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Sardinia

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Common remarks: the place-names have been put in the nominative case, an asterisk * means not attested, reconstructed form. The late place-names of probable Latin origin have not been included. The IE roots are in the form given by Pokorny's Indogermanische Wrterbuch. The links will be active when the single pages will be published, see the main page. For any comment, suggestion, email me.

The mainland

*Aesaronis

Biora
  • Place: close to Serri, province Nuoro, region Sardegna, Italy
  • Name: Biora (It. Ant.)
  • Etymology: Pittau proposed to correct the name into Flora, since he founds no explaiantion for it with the Latin or the Sardian vocabulary.

Bithia

Bosa
  • Place: San Pietro di Bosa, province Nuoro, region Sardegna, Italy
  • Name: Bosa (Ptol.)
  • Etymology: Two Phoenician (Punic) inscriptions have been found near Bosa, one of them mentioning bsn. For Pittau, the name is Sardian and not Punic. For UTET, it compares with placenames in Northern Africa.

Caedrius fl.
  • Place: river Cedrino, province Nuoro, region Sardegna, Italy
  • Name: Caedrius fl. (Ptol.)
  • Etymology: Unknown.

Caralis

Coracodes p.
  • Place: s'Archittu di Cuglieri, province Oristano, region Sardegna, Italy
  • Name: Coracodes p. (Ptol.)
  • Etymology: The port of the Coracenses, mentioned by Ptolemy. The name is explained by Pittau as a Greek '(port shaped like a) raven's beak'.

Cornus

Errebantium pr.
  • Place: cape Testa, cape Falcone, province Sassari, region Sardegna, Italy
  • Name: Errebantium pr. (Ptol.)
  • Etymology: From an ethnical name ?

Feronia

Gorditanum pr.

Gurulis Vetus, Gurulis Nova

Hafa
  • Place: disputed, province Sassari, region Sardegna, Italy
  • Name: Hafa (It. Ant.)
  • Etymology: It should be corrected in Iafa according to Pittau.

Heraeum
  • Place: probably Tempio Pausania, province Sassari, region Sardegna, Italy
  • Name: Heraeum (Ptol.)
  • Etymology: It means '(temple) of Hera', the Greek rendering of some local goddess.

*Hypsa, Aquae Hypsitanae

Iuliola
  • Place: not identified, province Sassari, region Sardegna, Italy
  • Name: Iuliola (Ptol.)
  • Etymology: It derives from Iulia, Caesar's gens.

Lesa, Aquae Lesitanae

Luguido, Portus Liguidonis
  • Place: Castro di Oschiri, province Sassari (Luguido), San Giovanni di Posada, province Nuoro (Portus Liguidonis), region Sardegna, Italy
  • Name: *Lucuido (Ptol.) Luguido (It. Ant.) Portus Liguidonis (It. Ant.)
  • Etymology: According to Pittau, the name is the basis of modern choronym Logudoro and it is related to Gaulish Lugdunum, but this is clearly a naive etymology.

Macopsissa

*Macomades

Neapolis, Aquae Neapolitanae
  • Place: Santa Maria di Nabui di Guspini (Neapolis), Santa Maria de is Acquas di Sardara (Aquae Neapolitanae), province Cagliari, region Sardegna, Italy
  • Name: Neapolis (Ptol., Plin., Peut.) Aquae Neapolitanae (Ptol., It. Ant.)
  • Etymology: A Greek name meaning 'new city'. A famous thesis is that this is only a Greek translation of a pre-existing Punic name qart-hadasht, the same of Carthago. This thesis is decisely refused ba Pittau.

Nora
  • Place: Nora di Pula, province Cagliari, region Sardegna, Italy
  • Name: Nora (Ptol., Plin.) Nura (Peut., It. Ant.)
  • Etymology: Usually consiedered a Phoenician foundation, but not for Pittau that believes in a pre-existing Sardian settlement with a nuraghe. The same author recalls two cities named Nora in Asia Minor and refuses the thesis of Pausanias and Solinus that Nora took its name from its founder Norake.

Nurae

Olbia

Othoca

Pupulum

Saeprus fl.

Saralapis

Sardopatoris fanum
  • Place: Antas di Fluminimaggiore, province Cagliari, region Sardegna, Italy
  • Name: Sardopatoris fanum (Ptol.)
  • Etymology: It was a temple of Sardus Pater, the eponymous hero.

Sarrapos
  • Place: San Vito, province Cagliari, region Sardegna, Italy
  • Name: Sarrapos (It. Ant.) Sarcapos (It. Ant.) Sariapis (An. Rav.)
  • Etymology: Pittau explains the name from a temple of the Egyptian god Serapis, whose cult was introduced in the Mediterranean by the king Ptolemy I.

