This page is for the Bruttium, a section of the third regio of Italy, Lucania et Bruttii. For the other section, see under Lucania. This region is a peninsula, bounded on the north, beyond the river Lao and the Pollino massif, by the Lucani. The coasts, especially the eastern on the Ionian sea, were strongly colonized by Greek settlers during the middle 1st millennium b.C. These colonies were collectively called Magna Graecia.

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.




Baletum fl.



Caenus pr.
  • Place: Punta del Pezzo, province Reggio di Calabria, region Calabria, Italy
  • Name: Caenus pr. (Plin., Strab.)
  • Etymology: Likely, it is from the Greek kainos 'new, newfound, undiscovered', which fits particularly well if it was given by the first sailors or colonists. The Greek word is from the IE root *ken- 'to appear, be born, to begin, young'.

  • Place: Cirella Vecchia di Diamante, province Cosenza, region Calabria, Italy
  • Name: Cerillae (Strab., Sil. It.) Cerelae (Peut.)
  • Etymology: It was the name of a small island off the Tyrrhenian coast, so maybe the name is Greek in origin.

  • Place: traditionally identified with Amantea, province Cosenza, region Calabria, Italy
  • Name: Clampetia (Plin., Liv., Mel.) Clampesa (Peut.)
  • Etymology: Unknown.

Clibanus m.


Crathis fl.

Lametus fl.

Laus fl., Laus


Sabatus fl.

  • Place: not identified, province Cosenza, region Calabria, Italy
  • Name: Scydrus (?)
  • Etymology: A colony founded by the Sybarites on the Tyrrhenian, its name recalls some in the mainland Greece.

Sila silva
  • Place: massif of Sila, region Calabria, Italy
  • Name: Sila silva (Plin., Strab.)
  • Etymology: Usually considered (UTET) an Oscan counterpart of the Latin silva 'wood'. A similar word has been proposed also for the Thracian language.

Tempsa, *Nuceria



Traeis fl.

Vibo Valentia, Hipponium


Magna Graecia

Acheron fl.
  • Place: not identified, region Calabria, Italy
  • Name: Acheron fl. (Plin.)
  • Etymology: The name likely derives from the various Greeks counterparts, and it was introduced in the area by the Greek colonists.

Aesarus fl.

Arogas fl.

Carcinus fl.

  • Place: Punta Stilo di Monasterace, province Reggio di Calabria, region Calabria, Italy
  • Name: Caulonia (Strab., Liv., Mel.) Caulo (Plin., Peut.)
  • Etymology: It is likely a Greek name, related to kaulos 'stem, shaft', possibly for the shape of the promontory.

  • Place: cape Stilo, province Reggio di Calabria, region Calabria, Italy
  • Name: Cocynthum pr. (Plin.)
  • Etymology: Probably, the name was given by the Greeks, and includes the word -kyntho- widely used in compounds to designate a 'mount'. This was analyzed by Georgiev to be a word of "Pelasgian" origin.


Crotalus fl.


Lacinium pr.


Leucopetra pr.
  • Place: cape d'Armi (Leucopetra pr.), Lazzaro di Motta San Giovanni (Leucopetra), province Reggio di Calabria, region Calabria, Italy
  • Name: Leucopetra pr. (Ptol., Plin., Strab.) Leucopetra (Peut.)
  • Etymology: It is a Greek name, meaning 'white rock'. This confirms the wide use of the adjective 'white' in building place-names.

Locanus fl.
  • Place: river Chiaro, province Reggio di Calabria, region Calabria, Italy
  • Name: Locanus fl. (Ptol.)
  • Etymology: Uncertain.

Locri Epizephyrii


  • Place: possibly Mella di Oppido Mamertino, province Reggio di Calabria, region Calabria, Italy
  • Name: Mamertium (Strab.)
  • Etymology: Likely, it is related to the name of Mars in Oscan, which was Mamers. From the same, the name of the Mamertini, a gruop of Oscan mercenaries that finally settled in Messina, derived.


Metaurus fl., Metaurum


Neaethus fl.
  • Place: river Neto, province Crotone, region Calabria, Italy
  • Name: Neaethus fl. (Plin.) Neetus fl. (Strab.)
  • Etymology: An etymology from local scholars is from the Greek 'to burn the ships', because it was here that the Trojan women escaped from Troy, tired to wander, imposed to their husbands to stop and settle. Curiously, the hydronym compares with an Etruscan word, neitis 'lake'.



Sagra fl.

Scylletium, Scylaceus sin.


Semirus fl.

Sybaris, Sybaris fl., Thurii

Taurianum/Tauroentum, Taurianus m.

Thagines fl.
  • Place: river Tacina, province Crotone, region Calabria, Italy
  • Name: Thagines fl. (Plin.) Tannus fl. (?, Peut.)
  • Etymology: Unclear.

Zephyrium pr.


The ancient inhabitants of the Bruttium are reported to have been Oenotri and Ausoni. These have been attributed to the Western Italic, or Proto-Latin and Siculian stratum by various scholars like Ribezzo and Devoto. Actually, two pre-Oscan strata can be traced from the toponymy. One is Western Italic, with essentially no consonant shift, the other shows the typical consonant shift which I interprete as a remnant of the Liguro-Sicanian stratum.