Question about city names that are being renamed

Thrasher, Allen athr at LOC.GOV
Fri May 20 14:13:15 UTC 2011

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Calling Chennai/Madras 'patnam' has parallels, such as the ancient Roman reference to Rome as just "urbs," " the city," preserved in the Pope's Christmas and Easter blessing "urbi et orbi," "to the city and the world," and New Yorkers' habit of referring to their city as "the city," which one occasionally hears applied to Washington nowadays.  Presumably the modern Turkish name of Istanbul/Constantinople, literally "up to the city," comes from the Turks regarding the great city on the Bosporus as THE city.  Any other parallels?


Allen W. Thrasher, Ph.D.
Senior Reference Librarian and Team Coordinator
South Asia Team
Asian Division
Library of Congress
Washington, DC 20540-4810
tel. 202-707-3732
fax 202-707-1724
The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the Library of Congress.

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