Apulia, a division of ancient Italy, comprising nearly all that territory now included in the provinces of Capitanata and Terra di Bari, near the S. E. extremity of the peninsula, bounded by the Adriatic, Messapia or Calabria (Terra d'Otranto), the gulf of Tarentum, Luca-nia, and Samnium. At a remote period the Greeks called the whole southeastern part of Italy, including both these divisions and other territory, by the name of Japygia, after Japyx, the son of Dsedalus. This district was inhabited by three tribes, the Messapians or Salentini in Messapia, the Peucetii in the region near the Autidus (Ofanto), and the Daunians further north. The Romans, however, ignoring these divisions, called all the region, except Messapia, Apulia. The Apulians first appear in history as concluding in 320 B. C. a treaty of alliance with Rome against the Samnites, which they soon after repudiated, thus becoming involved in war with the Romans. In 317 all the Apu-lian cities submitted to Rome. It was the chief theatre of the most important part of the second Punic war, and the battle of Cannae was fought within its borders in 210. Many Apu-lian cities made common cause with Hannibal, but were severely punished on their recapture by Romans. A great portion of Apulia again turned against Rome in the social war, but was resubjugated and harshly punished by C. Cosconius in 89. The province appears to have suffered so severely from the conflicts carried on within it, that from this time it declined in wealth and prosperity; and little is said of it until its union, under Augustus, with Calabria (in the ancient meaning of the term) and the territory of the Hirpini, the three forming the "second region" in that emperor's division of Italy. The Hirpini were afterward transferred into the "first region," Calabria and Apulia forming one province, down to the fall of the western empire.

The Byzantine emperors regained control of it in the 10th century, after its possession had been long an object of contention between the Lombards, Saracens, and themselves, and held it under a viceroy called a catapan until it was conquered by the Normans in the 11th century, who made it a duchy, Robert Guiscard, their leader, becoming its first duke. His son Roger united it, as well as Campania and modern Calabria, with his kingdom of Sicily. The modern name of part of the territory, Capitanata, is a corruption of Catapanata, from catapan. The principal cities of ancient Apulia were Teanum, Luceria, Arpi, Salapia, Canusium, Venusia, and Barium. The district is by the Italians called Puglia, but not officially.