Encyclopedia of Southern Italy – N


Naevius Cneius
: (b. Campania; d. 204 BC, in Ustica). An ancient Roman poet, he was a contemporary of Livius Andronicus, and predated Ennius. After serving in the Roman army during the First Punic War, he wrote De Bello Punico, an epic poem on that conflict. He also authored several dramas imitating Greek works, as well as a number of comedies during with Roman or national subjects. His flair for satire ran him afoul of several Roman notables who arranged his arrest and deportation from Rome as an alien. He settled at Ustica, in North Africa, where he died.

Naiades Himeriai (Naiads of Himera): a group of nymphs who watched over the thermal springs of the ancient Greek town of Himera, on the north coast of eastern Sicily.

Naples (city): See Napoli.

Naples (Golfo di Napoli), Gulf (Bay) of: An inlet of the southern Tyrrhenian Sea, bounded on the NW by Capo Miseno and by the Sorrentine Peninsula on the SE. Its boundaries are further marked on the north by the islands of Ischia and Procida, and on the south by Capri.
Naples (Napoli), Kingdom of: The continental portion of the former kingdom of the Two Sicilies. It comprised the entire southern portion of the Italian peninsula. It’s northern border, running from lat. 42 degrees 53 minutes to 41 degree 10 minutes, was separated on its eastern (Adriatic) end from the Papal States by the River Tronto, while at its western (Mediterranean) end by the Pontine marshes. At its greatest N-S length, it measured 350 miles, while at its greatest E-W breadth it was 120 miles. In area it was roughly 30,000 square miles, somewhat larger than Scotland.
The kingdom of Naples was divided into the provinces of:
Terra di Lavoro
Principato Citra
Principato Ultra
Abruzzo Ultra Primo
Abruzzo Ultra Secondo
Abruzzo Citra
Samnio (Molise)
Terra di Bari
Terra d’Otranto
Calabria Citra
Calabria Ultra Primo
Calabria Ultra Secondo
The Neapolitan provinces had an estimated population of about 5,700,000 in the 1830s.

Napoletano-Calabrese Dialects: An Indo-European language group centered in Calabria and Campania. Classification: Indo-European, Italic, Romance, Italo-Western, Italo-Dalmatian. Dialects: Napoletano (Sub-dialects: Neapolitan, Tirrenic), Northern Calabrese-Lucano (Sub-dialects: Lucanian, Basilicatan).It has a vigorous existence and is not endangered. A large literature. Some scholars believe it ought to be classified as Southern Romance instead of Italo-Western. In 1976, it had 7,047,399 speakers. It has a limited inherent intelligibility with Standard Italian. Although Neapolitan and Calabrese, the two principal branches, are very different from each other, both have intelligibility with Sicilian. Southern Calabrian is actually so close to Sicilian dialects that several linguists would prefer that it be reclassified into that family. Neapolitan Sub-dialects: Neapolitan proper (spoken in the center city of Naples), Irpino, Cilentano, Laziale Meridionale, Marchigiano Meridionale, Teramano, Abruzzese Orientale Adriatico, Abruzzese Occidentale, Molisano, Dauno-Appenninico, Garganico, Apulo-Barese, Lucano Nord-Occidentale, Lucano Nord-Orientale, Lucano Centrale, Area Arcaica Lucano-Calabrese, and Calabrese Settentrionale.

Napoli, Province of: A province in Campania. Population: 3,082,756 (2007e).

Nardodipace (VV): A commune in the province of Vibo Valentia.
Naro (AG): A commune in the province of Agrigento. Population: 8,670 (2006e).

Naso (ME): A commune in the province of Messina.
nave (Ital. navara): the central space in a church. It is usually flanked by aisles.
Navelli (AQ): A commune in the province of L’Aquila. Population: 616 (2006e).

Naxos: The earliest ancient Greek colony on Sicily. It was founded in c 734 BC on Capo Schisò, on the eastern shore of Sicily, by Greeks from Cumae and Euboea. Never a major city itself, it founded the more important Catana and Leontinoi as its own daughter-colonies. Its location made it the first city usually visited by any ships arriving from the Italian mainland, giving it a certain strategic and commercial value. Thucles, the original leader of Naxos’ colonists, founded the important Altar of Apollo the Leader, a shrine venerated by all Sicilian Greeks. Travelers about to set out on voyagers would visit the shrine to offer prayers to the god in hopes of a safe journey. Arriving sailors similarly gave thanks there for their good fortune.

‘Ndrangheta: A criminal organization which arose in 19th century Calabria and still infests the region today. Best noted for their numerous kidnappings, the organization also is involved in drug trafficking, political bribery, fraud, and murder. The name derives from the Greek andragathía, a word meaning “heroism” and “virtue”, traits totally lacking among the organization’s members. Although the ‘Ndrangheta is often associated with other criminal groups like the Sicilian Mafia and the Camorra of Naples, it operates independently. Unlike the mafia, the 50 to 200 “families” of the ‘Ndrangheta are linked by actual blood relationships.

