(The)—i.e. the hospitable sea. It was formerly called Axine (inhospitable). So the “Cape of Good Hope” was called the Cape of Despair. “Beneventum” was originally called Maleventum, and “Dyrrachium” was called Epidamnus, which the Romans thought was too much like damnum to be lucky.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894