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Ear of Dionysus – The evil tyrant

The Ear of Dionysus (or Ear of Dionysius) is an artificial cave located in the ancient stone quarry known as the Latomia del Paradiso, beneath the Greek Theatre in Syracuse. The cave is endowed with exceptional acoustic properties (sounds are amplified up to 16 times), which together with its shape led Michelangelo di Caravaggio, who visited Syracuse in 1608, to name it the Ear of Dionysius, thus giving strength to the 16th-century legend according to which the famous tyrant Dionysius had this cave built as a prison and locked his prisoners in it to hear (through an opening at the top) their words magnified by the echo.

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