Zancle was originally founded by pirates from Cuma, the Chalcidian town in the country of the Opicans: afterwards, however, large numbers came from Chalcis and the rest of Euboea, and helped to people the place; the founders being Perieres and Crataemenes from Cuma and Chalcis respectively.
It first had the name of Zancle given it by the Sicels, because the place is shaped like a sickle, which the Sicels call Zanclon; but upon the original settlers being afterwards expelled by some Samians and other Ionians who landed in Sicily flying from the Medes,
and the Samians in their turn not long afterwards by Anaxilas, tyrant of Rhegium, the town was by him colonised with a mixed population, and its name changed to Messina, after his old country.
Himera was founded from Zancle by Euclides, Simus, and Sacon, most of those who went to the colony being Chalcidians; though they were joined by some exiles from Syracuse, defeated in a civil war, called the Myletidae.
The language was a mixture of Chalcidian and Doric, but the institutions which prevailed were the Chalcidian.
Acrae and Casmenae were founded by the Syracusans; Acrae seventy years after Syracuse, Casmenae nearly twenty after Acrae.