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Main city of the Provincia di Catania is the second largest city of Sicily and is the capital of the province which bears its name. With some 350,000 inhabitants (750,000 in the metropolitan area) it has the second highest population density on the island. The city's patron saint is Saint Agatha. Catania is located on the east coast of the island, half way between Messina and Siracusa and is at the foot of the active volcano Mount Etna. It was founded in the 8th century BC by Greek colonizers from Chalcis in Euboea led by Euarchos. Initially called ??t?? (Aítne or Ætna), after the volcano, the city was later known as ?at??? (Katáne—see also List of traditional Greek place names). It was extensively destroyed by earthquakes in 1169 and 1693 and by lava flows which ran over and around it into the sea. The first Sicilian university was founded there in 1434.