Why Italy is called Italy?

The meaning of the word Italy has been the subject of reconstruction not only by linguists but also to historians, traditionally attentive to the issue; not always, however, we are faced with etymologies in the strict sense but rather on assumptions that are based on considerations extraneous to the specifically linguistic reconstruction of the name, and that by the time they formed a rich body of solutions, including those that are numerous refer to traditions not shown (such as the existence of a king named Italo) or otherwise highly problematic (such as the name of the connection with the vine). What is usually judged to be sure of is that the name originally indicated only the mail in the extreme south of the Peninsula.

The Mith of Italo:
why italy is called italy ?
Italy according to the ancient Greeks,
which corresponds to Calabria

  • "The region, which now is called Italy, formerly held the Enotri; a certain time their king was Italo, and then changed their name in Itali; going to Italo Morgete, were called Morgetis; later he was a Siculo, who divided the people who were Sicilians and then Morgetis; and Itali were those who were Enotri » (Antiochus of Syracuse, Dionysius of Halicarnassus 1, 12)
  • There are several legends about the character of Italo , lived, according to myth, 16 generations before the Trojan War, and the king of the people of the Enotri . He derives from the Italian name : first given to the region corresponding to his kingdom , or nearly the whole of Calabria with the exception of the northern area , later extended to the entire peninsula (up to the current regions of Tuscany and Marche) as narrated in Thucydides , Aristotle, Antiochus of Syracuse and Strabo . King led the Italo Enotri from a nomadic life to a stable nation that settled on the foothills of European coasts , in the Isthmus of Catanzaro in the homonymous province respectively bounded to the east by the Gulf of Squillace and to the west by the Gulf of Sant ' Euphemia . The capital of his kingdom was, according to Strabo , Pandosia Bruzia , today probably to be identified with the city of Acre.
  • According to Strabo tells us , the borders of Italy was already talking about Antiochus of Syracuse ( fifth century BC ) in his work About Italy , who identified it with the old Oenotria . At that time stretched from the Strait of Sicily, to the Gulf of Taranto ( to the east ) and the Gulf of Posidonia (west ) . Later, with the Roman conquest of the following centuries , the term became identified with the Italian territories including to the Alps , including, therefore , also Liguria (up to the river Var) and Istria to the city of Pula. In fact, all its inhabitants were considered Italics and Romans.

African origin

  • Later , the scholar Gian Domenico Romagnosi traced the name to
    italy history of name

    Ancient Greeks invaded peacefully South Italy, called 'Magna Grecia', in Central Italy the people who were influenced by Greek culture, were called Etruscans. 
    In Southern Italy, the Greek cities were Greek, until the invasion of the Romans.
    that of Taliani , people coming from an African city called Tala : "The Taliani , made ​​with their agricultural institutions allocated among the powerful Numidian hordes , and perhaps not being able to hold their assaults , or extend into the country , they were forced to emigrate ; However, and before going to Sicily, where they left their mark with the sepulchral cells on the cliffs of the mountains; then in Tuscania , where practiced the same. From there, made ​​co'l time strong and numerous, extended their dominion in the region esperica » (Gian Domenico Romagnosi Examination of the history of the ancient peoples of the Italian Giuseppe Micali in relation to primordj dell'italico incivilimen , Milan, 1844) Eugenio Malgeri However , in 1899 , knowingly putting themselves in a linguistic perspective , he felt that the question of the meaning of the name , it remained the most difficult and was ultimately unsolvable because no one could know which language it belonged to the name "Italy".

Greek origin of name Italy

  • The etymological proposals are varied. In some cases, recovery is the name of the Greek tradition , which more than any other gives value to the hypothesis of an expansion from south to north : the Greeks would have applied gradually the name " Italy " to a wider region , up at the time of the Roman conquest , when it was extended to the entire peninsula.
  • For a linguist who has supported this thesis , the name is based on a Greek form not attested (ie hypothetical) as Aιθαλία * ( Aithalia ) which in its initial Aith - (typical of words related to fire) would contain a reference to the size of the volcanic of the lands of the peninsula. This meaning would resist such in the name of Etna, in ancient greek " Aitna ." This proposal was put forward already by Gabriele Rosa , according to which the first Greeks arrived in the peninsula would just call
  • " Aιθαλια ( Italy ) volcanic , or flamboyant and sooty , pel same reason that they said Aιθαλια the islands of Elba ( Ilva ) , Lemnos and Chios, full of forges » ( Gabriele Rosa , The origins of civilization in Europe , Milan 1862-1863 ) Rose , however, did not address , chiarendoli , strictly linguistic arguments that had led to such a solution , thus leaving its proposal in the pre-scientific dimension .

Etruscan origin 

  • In this hypothesis is opposed to that which, with a solution that is unprecedented authoritative and yet little remembered in his most recent recovery, proposes a solution of the Etruscan name of Italy; it is a reconstruction that considers unacceptable the suggestion "Greek" and implies conclusions symmetrically opposed to the latter, such as the fact that the name has propagated from north to south.

Samnite origin 

  • Others argue that the name "Italy" must have been a loan rather late to the Latin, since it lacks any trace of all the oscillation of the vocal median, noted in stage placed between the sixth and fifth centuries. 
  • In particular, the word "Italy" is merely a loanword Viteliù of Oscan origin of the word to greek who in turn passed it to Latin after the "v" had lapsed. Even in the latter case it is rather an explanation of the applicant and, beyond the aforementioned observations languages, was motivated by the fact that Víteliú meant "land of young cattle" (cf. Lat vitulus "calf", umb vitlo "calf")


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