Termini Imerese
Termini Imerese is a town and comune
In Italy, the comune is the basic administrative division, and may be properly approximated in casual speech by the English word township or municipality.-Importance and function:...

in the province of Palermo
Palermo is a city in Southern Italy, the capital of both the autonomous region of Sicily and the Province of Palermo. The city is noted for its history, culture, architecture and gastronomy, playing an important role throughout much of its existence; it is over 2,700 years old...

 on the northern coast of Sicily
Sicily is a region of Italy, and is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Along with the surrounding minor islands, it constitutes an autonomous region of Italy, the Regione Autonoma Siciliana Sicily has a rich and unique culture, especially with regard to the arts, music, literature,...

, southern Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...



The site where the town now sits has been populated since prehistoric times, as many archeologial excavations have shown through the years. Nevertheless, it might be stated that its recorded history started in 409 BC
409 BC
Year 409 BC was a year of the pre-Julian Roman calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Cossus and Medullinus...

 when its more ancient neighbor, Himera
thumb|250px|Remains of the Temple of Victory.thumb|250px|Ideal reconstruction of the Temple of Victory.Himera , was an important ancient Greek city of Sicily, situated on the north coast of the island, at the mouth of the river of the same name , between Panormus and Cephaloedium...

 (now completely within the comune's borders), was completely destroyed by the Carthaginian
Carthage , implying it was a 'new Tyre') is a major urban centre that has existed for nearly 3,000 years on the Gulf of Tunis, developing from a Phoenician colony of the 1st millennium BC...

 army under Hannibal Mago
Hannibal Mago
Hannibal was a grandson of Hamilcar Mago.He was shofet of Carthage in 410 BC and in 409 BC commanded a Carthaginian army sent to Sicily in response to a request from the city of Segesta. He successfully took the Greek city of Selinus and then Himera...

. Those who survived the devastation promptly repaired to a site then called "Thermae" - the name deriving from the hot springs - which is today known as Termini; and the ancients considered Thermae as a successor to Himera. The new town of Thermae or Therma, called for the sake of distinction Thermae Himerenses, which thus took the place of Himera, obviously derived its name from the hot springs for which it was celebrated, and the first discovery of which was connected by legends with the wanderings of Hercules
Hercules is the Roman name for Greek demigod Heracles, son of Zeus , and the mortal Alcmene...

. It appears to have early become a considerable town, though it continued, with few and brief exceptions, to be subject to the Carthaginian rule. In the First Punic War
First Punic War
The First Punic War was the first of three wars fought between Ancient Carthage and the Roman Republic. For 23 years, the two powers struggled for supremacy in the western Mediterranean Sea, primarily on the Mediterranean island of Sicily and its surrounding waters but also to a lesser extent in...

 its name is repeatedly mentioned. Thus, in 260 BC
260 BC
Year 260 BC was a year of the pre-Julian Roman calendar. At the time it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Asina and Duilius...

, a body of Roman
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

 troops were encamped in the neighborhood, when they were attacked by Hamilcar
Hamilcar was a common name in the Punic culture. There are several different transcriptions into Greek and Roman scripts. The ruling families of ancient Carthage often named their members with the traditional name Hamilcar...

, and defeated with heavy loss. Before the close of the war, Thermae itself was besieged and taken by the Romans. We have, however, no clue to the circumstances which led to the peculiar favor which this city seems to have received at the hands of its Roman conquerors. Cicero
Marcus Tullius Cicero , was a Roman philosopher, statesman, lawyer, political theorist, and Roman constitutionalist. He came from a wealthy municipal family of the equestrian order, and is widely considered one of Rome's greatest orators and prose stylists.He introduced the Romans to the chief...

 tells us that the Roman government restored to the Thermitani their city and territory, with the free use of their own laws, as a reward for their steady fidelity. As we see that they were on hostile terms with Rome during the First Punic War, it can only be to the subsequent period that these expressions apply; but the occasion to which they refer is unknown. In the time of Cicero, Thermae appears to have been a flourishing place, carrying on a considerable amount of trade, though the orator speaks, of it as oppidum non maximum. It seems to have received a colony
Colonia (Roman)
A Roman colonia was originally a Roman outpost established in conquered territory to secure it. Eventually, however, the term came to denote the highest status of Roman city.-History:...

 in the time of Augustus
Augustus ;23 September 63 BC – 19 August AD 14) is considered the first emperor of the Roman Empire, which he ruled alone from 27 BC until his death in 14 AD.The dates of his rule are contemporary dates; Augustus lived under two calendars, the Roman Republican until 45 BC, and the Julian...

