Roman names for/in America

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy, Nov 11, 2007.

  1. Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy Banned

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    In an AH where the Roman Empire went on long enough to discover the Americas and settle them in part, what sort of geographical names would they use?
     
  2. maverick Banned

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    I did a TL a long time ago in which they named North America Jupiter and South America Saturn...probably not the best TL ever...:(

    Anyways, check Roman Mythology...
     
  3. strangeland Well-Known Member

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    I guess the New World would be called "Mundus Novus" and the capital of their colony there would be named for the sitting emperor.
     
  4. Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy Banned

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    They could just adapt local names, but we don't know a damn thing about what they were.
     
  5. Thande Toujours Phrais

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    Depends when the Romans get there; some might not have changed as the later recorded OTL ones.
     
  6. NapoleonXIV Banned

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    New Yorkium, Jerseyae, Longus Islandicus...not what you wanted, right?
     
  7. DMA I am not the Final Cylon!

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    Pax Americana is often used now... so I'd dare say it'd be repeated in such an AH.
     
  8. Thande Toujours Phrais

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    Why on earth would the Romans name a continent after either an Italian or a Welshman, neither of whom would exist in such a TL?
     
  9. DMA I am not the Final Cylon!

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    Well it's such an obvious name/phrase in OTL. It's like the name United Federation of Planets.

    And considering the name America maybe of Italian origins, isn't the same true for the Romans? :rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2007
  10. Thande Toujours Phrais

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    Wha? Whe?!

    "Pax X-ia" isn't the name of a country. It's a phrase meaning "X-ian Peace". Pax Americana, like Pax Romana, just means ' Peace on the Americans'/Romans' terms'.
     
  11. DMA I am not the Final Cylon!

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    I thought you were talking about "Americana", not "Pax"


    Anyway, I'm talking about the phrase that is commonly used... not necessarily what it exactly means.
     
  12. Thande Toujours Phrais

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    That is what the phrase that is commonly used means! It's never used in any other sense!
     
  13. M79 Well-Known Member

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    What about naming the hemisphere Augustia with North and South for the respective continents? Islands might be named "Nova Italia" or "Athenia" or by lands and religious figures as per OTL.
     
  14. DMA I am not the Final Cylon!

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    Hang on, there's been a break down in communications, so let's look at it...

    You first said:

    I thus thought you were talking about "Americana"

    Then somehow we got onto the meaning of "Pax". How we did suddenly jump to that, I don't know.

    Anyways I'm not disputing the overall meaning of "Pax Americana". I'm just saying that it's such an obvious phrase in OTL, that it's bound to used again in an AH where Romans are alive & well in America.

    Now would this AH America still be called that? I'm not saying it's 100%, & a lot of other names are possible, but considering the possible Italian language origins of the name "America", it is a possibility provided Amerigo Vespucci still does his thing. Consequentially the phrase "Pax Americana" will be repeated.
     
  15. DMA I am not the Final Cylon!

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    "Nova Italia" - I like that! :cool:
     
  16. sprite Foppish Dandy

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    It all depends where the first landings are and if the romans realise they're no just in another far off part of Europe.

    Tellus Labruscia
    Testudia Insula
    Tellus Viridia
    Hesperides
    Nova Atlantis
    Elysium
     
  17. Smaug Devil's Advocate

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    How bout Nova Aegyptos- Yucatan (Pyramids)

    Nova Sicilium- Cuba (Large Island/tall mountains)

    Nova Roma- St. Louis ( two large rivers)

    Furthermore might not some of the place names be of Germanic/ Barbarian origin? The new world would be a great place to get rid of Visigoths, Alemanni, and whatnot. Roman, but not near Rome.
     
  18. Admiral Brown Well-Known Member

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    For all the Americas, what about, "Novus Orbis" (New Earth) or "Novi Orbes" (New Lands). After all, this is how the Americas are refered to in these verses from Medea which could be read as predicting this discovery:

    "uenient annis saecula seris,
    quibus Oceanus uincula rerum
    laxet et ingens pateat tellus
    Tethysque nouos detegat orbes
    nec sit terris ultima Thule
    ."


    I cannot translate it, but it says something like "there will come a year, after many centurys, in which the Ocean will reveal its secret" and then something about a new world being dicovered and that "Thule won't be any longer the last land".


     
  19. carlton_bach Member

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    The use of 'Novus Mundus' or something similar is possible, but not terribly likely. There are enough assumed places out there for the Romans to latch onto.

    The naming pattern of European colonisation OTL was based on creating familiar patterns, but I don't think we'd see this in Roman times. The Roman idea was of domination over other peoples, not displacement, so the use of foreign names actually would validate that view. Therefore I think the system used in Western Europe would extend to the Americas. Local names are latzinised and have Latin descriptors added to them, informal new settlements are simply given Latin descriptive names, formal foundations receive name-based titles.

    So if we make a leap of faith and say the Rappahannock are around at the time the Romans come, they would be something like Rap(p)anocae/-i or Raphanocae/i. Their main settlement 'Topahannock' is accordingly going to be Topanoca or Tophanoca, once they are a recognised entity it will be Civitas Topanoca or Oppidum Topanoca. If there is a Roman colony settled in their territory, that could be the Colonia Flavia Rapanocarum, or maybe a complete unrelated Colonia Flavia Ara somedeityorother. Later on, Topanoca could become Municipium Rapanocarum Topanoca (a privileged city) or even Colonia Flavia Rapanocarum Topanoca or Augusta Rapanocarum (Roman citizen status city or imperially privileged city, respectively). Their territory would be the Civitas Rapanocarum. It would be full of a mix of settlements with old native names and new ones with Latin monikers like 'Three Taverns', 'River Guardpost' or 'Border Crossing'. The Romans have rarely been accused of being overly imaginative.
     
  20. Mars Well-Known Member

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    Adding to what bach just said, i just want to mention that its also likely for them to change the name of the region if they revolt. After the jewish revolts the Romans changed Judea to Syria Palestina as a punishment of sorts, using the name of the philistines, the ancient enemy of the jews. So one might imagine the Romans changing the Mexicae province to Zapoteca or some other name, after a failed revolt.