The Palici (Παλικοί in Greek), or Palaci, were a pair of indigenous Sicilian chthonic deities in Roman mythology, and to a lesser extent in Greek mythology. They are mentioned in Ovid's Metamorphoses V, 406, and in Virgil's Aeneid IX, 585. Their cult centered on three small lakes that emitted sulphurous vapors in the Palagonia plain, and as a result these twin brothers were associated with geysers and the underworld. There was also a shrine to the Palaci in Palacia, where people could subject themselves or others to tests of reliability through divine judgement; passing meant that an oath could be trusted. The mythological lineage of the Palici is uncertain; one legend made the Palici the sons of Zeus, or possibly Hephaestus, by Aetna or Thalia, but another claimed that the Palici were the sons of the Sicilian deity Adranus.

Polish historian Krzysztof Tomasz Witczak suggests the Palici may derive from the old Indo-European mytheme of the divine twins.[1]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Witczak, K. T.; Zawiasa, D. "The Sicilian Palici as representatives of the indo-european divine twins". In: ΜΥΘΟΣ, n. 12, 2004-2005. pp. 93-106.
  • Hammond, N.G.L. & Scullard, H.H. (eds.). The Oxford Classical Dictionary (Oxford; Oxford University Press. 1970).
  • Wilson, R.J.A. Sicily under the Roman Empire (Warminster: Aris and Phillips, 1990), p. 278.
  • Maniscalco, Laura (ed.). Il santuario dei Palici: un centro di culto nella Valle del Margi (Palermo: Regione Siciliana, 2008) (Collana d'Area. Quaderno n. 11).
  • Meurant, Alain. Les Paliques, dieux jumeaux siciliens. Louvain-la-Neuve: Peeters, 1998. ISBN 90-429-0235-3