Messapii(redirected from Messapians)
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an ancient tribe that inhabited southern Italy (the southern part of present-day Apulia). In the first half of the 20th century, vessels of local manufacture with symbols of the Cretan Linear A script were discovered in Apulia. The writing on these vessels supports the opinion of Herodotus (History, VII, p. 170) and the viewpoint of V. I. Modestov (Introduction to Roman History, part 2, 1909, pp. 101 ff.) regarding the migration of the Messapii from the island of Crete in the tenth and ninth centuries B.C.