Friday, October 8, 2010

The City

In the previous post I critize the naming of the Keep in the Keep on the Borderland. Is it even plausible to name a place with a generic name like The Keep, or the City-State? Well as it turns out there is a real-life example, Constantinople now known as Istanbul.

For several centuries Constantinople was THE city of the Mediterranean, it's fame known throughout Europe, Africa, and Asia. For the Greek speaking population it was simply know as The City. The Slavs called it Tsargrad or the City of the Emperor. The Norse, who served as the emperor's bodyguards the Varangians, called it Miklagard, or "Big City."

Even it's current name, Istanbul, is the turkish language adaptation of the greek phrase, "To the City".

6 comments:

Chris said...

Also applies to any place called Medina (Arabic for 'the city').

Ditto Amsterdam. In Yiddish it's name was/is 'Mokum' (trans. 'the town' or 'the place').

Erin said...

Or how everyone in a 30-mile radius of Manhattan knows what you're referring to when you say "The City."

Tom said...

Must... resist... They Might Be Giants...

Rob Conley said...

@Tom, I know what you mean, it one of my wife's and kids favorite songs.

Frank said...

The City = NYC has a wider radius that 30 miles... Up in Troy we called it The City also.

Cities aren't the only places known by generic names. Of course many of the generic names aren't in the language of the people making the maps...

Frank

Dan said...

That is really cool! Never knew it. Makes City-State of the Invincible Overlord not quite so silly.