The origin and foundation of Segesta is extremely obscure. The tradition current among the Greeks and adopted by Thucydides, ascribed its foundation to a band of Trojan settlers, fugitives from the destruction of their city; and this tradition was readily welcomed by the Romans, who in consequence claimed a kindred origin with the Segestans. Thucydides seems to have considered the Elymians (Latin: Elymi), a barbarian tribe in the neighborhood of Eryx and Segesta, as descended from the Trojans in question; but another account represents the Elymi as a distinct people, already existing in this part of Sicily when the Trojans arrived there and founded the two cities. A different story seems also to have been current, according to which Segesta owed its origin to a band of Phocians, who had been among the followers of Philoctetes; and, as usual, later writers sought to reconcile the two accounts.
Another version of the Trojan story related in Virgil’s Aeneid, which would seem to have been adopted by the inhabitants themselves, ascribed the foundation of the city jointly by the territorial king Egestus or Aegestus (the Acestes of Virgil), who was said to be the offspring of a Dardanian damsel named Segesta by the river god Crinisus, and by those of Aeneas’ folk who wished to remain behind with Acestes to found the city of Acesta. We are told also that the names of Simois and Scamander were given by the Trojan colonists to two small streams which flowed beneath the town, and the latter name is mentioned by Diodorus Siculus as one still in use at a much later period.
Segesta (Greek: Ἔγεστα, Egesta, or Σέγεστα, Ségesta, or Αἴγεστα, Aígesta; Sicilian: Siggésta) was one of the major cities of the Elymians, one of the three indigenous peoples of Sicily. The other major cities of the Elymians were Eryx and Entella. It is located in the northwestern part of Sicily in Italy, near the modern commune of Calatafimi-Segesta in the province of Trapani. The hellenization of Segesta happened very early and had a profound effect on its people.