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美丽神奇之国

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  Italy-A Beautiful and Charming Land
 
  The name "Italy" is extremely old. It seems to have been used first in documents of the 5th century BC. To describe a small territory at the tip of the boot-shaped peninsula that extends into the Mediterranean Sea. Historians used to think that the name came from that of a legendary king, Italo. Many other ingenious and improbable theories have been suggested to explain the origin of the name.
 
  No matter what its origins, the name of that small territory at the tip of the boot spreads, little by little, to indicate the whole peninsula. By about AD1000 the name designated a region, a dialect, and a culture. But it was not until the mid-19th century that the many separate nations on the peninsula were united into one nation, the nation to which the ancient name "Italy" was given.
 
  意大利:美丽神奇之国
 
  "意大利"这一名字极其古老。它最早被用在公元前5世纪的文件中,指延伸进地中海的靴形半岛顶端的那一小块领土。历史学家过去一直认为它取自一位传奇国王-意大洛的名字。人们还提出许多有独创性但却不大可能的理论来解释这一名字的来源。
 
  不论其来源于何处,原来只指靴形半岛顶端那一小块领土的这一名字逐渐扩大到泛指整个半岛。大约到了公元1000年,它指一个地区,一种方言,以及一种文化。但是一直到19世纪中期,该半岛上的许多独立国家才联合成为一个国家,并以"意大利"这一古老的名字命名。

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