Sardinia is the second largest island in the Mediterranean Sea (after Sicily and before Cyprus). It is an autonomous region of Italy, and the nearest land masses are (clockwise from north) the French island of Corsica, the Italian Peninsula, Sicily, Tunisia and the Balearic Islands.
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The name Sardinia is from the pre-Roman noun *sard, romanised as sardus (feminine sarda); that the name had a religious connotation is suggested from its use also as the adjective for the ancient Sardinian mythological hero-god Sardus Pater “Sardinian Father” (misunderstood by many modern Sardinians/Italians as being “Father Sardus”), as well as being the stem of the adjective “sardonic”. Sardinia was called Ichnusa (the Latinised form of the Greek Hyknousa), Sandalion, Sardinia and Sardo by the ancient Greeks and the Romans.