*Scapum

*Siculum

Sorabile

Sulci
  • Place: Sant'Antioco, province Cagliari, region Sardegna, Italy
  • Name: Solci (Ptol.) Sulci (Plin., Mel., It. Ant., Peut.) Sulchi (Strab.) Sylci (Paus., Steph.)
  • Etymology: The explaination of the Sardinian scholar M. Pittau is that Sulci is the Latin translation of a pre-existing Sardian (or Punic) name meaning 'furrows'. These 'furrows' would have been the channels between the island of Sant'Antioco and the Sardinia, used by the sailors.

Tarrae

Tegula
  • Place: not proveably Porto Scudo di Teulada, province Cagliari, region Sardegna, Italy
  • Name: Tegula (It. Ant.)
  • Etymology: Likely a late Latin name, meaning 'roofing tiles' or more in general 'cottages'.

Temus fl.

Thyrsus fl.

Tibulae
  • Place: disputed, province Sassari, region Sardegna, Italy
  • Name: Tibulae (Ptol., It. Ant.)
  • Etymology: Pittau derives the name from the Latin appellative tibulus 'a kind of pine-tree'. The plural form should have a collective meaning.

Tilium
  • Place: Punta Giglio di Alghero, province Sassari, region Sardegna, Italy
  • Name: Tilium (Ptol.)
  • Etymology: For its present-day name (giglio is the Italian for 'lilac'), Pittau suggested that the name should be corrected as Lilium.

Turris Libisonis
  • Place: Torres di Porto Torres, province Sassari, region Sardegna, Italy
  • Name: Turris Libisonis (Ptol., Plin., It. Ant., Rav.)
  • Etymology: Turris is the Latin appellative for 'tower', and was added to the original place-name when a Roman colony was founded. According to Pittau, this is a Latin translation of a Sardian appellative designating a 'nuraghe', while the second part may be compared with a town Libyssa in Bithynia.

Uselis

Valentia
  • Place: close to Nuragus, province Nuoro, region Sardegna, Italy
  • Name: Valentia (Ptol., Plin.)
  • Etymology: A Roman colony, it took its name from an augural appellative meaning 'wealth'.

Smaller isles

Accipitrum i.
  • Place: island San Pietro, province Cagliari, region Sardegna, Italy
  • Name: Accipitrum i. (Ptol.) Enosim i. (Plin.) Hieracum i. (?)
  • Etymology: The Punic name is Enosim, of unknown origin. The Greek name is Hierakon. The Latin name means 'island of the sparrows'.

Cuniculariae i.
  • Place: Maddalena archipelago, province Sassari, region Sardegna, Italy
  • Name: Cuniculariae i. (Plin.)
  • Etymology: It means 'islands of the rabbits'.

Diabate i.
  • Place: one of the small islands of the Maddalena archipelago, province Sassari, region Sardegna, Italy
  • Name: Diabate i. (Ptol.)
  • Etymology: Likely, a Greek word, from dia 'through'.

Ficaria i.
  • Place: island dei Cavoli, province Cagliari, region Sardegna, Italy
  • Name: Ficaria i. (Ptol., Plin.)
  • Etymology: From Latin '(island) of the figs'.

Fossae i.
  • Place: small islands of the Maddalena archipelago, province Sassari, region Sardegna, Italy
  • Name: Fossae i. (Plin.)
  • Etymology: From Latin fossa 'valley, basin'.

Herculis i.
  • Place: island Asinara, province Sassari, region Sardegna, Italy
  • Name: Herculis i. (Ptol., Plin.)
  • Etymology: It means 'island of Hercules'.

Hermaea i., Hermaeum pr.
  • Place: island Molara (Hermaea i.), cape Marrargiu (Hermaeum pr.), province Sassari, region Sardegna, Italy
  • Name: Hermaea i. (Ptol.) Hermaeum pr. (Ptol.)
  • Etymology: The island or the adjacent promontory were sacred to Hermes.

Ilva i.

Molibodes i.
  • Place: island Sant'Antioco, province Cagliari, region Sardegna, Italy
  • Name: Molibodes i. (Ptol.) Plumbaria i. (?)
  • Etymology: It means 'island of the lead'.

Nymphaea i., Nymphaeum p.
  • Place: island Foradada (Nymphaea i.), Porto Conte di Alghero (Nymphaeum p.), province Sassari, region Sardegna, Italy
  • Name: Nymphaea i. (Ptol.)
  • Etymology: Two Greek names meaning 'island (harbor) of the nymphs'.

Phintonis i.
  • Place: island Caprera, province Sassari, region Sardegna, Italy
  • Name: Phintonis i. (Ptol., Plin.)
  • Etymology: Unknown.

Conclusions

The toponymy of ancient Sardinia seems to be fully IE, especially for that concerning the hydronyms, i.e., the oldest place-names. What is unclear is to which stratum these place-names should be attributed. A possibility is a language of the so-called Liguro-Sicanian stock, with its typical consonant shift.

A few place-names are traditionally attributed to the Punic superstratum, because of some North African counterparts or known appellatives.