S I C I L Y
In the 8th and 7th centuries BC, for various reasons, including demographic crisis (famine, overcrowding, etc.), the search for new commercial outlets and ports, and expulsion from their homeland, Greeks began to settle in siciliy and southern Italy . Also during this period, Greek colonies were established in places as widely separated as the eastern coast of the Black Sea, Eastern Libya and Massalia (Marseille). They included settlements in Sicily and the southern part of the Italian Peninsula. The Romans called the area of Sicily and the foot of Italy Magna Graecia (Latin, “Great Greece”), since it was so densely inhabited by the Greeks.
Sicilia was the first province acquired by the Roman Republic, organized in 241 BC as a proconsular governed territory, in the aftermath of the First Punic War with Carthage. It included Sicily and Malta. Very important during the republican period for its role in supplying grain to the city of Rome