Italus

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Italus or Italos (from Greek Ἰταλός) was a legendary king of the Sicels or Oenotrians, who were among the earliest inhabitants of Italy. In his Fabularum Liber (or Fabulae) , Gaius Julius Hyginus recorded the myth that Italus was a son of Penelope and Telegonus.

According to Aristotle (Politics)[1] and Thucydides (History of the Peloponnesian War),[2] Italus was the eponymous of Italy (Italia). Aristotle's also states that according to tradition Italus converted the Oenotrians from a pastoral life to one of agriculture and gave them various ordinances, being the first to institute their system of common meals.

Centuries later, the Greek historian Dionysius of Halicarnassus in his Rhomaike Archaiologia (Antiquitates romanae, "Roman Antiquities"), quoting Antioch of Syracuse states that Italus was an Oenotrian by birth and retells this account that Italia was named after him, alongside the other account that Italia derives its name from a word for calf,[3] an etymology also stated by Timaeus, Varro (Rerum Rusticarum, 2.5), and Festus.

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