Mythical origins of Modica
According to legend, the foundation of the city of Modica came about by the hand of the mythological hero Hercules.
It is said that the Greek hero during his tenth Fatigue, after having taken possession of the red oxen of the giant Geryon, brought these to Sicily. When he arrived on the island, however, the oxen were stolen from him. It was then that a woman came to his aid who showed him the three possible places where he could find them. Hercules went to these places and managed to find his oxen. To thank the woman he then decided to found three cities with the name Motya in each of the three places. The three cities were: Mozia di Capo Lilibeo, Mozia near Agrigento, and finally, Mediterranean Mozia, today's Modica.
The identification of Modica with the "Mediterranean Mozia" is carried out through the following description: "the which is not far from Pachino, but not near the sea shore ". This interpretation is also endorsed by the Alexandrian geographer of the 2nd century AD. Claudius Ptolemy, who places the homonymous river of Mothukanus in the area.
The legend was very widespread in the past centuries to the point that even in the nineteenth century Modica was called "The City of Hercules".