I’m going to open a new thread with the following thought because, though it is response to something asserted on another thread, it is actually somewhat off topic. So, it is being asserted on another thread that Galileo, surely one of the great heroes of this particular website, was Italian. But, of course, he was not Italian. Neither was Leonardo Da Vinci, or the composer Vivaldi, all of whom are sometimes described as having been Italian. But, though they were born and lived their lives on that particular peninsular of modern Europe that we call Italy, all of them died before the nineteenth century, when the concept of a nation called Italy came into being. Galileo, for the record, was Florentine, as was Leonardo Da Vinci. Vivaldi was Venetian. Pedant, I hear you cry. But I’m not so sure that this really is pedantry. I have often encountered quizzes that ask after the nationality of the composer Beethoven, and with great authority, the quiz master always assures us that he was German. Certainly, he was born in Bonn, which is in modern day Germany. But if you had asked that question of Beethoven himself, whatever he would have said, he certainly would not have said German. You might actually have had to explain to him exactly what you were asking, because the concept of nationality, as we mean it today, is actually quite recent. If you had succeeded in getting him to understand your meaning, he might have answered Flemish, because that was certainly his ethnic identity. If you had defined it purely on birthplace, then I suppose he might have answered Hannovarian. But he certainly would not have said German. Beethoven died in 1827. Germany came into existence at the end of the Franco Prussian war in 1870.