An 8th‐cent. bc colony, originally called Zanclē, founded by Cumaean and Euboean settlers on the straits of Messina (see cumae; euboea). It prospered, founding colonies at Mylae and Himera, but was overshadowed by Rhegium, whose tyrant seized it in 490/89. Samian and Messenian settlers arrived in 486, with Rhegine assistance, and changed the name of the city to Messana. It remained under Rhegine domination for most of the 5th cent., but by 427 was independent again. It was destroyed by Carthaginians in 396 and rebuilt by Dionysius 1 I. In 288 it was seized by the Mamertines, who ruled it until 264, when Hieron 2 II attempted to oust them. Their appeal to Rome for help, and Roman agreement, was the occasion of the First Punic War.
Subjects: Classical Studies.