|Soil is the tribal patch of ants. Don't knock it!|
But even in those days, 'earth' also had the idea of element attached to it, as in this Old English phrase: "Seó eorþ is dryge and ceald and ðæt wæter wæt and ceald" — the earth is dry and cold, the water is wet and cold (compare 'Séo' and the German 'sie').
|Ant lions live in the earth, too. Look out, ants!|
(Whatever happens to the Great in the Latin version?)
Anyhow, terra which is the soil in the Italian terra rossa is now a land, as it is in Tierra del Fuego, though not yet promoted to the level of terrestrial, which can be either on dry land (terra firma) or something found on our planet, as opposed to extra-terrestrial.
It seems almost as if the word we use depends on our continually widening horizons over the past millennium or so. For example, the Icelandic jörð can mean earth, land or estate, depending on the context.
All the same, the world of the Romans (mundus) was far less than the world of the Italians or French (mondo or le monde). To the Romans, the world was just a small patch around the Mediterranean Sea (which is the sea 'in the middle of the world').
This is not surprising, as it is an Arabic word, brought in by Arabic-speaking traders in each area, but I have minimal knowledge of Arabic, so I cannot say what precisely it means in Arabic. All I know for sure is that the same word is also used in Turkish.