Mythical origin of the town (at the time Iruka) was inhabited by the Elymians, who built the walls and erected the temple dedicated to the worship of Venus, the goddess of fertility and love.

Some historians identify the Elimi with the Sicani, others argue that they originated from the Ligurian coast, others from Anatolia after the destruction of Troy. The city was at the end of the fifth century. the Carthaginians and the Romans at the Battle of the Egadi (241 BC).

After a period of decline was rebuilt by the Arabs who called Gebel-Hamed and from the Normans who was Monte San Giuliano.

Erice was famous in antiquity for the sacred and ancient pagan worship of Venus Ericina (Ibla for Sicani, Astarte, the Carthaginians, the Phoenicians and then Toruc to Aphrodite for the Greeks and Venus to the Romans) which was dedicated a temple where practiced sacred prostitution.

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