Neapolis: (=”new city”). Ancient name for the city of Naples/Napoli.

Neapolis: A city of ancient Apulia.

Neapolitan Fever: One of the many names given to Bucellosis. A form of typhus once common in Campania, by the early 20th century, it had practically disappeared. It is also known under the names Bang’s disease, Cyprus fever, Gibraltar fever, Malta fever, Bruce’s septicaemia, and Mediterranean fever.
Neglia, Francesco Paolo: b. May 22, 1874, Enna. d. July 31, 1932, Germany. Composer.

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

Nenna, Pomponio: b. c1550, Bari. d. bef. Oct. 22, 1613, Rome. Renaissance Composer. He was especially noted for his madrigals, originally collected into eight books (books 2 and 3 are now lost), as well as some sacred music. He was a teacher of the nobleman composer Gesualdo, the Prince of Venosa, from 1594 to 1599.

Nereto (TE): A commune in the province of Teramo.

Neri, Nicola: (b. Oct. 28, 1761, Acquaviva Collecroce [CB]. d. 1799). Statesman, doctor, writer, philosopher. During the period of short-lived Parthenopean Republic, he served as Commissioner of Molise. When the Bourbons returned to power, he was executed. A descendant of the Croatian refugees who settled at Acquaviva Collecroce in the mid-16th century, he helped to preserve the local language and culture there.

Nethuns: Etruscan god of water. He was the counterpart of the god Poseidon and was adopted by the Romans as Neptune. Like the latter, his symbols were the trident, the anchor, the dolphin and the sea horse.

Nicoluccio Calabrese: (b. Calabria; fl. early 16th century). A pupil of the painter Lorenzo Costa, he attempted to kill his master with a knife after the latter reputedly included a caricature of him in a painting.

Nicosia (EN): A commune in the province of Enna. Population: 14,756 (2006e).

Nicotera (VV): A commune in the province of Vibo Valentia.

Nicotera, Marcoantonio: (fl. c1590-1600). Painter. A member of the School of Naples, he was a pupil of P. Crisnolo. One of his notable works is a painting in church of S. Nicola alla Dogana in Naples depicting The Virgin and Child, St. Jerome, and St. Blaise.
Niscemi (CL): A commune in the province of Caltanissetta. Population: 26,737 (2006e).

Nisida: a small (diameter: 0.5km) islet (alt. 105 m) of the Flegrean archipelago.
Nissoria (EN): A commune in the province of Enna. Population: 2,941 (2006e).

Nizza di Sicilia (ME): A commune in the province of Messina.
Nobile (pl. nobili): A member of the Italian social class corresponding to the English gentry. The designation could be carried by both men and women. Although a nobile might not carry any other higher title, it was likely that he or she possesses a coat of arms and substantial property.
Nocara (CS): A commune in the province of Cosenza. Population: 523 (2006e).

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

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

Nocera Superiore (SA): A commune in the province of Salerno .
Nocera Tirinese (CZ): A commune in the province of Catanzaro. Population: 4,705 (2006e).
Noci (BA): A commune in the province of Bari: Population: 19,468 (2006e).
Nociglia (LE): A commune in the province of Lecce. Population: 2,593 (2006e).
Nodus: a military order of 300 knights initiated by Louis of Taranto, king of Sicily, in c1352. The group was so-named because each knight worn on his breast a golden knot studded with gems, meant as a symbol of common friendship.

Noepoli (PZ): A commune in the province of Potenza.
Noicattaro (BA): A commune in the province of Bari: Population: (2006e).
Nola (or Campana): A bell. According to sound traditions Paulinus, Bishop of Nola, first introduced bells into churches.

Nola (NA): A commune in the province of Napoli.
Norman period: Royal dynasty from Normandy in France, ruling Sicily 1061-1194.
Nortia: Etruscan goddess of fate and fortune.

Notaresco (TE): A commune in the province of Teramo.

Noto (SR): A commune in the province of Siracusa.
Nova Siri (MT): A commune in the province of Matera. Population: 6,587 (2006e).

Novara di Sicilia (ME): A commune in the province of Messina.

Novi Velia (SA): A commune in the province of Salerno.
Novoli (LE): A commune in the province of Lecce. Population: 8,352 (2006e).
Nuceria Alfaterna (modern Nocera): A city of ancient Campania. Situated on the river Sarnus (mod. Sarno) and on the Via Appia, it was to the SE of Nola. Captured by the Romans during the Samnite Wars, it was destroyed by Hannibal after the battle of Cannae. Later rebuilt, Roman veterans were settled there by Augustus and Nero.
Nusco (AV): A commune in the province of Avellino. Population: 4,437 (2006e).