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The English name Nice comes from the Greek Νίκαια (Níkaia), which was a part of the ancient colony and later city of Nicaea, founded by Greeks in about 600 BC. The pre-Greek root is seen in the local name of the hills that face the town, "Nikaïa" or "Cimiez", meaning "by/next to/alongside Nikaia". According to a theory cited by Pliny's Natural History, these were called 'Όλυμποι' (Olympos) because they had once been covered with forests ("εἴων ὀρεινῶν προτέρω τὰς ὄψεις λύγος"). Some have interpreted this as meaning that there was once an island here where timber trees grew; Nika being an archaic form for peninsula.