[Aristotle], de Mirabilibus Auscultationibus 57
There is a spring among the Palici in Sicily, covering the space of ten couches; this throws up water to the height of six cubits, so that the whole place is thought by observers to be inundated; and it falls back again to the same spot. There is an oath which is regarded as very sacred there; for a man writes down the oath he takes on a small tablet and casts it into the water. If he swears truly, the tablet floats. If he swears falsely, the tablet is said to grow heavy and disappear, and the man is burned. So the priest takes security from him that someone shall purify the temple.

[Aristotle], de Mirabilibus Auscultationibus 82
In Sicily in the district called Enna there is said to be a cave, around which is an abundance of flowers at every season of the year, and particularly that a vast space is filled with violets, which fill the neighbourhood with sweet scent, so that hunters cannot chase hares, because the dogs are overcome by the scent. Through this cave there is an invisible underground passage, by means of which Pluto is said to have made the rape of Kore. They say that wheat is found in this place unlike the local grain, which they use, and unlike any that is imported, but having great peculiarities. They say that this was the first place in which wheat appeared among them. They also claim Demeter, saying that the goddess was born among them.

Diodoros Sikeliotes, Library of History 5.3.2-3
And the rape of Kore, the myth relates, took place in the meadows in the territory of Enna. The spot lies near the city, a place of striking beauty for its violets and every other kind of flower and worthy of the goddess. And the story is told that, because of the sweet odour of the flowers growing there, trained hunting dogs are unable to hold the trail, because their natural sense of smell is balked. And the meadow we have mentioned is level in the centre and well watered throughout, but on its periphery it rises high and falls off with precipitous cliffs on every side. And it is conceived of as lying in the very centre of the island, which is the reason why certain writers call it the navel of Sicily.

Near to it also are sacred groves, surrounded by marshy flats, and a huge grotto which contains a chasm which leads down into the earth and opens to the north, and through it, the myth relates, Pluton, coming out with his chariot, effected the Rape of Kore. And the violets, we are told, and the rest of the flowers which supply the sweet odour continue to boom, to one’s amazement, throughout the entire year, and so the whole aspect of the place is one of flowers and delight.

Pindar, Nemean Odes 1.14
Zeus, the lord of Olympus, gave to Persephone, and shook his locks in token unto her that, as queen of the teeming earth, the fertile land of Sicily would be raised to renown by the wealth of her glorious cities ; and the son of Cronus granted that the host of armed horsemen, that awaketh the memory of bronze-clad war, would full oft be wedded with the golden leaves of Olympia’s olive. Lo ! I have lighted on a varied theme, without flinging one false word and my heart cleaveth fast unto the theme of Heracles, while, amid the greatest and loftiest deeds of prowess, I wake the memory of that olden story, which telleth how, at the time when the son of Zeus, with his twin-brother, suddenly came from his mother’s birth-pangs with the light of day; — how, I say, when he was laid in his swathing-bands, he escaped not the ken of Hera on her golden throne. Stung with wrath, that queen of the gods sent anon two serpents. Soon as the doors were opened, they crept on to the spacious inner-chamber, yearning to coil their darting jaws around the babes. Yet he lifted up his head, and made his first essay of battle, by seizing the twain serpents by their necks in his twain irresistible hands, and, while they were being strangled, the lapse of time breathed forth their souls from out their monstrous limbs.

Strabo, Geography 6.2.6
In the interior of Sicily is Enna, where there is a temple of Demeter though only a few inhabitant sremain; it is situated on a hill, and is wholly surrounded by broad plateaus that are tillable.


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