Encyclopedia of Southern Italy – E


Eboli (SA): A commune in the province of Salerno.

Ebremud: See Evremud.

Ebrimud: See Evremud.

Ecphantus: (fl. 4th Century BC; b. Syracuse or Croton). Pythagorean philosopher. He taught that indivisible bodies known as monads, which moved by a divine power (referred to as mind or soul), were the components which made up the world. This was a spherical world which was governed by providence. Some scholars identify Ecphantus as the author of a Neopythagorean treatise entitle On Kingship, although many others contest this and date that work to between the 3rd century BC and the 3rd century AD.

Egnatia Gens: An ancient Roman gens of Samnite origins. They appear to have originally lived in and around the town of Teanum (mod. Teano (CE)) in northern Campania. After the end of the Social War (87 BC), most of the family moved to Rome where two members were admitted to the Senate. Among the surnames belonging to members of his gens were Celer, Maximus, Rufus, and Veratus.

Egnatius, Gellius: (fl. early 3rd century BC). A Samnite leader during the 3rd Samnite War, he led an invasion of Etruria in 288 BC, where he convinced the Etruscans to form and alliance against the Romans.

Eleuterus (Eleutherus), St.: Pope (AD 174/175 – 189). A native of Nicopolis in Epirus, he succeeded St. Soter and was succeeded by St. Victor I.

Eleutherius: (fl. first part of the 7th century AD). Byzantine official. (full page)

Elia of Castrogiovanni, St.: (fl. mid-9th Century). A native of Castrogiovanni in Sicily. While still a minor he fled with his parents from the Saracens who were invading Sicily. They took refuge but were ultimately taken captive. He was fortunate enough on this occasion to be ransomed in North Africa by some Christian mercenaries in the service of the Saracens. While sailing from Africa, his ship was met by a Byzantine vessel to which he transferred. Soon he was able to return home and reunite with his family. Eventually he had the misfortune to be taken captive by the Saracens again. Taken back to North Africa he was sold as a slave to a fellow-Christian. Later, he was sold to a wealthy land owner who grew to respect him as a holy man. Freed at last, he went on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem in c850, remaining there for three years.

Elice (PE): A commune in the province of Pescara.

Elymian (Grk: Elymoi; Lat: Elymi): (Full Page)

Elymian Ware: Pottery ware (dente di lupo, gray ware) common in seventh- and sixth-century west Sicily. Despite the name, there is no good reason to think that “Elymian ware” was actually associated in any way with the Elymian ethnic group.

-emi: a suffix attached to several place names in Sicily who Saracen foundation; e.g. Buscemi, Salemi, and Niscemi.

Empedocles (Grk. Empedokles): an athlete of ancient Akragas. He was victor in the Horse Race at the Olympian Games in 496 BC. He was the grandfather of his namesake, the famous philosopher Empedocles (c490-430 BC).

Emperor: (Ital. imperatore). The highest level of a sovereign, generally ranking over kings. The ruler of an empire The term derives from the Latin imperator, originally a title given to a victorious Roman general. When Roman rulers began to reserve the title exclusively for themselves, imperator took on the meaning of “supreme ruler” which it still holds today.

emporion (Lat. emporium): an ancient Greek trading-post or proto-colony.

Enceladus (Grk. Enkelados): a mythical giant, the son of Tartarus and Gaia (Ge). He participated in the war between the Olympian gods and the Gigantes (giants). He was seriously wounded by Athena who then crushed him beneath the island of Sicily. A fire-breather, it is his breathe that is reputed to spout forth from Mt. Etna.

Endecasillabo: A Central Italian song form with 11-syllable phrases.

Enna, Province of: A province of Sicily.

Enna (EN): A commune and provincial capital in the province of Enna. Population: 18,312 (2006e).

Ennius, Quintus: Quintus Ennius is the first Latin poet; he wrote during the Roman Republic. His Annales, written in dactylic hexameter, chronicled Roman history beginning with the fall of Troy and continuing through Cato the Elder’s censorship. The Annales was an early text used in schools that was eventually replaced with Vergil’s Aeneid.

entablature (Ital. trabeazione): in classical architecture, the section above the capital and below the cornice.

Eparchy: Equivalent of a diocese for an Eastern Rite. There are two eparchies belonging to the Italo-Greek (Byzantine Rite) Church in southern Italy. In 2004, the eparchy of Piana degli Albanesi (formerly Piana dei Greci) in Sicily and that of Lungro degli Italo-Albanesi in Calabria served 28,500 and 32,800 worshippers respectively.

Epathimitus, St.: See Epitimitus, St.

