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Oinotria

The first Greeks arrived in Italy as early as 1,000 BC and founded numerous colonies on the island of Sicily, as well as on the Tyrrhenian and Ionian coasts of what are now the two Italian regions of Calabria and Campania. Oinotria was a kingdom in the southern part of Calabria and existed around 600 to 350 B.C. It was named after Oenotrus, who according to legend was the youngest of the 50 sons of Lycaon (a son of King Priam of Troy). Oinotria's most important king was Italos, the namesake of Italy.

The Etruscan inhabitants living here at that time already practiced cultivated viticulture. The Greeks gave the area around the Gulf of Naples (Campania) the name "Oinotria", which is derived from "oinotron" (vine stake). It means "land of vines raised on stakes", which is how the Greeks described this technique of raising vines, which was new to them. According to other sources, Onotria means "wine country", which can be interpreted from "oinos" (wine) and "tria" (belonging to) as "belonging to wine". The Latinized term "Enotria" was later considered to refer to all of Italy. The Romans then developed the area around Pompeii into the centre of the wine trade. See also under Ancient Wines.

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