Liguria, in ancient geography, a district of northern Italy, which according to the divisions of Augustus was bounded N. by the Pa-dus (Po), E. by the Macra (Magra), separating it from Etruria, S. by the Ligurian sea (gulf of Genoa), and W. by the Varus (Var) and the Maritime Alps, separating it from Transalpine Gaul. It thus embraced the whole modern province of Genoa, the territory of Nice, and some adjoining parts, a mountainous country traversed by the Alps and Apennines, whose most important products were cattle and timber. The inhabitants, called Ligyes by the Greeks and Ligures by the Romans, were a strong, active, and warlike people of uncertain origin, some identifying them with the Celts, others with the Iberians, and still others with the Siculi. In early times they were widespread, occupying among others the southern coasts of Gaul, and are even mentioned by Hesiod as one of three principal nations of the earth. Eratosthenes and Strabo call the whole west of the European continent Ligystice (Li-guria). The Romans divided them into Transalpine and Cisalpine Ligurians, calling the inhabitants of the maritime range Alpini and those of the Apennines Montani. Their tribes on both sides of the Alps were numerous.
Their country was first invaded by the Romans during the period which elapsed between the first and second Punic wars, but it was not till some years after the termination of the latter that the final and fierce struggle was commenced which terminated with their subjugation and the transplantation of some of their tribes to Samnium. Among the principal towns of Liguria under the Romans were Genua (Genoa), Nica3a (Nice), Polentia (Pol-lenza), Asta (Asti), and Dertona (Tortona). (For the Ligurian Republic, see Genoa.)