From time immemorial, our beloved volcano Etna is strictly connected to enchanting and fascinating histories, myths and legends, that we are going to tell you at every date of this blog section!
In this first focus, we are going to tell you about the name “Etna”.
The origin of the word Etna, is lost in the confusion of mythology. In Greek, the name Etna is feminine (Αἰτνα). It is the name of a nymph, daughter of Uranus and Gaia (sky and land) or of the titan Ocean, or of the giant Briareus.
According to some legends, Aetna coupled with Hephaestus, god of fire, from this union the Palici were born, two strong twins, that, together with Cyclopes, helped him in his work of celestial blacksmith.
According to other tales, the Palici would be sons of Zeus and Thalia, daughter of Efesto. Anyway, these names are always associated in local traditions.
Sometimes the name Aitna is told to come from the verb αἵυο, verb expressing the action of burning with intense heat. This hypothesis, even if comfortable, is not convincing. In fact, it seems that the first Greek authors (Homer) were not aware of volcanic phenomena of Etna.