Peucetians (Greek: Πευκέτιοι, translit. Peukétioi;
Latin: Peucetii, later also Greek: Ποίδικλοι,
translit. Poidikloi; Latin: Poediculi) were a Iapygian tribe
which inhabited western and central
Apulia in classical antiquity. Two
other Iapygian tribes, the
Daunians and the Messapians, inhabited
northern and southern
Apulia respectively. All three tribes spoke the
Messapian language, but had developed separate archaeological cultures
by the seventh century BC. The
Peucetians lived in the eponymous
region Peucetia, which was bordered by the
Ofanto river and the Murge
in the north, the
Bradano river in the west and the territories of the
Greek colony of Taras and the
Messapians in the south. This region
is mostly coincident with the
Metropolitan City of Bari
Metropolitan City of Bari and a part of
the Province of
2 See also
5 External links
They had three important towns: Canosa, Silvium and Bitonto; the
present capital of Apulia, Bari, had not much importance.
Hellenization their eponymous ancestor, given the name
Peucetis, was said by Dionysius of Halicarnassus to have been the
son of the Arcadian Lycaon and brother of Oenotrus. Lycaon having
divided Arcadia among his twenty-two sons, Peucetios was inspired to
seek better fortune abroad. This etiological myth is considered by
modern writers to suggest strongly that, as far as the
concerned, the Peucetii were culturally part, though an unimportant
part, of Magna Graecia.
Strabo places them to the north of the Calabri.
Strabo adds (VI.8)
"...the terms Peucetii and Daunii are not at all used by the native
inhabitants except in the early times"In the time of
territory occupied by the former Peuceti lay on the mule-track that
was the only connection between
Brindisi and Benevento. Pre-Roman
ceramic evidence justifies Strabo's classification of Daunii, Peucetii
and Messapii, who were all speakers of the Messapian language. There
were twelve tribal proto-statelets among the Peucetii, one of which is
represented by modern Altamura.
Encyclopédie under "Peuceti", distinguishes them from another
ancient people, the Peucetioe who were living in
Liburnia at the head
of the Adriatic, with a reference to Callimachus, as quoted in Pliny
(H.N. III.21) placing their country in Pliny's day as part of
Illyria but modern ethnography treats them as synonyms.
^ Carpenter, Lynch & Robinson 2014, p. 2, 18, 34 and 38–39.
^ Dionysius, Roman Antiquites, I.xi.3.
^ "...on the north [of the land of the Calabri], are the Peucetii and
also those people who in the
Greek language are called Dauni, but the
natives give the name
Apulia to the whole country that comes after
that of the Calabri, though some of them, particularly the Peucetii,
are called Poedicli also." (Geography VI.3).
^ "There are two roads from here: one, a mule-road through the
countries of the Peucetii (who are called Poedicli) the Dauni, and the
Samnitae as far as Beneventum..." (Geography VI.7.
^ on-line text Archived 2007-09-30 at the Wayback Machine.
^ i.e., Ray Laurence, in Cultural Identity in the Roman Empire, 1998,
ch. 7 "Territory, ethnonyms and geography: The construction of
identity in Roman Italy" "...in Apulia, where the Peucetii were also
known as Poedicli..."
Carpenter, T. H.; Lynch, K. M.; Robinson, E. G. D., eds. (2014). The
Italic People of Ancient Apulia: New Evidence from Pottery for
Workshops, Markets, and Customs. New York City, New York: Cambridge
University Press. ISBN 9781139992701.
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