Nation

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A nation is a group of people who share culture, ethnicity and language.[1] The development and conceptualisation of a nation is related to the development of modern industrial states and nationalist movements in Europe in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries,[2] although nationalists would trace nations into the past along uninterrupted lines of historical narrative. Though the idea of nationality and race are often connected, the two are separate concepts, race dealing more with genotypic and phenotypic similarity and clustering, and nationality with the sense of belonging to a culture.

Contents

History

Etymology and early use

From natio (Latin: to be born) (nātĭō, stem nātiōn-) and related to gnasci (Old Latin; see genus[3]), nation[4] stands in contrast to the obligations of citizenship suggested by the civitas.[5]

The English word "nation" comes from the French word "nation":[6][7]

  • The action of being born; birth; or and
  • The goddess personifying birth; or
  • A breed (like a dog), stock, kind, species, race; or
  • A tribe, or (rhetorically, any) set of people (contemptuous); or
  • A nation or people.

As an example of how the word natio was employed in classical Latin, consider the following quote from Cicero's Philippics Against Mark Antony in 44 BC. Cicero contrasts the external, inferior nationes ("races of people") with the Roman civitas ("community").:

"Omnes nationes servitutem ferre possunt: nostra civitas non potest."
("All races are able to bear enslavement, but our community cannot.")[8]

St. Jerome used this "genealogical-historical term ... in his Latin translation of New Testament to denote non-Christians — that is, 'others.'"[9] An early example of the use of the word "nation" in conjunction with language and territory is provided in 968 by Liutprand, bishop of Cremona, who, while confronting Nicephorus II, the Byzantine emperor on behalf of his patron Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor, declared:

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