of Narnia name
"The Chronicles of Narnia" developed from the fancies of C. S. Lewis, curiously
some parts find their roots in Italy and Italian culture.
the history of Italian culture quite deeply. His position as a Fellow at Oxford and later
as a Professor at Cambridge gave him the opportunity to study classical literature and
Latin poets such as Livy, Tacitus, Pliny the Younger and Pliny the Elder. When Lewis, or
Jack as he was called as a child, was young his teacher, Kirkpatrick read many classic
with him and later said that, "Lewis read more classic books than any other boy that
became very proficient in Latin, carrying on a correspondence in that language with don
Calabria, an Italian priest from 1947 until 1954. These letters were eventually translated
by Luciano Squizzato and entitled "Una Gioia Insolita.?"
between the ages of 12 to about 22, Lewis read many classic Latin writers. According to
Paul Ford's Companion to Narnia, Lewis's first successes at Oxford were in the classics
and ancient history, it is quite possible that he came across at least seven references to
Narnia in Latin literature. "Four references are found in Livy's History (10:10,
27:9,27:50, and 29:15)... ... Tacitus's Annals (3:9).... Pliny the Elder's comment in
Natural History about its unusual weather (it became drier in the rainy season).... Pliny
the Younger's letter to his mother-in-law, in which he mentions the excellence of the
accommodations of her villa at Narnia, especially its beautiful baths. Of all of these
references, Lewis mentions only Pliny the Younger, in a letter to Arthur Greeves (They
Stand Together, Macmillan, Collins, 1979, p. 171)."
Narnia, that Lewis bestowed upon his land of talking beasts, speaking streams and Aslan
the lion was most likely taken from his readings of classical writers who introduced the
town of Narnia to him as the last defense of Roma on the Flaminia road. This idea was lent
even more credence when one of Lewis's biographers, Walter Hooper, discussed a map of
Italy from "Murrey's Small Classical Atlas" that had once belonged to Lewis. On
the map Lewis had underlined several towns; one of them is Narnia.
now named NARNI and is very close to Rome.
- Thanks to Douglas Gresham for pointing out an error
that was missed in our fact checking. We have ammended the paragraph accordingly