The Info List - Oenotria

--- Advertisement ---

The OENOTRIANS ("tribe led by Oenotrus " or "people from the land of vines - Οἰνωτρία") were an ancient people of uncertain origin who inhabited a territory from Paestum
to southern Calabria
in southern Italy
. By the sixth century BC, the Oenotrians had been absorbed into other Italic tribes.

According to Pausanias and Dionysius of Halicarnassus
Dionysius of Halicarnassus
, Oenotria was named after Oenotrus, the youngest of the fifty sons of Lycaon who migrated there from Arcadia
in Peloponnese
. According to Antoninus Liberalis , their arrival triggered the migration of the Elymians
to Sicily
. The settlement of the Greeks with the first stable colonies, such as Metapontum
, founded on a native one (Metabon), pushed the Oenotrians inland. From these positions a "wear and tear war" was started off with the Greek colonies, which they plundered more than once. From the 5th century BC onwards, they disappeared under the pressure of an Oscan people, the Lucanians . Virgil mentions them as the settlers of Hesperia whose descendants now call their land Italy.

A likely derivation of the ethnonym OENOTRIAN would be the Greek οἶνος (oinos), "wine", as the Oenotrians inhabited a territory rich in vineyards , with OENOTRIA (or ENOTRIA) being extended to refer to the entirety of Southern Italy
. Hesychius mentions the word οἴνωτρον (oinōtron), a kind of a vine stake.

According to a traditionalist view, the Oenotrians represent the southern branch of a very old and different ethno-linguistic layer from the proto-Latin one, which would have occupied the Tyrrhenian area from Liguria to