, whence we find mention in inscriptions of the Ordo et Populus splendidissimae Coloniae Augustae Himeraeorum Thermitanorum: and there can be very little doubt that the Thermae colonia of Pliny
Pliny the Elder
Gaius Plinius Secundus , better known as Pliny the Elder, was a Roman author, naturalist, and natural philosopher, as well as naval and army commander of the early Roman Empire, and personal friend of the emperor Vespasian...

 in reality refers to this town, though he evidently understood it to be Thermae Selinuntiae (modern Sciacca
Sciacca , also Schiacca, is a town and comune in the province of Agrigento on the southwestern coast of Sicily...

), as he places it on the south coast between Agrigentum (modern Agrigento
Agrigento , is a city on the southern coast of Sicily, Italy, and capital of the province of Agrigento. It is renowned as the site of the ancient Greek city of Akragas , one of the leading cities of Magna Graecia during the golden...

) and Selinus There are little subsequent account of Thermae; but, as its name is found in Ptolemy
Claudius Ptolemy , was a Roman citizen of Egypt who wrote in Greek. He was a mathematician, astronomer, geographer, astrologer, and poet of a single epigram in the Greek Anthology. He lived in Egypt under Roman rule, and is believed to have been born in the town of Ptolemais Hermiou in the...

 and the Itineraries, it appears to have continued in existence throughout the period of the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

, and probably never ceased to be inhabited, as the modern town of Termini Imerese retains the ancient site as well as name.

The magnificence of the ancient city, and the taste of its citizens for the encouragement of art, are attested by Cicero, who calls it in primis Siciliae clarum et ornatum; and some evidence of it remained, even in the days of that orator, in the statues preserved by the Thermitani, to whom they had been restored by Scipio, after the conquest of Carthage.

Middle Ages and modern

With the fall of the Roman Empire began a period of decadence of the town. Terme bishop's seat was up to the twelfth century, although the number of bishops has several gaps and uncertainties. During the domain Norman city became director and later joined the city-owned. Especially from the Middle Ages until the early nineteenth century was one of the largest centers for collecting and loading of grain and other foodstuffs that were stored and subject to duty in special stores (Royal Charger). The presence of the shipper had the good fortune of the town that became a major Sicilian port and had intense trade relations with the Italian maritime republics of Genoa, Pisa and Venice and the major Mediterranean ports (Marseille, Barcelona etc.) and also in the sixteenth century Atlantic. At the end of the eighteenth century was the seat of the section of the Ereina Imerese Ereina of Palermo and shortly after Euracea dell'Accademia. In the nineteenth century the closure of Charity Grain was the beginning of a deep economic crisis that narrowed at the end of the century when it developed skills and protoindustriali. The population decline, mainly related to migration to the Americas, was compensated at the beginning of the twentieth century by immigration from Agrigento, from Messina and Ragusa.

Since 1970, Termini Imerese hosts a large Fiat
FIAT, an acronym for Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino , is an Italian automobile manufacturer, engine manufacturer, financial, and industrial group based in Turin in the Italian region of Piedmont. Fiat was founded in 1899 by a group of investors including Giovanni Agnelli...

 automobile manufacturing facility, where Fiat's small cars such as the Fiat 126
Fiat 126
The Fiat 126 is a city car introduced in October 1972 at the Turin Auto Show as a replacement for the Fiat 500. Most were produced in Bielsko-Biała, Poland as the Polski Fiat 126p until 2000...

, the original Fiat Panda
Fiat Panda
The Fiat Panda is a city car from the Italian automobile manufacturer Fiat. The first Fiat Panda was introduced in 1980, and was produced until 2003 with only a few changes. It is now sometimes referred to as the "old Panda". The second model, launched in 2003, is sometimes referred to "New Panda"...

 as well as the Fiat Punto
Fiat Punto
The Fiat Punto is a supermini produced by the Italian manufacturer, Fiat, since 1993.-1st generation :Internally codenamed Project 176, the Punto was announced in September 1993 and launched in late 1993 as a replacement for the ageing Fiat Uno. The Fiat Punto was voted European Car of the Year...

 have been manufactured. Since 2005, the plant is the sole assembly site for the Lancia Ypsilon
Lancia Ypsilon
The Lancia Ypsilon is a supermini produced by Italian automaker Lancia since 1996. It is the replacement of the Y10, although larger and more expensive...

, and in 2006 such a vehicle became the four-millionth one to be produced there.http://www.samar.pl/__/__la/en/__ac/sec,4/new/9694/__Four-million-cars-manufactured-at-Fiat-Termini-Imerese-plant.html However, Fiat has announced that the plant will be closed at the end of 2011. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/8427497.stm

There is also a power station operated by Enel with a generation capacity of 454 MW.
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