The 4 "Ichnusa" Legends 0 Commentaires

The 4 "Ichnusa" Legends

How many of you know that the name of Beer in Sardinia, "Ichnusa", is actually the ancient Greek name for Sardinia? In this regard, 4 beautiful legends tell its origin: let's have fun knowing them!


After the effort of Creation, the Eternal Father was left with a big pile of granite and basaltic stones. Looking at the Tyrrhenian Sea, he thought of putting them there in the middle, a pile of stones which he arranged by pressing it with his foot shod with the sandal. When he raised his foot he liked what he saw: an island with a footprint shape. Then, in his infinite justice, he wanted to enrich that island with beauty to compensate it for having made it with residual material: then hills, plains and mountains rose. Along the sides of the mountains and in the valleys he decided to grow resin-scented plants such as heather, mastic, rock rose, laurel, The Arbustus strawberry tree, The Myrtle, rosemary, caper, juniper, broom, Mediterranean honeysuckle, and furthermore olive, spurge, sarsaparilla, dwarf palm, oleander, butcher's broom, holm oak, cork oak The Cork, carob tree. In the fields the wind bent the blond corn ears for bread; flocks and herds grazed fresh and fragrant grass in the fields and in those stones of a thousand shapes The Sardinian Stones, he put precious minerals. Smiling, he imagined the men and women who would inhabit that footprint shape island. They would have been shepherds, miners, fishermen and farmers. The fresh, precious and indispensable water would have enriched the earth and quenched thirst for men and animals: mouflons, deer, chamois, wild boars, birds, eagles... in such a beautiful place man would also become a craftsman (7 Sardinian Handicraft Products You Should Know), musician (Sardinian Language And Music) and poet. The woman would have been the home keeper, spinning and weaving. And he named this land "Ichnusa", after the shape of a footprint.


The story handed down by the Greeks tells us how the beautiful island was born. Much before the Nuragic civilization revealed, on Earth there was great love and harmony. One day, however, Zeus, the faithless god, while escaping from the window of a lady's room, was struck by the shoe that the lady's husband had thrown after him. This offended Zeus greatly and in revenge he sent, in the country first and all over the earth, a great flood to drown all mankind. At a certain point, however, the flood also submerged Olympus and to escape the waves that were dragging him, Zeus leaned with his foot on Earth. When everything was over, lifting his foot he left a huge footprint in the water. He liked it and gave the island in the middle of the sea the name of "Ichnusa", from ichnos which in Greek means footprint, the footprint of Zeus.


Millennia ago, at the dawn of life, there was a continent called Tirrenide covered by luxuriant nature, populated by strong men and animals. One night the rage of the gods brought on a mess. The land trembled, the sea stirred and the waves crashed on Tirrenide, deranging mountains and plains until almost drowning it. But a regretful god put a foot on the last piece of land to hold it before it was completely sucked down by the water. Of all the Tyrrhenian land only a solitary imprint remained in the middle of the large vastness of water that was named the Tyrrhenian Sea. The island was first given the name of "Ichnusa", due to the shape of the foot of the god, then took the name of Sardinia from its inhabitants, who, as an Egyptian legend tells, were one of the "Sea Peoples" called "Serdan"


For the writer Stefano Piroddi "Ichnusa" becomes "Sandahlia". A dreamy, mystical name, he says, as one of the first names of Sardinia was Sandalia which means sandal; it was a name given by the Romans and inspired by the name given by the Greeks, Ichnussa or Hyknussa. Later on, the Romans called the Island Sardinia, after the Phoenician Shardana. 

... In the Time when the Gods walked among us ...

and the blossom of the Sacred flourished everywhere

an Enchantment gaze leant...

Fate designed his Divine

Imprint on the sands of the world ...


Over time it attracted

rapacious glances of Punic and Romans ...

many, along the coasts, gave in to

flattery of gold or to the threat of weapons ..

But in the core of Sandahlia, free tribes of sacred warriors

they opposed the new and old invaders with honor ...

On the musical score of their souls one

melody dominated over all the others ...



Whatever the story, the origin of the name always leads to a footprint. The same imprint that Sardinia leaves in our hearts since the first visit, an imprint scenting of resin, brackish, and of the little rough, but in indeed kind and passionate soul of its ancient origin people.

"Only a God who proposes himself with signs, clues, traces, imprints without imposing himself, appearing brilliant in His glory, can establish a free relationship with His creatures and not a necessary dependence.(Vittorio Messori)


Written by Daniela Toti

In the photo: trailer from the book Sandahlia by Stefano Piroddi

Share your opinion with us!