|The Mediterranean Portal|
|The Mediterranean Portal|
1. Mediterranean – The sea is sometimes considered a part of the Atlantic Ocean, although it is usually identified as a separate body of water. The name Mediterranean is derived from the Latin mediterraneus, meaning inland or in the middle of land and it covers an approximate area of 2.5 million km2, but its connection to the Atlantic is only 14 km wide. The Strait of Gibraltar is a strait that connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea and separates Gibraltar. In oceanography, it is called the Eurafrican Mediterranean Sea or the European Mediterranean Sea to distinguish it from mediterranean seas elsewhere. The Mediterranean Sea has a depth of 1,500 m. The sea is bordered on the north by Europe, the east by Asia and it is located between latitudes 30° and 46° N and longitudes 6° W and 36° E. Its west-east length, from the Strait of Gibraltar to the Gulf of Iskenderun, the seas average north-south length, from Croatia’s southern shore to Libya, is approximately 800 km. The Mediterranean Sea, including the Sea of Marmara, has an area of approximately 2,510,000 square km. The sea was an important route for merchants and travelers of ancient times that allowed for trade, the history of the Mediterranean region is crucial to understanding the origins and development of many modern societies. In addition, the Gaza Strip and the British Overseas Territories of Gibraltar and Akrotiri, the term Mediterranean derives from the Latin word mediterraneus, meaning amid the earth or between land, as it is between the continents of Africa, Asia and Europe. The Ancient Greek name Mesogeios, is similarly from μέσο, between + γη, land, earth) and it can be compared with the Ancient Greek name Mesopotamia, meaning between rivers. The Mediterranean Sea has historically had several names, for example, the Carthaginians called it the Syrian Sea and latter Romans commonly called it Mare Nostrum, and occasionally Mare Internum. Another name was the Sea of the Philistines, from the people inhabiting a large portion of its shores near the Israelites, the sea is also called the Great Sea in the General Prologue by Geoffrey Chaucer. In Ottoman Turkish, it has also been called Bahr-i Sefid, in Modern Hebrew, it has been called HaYam HaTikhon, the Middle Sea, reflecting the Seas name in ancient Greek, Latin, and modern languages in both Europe and the Middle East. Similarly, in Modern Arabic, it is known as al-Baḥr al-Mutawassiṭ, in Turkish, it is known as Akdeniz, the White Sea since among Turks the white colour represents the west. Several ancient civilisations were located around the Mediterranean shores, and were influenced by their proximity to the sea. It provided routes for trade, colonisation, and war, as well as food for numerous communities throughout the ages, due to the shared climate, geology, and access to the sea, cultures centered on the Mediterranean tended to have some extent of intertwined culture and history. Two of the most notable Mediterranean civilisations in classical antiquity were the Greek city states, later, when Augustus founded the Roman Empire, the Romans referred to the Mediterranean as Mare NostrumMediterranean – Circa the 6th century BCE: In ancient times the Mediterranean provided sources of food and local commerce and direct routes for trade and communications, colonisation, and war. Numerous cities and colonies were situated at its shores or within the basin: Greek (red) and Phoenician (yellow) colonies in antiquity; and other cities (grey), including the provincial "Rom".
