Thursday, April 06, 2006

Know how Italy got its Name?

The Enotrians were villagers who lived in the hills above Palinuro, south of Naples. They were the earliest known inhabitants of Calabria and southern Campania. The Greeks, when they arrived there c. 700 BC, had an idealised vision of the Enotrians
(meaning wine lovers) as coming from an Eden-like land of Arcadia.

In reality, they probably came from eastern Europe and moved down into a large area of southern Italy about 1000 BCE. And actually, the Greeks owed their wealth to exploiting proserous native villages such as Molpa that has recently been excavated. It is a very rare example of surviving pre-Greek settlements in Southern Italy. This site had a large necropolis and a monumental sanctuary.

One of the last kings of the Enotrians called Italo or Italos, is said to have changed his kingdom's name from Enotria to Italia. Ah Ha! That's how Italy got its name.


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