The name Ionian comes from the Greek language Ἰόνιον (πέλαγος). Its etymology is unknown. Ancient Greek writers, especially Aeschylus, linked it to the myth of Io. In ancient Greek the adjective Ionios (Ἰόνιος) was used as an epithet for the sea because Io swam across it. According to the Oxford Classical Dictionary, the name may derive from Ionians who sailed to the West. There were also narratives about other eponymic legendary figures; according to one version, Ionius was a son of Adrias (eponymic for the Adriatic Sea); according to another, Ionius was a son of Dyrrhachus. When Dyrrhachus was attacked by his own brothers, Heracles, who was passing through the area, came to his aid, but in the fight the hero killed his ally's son by mistake. The body was cast into the water, and thereafter was called the Ionian Sea.
^Gade, Martin (March 15, 2008). "The European Marginal and Enclosed Seas: An Overview". In Barale, Vittorio (ed.). Remote Sensing of the European Seas. Springer Science+Business Media. pp. 3–22. ISBN 978-1-4020-6771-6. LCCN2007942178. Retrieved August 28, 2009.
^John Freely (30 April 2008). The Ionian Islands: Corfu, Cephalonia and Beyond. I.B.Tauris. p. 10. ISBN 978-0-85771-828-0.
^John Keahey (15 July 2014). A Sweet and Glorious Land: Revisiting the Ionian Sea. St. Martin's Press. p. 116. ISBN 978-1-4668-7603-3.
^Charles Anthon (1869). A Classical Dictionary Containing an Account of the Principal Proper Names Mentioned in Ancient Authors [and Intended to Elucidate All the Important Points Connected with the Geography, History, Biography, Mythology, and Fine Arts of the Greeks and Romans: Together with an Account of Coins, Weights, and Measures, with Tabular Values of the Same]. Harper [& Brothers]. p. 679.
^ abGocha R. Tsetskhladze (2008). Greek Colonisation: An Account of Greek Colonies and Other Settlements Overseas. BRILL. p. 157. ISBN 978-90-04-15576-3.