2. Europe – Europe is a continent that comprises the westernmost part of Eurasia. Europe is bordered by the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west, yet the non-oceanic borders of Europe—a concept dating back to classical antiquity—are arbitrary. Europe covers about 10,180,000 square kilometres, or 2% of the Earths surface, politically, Europe is divided into about fifty sovereign states of which the Russian Federation is the largest and most populous, spanning 39% of the continent and comprising 15% of its population. Europe had a population of about 740 million as of 2015. Further from the sea, seasonal differences are more noticeable than close to the coast, Europe, in particular ancient Greece, was the birthplace of Western civilization. The fall of the Western Roman Empire, during the period, marked the end of ancient history. Renaissance humanism, exploration, art, and science led to the modern era, from the Age of Discovery onwards, Europe played a predominant role in global affairs. Between the 16th and 20th centuries, European powers controlled at times the Americas, most of Africa, Oceania. The Industrial Revolution, which began in Great Britain at the end of the 18th century, gave rise to economic, cultural, and social change in Western Europe. During the Cold War, Europe was divided along the Iron Curtain between NATO in the west and the Warsaw Pact in the east, until the revolutions of 1989 and fall of the Berlin Wall. In 1955, the Council of Europe was formed following a speech by Sir Winston Churchill and it includes all states except for Belarus, Kazakhstan and Vatican City. Further European integration by some states led to the formation of the European Union, the EU originated in Western Europe but has been expanding eastward since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. The European Anthem is Ode to Joy and states celebrate peace, in classical Greek mythology, Europa is the name of either a Phoenician princess or of a queen of Crete. The name contains the elements εὐρύς, wide, broad and ὤψ eye, broad has been an epithet of Earth herself in the reconstructed Proto-Indo-European religion and the poetry devoted to it. For the second part also the divine attributes of grey-eyed Athena or ox-eyed Hera. The same naming motive according to cartographic convention appears in Greek Ανατολή, Martin Litchfield West stated that phonologically, the match between Europas name and any form of the Semitic word is very poor. Next to these there is also a Proto-Indo-European root *h1regʷos, meaning darkness. Most major world languages use words derived from Eurṓpē or Europa to refer to the continent, in some Turkic languages the originally Persian name Frangistan is used casually in referring to much of Europe, besides official names such as Avrupa or EvropaEurope – Reconstruction of Herodotus ' world map
3. Asia – Asia covers an area of 44,579,000 square kilometres, about 30% of Earths total land area and 8. 7% of the Earths total surface area. The continent, which has long been home to the majority of the population, was the site of many of the first civilizations. Asia is notable for not only its large size and population. In general terms, Asia is bounded on the east by the Pacific Ocean, on the south by the Indian Ocean, the western boundary with Europe is a historical and cultural construct, as there is no clear physical and geographical separation between them. The most commonly accepted boundaries place Asia to the east of the Suez Canal, the Ural River, and the Ural Mountains, and south of the Caucasus Mountains, China and India alternated in being the largest economies in the world from 1 to 1800 A. D. The accidental discovery of America by Columbus in search for India demonstrates this deep fascination, the Silk Road became the main East-West trading route in the Asian hitherland while the Straits of Malacca stood as a major sea route. Asia has exhibited economic dynamism as well as robust population growth during the 20th century, given its size and diversity, the concept of Asia—a name dating back to classical antiquity—may actually have more to do with human geography than physical geography. Asia varies greatly across and within its regions with regard to ethnic groups, cultures, environments, economics, historical ties, the boundary between Asia and Africa is the Red Sea, the Gulf of Suez, and the Suez Canal. This makes Egypt a transcontinental country, with the Sinai peninsula in Asia, the border between Asia and Europe was historically defined by European academics. In Sweden, five years after Peters death, in 1730 Philip Johan von Strahlenberg published a new atlas proposing the Urals as the border of Asia, the Russians were enthusiastic about the concept, which allowed them to keep their European identity in geography. Tatishchev announced that he had proposed the idea to von Strahlenberg, the latter had suggested the Emba River as the lower boundary. Over the next century various proposals were made until the Ural River prevailed in the mid-19th century, the border had been moved perforce from the Black Sea to the Caspian Sea into which the Ural River projects. The border between the Black Sea and the Caspian is usually placed along the crest of the Caucasus Mountains, the border between Asia and the loosely defined region of Oceania is usually placed somewhere in the Malay Archipelago. The terms Southeast Asia and Oceania, devised in the 19th century, have had several different geographic meanings since their inception. The chief factor in determining which islands of the Malay Archipelago are Asian has been the location of the possessions of the various empires there. Lewis and Wigen assert, The narrowing of Southeast Asia to its present boundaries was thus a gradual process, Asia is larger and more culturally diverse than Europe. It does not exactly correspond to the borders of its various types of constituents. From the time of Herodotus a minority of geographers have rejected the three-continent system on the grounds there is no or is no substantial physical separation between themAsia – Two-point equidistant projection of Asia and surrounding landmasses.
