How do countries get their names?
If you tell your friends you’re planning a visit to Vitalia, they’ll probably think you’re heading to some new spa for a week of pampering. Or you might suggest going to Hellas, but you probably won’t get anyone volunteering to join you. The ancient names of present-day countries such as Italy and Greece tell us much about their history, legends, and mythology. Many originated long ago which explains conflicting opinions about their beginnings. We explored the names we use in English, but in other languages the country names often sound quite different. Like contemporary languages, many names were based on Latin and Greek.