Ephebus: See Euphebius.

Episcopia (PZ): A commune in the province of Potenza.

Epitimitus (or Epathimitus), St.: (fl. AD 1st Century). An early bishop of Naples. His tenure is unknown, although he is often considered to have been either the second or the third bishop of that city. He succeeded St. Asprenus and was succeeded by St. Maron.

Epiuna: an ancient Etruscan goddess, equivalent to the Roman Ops, a fertility deity and earth-goddess.

Erard de Valéry (It: Alardo): (b. cAD1000; d. 1277). French noble. While journeying to the Crusades, he arrived in Italy in 1268 shortly before the battle of Tagliacozzo (Aug. 23, 1268). Greeted by Charles I of Anjou, who in 1255 had ransomed him from captivity in Holland, he joined the Angevin forces. Erard’s military talents were important in Charles’s victory.

Eratosthenes: an athlete of ancient Kroton. He was victor in the stadion at the Olympian Games in 576 BC.

Erchie (BR): A commune in the province of Brindisi. Population: 8,989 (2006e).

Ercolano (NA): A town in Campania, situated on the site of ancient Herculaneum.

Ergoteles: an athlete of ancient Himera in Sicily. He was victor in the dolichos at the Olympian Games in 472 BC and 464 BC.

Erice (TP): A commune in the province of Trapani.

Ericusa: One of the seven principal islands of the Aeoliae Insulae (Aeolian Islands), off the N coast of Sicily.

Eryx: an ancient city in western Sicily. It was situated on a mountain of the same name. Long a source of conflict between Carthage and Syracuse, it was destroyed (c.260 B.C.) by the Carthaginians in the First Punic War. Its temple of Venus Erycina was an important religious shrine; the temple area was excavated in 1936. The most notable remains are Cyclopean walls, some with Phoenician inscriptions. The site is now occupied by the village of Erice.

Esposito, Michele: b. 29 Sept. 1855, Castellammare di Stabia. d. 19 November 1929, Florence. Pianist, composer, conductor and teacher. His principal work was an arrangement of Irish Melodies.

Ethausva: an ancient Etruscan goddess. She was the counterpart of the Roman Vesta.

Etna, Mt.: It is known that the mountain’s name is of ancient but uncertain origins. The most popular theory is that it derives from the ancient Sikel word aitho (= I burn) or aith-na (= fiery one). This, in turn, was derived from the Proto-Indo-European (PIE) *aidh-na (base word *ai– = to burn) Others scholars contend that it comes from the Phoenician attuna (= “furnace”). The regional Sicilian name Mongibello is usually said to derive from the Italian monte bello ( = beautiful mountain) There is another theory, however, that believes that the first part of the name derives from the Arabic jabal (= “mountain”).

Eucarpus: (fl. AD 498). Ecclesiastic. He was the earliest documented Bishop of Messina.

Eugene I, St.: Pope. (rAug 10, 654-June 2, 657).

Eugene II: Pope. (rMay 8, 824-Aug. 827).

Eugene III: Pope. (rFeb 15, 1145-July 8, 1153).

Eugene IV: Pope. (rMar 3, 1431-Feb 23, 1447).

Eugippius (or Eugyppius), St.: (b. Carthage; fl. 2nd part of 5th and 1st part of the 6th century). Ecclesiastic. Born in the middle of the 5th century, he was sent to Rome to be educated and was later ordained a priest. He was a follower of St. Severinus during his missions to convert the people of Noricum (mod. Austria). In AD 488, Eugippius accompanied the remains of Severinus to Naples where they were interred in the new Benedictine monastery of Lucullanum (the former Villa of Lucullus). Eugippius remained there and eventually succeeded Marcianus as abbot.

                Eugippius composed several theological treatises and a Life of St. Severinus.

Eugyppius, St.: See St Eugippius

Eulalius: Antipope (r418-419).

Euonymus: One of the seven principal islands of the Aeoliae Insulae (Aeolian Islands), off the N coast of Sicily.

eupatridai: a social term for the noble or aristocratic class of an ancient Greek city-state. Synonymous with gnorimoi.

Euphebius (or Ephebus,Euthemus, Efrimus): (date uncertain). Ecclesiastic. Bishop of Naples. No reliable account of his life exists and scholars vary widely in trying to establish the time of his tenure. While some state that he died in AD 713, others put him as early as AD 180.

