Encyclopedia of Southern Italy – L


Labellum: Ancient name of Lavello (PZ).

Lablache, Luigi: (b. Dec. 6, 1794, in Naples; d. Jan. 23, 1858, in Naples). Singer. The son of a French merchant from Marseilles, he came to the attention of Joseph Bonaparte who placed him in a music conservatory in Naples. A troublesome youth who disliked the structure imposed at the conservatory, he had to be forced to complete his studies there by being threatened with imprisonment. He finally began his singing career in 1812 as a singer in opera buffo. He spent these early years performing in minor theaters in Naples, Messina and Palermo. In 1817 he finally performed at La Scala theater in Milan. The success of his performance there launched his career in the major theaters of northern Italy, Vienna, and elsewhere. In 1830, he returned to Naples to become royal chapel-master and to perform at the San Carlo theater. He soon returned to touring Europe, spending most time performing in London, Paris, and, occasionally, Naples. Lablache’s incredible artistic skill and dedication to excellence, coupled with his great range and pure voice made him one of the most popular singers of his age. For a time he was the singing master and personal friend of the queen of England.

Lachrymae Christi: (= “tears of Christ”). A noted wine produced for centuries in and around Naples and much of Campania. Under the Bourbons, the wine was considered so fine that it was produced only in a small quantity for use almost exclusively by the royal family.

Ladislaus: King of Naples (r1386-1414). He was opposed by Louis II of Anjou (r1390-1399).

Laidulf: Prince of Capua (993-999).

Lamachos: an athlete of ancient Tauromenium in Sicily. He was victor in the stadion at the Olympian Games in 56 BC.

Lamarque, Count Maximilien: b. July 22, 1770, in St. Sever, France; d. June 1, 1832, in Paris. French soldier and political orator. After a distinguished military career, he entered into the service of Napoleon, fighting for him as a brigadier-general at Austerlitz. He participated in the French invasion of the Kingdom of Naples, participating in the capture of Gaeta in 1806. He also was responsible for crushing an insurrection in Calabria. In 1807, he defeated a British force and was promoted to the rank of general of division. Under King Joachim Murat he successfully captured the island and citadel of Capri from the British garrison under Sir Hudson Lowe. In later years, following Napoleon’s return from Elba, Lamarque served with loyalty. After Waterloo and Napoleon’s final exile, Lamarque was forced to flee from France. He settled in Amsterdam for a time before being allowed to return home.

Lametus fl. (mod. river Amato, Calabria): An ancient river in Bruttium. According to one theory, the name is of ancient Illyrian origin, related to the Indo-European root *lama- (‘swamp, puddle’).

Lamezia Terme (formerly Nicastro) (CZ): A commune in the province of Catanzaro. Population: 70,365 (2006e); 18,150 (1901).

Lamezia Terme, Diocese of:

Metropolitan: Catanzaro – Squillace.

Conference Region: Calabria.

Area: 915 km²/ mi²

Total Population: 137,223.

Total Priests: 80 (Diocesan: 67; Religious: 13).

Permanent Deacons: 22

Parishes: 60.

Lanbadusha: Arabic name for the island of Lampedusa.

Lanciano (CH): A commune in the province of Chieti. Population: 36,306 (2006e). It is located 13 miles SE of Chieti.

Landenulf of Capua: Bishop of Capua (r AD 879 – ?).

Landenulf I of Capua: Prince of Capua (r885-887).

Landenulf II of Capua: Prince of Capua (982-993).

Lando: Pope. (rJuly/Aug 913-Feb/Mar 914).

Lando I of Capua: Prince of Capua (r843-861).

Lando II of Capua: Prince of Capua (r861).

Lando III of Capua: Prince of Capua (r882-885).

Landolfo: (fl. early 11th Century). The son of Giovanni IV (Duke of Naples AD 999-1002), he was adopted by the infamous Marozia, senetrix of Rome.

Landolina, Giovanni Battista: (fl. late 17th / early 18th Centuries). Marchese di S. Alfano. Following the destruction of the Sicilian city of Noto in the great earthquake of 1693, he was responsible having the city rebuilt on a new site about 10 km from the original one. Working with three local architects, he designed the new city in a careful layout, structured as much on current socio-economics as practicality. Laid out on a hill, the wealthy aristocrats were given the highest elevations where they could enjoy the cleanest air and best views. The cathedral and its piazza mark the center of the town, while the districts for the poor classes stretched along the urban edges. In 1730, Giovanni’s son, Francesco, disregarded his father’s social town pattern by building his Palazzo Landolina at the town center beside the cathedral.

