This page is for the Lucania, a section of the third regio of Italy, Lucania et Bruttii. For the other section, see under Bruttium. This region is bounded by the Campania on the north-west, beyond the river Sele, by the Apulia on the north-east, by the Tyrrhenian sea on the west, by the Ionian sea on the south-east and by the Bruttii on the south, beyond the river Lao and the Pollino massif.

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.


Acalandrus fl.


Aciris fl.

Alburnus m.

Alentus m.



  • Place: pre-Roman settlement and Roman town at Cimitero and Montelupino di Banzi, province Potenza, region Basilicata, Italy
  • Name: Bantia (Plin., Liv., Plut.)
  • Etymology: Unknown. It has been related to a placename Bandusia fons (Hor.) not idenfied and to Latin pantanus (UTET). In the Tabula Bantina, found here and containing an Oscan-Latin inscription, the placename is Bantia in Latin and Bansa in Oscan.

Bradanus fl.

Buxentum, Pyxus
  • Place: Policastro di Santa Marina, province Salerno, region Campania, Italy
  • Name: Buxentum (Plin., Ptol.) Buxentium (Mel.) Buxentia (Sil. It.) Pyxus (Plin., Strab.)
  • Etymology: It is considered a foundation of the Sybarites. The name Pyxous, -ountos is from Greek pyxos 'boxwood' (Frisk). Buxentum is likely a Latin translation, from buxus 'id.' and a collective suffix. Compare with Pyxites fl. in Asia Minor.


Calor fl.

Casuentus fl.



Elea, Velia

Fistelia, Orbitanium


  • Place: close to Policoro, province Matera, region Basilicata, Italy
  • Name: Heraclea (Plin., Strab., Liv., Mel., Peut.)
  • Etymology: A foundation of Tarentum, the name is Greek.

Isacia i.

Leucosia i.
  • Place: island Licosa, province Salerno, region Campania, Italy
  • Name: Leucosia i. (Plin., Sil. It.)
  • Etymology: It is from Greek leukos 'white', also 'clear' in the meaning 'without wood', or from a related appellative in an Italian language prior to the Greek colonists. The name could have been originally related also to the present-day cape Licosa, the promontory facing the island. According to Pliny, it was a Siren Leucosia that gave her name to the island.

Melpes fl., Molpa





Paestum, Posidonia

Palinurum pr.
  • Place: Cape Palinuro, province Salerno, region Campania, Italy
  • Name: Palinurum pr. (Plin., Strab., Mel.)
  • Etymology: From Palinurus, a comrade of Aeneas according to Virgil.



Semnum, *Semnus fl.

Siris, Siris fl.

  • Place: maxbe Sanza, province Salerno, region Campania, Italy
  • Name: *Sontia from Sontini (Plin.)
  • Etymology: If not an earlier *Ae-sontia or similar, it could derive from the IE participe *sont- of the verb 'to be', with the meaning of 'real, good'.

Tanager fl.
  • Place: river Tanagro or river Negro, province Salerno, region Campania, Name: Tanager fl. (Verg.)
  • Etymology: Unknown.

  • Place: Teggiano, province Salerno, region Campania, Italy
  • Name: Tegianum (?)
  • Etymology: Unknown. It is not clear whether the name derives from an earlier *Tegia (UTET).






The region was ethnically homogeneous at the times of Augustus, but in the past it was inhabited by several different peoples. There is trace in the toponymy of the Liguro-Sicanian stratum (postulated by Devoto) to which probably belonged the Oenotri and Choni, the first peoples recorded. This stratum is characterized by a typical consonant shift.

Few names, mostly in the north, can be surely attributed to the Oscan language, i.e., to the Lucani who descended from the Samnium. On the coasts, there were various Greek colonies, many of which held Greek names.