Abacaenum (Greek: Abakainon) (ME): An ancient city located in NE Sicily, close to the source of the river Helion, near Tyndaris, to the SW of Messene. Founded by the Sikels in pre-Hellenic times, it had achieved a high level of prosperity by the 5th century BC. Despite the fact that its culture became largely Hellenized, there is no evidence to show that Abacaenum was ever actually colonized by the Greeks. Thus it can be safely assumed that its population remained dominated by native Sikels throughout its known history. That history, unfortunately, is rather meager. Little is known of Abacaenum’s history outside of its dealings with Syracuse. In 395 BC, its territory was seized by Dionysius I of Syracuse, who transferred it to his newly-founded Tyndaris. As a consequence, Abacaenum entered into an alliance with the Carthaginians. This action, however, proved to be disastrous for the city when, in 394 BC, Dionysius attacked and captured it. In 315 BC, the Sikels of Abacaenum made a new alliance with the Carthaginians. This resulted in another successful capture of the city, this time in 313 BC by Agathocles of Syracuse. After the end of the 1st Punic War, Abacaenum came under the control of the Romans who awarded it the status of a municipium. Abacaenum appears to have gone into a slow decline, owing largely to the proximity of Tyndaris. It was still been in existence when Ptolemy mentioned it in his Geography (2nd Century AD), Abacaenum the disappeared from the historical record.