Landulf I of Capua: Prince of Capua (r840-843).

Landulf I of Capua: Bishop of Capua (r 843-879).

Landulf II of Benevento: See Landulf IV of Capua.

Landulf II of Capua (1): Prince of Capua (r863-879). He usurped the power in Capua from his nephew in 863.

Landulf II of Capua (2): Bishop of Capua (r 879-882; 882 – ?).

Landulf III of Capua: (). Prince of Capua (co-ruler 901-943). After the death of Atenulf I, he shared power with Atenulf II (r911-940), Landulf IV (r939 or 940-943), and Atenulf III Carinola (r933-943).

Landulf IV “the Red” of Capua: (d. 961). Prince of Capua (r939/940-961) and Prince of Benevento (as Landulf II) (r939/940-961). He was raised to power when his father made him co-ruler. Upon his father’s death he immediately sent his elder brother Atenulf to Benevento and his cousin Landulf to Capua. Both men, believing that they were going to be killed, fled to Guaimar II of Salerno. In modern times, Landulf has figured into the bizarre psychology of Adolf Hitler who believed that he was the reincarnation of Landulf.

Landulf V of Capua: Prince of Capua (959-968).

Landulf VI of Capua: Prince of Capua (968-982).

Landulf VII of Capua: Prince of Capua (999-1007).

Landulf VIII of Capua: Prince of Capua (1057-1058).

Langobardi: Italian name for the Lombards.

L’Aquila: (formerly Aquila, Aquila), Province of: A province (area: 2,485 mi² [5,034.6 km²]) in the region of Abruzzo. It produces cereal crops, flax, hemp and fruits.

L’Aquila (formerly Aquila, Aquila): A city and regional capital of Abruzzo. It is the  provincial capital of the province of L’Aquila. Population: 71,989 (2006e). Located about 55 miles NE of Rome, it is situated at the foot of the Gran Sasso d’Italia. It is the site of a 13th century cathedral. The economy is based in part on saffron-growing and lace-manufacturing.

                The city was founded in 1240 by Emperor Frederick II, on the site of ancient Amiternum, the birthplace of Sallust. It suffered from earthquakes in 1688, 1703, and 1706.

                The city grew in size and prosperity to become second in the kingdom of Naples only to the capital itself. At the height of its power in the early 16th century, it could field a militia of 15,000 armed men.

                Under the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, it was the capital of the province of Abruzzo Ultra. In 1856, the population was about 12,000. According to New American Cyclopaedia (1858 ed) it had 24 churches and “numerous monastic houses.”

Laran (Larun): Etruscan god of war. He was often depicted as naked, holding a spear and wearing a helmet.

Larcii: An important family of ancient Rome. It was originally of Etruscan origins.

Larunda: an ancient Italic/Sabine goddess. An earth mother-goddess, some sources name her as the mother of the Lares. Her name is said to mean “may she cause the eath to turn green.”

La serpe: a long strip of cloud that occasionally lies against the southern base of Mount Etna. It is usually a portent of rain.

Lasa: A class of Etruscan goddesses or nymphs who watched over graves. They were often the companions of the love goddess Turun.

Latymnus Mons: A mountain in ancient Bruttium, located near Croton.

Laus: A Greek city in ancient Lucania. Located near the mouth of the river Laus, it was founded by refugees from Sybaris following the destruction of that city in 510 BC. The city was short-lived and played no significant role in history. It was deserted by the time of Pliny (AD 1st Century). The modern town of (Marcellina di) Santa Maria del Cedro (CS) sits on the site of the ancient city.

Laus (mod. Lao), River: An ancient river on the southern Italian mainland. The river rises in the Lucanian Apennines and is a considerable stream throughout its length. It emptied into the Gulf of Laus (mod. Golfo di Policastro) near the modern town of Santa Maria del Cedro (CS). According to Pliny, Ptolemy and Strabo, it formed the boundary between ancient Lucania and Bruttium. The name of the river, and the associated Greek town, is believed to be related to the Indo-European root *lou(e)- (‘to wash’).

Laverna: an ancient Italic goddess, queen of the underworld. It was a custom to pour libations to her using the left hand.

