. To Rome in particular, Sicily provided much needed grain tithes that fuelled the capital, and its location in the Mediterranean Sea provided a key strategic advantage over competing states. The relationship between the landscape of ancient Sicily and its peoples is all too clear, and is revealed in the ways in which ancient authors conceptualise and construct the island in their works. To this end, this paper, based on the first chapter of my thesis, presents key examples of how the island of Sicily is discussed and constructed in ancient and modern works, and how technological innovations – such as Geographical Information System Mapping, or GIS – might be able to provide a deeper understanding of the relationships between people and places in the ancient world.