Historical background

The origins of the city of Enna are uncertain. A village, a temple and a necropolis dating back to the Neolithic period have been found around Lake Pergusa.

In about the 11th century B.C., the Sican people settled on the high ground. During Greek rule, the town was renamed ‘Henna’, the etymology of which remains doubtful to this day. It probably comes from the Greek ‘en-naien’, meaning living inside.

Renowned throughout the island for the cult dedicated to the Roman earth mother goddess Ceres, in 396 BC. Henna became the conquest of the Syracusans first, and then in 212 BC of the Romans under Claudius Marcellus. The city established itself as a place of primary importance for the grain trade and was named Castrum Hennae. The Romans took over the name given by the Greeks, adding the word ‘fortress’ to it.

After this period, Henna became a flourishing Byzantine centre of strategic importance for defence against the Arabs. Under the Normans, later renamed Castrogiovanni, it became a political and cultural centre.

In the Aragonese period with Frederick III, Enna became the seat of the court due to its impregnable position. It was during this period that the Castle of Lombardy and the Tower of Frederick II and the Cathedral were erected.

During the Sicilian Vespers, the city played a crucial role, even becoming a free municipality with republican institutions. Castrogiovanni imposed itself against the Bourbons by supporting Giuseppe Garibaldi.

In 1927 Benito Mussolini made Castrogiovanni a provincial capital, detaching it from the province of Caltanissetta. The city surpassed Caltagirone and Piazza Armerina in the order of preference, as these were linked to Sturzo and the Popular Party. Extolling ancient glories linked to its mythical classical past (the myth of Proserpina), Mussolini restored the ancient name of Enna at the end of the same year.

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April, 2024




August 26,2019

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