Lucania (lōkāˈnēə) [key], ancient region of S Italy. It was bounded on the east by the Gulf of Tarentum (now Taranto) and by Apulia, on the north by Samnium and Campania, on the west by the Tyrrhenian Sea, and on the south by Bruttium. Italic tribes and Greek colonists lived there before the Roman conquest in the 3d cent. B.C. (see Magna Graecia). Their chief cities were Heraclea and Metapontum on the Gulf of Tarentum and Paestum and Buxentum on the Tyrrhenian coast. The non-Greek Lucanians were Samnites. The western portion of ancient Lucania is now in Campania; the larger eastern part is in Basilicata.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.