Euphemius: (b. Messina). A Byzantine rebel in Sicily in AD 826/7. Denounced as a criminal, he avoided immediate arrest by having the Byzantine governor of Sicily. Marching to Syracuse, he seized the city and declared himself emperor of Sicily. The rebellion, however, was short-lived when the Byzantine troops on the island, under the command of the Armenian general Palata, refused to support Euphemius. The rebel was forced to flee for his life to Africa where he took refuge at the court of the Saracen Aghlabid emir of Kairuan, Ziyadat Allah I. Euphemius convinced the emir to dispatch a large force to take Sicily from the Byzantines.

Euripides: Athenian tragic playwright lived from ca. 485 BCE to 406 BCE; Euripides began his career as a tragic playwright in 455 BCE; his extant plays include: Alcestis (438), Medea (431), Children of Heracles (ca. 430), Hippolytus (428, first prize), Andromache (ca. 425), Hecuba (ca. 424), Suppliant Women (ca. 423), Electra (ca. 420), Heracles (ca. 416), Trojan Women (415, second prize), Iphigenia among the Taurians (ca. 414), Ion (ca. 413), Helen (412), Phoenician Women (ca. 410), Orestes (408), Bacchae and Iphigenia in Aulis (after 406, posthumous first prize), Cyclops (date unknown, possibly ca. 410).

Eusebius, St.: Pope. (r cAD 309-c310).

Eusebius: (fl. mid. 7th century). Ecclesiastic. Bishop of Naples (cAD 644-650).

Eustatius, St.: An early bishop of Naples. According to some accounts he succeeded St. Agrippinus at an unknown date and was succeeded by St. Fortunatus I in AD 343. Other authorities date him as early as cAD 180.

Euthykles: an athlete of ancient Locri Epizephyrii. He was victor in the Pentathlon in the Olympian Games in 488 BC.

Euthymos: an athlete of ancient Locri Epizephyrii. He was victor in Boxing at the Olympian Games in 484 BC, 476 BC, and 472 BC.

Eutychian, St.: Pope. (rAD Jan 4, 275-Dec. 283).

Evan: Etruscan goddess of immortality.

Evander: Greek king who came to Italy and settled on the Palatine Hill at the site of Rome.

Evaristus (Aristus), St.: Pope (rAD 97/99 – 105/107). He succeeded St. Clement I and was succeeded by St. Alexander I.

Everimud: See Evremud.

Everlasting Gospel: A book of prophesies written by Joachim, a Franciscan abbot of Floria in Calabria. The title is derived from a passage in Revelations (xiv.6), in which St. Francis is declared to be an angel.

Evremud (Ebremud, Ebrimud, Evermud): (fl. 1st part of the 6th Century AD). Ostrogothic leader. The husband of Theudenanda (Theoenanthe), daughter of Theodahad, Gothic king of Italy, he was sent in AD 536 to Rhegium (mod. Reggio di Calabria) to block the Byzantines from crossing over from Sicily to the mainland. Instead of carrying out his orders, he deserted to Belisarius in Sicily, who sent him on to Constantinople. There he was awarded with the rank of a Patrician (patricius), given many other honors, and allowed to settle in comfort.

Exainetos (1): an athlete of ancient Akragas. He was victor in wrestling at the Olympian Games in 496 BC.

Exainetos (2): an athlete of ancient Akragas. He was victor in the Stadion at the Olympian Games in 416 BC and 412 BC.

Exarch: the title used by the Byzantine governors/viceroys in Africa and Italy. The principal official of Byzantine Italy was the Exarch of Ravenna

Exhilaratus (1): (fl. early 7th century). Ecclesiastic. A bishop in Sicily. He is mentioned a letter of AD 603 from Pope Gregory I the Great to Fantinus, the Imperial defensor at Panormus (Palermo). Exhilaratus was apparently guilty of repeated offenses but had his punishments reduced by his judge bishop Leo. Gregory finally had Exhilaratus brought to Rome where the pope dealt harshly with him. Gregory then sent him back to his church in Sicily and wrote the letter to Fantinus asking that official to keep an eye on Exhilaratus’s behavior. The evidence in the letter seems to indicate that Exhilaratus was guilty of severe, even tyrannical, behavior when disciplining his clergy.

Exhilaratus (2): (fl. 1st part of the 8th century). Byzantine Duke of Naples. In AD 726 or 727, Exhilaratus and his son Hadrian launched an attack against Pope Gregory II when the latter refused to support iconoclastic movement. Gregory’s supporters defended him and defeated Exhilaratus in battle Both Exhilaratus and Hadrian were captured and killed.

ex-voto: an artifact designed and given in thanks to a deity or saint, or as the fulfillment of a vow. The term derives from the Latin ex voto suscepto (= “from the vow made”). Ex-votos are among the commonest artifacts found by archaeologists excavating ancient temples and shrines.