4. Africa – Africa is the worlds second-largest and second-most-populous continent. At about 30.3 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of Earths total surface area and 20.4 % of its land area. With 1.2 billion people as of 2016, it accounts for about 16% of the human population. The continent includes Madagascar and various archipelagos and it contains 54 fully recognized sovereign states, nine territories and two de facto independent states with limited or no recognition. Africas population is the youngest amongst all the continents, the age in 2012 was 19.7. Algeria is Africas largest country by area, and Nigeria by population, afarensis, Homo erectus, H. habilis and H. ergaster – with the earliest Homo sapiens found in Ethiopia being dated to circa 200,000 years ago. Africa straddles the equator and encompasses numerous climate areas, it is the continent to stretch from the northern temperate to southern temperate zones. Africa hosts a diversity of ethnicities, cultures and languages. In the late 19th century European countries colonized most of Africa, Africa also varies greatly with regard to environments, economics, historical ties and government systems. However, most present states in Africa originate from a process of decolonization in the 20th century, afri was a Latin name used to refer to the inhabitants of Africa, which in its widest sense referred to all lands south of the Mediterranean. This name seems to have referred to a native Libyan tribe. The name is connected with Hebrew or Phoenician ʿafar dust. The same word may be found in the name of the Banu Ifran from Algeria and Tripolitania, under Roman rule, Carthage became the capital of the province of Africa Proconsularis, which also included the coastal part of modern Libya. The Latin suffix -ica can sometimes be used to denote a land, the later Muslim kingdom of Ifriqiya, modern-day Tunisia, also preserved a form of the name. According to the Romans, Africa lay to the west of Egypt, while Asia was used to refer to Anatolia, as Europeans came to understand the real extent of the continent, the idea of Africa expanded with their knowledge. 25,4, whose descendants, he claimed, had invaded Libya, isidore of Seville in Etymologiae XIV.5.2. Suggests Africa comes from the Latin aprica, meaning sunny, massey, in 1881, stated that Africa is derived from the Egyptian af-rui-ka, meaning to turn toward the opening of the Ka. The Ka is the double of every person and the opening of the Ka refers to a womb or birthplaceAfrica – Map of Africa
5. Southern European – Southern Europe is the southern region of the European continent. Most definitions of Southern Europe, also known as Mediterranean Europe, include the countries of the Iberian peninsula, different methods can be used to define Southern Europe, including its political, economic, and cultural attributes. Southern Europe can also be defined by its natural features — its geography, climate, geographically, Southern Europe is the southern half of the landmass of Europe. This definition is relative, with no clear limits and those areas of Mediterranean climate present similar vegetations and landscapes throughout, including dry hills, small plains, pine forests and olive trees. Cooler climates can be found in parts of Southern European countries, for example within the mountain ranges of Spain. Additionally, the north coast of Spain experiences a wetter Atlantic climate, Southern Europes flora is that of the Mediterranean Region, one of the phytochoria recognized by Armen Takhtajan. The period known as classical antiquity began with the rise of the city-states of Ancient Greece, Greek influence reached its zenith under the expansive empire of Alexander the Great, spreading throughout Asia. The Roman Empire came to dominate the entire Mediterranean basin in a vast empire based on Roman law and it promoted trade, tolerance, and Greek culture. By 300 AD the Roman Empire was divided into the Western Roman Empire based in Rome, during the Middle Ages, the Eastern Roman Empire survived, though modern historians refer to this state as the Byzantine Empire. In Western Europe, Germanic peoples moved into positions of power in the remnants of the former Western Roman Empire and established kingdoms, the period known as the Crusades, a series of religiously motivated military expeditions originally intended to bring the Levant back into Christian rule, began. Several Crusader states were founded in the eastern Mediterranean, the Crusaders would have a profound impact on many parts of Europe. Their Sack of Constantinople in 1204 brought an end to the Byzantine Empire. Though