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Among the other mineral products are: antimony and lignite from Messina (61 and 70 tons); asphalt from Syracuse (105,217 tons); rock-salt (12,730 tons).
Fishing, especially tunny-fishing, is very profitable; but the sponge trade is decreasing (1980 tons in 1899, but only 172 in 1909).
Considering the size of the island, it has many good harbours: Messina is the most important for commerce; Empedocle, the sulphur-exporting centre; Palermo, for oranges and lemons; Trapani, wines.
The northern and eastern coasts are generally steep, and the adjacent waters deep; the southern is shallow and has many sandbanks (Pesci, Porcelli, State, Madrepore).
While in the Marches and Umbria the average number of persons in a parish is 600, in the Sicilian dioceses it is 7000 (9000 in Syracuse and 8000 in Palermo).
According to the ancient writers, the first inhabitants of Sicily were the Sicani; later there came from the Italian peninsula the Siculi, who, however, do not seem to have been of the same race or to have had any national unity.
The climate is temperate, the mean summer maximum being 93.2 Fahrenheit; but Sicily suffers considerably from the sirocco.
The wealth of the country is chiefly dependent on agriculture, maritime trade, and mining, especially sulphur.
Next year the Corinthians expelled the Siculi from the island of Ortygia, thus establishing the cradle of the city of Syracuse.