The first known description of Ibiza was by Diodorus Siculus (approx. 340-250 B.C.), taken from Timeus in SCHULTEN: "Fontes Hispaniae Antiquae II" (Barcelona, 1925):
"Diod., V, 16. Having already said sufficient concerning Sardinia, we shall now speak of the islands situated close by. After the aforementioned island is the one called Pitiusa, named thus by virtue of the many pines growing there.

It is in the middle of the sea and is three days and as many nights' distant from the Pillars of Hercules; a day and a night are sufficient to reach Libia, and one day's journey separates it from Iberia. Its extension is the same as that of Corfu and it is moderately fertile: there are a few vineyards and oleasters grafted with olive-sprigs. And the wools produced there are of great renown, remarkable for their softness. It is crossed by pleasant meadows and hills and it has a city named Ebusos, and it is a colony of the Cathaginians. It also has ports worthy of mention and great walls as well as a considerable number of admirably built houses. It is inhabited by barbarians of all types, principally Phoenicians. The colonization of this island took place more than one hundred and seventy years after the founding of Carthage."

Historical Names

The islands of Ibiza and Formentera were known to the Greeks by the names of Pytioussa and Ophioussa. The Carthaginian colonizers gave Ibiza the name of Ibosim, Aibusim, or Ebusim, which means Island of Bes -a mischevious Egyptian god celebrations, fire and fertility, which the Carthaginians adopted- and on coins the name appeared under the abbreviation IBSM. Many of these coins have been found on Ibiza.

Variations of the name Ibosim:
  • Iberian - Ebeso
  • Greek - Ebysos
  • Latin - Ebusus
  • Arab - Yebisah
  • Catalan - Eivissa
  • Castilian - Ibiza