Sicily was originally named Trinacria “the land with three points”, due to its triangular shape. This is the way the Italian poet Dante Alighieri refers to Sicily in his famous “The Divine Comedy” (Paradise. VIII, 67‐68): “And beautiful Trinacria, shrouded, from Pachino to Paloro, on the edge of the gulf”
Nowadays the Trinacria is the official symbol of Sicily, a graphic representation from Greek mythology that lies in the middle of its flag. The symbol of Trinacria, which you will see everywhere while here, is composed of three elements:
1) three logs joined in the middle, forming a triskelion in reference to the triangular shape of the island and its three headlands
2) the head of Medusa with two wings at its sides, and whose hair is replaced by snakes. In the myth, Medusa was born young and beautiful, but too proud of her magnificent hair. She desecrated Athena’s temple by lying there with Poseidon, the sea god. Outraged by her behavior, Athena — goddess of wisdom and daughter of Zeus – transformed her into a frightening monster, whose hair was made of hissing and striking snakes. Medusa was mortal – unlike her two sisters (the Gorgons, the marine goddesses) – but difficult to approach, because her gaze could turn whomever she looked upon into stone. Medusa was killed by the hem Perseus with the help of Athena and Hermes. Perseus cut off her head and offered it to Athena who placed it in the center of her Aegis which she wore over her breastplate. Medusas horrible head has often been represented in art (sculpture, mosaics and coins)
3) three heads of wheat, recalling that, during the Roman Empire, Sicily was a very fertile land, nicknamed the ’granary of ltaly
Normans, arrived to Sicily in 1072, “exported” the Trinacria in the Isle of Man, too, that chose her as a symbol in replacement of that precedent, a vessel, of Scandinavian origin
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