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Listed 6 sub titles with search on: Information about the place  for wider area of: "IAPYGIA Ancient country ITALY" .

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Greek & Roman Geography (ed. William Smith)


Iapygia (Iapugia), was the name given by the Greeks to the SE. portion of Italy, bordering on the Adriatic Sea, but the term was used with considerable vagueness, being sometimes restricted to the extreme SE. point or peninsula, called also Messapia, and by the Romans Calabria; at other times extended so as to include the whole of what the Romans termed Apulia. Thus Scylax describes the whole coast from Lucania to the promontory of Drion (Mt. Garganus) as comprised in Iapygia, and even includes under that appellation the cities of Metapontum and Heraclea on the gulf of Tarentum, which are usually assigned to Lucania. Hence he states that their coast-line extended for a space of six days and nights' voyage. (Scyl. § 14. p. 5.) Polybius at a later period used the name in an equally extended sense, so as to include the whole of Apulia (iii. 88), as well as the Messapian peninsula; but he elsewhere appears to use the name of Iapygians as equivalent to the Roman term Apulians, and distinguishes them from the Messapians (ii. 24). This is, however, certainly contrary to the usage of earlier Greek writers. Herodotus distinctly applies the term of Iapygia to the peninsula, and calls the Messapians an Iapygian tribe; though he evidently did not limit it to this portion of Italy, and must have extended it, at all events, to the land of the Peucetians, if not of the Daunians also. (Herod. iv. 99, vii. 170.) Aristotle also clearly identifies the Iapygians with the Messapians (Pol. v. 3), though the limits within which he applies the name of Iapygia (Ib. vii. 10) cannot be defined. Indeed, the name of the Iapygian promontory (he akra he Iapugia), universally given to the headland which formed the extreme point of the peninsula, sufficiently proves that this was considered to belong to Iapygia. Strabo confines the term of Iapygia to the peninsula, and says that it was called by some Iapygia, by others Messapia or Calabria. (Strab. vi. pp. 281, 282.) Appian and Dionysius Periegetes, on the contrary, follow Polybius in applying the name of Iapygia to the Roman Apulia, and the latter expressly says that the Iapygian tribes extended as far as Hyrium on the N. side of Mt. Garganus. (Appian, Ann. 45; Dionys. Per. 379.) Ptolemy, as usual, follows the Roman writers, and adopts the names then in use for the divisions of this part of Italy: hence he ignores altogether the name of Iapygia, which is not found in any Roman writer as a geographical appellation; though the Latin poets, as usual, adopted it from the Greeks. (Virg. Aen. xi. 247; Ovid, Met. xv. 703.)
  We have no clue to the origin or meaning of the name of Iapygians, which was undoubtedly given to the people (Iapyges, Iapuges) before it was applied to the country which they inhabited. Niebuhr (vol. i. p. 146) considers it as etymologically connected with the Latin Apulus, but this is very doubtful. The name appears to have been a general one, including several tribes or nations, among which were the Messapians, Sallentini, and Peucetians: hence Herodotus calls the Messapians, Iapygians (Iepuges Messapioi,, vii. 170); and the two names are frequently interchanged. The Greek mythographers, as usual, derived the name from a hero, Iapyx, whom they represented as a son of Lycaon, a descent probably intended to indicate the Pelasgic origin of the Iapygians. (Anton. Liberal. 21; Plin. iii. 11. s. 16.)

This text is from: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854) (ed. William Smith, LLD). Cited September 2004 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities


   A division of Italy, forming what is called the heel. It was called also Messapia, and contained two nations, the Calabri on the northeast, and the Salentini on the southwest side. The name of Iapygia was not known to the Romans, except as an appellation borrowed from the Greeks, to whom it was familiar. Among the many traditions current with the latter people may be reckoned their derivation of this name from Iapyx, the son of Daedalus. This story, however, belongs rather to fable than to history. There is no positive evidence regarding the origin of the Iapyges, but their existence on these shores prior to the arrival of any Grecian colony is recognized by the earliest writers of that nation, such as Herodotus and Hellanicus of Lesbos. Thucydides evidently considered them as barbarians, as did also Scylax, in his Periplus, and Pausanias. It may be noticed that the name of the Iapyges appears on one of the Eugubine Tables under the form Iapuscom, which might lead one to suppose that some connection once existed between this people and the Umbri.

This text is cited Sep 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

Messapii (Messapioi)

   A name given to the early inhabitants of southeastern Italy, often regarded as the earliest historical inhabitants of the peninsula. They are the same as the Iapyges or Iapygii, and are also loosely described as Pencetii, Dauni, Bruttii, Sallentini, Paediculi, etc. They perhaps represent an early migration from Hellas into Italy, though the remains of their language contained in a comparatively few inscriptions show that they were not Greeks proper. Scholars generally hold them to have been of the same stock as the Illyrians (Albanians). Their inscriptions have not been deciphered. The most noticeable features of their language appear to have been the genitive endings -aihi and -ihi (Skt. -asya, Gk. -oio), the use of the aspirated consonants, and the avoidance of final m and t.

This text is cited Sep 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


The Greek name of Calabria.

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