Lavinium: An ancient town of Bruttium, near the modern town of Scalea (CS). Because it was situated in the valley of the Laus river, it is believed that its name is name is derived from that waterway.

lazzaroni (sing. lazzarone) A derogatory term used for the lowest social and economic classes of Naples during the Spanish and Bourbon eras. These included street peddlers, porters, boatmen, beggers, and the masses of homeless. The term derives from lazzaro, an Italian word for “leper”, and seems to refer to the begger Lazarus mentioned in the parable of Christ. During medieval times lepers were required to wear short drawers and a hooded shirt. The costume was retained until the modern era by the lazzaroni. At the end of the 18th Century, when the lazzaroni formed an important and violent faction of supporters for the Bourbons, it was estimated that they numbered around 40,000.

left-handedness: The belief that left-handedness was considered evil or immoral is a survival from Roman times. Typically it was considered bad-luck to enter a building using the left foot first and left-handed people were viewed with suspicion. The Latin term for “left” (= sinister) has been borrowed by the English language as a negative word.

Lecce, Province of: A province of Puglia.

Lecce, Metropolitan Archdiocese of: A Metropolitan archdiocese in the ecclesiastical region of Puglia.

Suffragans: Brindisi–Ostuni, Nardò–Gallipoli, Otranto, Ugento–Santa Maria di Leuca.

                Diocese of Lecce established in 1057.

                Promoted to a Metropolitan Archdiocese on Oct. 20, 1980.

Lent Traditions: In the Abruzzo region, it is a tradition to cut a paper figure of an old woman with 7 feet. The figure is meant to represent Lent, and is hung on the chimney on Ash Wednesday, 7 weeks before Easter. As each week passed, a member of the family, usually a child, cuts off one of the figure’s feet.

                A long-held Lenten tradition consists of a cord being stretched on Ash Wednesday from one window to another, at the center of which is hug a figure made of rope and rags. The figure is decorated with 7 features and holds a spindle and distaff in its hands. Elsewhere on the same cord are hung a herring, garlic, an onion, a bit of charcoal (or dried cod-fish). All of these are symbolic of the traditional Lenten meal. As this decoration is being created and hung, the makers repeat a rhyme:

Quarésema puverella.

Va dicendo pe’ la terra:

Chi me da’ ‘na fuglitélla?

E noglie, noglie?

Chi mi da’ dù far’ ammoglie?

Chi mi da’ la stuppetélla

Pe’ fa’ fila’ quarésema puverella?”

Poor old Lent

Goes wandering o’er the earth, a-crying:

Who will give me a drop of wine?

Who, but who?

Who will give me wherewithal to wed?

Who will give a strand of hemo

For poor old Lent to spin?

Source: Antiquary Magazine vol.36. Jan-Dec. 1900 p.200

Every Sunday one of the feathers is removed from the central figure, and on Holy Saturday, as the churchbells ring, the figures are ritualistically burned as everyone rejoices.

                An old tradition is found in the town of Roccacaramanico, in the province of Pescara. On Good Friday, 24 young men of the town are chosen to represent ancient Roman centurions. Half of the group dresses in red tunics, and the rest in green. They all carry lances and wear helmets. In a double line, and with great solemnity, the “soldiers” slowly march through the town to the parish church. On the lowest step of the church’s altar is placed the figure of Christ, having been earlier taken down from the cross and laid on cushions. The red tuniced “Romans” then enter the church, march around the nave, and then take up positions as sentinels around the figure of Christ. The green-tuniced detachment remains outside of the church as though standing guard. After an hour the two detachments switch places. This is repeated for the remainder of the day and throughout the night until dawn of Holy Saturday. It is believed that this is a survival of sacred play which originated in medieval times.

Leo I, St: Pope. (r September 29, 440-Nov 10, 461).

Leo II, St.: Pope. (rDec 681-July 3, 683).

Leo III: Pope. (rDec 26, 795-June 12, 816).

Leo IV, St.: Pope. (rJan. 847-July 17, 855).

Leo V: Pope. (rJuly-Sept 903).

Leo VI: Pope. (rMay-Dec 928).

Leo VII: Pope. (rJan 3, 936-July 13, 939).

Leo VIII: Pope. (rJuly 964-Mar 1, 965).

Leo IX, St.: Pope. (rFeb 12, 1049-Apr. 19, 1054).

