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Do you know why Narni inspired the name of “The Chronicles of Narnia”?

Narni (Narnia in Latin) is located in the province of Terni in Umbria and is said to have inspired the name of The Chronicles of Narnia. According to recent studies, the geographical center of the Italian peninsula falls within its territory (see Cardona Bridge)

The area around Narni was already inhabited in the Paleolithic, as evidenced by the findings in some of the caves that make up the area. Around the beginning of the first millennium the Osco-Umbrians settled in the area calling their settlement Nequinum.

Have you read the Chronicles of Narnia yet?

The Chronicles of Narnia (title in italian: Le Cronache di Narnia) is a series of high fantasy novels written by C. S. Lewis, mainly set in the fictional Land of Narnia. Conceived in 1939, it was published in three volumes between 1950 and 1956. Translated into 47 languages, with a total sale exceeding 100 million copies, it remains one of the most popular literary works of the twentieth century.

Why is it said to have inspired the “Chronicles of Narnia”?

The writer Walter Hooper, who was among other things the secretary and biographer of C.S. Lewis, author of The Chronicles of Narnia, has also dealt with the origins of the name “Narnia” several times in his books as noted for example on page 306 of his co-authored book with Roger Lancelyn Green: C.S. Lewis: A Biography, published in 2002. Below is an excerpt from what Lewis said to Hooper:

“When Walter Hooper asked C.S. Lewis where he had found the word Narnia, Lewis showed him his Murray’s Small Classical Atlas, ed. G.B. Grundy (1904), which he had bought when he was reading the classics with his tutor Kirkpatrick at Great Bookham [1914-1917]. On page 8 of this atlas there is a map of Italy with the inscriptions in Latin. Lewis had underlined the name of a small town called Narnia, simply because he loved the sound of that word. Narnia – or “Narni” in Italian – is located in Umbria, halfway between Rome and Assisi. “


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