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Sunday, February 18, 2024

How Londinium Turned London, Lutetia Turned Paris, and Different Roman Cities Bought Their Fashionable Names

They Would possibly Be Giants achieved pop-cul­tur­al immor­tal­i­ty once they cov­ered Jim­my Kennedy and music by Nat Simon’s nov­el­ty tune “Istan­bul (Not Con­stan­tino­ple)” in 1990. Key to the the lyrics’ humor is their simul­ta­ne­ous repair­a­tion on and appar­ent dis­in­ter­est within the rea­son for the re-nam­ing of the Turk­ish metrop­o­lis. As typically as you hear the tune — and we’ve all heard it depend­much less instances over the previous few many years — you’ll be taught solely that Con­stan­tino­ple turned Istan­bul, not why. In his new video above, on how the cities of the Roman Empire received their mod­ern names, historic his­to­ry YouTu­ber Gar­rett Ryan, cre­ator of Youtube chan­nel Instructed in Stone, professional­vides a lit­tle extra element.

“Istan­bul appears to be a Turk­ish ren­der­ing of the Greek phrase eis ten polin, ‘into the town,” Ryan says. Oth­er of that coun­attempt’s city set­tle­ments have names that will be extra rec­og­niz­capable of an historic Roman cit­i­zen: “Bur­sa is Prusa, Smyr­na is Izmir, Attaleia is Antalya, Ico­ni­um is Konya, and Ancyra is Ankara.”

Iznik was orig­i­nal­ly referred to as Nicaea, however so was Good, France (although solely the for­mer has the his­tor­i­cal dis­tinc­tion of hav­ing professional­duced the Nicene Creed). “The French cities Aix and Dax are descen­dants of the Latin aquae, springs. The identical phrase, lit­er­al­ly trans­lat­ed, is behind Baden Baden, Ger­many, and Bathtub, Eng­land.”

For some cities, the tran­si­tion from a Roman to post-Roman identify did­n’t hap­pen in a single sim­ple step. It’s well-known that, within the days of the Roman Empire, Lon­don was referred to as Lon­dini­um; what’s much less well-known is that it additionally took on the names Lun­den­wic and Lun­den­burg within the eras between. And “though the clas­si­cal identify of Paris was Lute­tia” — as pre­vi­ous­ly fea­tured right here on Open Cul­ture — “the town was already recognized by the identify of a neighborhood tribe, the Parisii, by late antiq­ui­ty.” If you happen to can guess the cur­hire names of Discussion board Tra­iani, Igilgili, or, Bor­be­toma­gus, you’ve received a eager­er sense of historic his­to­ry than most. Mod­ern West­ern civ­i­liza­tion could descend from the Roman Empire, however that lega­cy comes via way more clear­ly in some locations than oth­ers.

Relat­ed con­tent:

A Vir­tu­al Tour of Historic Rome, Cir­ca 320 CE: Discover Stun­ning Recre­ations of The Discussion board, Colos­se­um and Oth­er Mon­u­ments

A 3D Ani­ma­tion Reveals What Paris Appeared Like When It Was a Roman City

A Information Visu­al­iza­tion of Each Ital­ian Metropolis & City Discovered­ed within the BC Period

The Roads of Historic Rome Visu­al­ized within the Type of Mod­ern Sub­means Maps

Each Roman Emper­or: A Video Time­line Mov­ing from Augus­tus to the Byzan­tine Empire’s Final Ruler, Con­stan­tine XI

Do You Assume About Historic Rome Each Day? Then Browse a Wealth of Movies, Maps & Pho­tos That Discover the Roman Empire

Based mostly in Seoul, Col­in Marshall writes and broad­casts on cities, lan­guage, and cul­ture. His initiatives embody the Sub­stack newslet­ter Books on Cities, the e book The State­much less Metropolis: a Stroll via Twenty first-Cen­tu­ry Los Ange­les and the video collection The Metropolis in Cin­e­ma. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall or on Face­e book.


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