Leo X: Pope. (rMar 9, 1513-Dec 1, 1531).

Leo XI: Pope. (rApr. 1-Apr 27, 1605).

Leo XII: Pope. (rSept. 28, 1823-Feb 10, 1829).

Leo XIII: Pope. (rFeb 20, 1878-July 20, 1903).

Leo, Leonardo: (b. 5 August 1694, San Vito Degli Schiavi. d. 31 October 1744, Naples). Composer.

Leoncavallo, Ruggiero: (b. 8 March 1857, Naples. d. 9 August 1919, Montecatini). Composer.

Leontini: ancient city, E Sicily, c.20 mi (32 km) S of Catania. It was founded (729 B.C.) as a colony of Chalcidian Greeks from the island of Naxos and, in the 5th century BC, passed under the rule of Syracuse. It was the legendary home of the Laestrygonians, a group of giants encountered by Odysseus. The site of ancient Leontini is now occupied by modern Lentini.

Leotiskos: an athlete of ancient Messene in Sicily. He was victor in wrestling at the Olympian Games in 456 BC and 452 BC.

Leontius (1): (fl. mid-7th century). Ecclesiastic. Bishop of Naples. He was present at the Lateran synod of AD 649. He held the see of Naples for 4 years.

Leontius (2): (fl. 2nd half of the 8th century). Ecclesiastic. Bishop of Bari. He was present at the 2nd Council of Nicaea in AD 787.

Leontius (3): (fl. late 6th/early 7th centuries). Byzantine official. After serving as Consul or Quaestor in Sicily, he remained an important figure. He received a number of letters from Pope Gregory I between AD 598 and 601.

Leonymus: A mythological Greek king of Croton, in southern Italy who made war on neighboring Locri. According to Pausanias [3.19.12ff], he was wounded in battle by the ghost of the hero Ajax the Greater, who was fight on behalf of the Locrians. When the wound failed to heal, Leonymus went to Delphi to consult the oracle of Delphi. There he was told that he must travel to the mystical island of Leuke (the White Island). Here, it was said, that the souls of dead heroes dwelt, and here he had to seek out Ajax, for only he could cure the wound which he had inflicted. Leonymus found the White Island at the mouth of the River Ister (Danube) and was said to become the first living man to set foot there. Ajax agreed to heal him and while there, Leonymus also saw the shades of Ajax the Lesser, of Helen (who had wed Achilles in the afterlife), Patroclus, and Antilochus.

Leucothea: In classical mythology, one of the Sirens. She had cult centers located in the cities of Neapolis (Naples) and Velia, in Magna Graecia.

Levanzo (anc. Phorbantia; Bucinna): One of the principal islands of the Isole Egadi, off the west coast of Sicily. Its highest point is 850 feet.

Lex municipalis Tarentina: A municipal charter of the city of Tarentum (mod. Taranto) dating from the 1st Century BC. The surviving portion of the charter contains provisions about the responsibilities of municipal magistrates, building regulations, etc.

Liber: Originally an ancient Italic god of animal and vegetation fertility god, he later came to a wine god similar to the Greek Dionysus. His festival on March 17 marked the day when Roman youths assumed the toga virilus, the symbol of adulthood. He was the son of Ceres and brother of Libera.

Libera: An ancient Italic underworld (chthonic) goddess. She was the daughter of Ceres and sister of Liber, with whose worship she was usually connected. She was often identified with Persephone,

Liberius: Pope. (rMay 17, 352-Sept 24, 366).

Licinii: An important gens (clan) of ancient Rome. It was originally of Etruscan origins. The triumvir Marcus Licinius Crassus (d. 53 BC), the conqueror of Spartacus, belonged to this gens.

Ligorio, Pirro: (b. c1510, Naples. d. 1583, Ferrara). Architect, painter, art writer and antique dealer. He was living in Rome in 1534, where he was creating paintings depicting historical events. In 1568, he moved to the court of Este in Ferrara.Principal Works:Paintings:Excavations of the Villa Adriana in the city of Tivoli- 1549.Books:Libro delle antichita’ di Roma- 1553.Architecture-Villa d’Este in Tivoli- (1550-1572).Casino di Pio IV in Rome (1559-1562).Palazzo Torres-Lancellotti- Rome.Niche of the courtyard of Belvedere- Rome.

