In five minutes, I listed every American city I could think of whose name was an allusion to the world of the classical Greeks and Romans. (Not only was our Constitution largely inspired by those civilizations, but everything from the architecture of Washington, D.C. to the many statements by our Founders on the subject shows that America was meant to be a conscious reincarnation of the glory of the ancients.)
I came up with six cities. See how you do. My answers are after the jump.
Ithaca, New York
NOTE: I put Rome, Wisconsin, on the list because I remembered it from the 90’s TV show Picket Fences, and hoped it was also a real city. Turns out it is. Cincinnati, Ohio isn’t named after an ancient place, but a Roman leader, so that still counts. I put Alexandria, Virginia, but found out afterward that it’s named after the founding family of the town, so I don’t think I should count that. As a Mormon, it’s a little embarrassing that it took me so long to think of Carthage, Illinois, where Joseph Smith was murdered. As I brainstormed, I tried to think of American cities named Troy or Sparta, sure that there must be plenty, but couldn’t think of one. In retrospect, I could have just listed those names for every state east of the Mississippi and probably could have ended up keeping several of them. Oh well.
Here’s a list of all the cities in America named Rome: http://www.funtrivia.com/askft/Question102099.html
Here’s a list of all the American cities named after ancient Greece: http://thanasis.com/modern/places.htm
It’s worrisome that this trend of naming our cities after the classical world didn’t carry over to the western settlements–there’s certainly no such thing as Athens, Nevada! Another reason to live on the East Coast.