Himera ,.an ancient Greek city of northern Sicily, at the mouth of the river Himera, between Panormus and Cephaloedium. It is said to have been founded about the middle of the 7th century B. C. by a colony from Zancle (the later Messana). It was once subject to the tyrant Phalaris, and at another time was a city of refuse for the Zanclaean tyrant Scythes. Sub-sequently, however, it came to have a despot of its own, named Terillus, who, being ex-pelled, applied to the Carthaginians for assistance, which was the immediate occasion of the first great expedition of that people to Sicily, which took place in 480 B. C. The army of the Carthaginians, said to have been 300,000 strong, commanded by Hamilcar, was defeated at Himera with great slaughter by Gelon of Syracuse. This victory did not however restore liberty to the Himeraeans, but merely transferred them from the tyranny of Terillus to that of Thrasydaeus, the son of Theron of Agrigentum, under whom such i numbers of the citizens were executed or banished that the city had to be repeopled with new colonists, who, being mostly of the Dorian race, rendered it thenceforward a Doric city. After the death of his father, Thrasydaeus was expelled, and then the citizens whom he had driven into exile were allowed to return.
In 409 B. C. the second expedition of the Carthaginians to Sicily took place, under Hannibal, the son of Gisco and grandson of Hamilcar, to whom after a desperate resistance the city succumbed. The greater part of the inhabitants were put to the sword; 3,000 of those who had been taken prisoners were sacrificed by Hannibal to the manes of his grandfather Hamilcar, who had fallen in the great battle above mentioned, while the city itself was utterly destroyed. Himera was never rebuilt, but such of its inhabitants as survived its destruction fled to the neighboring town of Thermae, to which they gave the name of Himera.