Liguori (or Ligorio), St. Alfonso Maria de: b. Sept. 26, 1696, at Marianella, near Naples; d. Aug. 1, 1787, at Nocera de Pagani.

Lilybaeum, Cape: ancient name for the westernmost corner of Sicily.

Lilybaeum: ancient city of Sicily, on the extreme western coast. It is the modern Marsala. It was founded (396 B.C.) by Carthage and became a stronghold. In the First Punic War it resisted a long Roman siege (250-242 B.C.). Rome finally captured the city in 241 BC and later used it as a base for the African campaign of Scipio Africanus Major. The city was famous for its harbor.

Linus, St.: Pope (rAD 67-76). He was a native of Tuscany.

Lipara: The principal island of the Aeoliae Insulae.

Lipareae: See Aeoliae Insulae.

Lipari (anc. Lipareae): (area: 37.6 km²). The principal island of the Isole Eolie (Lipari Islands).

Lipari Islands: Also known as Isole Eolie. A chain of volcanic islands in the Mediterranean to the N of Sicily. According to legend, the ancient name, Lipara, derives from that of Liparus, a mythical king of the islands. A less-romantic theory states that the name comes from the Greek word liparos (= “fat” or “rich”).

Lira (Neapolitan): The principal currency used in the Kingdom of Naples in 1812-1813 under Murat. It was subdivided into 100 centesimi and was equal to 1 French franc. Minted as a silver coin, its name derived from the Latin libra = pound.

lire: a 3-stringed bowed fiddle, played on the knee. It is found mostly in Calabria.

Liris (mod. Garigliano): A river in central Italy. Rising near the Fucinus lacus, it flows SSE to Sora, and then turns sharply to the SSW. At Isola dei Liri, its flows cascades and finally  flows through marshy ground at Minturnae to enter the Tyrrhenian Sea.

Liternum (mod. Lago di Patria): A Roman colony founded in 194 BC in the Liternum Patria, 8 km N of Cumae. It is known that P. Cornelius Scipio Africanus retired to a villa located. Although Livy, in the 1st century AD, wrote that the colony had failed by his time, archaeological evidence contradicts him and seems to show that it survived until the 3rd century AD. The construction of the Via Domitia, in the late AD 1st century, brought the town a brief period of prosperity. The advance of malarial marshes led to the town’s ultimate decline.

Liternum Patria: An ancient district along the northern coast of Campania. The Greeks established Kyme (Cumae), their first colony on the Italian mainland, here.

Locri – Gerace, Diocese of:

Metropolitan: Reggio Calabria – Bova

Conference Region: Calabria

Area: 1,248 km²/ mi²

Total Population: 131,005.

Total Priests: 80 (Diocesan: 56; Religious: 24)

Permanent Deacons: 2

Parishes: 74

Locri Epizephyrii (Lokroi Epizephyrioi): A city of ancient Bruttium. During the 7th century BC, a colony was established by Opuntian Greeks from Lokri on a site 85 km NE of modern Reggio Calabria. This city was the site where the lawgiver Zaleucus created what is often thought to be the earliest written Greek law code. The governement supported by this constutution was a hereditary oligarchic in nature.

                Once securely established the Locrians began to send out their own colonies in the 6th century BC. These colonies, medma, Hipponium, and Metaurus, never attained any real level of independence, remaining largely dependent on Locri throughout their history.  Politically, Locri was closely allied with Syracuse and supported the latter during the Athenian expedition of 415-13 BC. They provided aid to Dionysius I during his operations in southern Italy. In 356 BC, after giving asylum to Dionysius II, it was seized by him for a time. After Dionysius returned to Syracuse, the Locrians regained control of their city and brutally killed Dionysius’s family who had remained there. A constitutional government was reestablished. From 280 to 270 BC, Locri established an alliance with Pyrrhus, donating treasure from their sanctuary of Zeus to finance his campaigns. After Pyrrhus withdrew from Italy, Locri formed an alliance with Rome which continued until the Secord Punic War. In 214 BC, the Locrians threw their support to Hannibal until, in 208 BC, control of the city was siezed by a pro-Roman faction. This allowed the city to escape severe reprisal when Rome emerged victorious. For several centuries under the Romans, Locri flourished as a municipium. It was only as the empire declined that Lorci began to suffer. During the 5th century AD the ancient city was finally abandoned.

loggia: a roofed gallery or balcony.

