[city list Apulia] [info]
Apulia, Puglia in Italian language, is the heel of the Italian's boot. For the Romans, Apulia did not include the Sallentine peninsula, which they called Calabria. This name transferred in mediaeval times to the 'toe' of Italy.
The name Puglia comes from the Greek Iapygia, the land of the Iapyges. Most of these these Iapyges were not autochthonous Italians, but were (as is sought nowadays) Illyrians. Illyrians and possibly other immigrants, such as refugees from the collapsed Mycenaean power centres more or less mixed with the native Ausones or Osci. After 700 BC separate tribes had developed. The Greeks identified them as Daunii, Peucetii and Messapii (from north to south, including the Sallentine peninsula). Ceramic evidence justifies this classification.
As late as the 5C BC the Iapyges were living under 'kings'. In the 4C BC the monarchies had converted into republics and multiplied the number of states. There were 12 statelets among the Peucetii, the number among the Daunii is not recorded. Many of the states issued coins with Greek legends. Hellenization of Apulia. presumably, gave rise to the tale that Achaean heroes had founded many of its towns. Diomedes of Argos, who fought with Agamemnon in the Trojan War, went to the Apulian city of Daunia. He married Euippe, the daughter of king Daunos, and built many famous cities: Arpi, Brundisium, Canusium, Luceria and Sipontum.
Oscan-speaking Sabelli, came to Apulia by the 4C BC, and probably earlier. They were to be found in the Daunian lands at Lucera, Ausculum, and possibly at Arpi. Presumably these Oscan-speakers contributed to the increase in military activity in Apulia in the 4C BC (fortifications of Manduria and other cities). Especially in Daunian Apulia there was temporally a decline in Greek influence. Causium replaced Arpi as the principal Daunian centre.
By the end of the 4C BC, however, Roman power had begun its penetration of Apulia, and this brought Sabellian military expansion there to an end; but it was also to bring an end to the sovereign independence of all the peoples of the region.