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AENARIA (Ischia) Italy.

An island off the W coast of Campania opposite Cumae, its central mountain, Epomaeus, actively volcanic in Classical times. Called Pithekoussai by the Greeks (the plural sometimes also implies nearby Prochyta/Procida), it is also referred to as Inarime (e.g., by Vergil and Martianus Capella), apparently on the basis of the mention (Il. 2.783) of Typhoeus being chained down “ein Arimois.”

Euboian Greeks from Eretria and Chalkis established here in the early 8th c. B.C. a commercial post to facilitate trade with mainland Etruscans. From here they set up at Cumae, around 750 B.C., the earliest Greek colony in Europe. Pliny rightly derives the Greek name from the local ceramic clay deposits, not from pithekos (ape); he explains the Latin name as connected with Aeneas' beach-head. The island was mostly under the political control of Naples, and was famous for its pottery, fruit, and rich wine.

The Monte Vico area was inhabited from the Bronze Age. The acropolis settlement has been located and some Mycenean and Iron Age pottery as well as evidence of continuous occupation into the 1st c. B.C.

The Greek necropolis nearby has been extensively explored, the 8th and 7th c. graves being especially instructive. Numerous bronze and silver fibulae, Egyptian scarabs, oriental seals, and imported Greek pottery show vigorous trade with Athens, Corinth, Ionia, Euboia, Syria, Phoenicia, and Egypt. Local ware is also well attested, including a Geometric krater with a vivid shipwreck scene and fish devouring sailors. A Rhodian skyphos of ca. 740 B.C. carries one of the earliest of all examples of the Greek alphabet, in Chalkidian script from right to left: a trochaic trimeter followed by two dactylic hexameters which include a reference to Nestor's cup—perhaps implying knowledge already of the Iliad.


Strab. 1.3.10; 2.5.19; 5.4.9; 6.1.6; Plin. NH 3.6.12; Pomp. Mela 2.121; Verg. Aen. 9.716; Sil. Pun. 8.541; 12.147; Stat. Silv. 2.2.76; Martianus Capella 6.644; Ov. Met. 14.90-100.

G. Buchner, “Scavi nella Necropoli di Pithecusa” in Atti e Memorie Soc. Magna Grecia (1954) 3-11; id. & C. Russo, “La Coppa di Nestore e una Iscrizione Metrica da Pitecusa” in RendLinc (1955) 215-34; EAA 4 (1961) 224-29; id., “Pithecusae, Oldest Greek Colony in the West,” Expedition (U.Pa.Museum) (1966) 4-12; A. Maiuri, “Pithecusana” in his Sagga di Varia Antichità (1954) 167-200; J. Bérard, L'Expansion et la Colonisation Grecques (1960) 70-72, 84-87. Map in Napoli e Dintorni (CTI) 336.


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