Sicily from prehistoric times to the period of Byzantine rule. Denis Mack Smith supplements it with his two volumes titled Medieval Sicily: 800–1713 and Modern Sicily: After 1713.
During Palaeolithic times, immigrants from the Rhone and Spain settled in Sicily. The Neolithic period saw the emergence of the Stentinello culture in the Syracuse and Catania areas characterized by fortified villages. In the eighth century B.C. the Greeks moved into Sicily and found the island populated by Sicans, Elymians and Sicels. The Greeks migrated westward for economic reasons. Over time they became settlers and colonizers giving birth to Magna Graecia. Sicels and Greeks differed significantly but lived together in peace until the Greeks tried to subjugate or expel them.
In some areas of Sicily occupied by the Greeks, the Sicels were forced to live in ghettoes or reservations. Other Sicilians, untouched by Hellenization, never lost their identity. Revolts erupted against the Greeks in different parts of the island where the invaders were dominant. One of the most important revolts was led by Ducetius in 450 B.C. in the Syracuse area. Although crushed by the Greek armies, the revolt symbolized the Sicilian willingness to fight foreign oppressors to maintain their identity and culture.
The First Punic War (264–241) brought Rome into Sicily with disastrous consequences for the Carthaginians and the Sicilians alike. Thousands of Sicilians were sold into slavery or compelled to buy their freedom. Roman occupation of Sicily proved vital to the survival of the city of Rome. Sicily was Rome’s granary.
Naval bases established in Sicily helped the Romans defeat the Carthaginians in the Second Punic War (218–201). Following the