Lokroi Epizephyrioi: See Locri Epizephyrii.

Lollia Gens: An ancient Roman plebian gens. Not appearing in history until the last decades of the Republic, it is believed to have been of Sabine or Samnite origins. The first member of this gens to attain the consulship was M. Lollius in 21 BC.

Lollius (1): (fl. 3rd Century BC) A Samnite, he was held at Rome as a hostage after the Pyrrhic War. Escaping, he became the leader of a band of brigands and seized control of the stronghold of Caricinum in Samnium. He used this fortress as a base of operations for raiding the countryside. In 269 BC, he was defeated and his stronghold captured by the Romans under Q. Ogulnius Gallus and C. Fabius Pictor.

Lollius, Quintus (2): (fl. 2nd – 1st Centuries BC). A Roman knight (eques) living in Sicily. Nearly 90 years old when Verres served as governor of Sicily (73-71 BC), he was victimized by the governor’s assistant Q. Apronius. When Cicero later prosecuted Verres for his crimes, Lollius was too feeble to testify, but his son Marcus Lollius served as his agent. Another of his sons, Quintus Lollius, while gathering evidence to use against Verres in Sicily, was murdered on the road. It was generally believed that the act was done by assassins hired by Verres but there is no evidence that anyone was ever officially prosecuted.

Lombards: (It. Longobardi). A Teutonic people of Scandinavian origins. After a period of settlement in the area of the lower Danube, they invaded Byzantine-held Italy in the spring of AD 568. The name, usually translated as “Long Beards”, is a combination of two Germanic words lang ( = long) and bart ( = beard). Some researchers, however, believe that the second root is actually barta( = ax), thus changing the meaning of the name to “long axes”, referring to a favorite weapon of the Lombards.

Longano (IS): A commune in the province of Isernia. Population: 719 (2006e).

Longi (ME): A commune in the province of Messina.

Longobardi: See Lombards.

Longobardi (CS): A commune in the province of Cosenza. Population: 2,295 (2006e).

Longobucco (CS): A commune in the province of Cosenza. Population: 4,077 (2006e).

Loreto Aprutino (PE): A commune in the province of Pescara, located 4 miles from Chieti.

Losna: Etruscan goddess of the moon.

Louis: King of Sicily (Trinacria) (r1342-1355).

Louis I of Anjou: (b. July 23, 1339, Château de Vincennes, France; d. Sept. 20, 1384, Biseglia Castle near Bari). King of Naples and Jerusalem (r1382-1384); Count of Anjou (1356–1360), Duke of Anjou (1360–1384), Count of Maine (1356–1384), Duke of Touraine (1370–1384), and Count of Provence and Forcalquier (1382–1384). He was the second son of King John II of France and Bonne de Luxembourg. After the French defeat by the English at the Battle of Poitiers (1356), Louis became a hostage and was sent to England in October 1360. He managed to escape and return to France, but was sent back by his father who considered his getaway to be dishonorable.

                Between 1380 and 1382 he served as regent of France for his nephew Charles VI. Having been adopted as the heir of Queen Joanna I of Naples, Louis seized control of the counties of Provence and Forcalquier after Joanna’s overthrown and execution (May 12, 1382). He left France in an attempt to secure his claim to Naples, but could not oust Charles of Durazzo, who became King Charles III. Louis died in Bari and his claim to Naples was inherited by his son Louis II.

Louis II of Anjou: (b. 1377; d. Apr. 29, 1417). King of Naples (r1390-1399) in opposition to Ladislaus (r1386-1414). He was the son of Louis I of Anjou, whose claim to the throne of Naples he inherited. On Nov. 1, 1389, he was crowned King of Naples by the antipope Clement VIII. Louis entered Naples in 1390 and held the city until Ladislaus recovered it in 1399. He would continue his contest with Ladislaus, driving the latter out of Rome in 1409. In the following year, Louis allied himself with the antipope John XXIII against Ladislaus. He was able to defeat his rival in battle at Roccasecca in 1411, but was never able to retake the Neapolitan throne. Retiring back into his French holdings, he died in 1417, and his claim to Naples passed to his son Louis III.

