The term 'British' was not used to describe the whole of the British Isles by the Greeks and Romans. The Greeks knew Great Britain as Albion, and the romans knew Great Britain as 'Brittania' and Ireland as 'Hibernia.' Would anyone mind if I changed the article to reflect this?
- That's not correct. The term Britanniae Insulae was used to refer to both Britain and Ireland by Classical geographers. Dorpfeld 05:09, 23 March 2007 (EDT)
- It is correct. The Greeks knew Great Britain as Albion, and the ancient Romans knew Great Britain as 'Brittania' (It was one of their provinces) and Ireland as 'Hibernia.' (Which was not one of their provinces.) They would never have refered to a land which was part of their empire with the same name as a land which was not part of their empire. That would not make sense.
The term 'Britanniae Insulae' (Or British Isles) was used much much later, in relatively modern times, (16th century) by a Roman cartographer to describe the islands of Britain and Ireland. Even before the birth of Christ, the Islands were known as Brittania and Hibernia. The use of Brittaniae Insulae by some distant map maker in Rome 1600 years after the islands were first thrown into the light of civilisation is surely just the first instance of the incorrect term British Isles being used to describe the whole archipelago.
- Ptolemy, in his 2nd century book "Geography", had a chapter titled "Hibernia, island of Britannia", and the next chapter was called "Albion, island of Britannia". In the 1st century Pliny the Elder specifically describes Britannia as including Britain, Ireland, the Orkneys, and many other places. In fact, the true historical position is quite the reverse of what has been stated above. Britannia was a term that described both Hibernia and Albion. When the Romans took over most of Albion, they applied the name Britannia to the area over which they ruled, which is why some have mistakenly assumed that it only refers to that island. Dorpfeld 04:02, 26 March 2007 (EDT)
Have decided to greatly expand this article and include as many relevant links as possible. Perhaps some of our resident Brits could assist me in adding pages where there are dead links. Trashbat 09:43, 30 April 2007 (EDT)
- Your British expertise is needed in separating Great Britain, United Kingdom. United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and the many other names of states (past and present) on these isles that cause Americans so much confusion! GodlessLiberal 21:52, 1 May 2007 (EDT)
Map is wrong
Please don't hide information in footnotes. If there are significant numbers of Irishmen who dislike the term "British Isles" then this should be in the body of the article, not hidden in footnotes.
I removed the word "controversial" from the intro sentence, because after glancing at all the article text (but ignoring the footnotes) I could not see anything about an objection to the term British Isles.