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Gaius Julius

Itali - The Ancient "Italians"

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I was wondering if anyone could shed some more light on the Itali.

From what little I know, they occupied the southern part of ancient Italy; in present day Calabria.

Apparently, "Itali" comes from the word "vitulus", which means veal, or calf.

After heavy Greek colonization of their lands, the Greeks named them "Italoi", which means "vitulus" in Greek.

 

Thanks, Gaius Julius.

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Well its hazy at best. The Itali were either of Celtic or Eastern stock and migrated south into Italy. Or they were the original Latins of mixed Greek and Celtic stock. Or they were separate from the Latins and were absorbed quickly into the Latin culture.

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Thanks for the reply, primuspilus.

I wasn't able to really find alot of info about the Itali.

My guess, is they were probably closer to the Greeks, but they may have shared the same "Indo-European" ancestry of the Latins.

Who really knows?

As Rome expanded into the south, they were probably absorbed.

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If ancient Calabria was the home of this tribe. It wouldn't have been absorbed completely until the end of the first Punic War. If they were considered of a different stock than either Latin or Greek, my guess is there would be a larger historical record for them. Mind you, this part of Italy was highly hellenized by the times the Romans had control, so separating the Itali from Greek colonists may not have been important to the Romans.

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I was just stumbling over Thucydides "History of the Peloponnesian War" and there a passage caught my attention

 

(the chapter is talking before this line about sailing to Sicily and who was already settled at the time the Athenians arrived.

 

.... The Sicanians appear to have been the next settlers, although they pretend to have been the first of all and aborigines; but the facts show that they were Iberians, driven by the Ligurians from the river Sicanus in Iberia. It was from them that the island, before called Trinacria, took its name of Sicania, and to the present day they inhabit the west of Sicily....

 

If you read one one could see that there was heavy sailing across the meditereanean, and we speak about what 1500 BC? Amazing if you think what kind of busy place that already was..

 

I know those old writings have to be taken with a salt of grain, but nevertheless i thought very interesting

 

anyone knows more about the Sicanians or this period?

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Yes sometimes we think of ancient people as cave dwelling barbarians. In reality many tribes were adventurous explorers and innovators. They had minor capability to build large formidable cultures similar to the way we are organized today, but it didnt affect their ability to organize and develop on a smaller scale. Well, until the Greeks and Romans anyway.

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@sonic as you are also into early Roman period, maybe you know something about Sicanians or this period?

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14 hours ago, Viggen said:

@sonic as you are also into early Roman period, maybe you know something about Sicanians or this period?

If I remember correctly, the trouble is that the period is very badly attested by conflicting reports and opinions.  The ancient sources claim they came from the east, or the west, or were the first inhabitants, so the evidence is contradictory.  At some point in the distant future I'm hoping to look into this on a 'professional' basis, but at the moment I'm stuck researching Attila the Hun!

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I read an article awhile ago by a linguist who suggested the ancient Italic people were Turkic, due to linguistic similarities.  As you probably know, there are a number of assertions, including that of some Romans themselves, that they were originally refugees from Troy, or the areat hereabouts.  I am guessing they combined the Latins with themselves in that assertion.  It seems that the Etruscans were possibly a Turkic people if I remember correctly, or was that Celtic?  I know they used the ancient Celtic design of concentric circles in art and jewelry, an example of which my grandmother owned as a charm in her "bulla bag."    Although many would classify this Turkic origination theory as part of their mythological system, I find it interesting that it complements the theory postulated by the linguist, mentioned above.  My ancestors, the Aurunci people, who were subsequently absorbed by the Romans in the 250's B. C. or around there, (since they lived at that time about 40 km south of Rome), were archeologically traced to islands off the southwestern coast of italy, and then were traced where they finally migrated to the area called Monte Aurunci, which overlooks the peninsula of Gaeta, (ancient "Hades" in Greek, supposedly the first Greek settlement in Italy), and Formia, which was a well known Roman city at which Cicero had a villa and where his tomb is still existant.  My grandmother told me 60 years ago that she and her mother used to walk down Monte Aurunci with baskets of figs, lemons and olives on their heads to sell at the market in Gaeta on Tuesdays.  Gaeta olives, which are famous, are actually from Maranola, which is a suburb village on the mountain, 2 km from Formia.  Formia, by the way, was the ancestral home of John Cabot, (Giovanni Cabotto), whose family had a trading office in England.  As you recall, he was credited, (forget the Danes for a moment), with discovery of part of Canada for the English.  It is often asserted, (do a "Google" search for example), that he was Genovese.  So, why, I ask, does the British Counsel make a ceremonial visit to Formia during the festival  they have for Giovanni Cabotto?  

There are so many erroneous "facts" which are often self-delusional assertions or disguised propaganda by so-called "authorities" in History.  For example, that the U. S. revolution was for "liberty" when really it was the local oligarchs taking control of territory and the local economy.  As someone with a graduate degree in History and who was also deluded for most of my adult life,  I can confidently say now, at 70 years of age, that seeing my fellow man in a condition of economic and political despair sheds a whole new light on the reality of the past and present. I believe with all my heart that the interpretations of History which we were taught were and still are bullshit.  It was nothing but self-delusion and deliberate deception to mask the reality of oligarchs struggling among themselves to control people, and therefore wealth and the pride of power.  It has been and will always be the haves vs. the have nots, though I think that periodically the have-nots gain champions from the among the oligarchs who provide them with temporary respite, (like Caesar or Franklin D. Roosevelt for example.)  Life is basically a struggle to survive for most humans.  The brief period of the rise of the middle class which occurred between 1946 and 1980 was an aberration which is now over.  The techies and financial experts who now comprise (temporarily) are basically uneducated from a liberal arts point of view, and so they do not count on the plus side of the scale of civilization.  Now we have global oligarchy and mass control.  The Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Italy should leave the EU and rid themselves of the control of their government, economy and institutions by German bankers.  The Danes, a wonderfully capable and bright people, should take the hint and go their own way.  The EU is a form of economic imperialism, and the working class Brits who suffered under it, (and of course the Greeks who were politically enslaved by bankers), understand that, if even in a rather primitive manner.  The Spanish and Italian public know it is on balance a negative drag on their independence and culture.  The return of the EU to its original Common Market design will hurt the small number of remaining middle class in the more developed countries of Europe, but it is necessary to take back one's soverignty from the pawns of the oligarchs in Brussels.  They are bullshitting people into thinking the current EU is a good thing, but they are of course the tools of bankers.  Spain declared bankcruptcy several times under the Hapsburgs, (Filipe II I remember) and they survived.  I think Greece should have thrown the finger at the bankers, taken their medicine, and re-gained their dignity and self-determination, if even at the cost of financial distress.  Better to live free as a lion for one day than be screwed constantly by the oligarchs as a lamb.  :P

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