Lucania: ancient region of S Italy. It had an area of about 3,900 sq. miles. It was bounded on the east by the Gulf of Tarentum (now Taranto) and by Apulia, on the north by Samnium and Campania, on the west by the Tyrrhenian Sea, and on the south by Bruttium. Italic tribes and Greek colonists lived there before the Roman conquest in the 3d cent. B.C. Their chief cities were Heraclea and Metapontum on the Gulf of Tarentum and Paestum and Buxentum on the Tyrrhenian coast. The non-Greek Lucanians were Samnites. The western portion of ancient Lucania is now in Campania; the larger eastern part is in Basilicata.

Lucanians (Lucani): An ancient Indo-European Oscan-speaking people of southern Italy. The few Lucanian inscriptions which still survive are relatively late (4th-3rd centuries BC) and written using a Greek alphabet.

It is known that the Lucanians moved south into “Oenotria” in the middle of the 5th century BC, driving the native Oenotrians, Chones, and Lauternoi, into the mountainous interior of the peninsula. The expansion southward eventually brought the Lucanians into direct conflict with the Greeks of Taras (Tarentum). The Tarentines utilized allies such as Alexander of Epirus to fight their wars with varying success.

The initial contact between the Lucanians and the Romans was on good terms.

Luceria: A city of ancient Apulia, the modern Lucera (FG). Situated on the borders of Samnium and Apulia, it first appeared in history in 315/4 BC as a Samnite stronghold captured by the Romans. A Latin colony was established on the site, which was renewed by Augustus. It was during the reign of Augustus that a fine amphitheater was contructed on the site.

                Luceria survived the collapse of the western Empire and maintained enough local importance to have a strong citadel constructed there in medieval times.

Lucia (Lucy), St.: (date uncertain). Christian martyr. Many scholars believe that she is only semi-historical, if not completely fictitious, in nature. According to her legend, she was a native of the Sicilian city of Syracuse. When she took a vow of chastity and dedicated her life to Christ, her mother tried to arrange a marriage for her to a pagan. The mother immediately became seriously ill and Lucia prayed to St. Agatha to cure her. When the mother recovered she consented to Lucia’s wishes to break-off the unwanted marriage contract. The rejected bridegroom became so incensed that he denounced Lucy as a Christian to the Roman authorities. The Roman governor first attempted to convince her to renounce her faith but when this proved futile he condemned her to become a prostitute. When the guards came to take her away, however, she miraculously became so heavy that she could not be lifted. Her sentence was then changed to be tortured and executed. In one version of her story, it is stated that while being tortured, her eyes were put out. Because of this, she became the patron saint of the blind and those with eye disorders. Feast Day: Dec. 13.

Lucilius, Caius: (b. 148 BC in Suessa Aurunca; d. 103 BC in Naples). Latin poet. As a youth he joined the Roman army and served under the younger Scipio in Spain. He is believed to have been a maternal great-uncle of the triumvir Pompey the Great. Lucilius had an important influence on Latin poetry and is considered the first important writer of Roman satire. Many fragments of his workers have survived though few are of any length.

Lucius I, St.: Pope. (r June 25, 253-March 5, 254).

Lucius II: Pope. (rMar 12, 1144-Mar 15, 1145).

Lucius III: Pope. (rSept 1, 1181-Nov 25, 1185).

Luco dei Marsi (AQ): A commune in the province of L’Aquila. Population: 5,811 (2006e).

Lucrino, Lago (anc. Lucrinus lacus): A lake in Campania, separated from the sea by a narrow strip of land, which, according to tradition, was created by the hero Hercules. Since ancient times, the lake was famous for its oysters.

Lucy, St.: See St. Lucia.

Lungro, Eparchate of:

Metropolitan: Immediately subject to the Holy See.

Conference Region: Calabria

Area: 493 km²/ mi²

Total Population: 33,086

Total Priests: 34 (Diocesan: 32; Religious: 2)

Permanent Deacons: 1.

Parishes: 29.

Lupiae (LE): Ancient name for the city of Lecce.

Lurs: An obscure Etruscan god about which little is known.

Lusciano (CE): A commune in the province of Caserta. Population: 13,636 (2006e).

Lustitieratus Aprutii: A small state in the Abruzzi created by Frederick II in the 13th Century. It was centered of the city of Sulmona.

Lygdamis: An athlete of ancient Syracuse. He was victor in the pankration at the Olympian Games in 648 BC.

Lykinos: an athlete of ancient Kroton. He was victor in the Stadion at the Olympian Games in 584 BC.