History of London

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London, the capital of the United Kingdom (England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland), has a recorded history that goes back over 2,000 years. During this time, it has grown to become one of the most significant financial and cultural capitals of the world. It has experienced plague, devastating fire, civil war, aerial bombardment and terrorist attacks. See City of London for details on the historic core of London.

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Etymology

The etymology of name London is uncertain. There have been many different theories advanced over the centuries for the origin of the name: most can be dismissed as fanciful on linguistic or historical grounds, while a few have some measure of academic plausibility. None has any conclusive evidence.

Legendary foundations and prehistoric London

According to the legendary Historia Regum Britanniae, of Geoffrey of Monmouth, London was founded by Brutus of Troy after he defeated the incumbent giants Gog and Magog and was known as Caer Troia, Troia Nova (Latin for New Troy), which, according to a pseudo-etymology, was corrupted to Trinovantum. Trinovantes were the Iron Age tribe who inhabited the area prior to the Romans. Geoffrey provides prehistoric London with a rich array of legendary kings, such as King Lud ( see also Lludd, from Welsh Mythology ) who, he claims, renamed the town CaerLudein, from which London was derived, and was buried at Ludgate.

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