City (pop., 2001 prelim.: 236,621), northeastern Sicily, Italy. Founded by Greeks in the 8th century BC, it was destroyed by Carthaginians in 397 BC. The Romans took the rebuilt city in 264 BC, precipitating the First Punic War. After the war it became a free city allied with Rome. It was taken successively by the Goths, Byzantines, Arabs, Normans, Spaniards, and finally (in 1860) Italians. Heavily bombed during World War II, it was rebuilt. It is now an important Italian port. Sites of interest include the cathedral and the university (founded 1548).