What Was Italy Called in Ancient Times?

Italy is a country located in Southern Europe, but what was it called in ancient times? Let’s take a journey back in time to discover the various names that Italy went by.

The Early History of Italy

In ancient times, Italy was inhabited by various tribes and peoples. The first known inhabitants were the Etruscans who lived in central Italy around 800 BC.

They were known for their advanced civilization and art. The Greeks also established colonies in southern Italy around the same time.

The Roman Empire

The most well-known name for Italy in ancient times is “Italia” which was used during the Roman Empire. The Romans conquered much of the Mediterranean world and established an extensive empire that lasted for centuries. The term “Italia” originally referred to just the southern part of the peninsula, but eventually, it came to encompass all of modern-day Italy.

The Byzantine Empire

After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, Italy was briefly ruled by Germanic tribes before being reconquered by the Eastern Roman Empire or Byzantine Empire. During this time, Italy was referred to as “Gothia” or “Langobardia” after two of the Germanic tribes that had previously ruled over parts of Italy.

The Middle Ages

During the Middle Ages, Italy was divided into various city-states and regions each with their own unique names. Some notable examples include Tuscany, Lombardy, Venice, and Naples. These regions often fought against each other for power and control.


In conclusion, Italy has gone by many different names throughout its history. From Italia during the Roman Empire to Gothia during the Byzantine era to Tuscany and Lombardy during the Middle Ages. Each name represents a different period of history and gives us insight into how this country has evolved over time.