Palike was an ancient city on Sicily. Its archeological site is located in Rocchicella on a spur of basalt in the valley of the Margi river. There are no certain origins to this ancient town. Diodorus Siculus writes that it was founded in 453 BCE by the native Sikel leader Ducetius. It was named after the sanctuary of the Palici nearby. The city was surrounded by strong walls and grew rapidly because of the fertility of its soil. However, it was soon destroyed and the site remained uninhabited at the time Diodorus wrote the Bibliotheca historica, which he finished in approximately 60 BCE.
Palike's destruction most likely happened in 440 BCE, when the city of Trinakie was destroyed by Syracuse according to Diodorus Siculus. Ducetius had died of an illness earlier in the same year. Peter Green and several other historians argue that Trinakie was most likely the same city as Palike. The table of contents of the Bibliotheca historica refers to the Syracusan campaign as being conducted 'against the Picenians', which makes no sense. If the spelling of the Ancient Greek text is slightly altered, this would read 'against the men of Palici'. Trinakie is an ancient indigenous name for Sicily, which would have been a suitable name for the nationalistic ambitions of the Sicels. The city might have been renamed to Trinakie or it could have been the name of its acropolis.References:
Dating from the 15th century, Kisimul is the only significant surviving medieval castle in the Outer Hebrides. It was the residence of the chief of the Macneils of Barra, who claimed descent from the legendary Niall of the Nine Hostages. Tradition tells of the Macneils settling in Barra in the 11th century, but it was only in 1427 that Gilleonan Macneil comes on record as the first lord. He probably built the castle that dominates the rocky islet, and in its shadow a crew house for his personal galley and crew. The sea coursed through Macneil veins, and a descendant, Ruari ‘the Turbulent’, was arrested for piracy of an English ship during King James VI’s reign in the later 16th century.
Heavy debts eventually forced the Macneil chiefs to sell Barra in 1838. However, a descendant, Robert Lister Macneil, the 45th Chief, repurchased the estate in 1937, and set about restoring his ancestral seat. It passed into Historic Scotland’s care in 2000.
The castle dates essentially from the 15th century. It takes the form of a three-storey tower house. This formed the residence of the clan chief. An associated curtain wall fringed the small rock on which the castle stood, and enclosed a small courtyard in which there are ancillary buildings. These comprised a feasting hall, a chapel, a tanist’s house and a watchman’s house. Most were restored in the 20th century, the tanist’s house serving as the family home of the Macneils. A well near the postern gate is fed with fresh water from an underground seam. Outside the curtain wall, beside the original landing-place, are the foundations of the crew house, where the sailors manning their chief’s galley had their quarters.