Ancient Localizations

Justin Epitome of Pompeius Trogus 4.2

Online text: Eng., Lat.

“At first Sicily had the name of Trinacria; afterwards it was called Sicania. It was originally the abode of the Cyclops…”

Pliny Natural History 3.8

Online text: Eng., Lat.

“But more celebrated than all is Sicily, called Sicania by Thucydides, and by many writers Trinacria or Trinacia, from its triangular appearance.”

*Scholarship has long assumed that Trinakria (Τρινακρία) is related to Homer’s Thrinacia (Θρινακίη). It is widely suspected that the name is derived from treis arkai (τρεῖς ἄκραι), and was an erroneous ‘correction’ of the name Thrinacia, owing to increased awareness of Sicily’s roughly triangular shape since the time of Homer. Thucydides writes that Sicily was once, prior to its settling by Iberians, called Trinacria (6.2, online text: Eng., Grk.), which some scholars have taken to imply a Homeric connection. Strabo 6.2.1 (online text: Eng., Grk.) also writes that the triangular shape of the island influenced its name, which was then modified for euphony.