Peucetia et Calabria (Apulia part II)

Contents

This is the second and last page devoted to the second region of Italy, Apulia et Calabria. For the other part, see under Hirpinia (which includes Daunia). This second part considers the region of the Peuceti, south of the Ofanto river, the region of the Calabri, around Tarentum, and the region of the Sallentini that forms the "heel" of Italy, still today called Salento.

Common remarks: the place-names have been put in the nominative case, an asterisk * means not attested, reconstructed form. The late place-names of probable Latin origin have not been included. The IE roots are in the form given by Pokorny's Indogermanische W÷rterbuch. The links will be active when the single pages will be published, see the main page. For any comment, suggestion, email me.

Peuceti

Aveldius fl.

Barduli

Barium
  • Place: Bari, province Bari, region Puglia, Italy
  • Name: Barium (Ptol., Plin., Strab., Liv., Mel., Hor., Peut.)
  • Etymology: Usually attributed to the Messapian language (UTET) and explained from an appellative glossed as burion, bauria meaning 'house' and similar. This appellative derives ultimately from the IE root *bheu- 'to be, grow'.

Cannae

Canusium

Celia

Diria

Egnatia
  • Place: Agnazzo di Fasano, province Brindisi, region Puglia, Italy
  • Name: Egnatia (Ptol., Strab.) Gnatia (Plin., Mel., Hor., Peut.)
  • Etymology: Possibly from Latin. The forms like gna- have been influenced by the Greek gnathos 'jaw'.

Forentum

Genusia

Mateola

*Melfa

Natiolum

Pactius fl.
  • Place: possibly Canale Reale, province Brindisi, region Puglia, Italy
  • Name: Pactius fl. (Plin.) Pastium (?) (Peut.)
  • Etymology: Possibly a Latin name.

Rubi

Rudiae

Silvium
  • Place: Botromagno di Gravina in Puglia, province Bari, region Puglia, Italy
  • Name: Silvium (Strab., Plin.) Silutum (Peut.) Sidi(n)on (coins ?)
  • Etymology: Unclear is the relationship between the Roman name Silvium and the supposed Greek name Sidion, Sidinon or similar.

Strapellum

Turenum
  • Place: Trani, province Bari, region Puglia, Italy
  • Name: Turenum (Peut.)
  • Etymology: Unknown. The name has been explained from a Tyrrhenian foundation, also for the suffix -eno that is usually intepreted as an Etruscan "spy".

Venusia

Calabri

Apaneste
  • Place: not identified
  • Name: Apamestini (Plin.) Apenestae (Ptol.)
  • Etymology: Ptolemy places the town in the Dauni, Pliny in the Calabri, so maybe there were two places with a similar name that should have been the one found in Ptolemy (Alessio-De Giovanni). This has been compared with a series of appellatives and placenames *ap- and explained from a "Mediterranean" stem meaning 'sharp'.

*Argetium

Aezetium

Balesium

Butuntum

Brundisium

Caelia

Carbinium

Grumum

Manduria

Mesochorum
  • Place: Misicuro di Grottaglie, province Taranto, region Puglia, Italy
  • Name: Mesochorum (Peut., Rav.)
  • Etymology: It is the Greek mesochoron 'in the middle of the land' and probably signed the border between the Peucetia and the Messapia.

Norba

Palio

Stulni

Tarentum

Uria

Uretum

Sallentini

Aletium

Basta

Callipolis, Anxa

Fratuentium
  • Place: not identified, province Lecce, region Puglia, Italy
  • Name: Fratuentium (Plin.)
  • Etymology: This name is an enygma, because a name showing an Italic-type initial f is not expected in the region of the Sallentini, but the ending -entium is typical of this region. Maybe it is only a Latinization of an old Greek name with phr-.

Hydruntum

Iapyx fl., Iapygium pr.

Lupiae

Neretum

Rudiae

Soletum
  • Place: probably Soleto, province Lecce, region Puglia, Italy
  • Name: Soletum (Plin.)
  • Etymology: Maybe the name is simply the Latin soletum 'a desert place', since Pliny mentions it as ''...Soletum desertum...''.

Uzentum

Veretum

Conclusions

A phonetic distinction arises between some toponyms of the coast and of the north, and the bulk of the placenames in the Sallentini and in the interior. In the first ones, there is evidence of a development of sonant n into un, and hence the typical placenames in -untum. Vice versa in the south, the IE participe marker *-ent-ium is clearly represented by an *-ent-ium that became *esium and transcribed often as etium. The northern stratum has a correspondence in Illyria, also for the typical development *a->ia- in initial position. This feature is considered as Daco-Mysian by Georgiev and therefore it is possible that this stratum was extended from Dacia and Moesia also on the shores of the Adriatic sea and then was transported into coastal Apulia by the ones who are recorded as Iapudes, Iapygi.

The language of the south and of the interior is a centum language, has no aspirated stops (*bh>b, etc.) and shows some typical trait like *-ri->-rr- and probably the already mentioned *-nti->-si-. It should be the language recorded and known as Messapian, which is also considered as belonging to the Illyrian branch. It is difficult to assign to these two groups the various ethnical of Calabri, Peuceti (Poediculi), Sallentini, Messapi, etc.

At the border with Lucania there is at least an evidence of an Oscan stratum, due to the Lucani. Some Greek names are found around the city of Tarentum.