Get a site

Liguria

Contents

This page is devoted to the IX region of Italy, Liguria, bounded by the Ligurian sea on the south, the Alps on the west, the river Padus on the north, and by Gallia Cispadana and Etruria on the east. The region is divided in two parts, south and north of the Apennine range, respectively.

Common remarks: the place-names are given in the nominative case

Liguria (335K)

Southern Liguria

Alba Docilia
  • Place: Albissola, province Savona, region Liguria, Italy
  • Name: Alba Docilia (Peut.)
  • Etymology: Literarily, the album (the Celto-Ligurian name for 'settlement') Docilia, maybe a gens.

Albingaunum
  • Place: Albenga, province Savona, region Liguria, Italy
  • Name: Albingaunum (Ptol., Strab., Mel., It. Mar., It. Ant.) Albincaunum (Peut.) Album Ingaunum (Plin.)
  • Etymology: Literarily, the album (the Celto-Ligurian name for 'settlement') of the Ingauni, a tribe.

Albintimilium
  • Place: Ventimiglia, province Imperia, region Liguria, Italy
  • Name: Albintimilium (Ptol.) Album Intimilium (Plin.) Albium Intemelium (Strab.) Vintimilium (It. Mar.) Albentimilium (It. Ant., Peut.)
  • Etymology: Literarily, the album (the Celto-Ligurian name for 'settlement') of the Intemelii, a tribe. Strabo says that an alternative name for Albium is Alpium. The latter should be the Ligurian spelling, while Albium is a Latinized, a pre-Ligurian or a Celtic form.

Alpes m.

*Apua

Berigiema m.

Blustiemelum iug.

Boacia fl.

Bodetia

Caeptiema

Canalicum
  • Place: possibly Madonna delle Grazie di Cairo Montenotte, province Savona, region Liguria, Italy
  • Name: Canalicum (It. Ant.) Calanicum (Peut.)
  • Etymology: Likely a late Roman name, from canalis 'channel'.

Comberanea fl.

Crixia
  • Place: Pareta di Piana Crixia, province Savona, region Liguria, Italy
  • Name: Crixia (Peut., It. Ant.)
  • Etymology: Unknown.

Entella fl.

Fertor fl.

Genua

Hasta

Lebriemelus fons
  • Place: not identified, province Genova, region Liguria, Italy
  • Name: Lebriemelus fons (inscr.)
  • Etymology: Usually (Petracco Sicardi) explained as 'the spring of the hare', from a Ligurian word similar to Latin lepus 'hare'. This word was considered pre-IE by most substratist scholars. Actually, the hydronym can be a double compound, from another placename *Lebriema, with the derivative suffix *-elas. And this *Lebriema could have meant 'a place of hares'. According to other scholars (Devoto), the name is a compound of *mello- 'mound', meaning 'hill of the hares'.

Lemuris fl., Lemurinus m.

Lucus Bormani
  • Place: forest of Diano Marina, province, region Liguria, Italy
  • Name: Lucus Bormani (Peut., It. Ant.)
  • Etymology: A mansio that took its name from that of a forest sacred to the god Bormanus.

Macra fl.

Man(n)icelus fons

Merula fl.
  • Place: river Merula, province Savona, region Liguria, Italy
  • Name: Merula fl. (Plin.)
  • Etymology: Maybe related with Gaulish mero- 'wild, agitated'. Possibly, the official form of hydronym has been influenced by Latin merula 'blackbird'.

Neviasca fl.

Porcobera fl.

Portus Delphini
  • Place: Portofino, province Genova, region Liguria, Italy
  • Name: Portus Delphini (Plin., It. Ant., It. Mar.)
  • Etymology: Perhaps it is a reference to the shape of the promontory, which at its tip is reminiscent of the outline of a dolphin (delphinus in Latin). Or perhaps it owes its name to the deep sea bed, the ideal environment for those inhabitants of the sea.

Portus Veneris
  • Place: Porto Venere, province La Spezia, region Liguria, Italy
  • Name: Portus Veneris (Strab., It. Mar.)
  • Etymology: From a temple of Venus.

Ricina

Rutuba fl.

Savo

Segesta Tigulliorum

Tavia fl.

Tigullia
  • Place: disputed, province Genova, region Liguria, Italy
  • Name: Tigullia (Ptol.) Tigulia (Plin., Mel.)
  • Etymology: The name derives from that of the Tigulli, a Ligurian tribe.

Vada Sabatia

Vindupale fl.

Vinelasca fl.

Northern Liguria

Alba Pompeia

Aquae Statiellae
  • Place: Acqui Terme, province Alessandria, region Piemonte, Italy
  • Name: Aquae Statiellae (Ptol., Plin.) Aquae Stateliae (Peut.) Aquae (Paul. Diac.)
  • Etymology: A Latin name, meaning '(spa) waters', specified by the tribal name of the Statielli.

Asta

Augusta Bagiennorum
  • Place: Roncaglia di Bene Vagienna, province Cuneo, region Piemonte, Italy
  • Name: Augusta Bagiennorum (Ptol., Plin.)
  • Etymology: A Roman colony, the specification is from the tribal name of the Bagienni.

Bersula fl.

Bobium

Bodincomagus

Carrea

Carystum
  • Place: close to Acqui Terme, Alessandria, region Piemonte, Italy
  • Name: Carystum (Liv.)
  • Etymology: A similar place-name was in Euboea.

Ceba

Dertona

Forum Fulvii
  • Place: Villa del Foro di Alessandria, province Alessandria, region Piemonte, Italy
  • Name: Forum Fulvii (Plin.) Forum (Paul. Diac.)
  • Etymology: A marketplace along the road Fulvia.

Industria

Iria

Libarna

Odubria fl.

Bodincus fl., Padus fl.

Pollentia
  • Place: Pollenzo di Bra, province Cuneo, region Piemonte, Italy
  • Name: Pollentia (Ptol., Plin., Sil. It., Cic.) Polentia (Peut.)
  • Etymology: A Roman foundation, the name is from Latin polleo 'I am mighty'.

Tanarus fl.

Trebia fl.

Vardacate

Varusa fl.

Conclusions

There seems to be at least three different strata in Liguria's toponymy. The most recent could be a form of Gaulish, and it appears in a number of placenames with clear Celtic counterparts or that can be explained with known Celtic appellatives.

A second stratum, maybe older is the one that I propose to call Liguro-Sicanian. This hypothetical language can be traced from a number of placenames, mainly of mountains and rivers like the very Alpes m. and Padus fl., showing a peculiar consonant shift, e.g., *bh>p, *dh>t, etc. Such a stratum could have occupied the whole Tyrrhenian coast of Italy before the Western Italic branch.

A third group of placenames is of difficult attribution. Some of them show an initial p-, which excludes a Gaulish origin, but at the same time they do not show the typical Ligurian consonant shift. Actually this Pre-Celtic stratum, if a separate language group, seem to have had a very regular consonant system, so maybe it is rather old. The situation is similar to that of the Lusitanian language in Iberian peninsula, or of the generic Alteuropaeisch stratum postulated by many scholars.