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Syracuse (Siracusa) Italian seaport city in Sicily, on the Ionian Sea, capital of Syracuse province. Founded in 734 bc by Corinthian Greek colonists, it prospered and established its own colonies, triumphing over the Carthaginians in 480 bc. It grew to become the most important Hellenic city outside Greece, and at one time was probably the world's largest city. Industries: tourism, petrochemicals. Pop. (2001) 125,673.