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Messina may have been the harbour at which the Black Death entered Europe: the plague was brought by Genoese ships coming from Caffa in the Crimea. Ignatius founded there the first Jesuit college in the world, which later gave birth to the Studium Generale (the current University of Messina).

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Carthage assisted the Mamertines because of a long-standing conflict with Syracuse over dominance in Sicily.

When Hiero attacked a second time in 264 BC, the Mamertines petitioned the Roman Republic for an alliance, hoping for more reliable protection.

After the fall of the Roman Empire, the city was successively ruled by Goths from 476, then by the Byzantine Empire in 535, by the Arabs in 842, and in 1061 by the Norman brothers Robert Guiscard and Roger Guiscard (later count Roger I of Sicily).

In 1189 the English King Richard I ("The Lionheart") stopped at Messina en route to the Holy Land and briefly occupied the city after a dispute over the dowry of his sister, who had been married to William the Good, King of Sicily In 1345 Orlando d'Aragona, illegitimate son of Frederick II of Sicily was the strategos of Messina.

The city reached the peak of its splendour in the early 17th century, under Spanish domination: at the time it was one of the ten greatest cities in Europe.

In 1674 the city rebelled against the foreign garrison.The city was largely rebuilt in the following year.It incurred further damage from the massive Allied air bombardments of 1943.A comune of its Metropolitan City, located at the southern entrance of the Strait of Messina, is to this day called 'Scaletta Zanclea'.In the early 5th century BC, Anaxilas of Rhegium renamed it Messene ( In 288 BC the Mamertines seized the city by treachery, killing all the men and taking the women as their wives.It managed to remain independent for some time, thanks to the help of the French king Louis XIV, but in 1678, with the Peace of Nijmegen, it was reconquered by the Spaniards and sacked: the university, the senate and all the privileges of autonomy it had enjoyed since the Roman times were abolished.

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