Total results on 20/7/2001: 79 for Ionian Sea, 793 for Ionian.
(Ionios pontos). The sea between Italy and Greece south of the Adriatic, beginning on the west at Hydruntum in Calabria, and on the east at Oricus in Epirus, or at the Ceraunian Mountains. In more ancient times the Adriatic was called the Ionian Gulf; while at a later time the Ionium Mare itself was included in the Adriatic. In its widest signification the Ionium Mare included the Mare Siculum, Creticum, and Icarium. Its name was usually derived by the ancients from the wanderings of Io, but it was more probably so called from the Ionian colonies which settled in Cephallenia and the other islands off the western coasts of Greece.
This text is cited Oct 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks
Ionium Mare (Ionion pelagos, Ptol.), was the name given by geographers
to the sea which bathed the western shores of Greece, and separated them from
those of Sicily and Southern Italy. The appellation would seem to date from a
very early period, when the lonians still inhabited the shores of the Corinthian
gulf, and the part of the Peloponness subsequently known as Achaia; but we have
no evidence of its employment, in early times. The legends invented by later writers,
which derived it from a hero of the name of Ionius or Ion, or from the wanderings
of Io (Aeseh. Prom. 840; Tzetz. ad Lycophr. Alex. 630; Steph. B. s. v.; Eustath.
ad Dionys. Per. 92), are obviously mere etymological fancies. No trace of the
name is found in the Homeric poems; and it occurs for the first time in Aeschylus,
though, from the poetic diction of that writer, it is not clear in what precise
sense he employs the term pontios muchos Ionios. (Aesch. l. c.) Herodotus evidently
employs the name Ionios kolpos, the Ionian gulf, as synonymous with the Adriatic;
and Thucydides likewise uses the term in the same sense, as is evident from his
expression, that Epidamnus is a city on the right hand as you sail into the Ionian
gulf (i. 24). He also repeatedly uses the term ho Ionios (with kolpos understood)
in speaking of the passage from Corcyra to the lapygian promontory (vi. 30, 34,
vii. 33); but in all these cases he refers only to the narrow sea, which might
be considered as part of the same gulf or inlet with the entrance of the Adriatic.
Scylax also, and even Scymnus Chius, employ the name of the Ionian gulf in the
same sense, as synonymous with the Adriatic, or at least with the southern part
of it (Scyl. §§ 14, 27; Scymn. Ch. 133, 361); while the name of the Ionian sea,
in the more extended sense given to it by later geographers, as indicated at the
commencement of this article, is not found in any early Greek writer. Polybius
is the first extant author who uses the term in this sense, and gives the name
of Ionios poros to the sea which extended from the entrance of the Adriatic along
the coast of Italy as far as the promontory of Corinthus, which he considers as
its southern limit. (Pol. ii. 14, v. 110.) Even here the peculiar expression of
the Ionian strait sufficiently shows that this was a mere extension of the name
from the narrow sea or strait at the entrance of the Adriatic to the more open
sea to the S. of it. Hence we have no proof that the name was ever one in common
use among the Greeks until it came to be established by the geographers; and even
Strabo, who on these points often follows earlier authors, gives the name only
of the Ionian gulf to the part of the sea near the entrance of the Adriatic, while
he extends the appellation of the Sicilian sea (Sikelikon pelagos) from the eastern
shores of Sicily to those of the Peloponnese. He, as well as Polybius and Scymnus
Chius, fixes the Acroceraunian promontory as the limit between the Ionian and
the Adriatic seas. (Strab. ii. p. 123, vii. pp. 316, 317.) Pliny uses the name
of Ionium Mare very widely, or rather very vaguely; including under that appellation
the Mare Siculum and Creticum of the Greeks, as well as apparently the lower part
of the Adriatic (Plin. iii. 8. s. 14, 26. s. 29, 30, iv. 11. s. 18), and this
appears to have been the usage common in his day, and which is followed by the
Latin poets. (Virg. Aen. iii. 211, 671; Ovid, Fast. iv. 565, &c.) Mela distinguishes
the Ionian sea from the Sicilian, and applies the former name, in the sense now
generally adopted by geographers, as that portion of the broad sea between the
shores of Greece and those of Sicily, which lay nearest to the former. (Mel. ii.
4. § 1.) But all these names, given merely to portions of the Mediterranean which
had no natural limits, were evidently used very vaguely and indefinitely; and
the great extension given at a later period to the name of the Adriatic swallowed
up altogether those of the Ionian and Sicilian seas, or led to the employment
of the former name in a vague and general sense, wholly different from that in
which it was originally applied. Thus Servius, commenting on the expression of
Virgil, Insulae Ionio in magno, where the true Ionium Mare is meant by the poet,
says: Sciendum, Ionium sinum esse immensum, ab lonia usque ad Siciliam, et hujus
partes esse Adriaticum, Achaicum et Epiroticum. (Serv. ad Aen. iii. 211.) On the
other hand, the name of the Ionian gulf (ho Ionios kolpos) was still given in
late times (at least by geographers), in a very limited sense, to that portion
of the Adriatic immediately within the strait at its entrance. (Eustath. ad Dionys.
Per. 92, 389.) Ptolemy even applies the name of the Ionian sea (Ionion pelagos,
iii. 1. §§ 14, 15) in the same restricted manner.
From the name of the Ionian sea has been derived that of the Ionian islands, now given to the group of seven principal islands (besides several smaller ones) which constitute an independent republic under the protectorate of Great Britain; but there is no ancient authority for this appellation.
This text is from: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854) (ed. William Smith, LLD). Cited September 2004 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks
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