from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Peoples on the Italian Peninsula at the beginning of the Iron Age
  • Ligurians
  • Veneter
  • Etruscan
  • Picener
  • Umbrian
  • Latins
  • Oscar
  • Messapaper
  • Greeks
  • The Messapians were the inhabitants of the southern part of Japygien ( Apulia ), the area around the present-day cities of Tarento , Brindisi and Lecce . The Messapians were related to the Peuketeers (in today's province of Bari ) and the Daunians (in today's province of Foggia ), who are also known under the name of the Salentines. Their capitals were Uzentum, Rudiae, Brundisium and Uria .

    The name Messapier probably means “people between two seas” because they settled in the south of Apulia , between the Adriatic and the Ionian Sea . They mingled with the population present and so founded the first cities where they introduced their customs and traditions. According to the Greek historian Herodotus , the Messapians, who were a unified and compact people, came from the Cretans . On their way back from an ultimately unsuccessful campaign against the Sicans in Sicily , where their mythical king Minos had died a few years earlier , a storm brought them to the coast of Japygia, where they stayed and founded the city of Hyria. Today, however, it is believed that the Messapiers came from Illyria and that they came from around 1000 BC. Came to Otranto . Herodotus also mentioned that the Messapians gave the Greeks of Taras in 473 BC. Would have inflicted a serious defeat.

    Only a sparse group of inscriptions in the Messapic language are preserved today; some of them can be seen in the National Archaeological Museum of Taranto .

    See also


    • Luciana Aigner-Foresti : Gli Illiri in Italia. Istituzioni politiche nella Messapia preromana. In: Gianpaolo Urso (ed.): Dall 'Adriatico al Danubio. L'Illirico nell 'età greca e romana. Atti del convegno internazionale, Cividale del Friuli 2003, 25-27 September 2003 (= I convegni della Fondazione Niccolò Canussio, vol. 3). Edizioni ETS, Pisa 2004, ISBN 88-467-1069-X , pp. 79-94. (PDF version; 172 kB)

    Web links

    Commons : Illyria and Illyrians  - album with pictures, videos and audio files

    Individual evidence

    1. Herodotus, Histories 7,170.