it would later be re-established, it would never recover its former glory, the Crusaders would establish trade routes that would develop into the Silk Road and open the way for the merchant republics of Genoa and Venice to become major economic powers. The Reconquista, a movement, worked to reconquer Iberia for Christendom. The Late Middle Ages represented a period of upheaval in Europe, the epidemic known as the Black Death and an associated famine caused demographic catastrophe in Europe as the population plummeted. Dynastic struggles and wars of conquest kept many of the states of Europe at war for much of the period, in the Balkans, the Ottoman Empire, a Turkish state originating in Anatolia, encroached steadily on former Byzantine lands, culminating in the Fall of Constantinople in 1453. An unprecedented series of wars and political revolutions took place around Europe. Observers at the time, and many historians since, have argued that wars caused the revolutions, galileo Galilei, invented the telescope and the thermometer which allowed him to observe and describe the solar systemSouthern European – Geographic features of countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea
6. Italian Peninsula – The Italian Peninsula or Apennine Peninsula is the central and the smallest of the three large peninsulas of Southern Europe. It extends 1,000 km from the Po Valley in the north to the central Mediterranean Sea in the south, the peninsulas shape gives it the nickname lo Stivale. Three smaller peninsulas contribute to this shape, namely Calabria, Salento. Geographically, the Italian peninsula consists of the south of a line extending from the Magra to the Rubicon rivers. It excludes the Po Valley and the slopes of the Alps. All of the lies within the territory of the Italian Republic except for the microstates of San Marino. Additionally, Sicily, Elba and other islands, such as Palagruža, are usually considered as islands off the peninsula. The peninsula lies between the Tyrrhenian Sea on the west, the Ionian Sea on the south, and the Adriatic Sea on the east, the backbone of the Italian peninsula consists of the Apennine Mountains, from which it takes one of its names. Most of its coast is lined with cliffs, the Italian Peninsulas location between the centre of Europe and the Mediterranean Sea made it the target of many conquests. The peninsula has mainly a Mediterranean climate, though in the parts the climate is much cooler. Its natural vegetation includes macchia along the coasts and deciduous and mixed coniferous forests in the interior. Political divisions of the peninsula sorted by area, Apennine Mountains Roman Republic Roman Italy Insular Italy Media related to Italian Peninsula at Wikimedia CommonsItalian Peninsula – Satellite view of the peninsula in March 2003.
7. Balkan Peninsula – The Balkan Peninsula, or the Balkans, is a peninsula and a cultural area in Eastern and Southeastern Europe with various and disputed borders. The region takes its name from the Balkan Mountains that stretch from the Serbia-Bulgaria border to the Black Sea, the highest point of the Balkans is Mount Musala 2,925 metres in the Rila mountain range. In Turkish, Balkan means a chain of wooded mountains, the name is still preserved in Central Asia with the Balkan Daglary and the Balkan Province of Turkmenistan. A less popular hypothesis regarding its etymology is that it derived from the Persian Balā-Khāna, from Antiquity through the Middle Ages, the Balkan Mountains had been called by the local Thracian name Haemus. According to Greek mythology, the Thracian king Haemus was turned into a mountain by Zeus as a punishment, a reverse name scheme has also been suggested. D. Dechev considers that Haemus is derived from a Thracian word *saimon, a third possibility is that Haemus derives from the Greek word haema meaning blood. The myth relates to a fight between Zeus and the monster/titan Typhon, Zeus injured Typhon with a thunder bolt and Typhons blood fell on the mountains, from which they got their name. The earliest mention of the name appears in an early 14th-century Arab map, the Ottomans first mention it in a document dated from 1565. There has been no other documented usage of the word to refer to the region before that, there is also a claim about an earlier Bulgar Turkic origin of the word popular in Bulgaria, however it is only an unscholarly assertion. The word was used by the Ottomans in Rumelia in its meaning of mountain, as in Kod̲j̲a-Balkan, Čatal-Balkan, and Ungurus-Balkani̊. The concept of the Balkans was created by the German geographer August Zeune in 1808, during the 1820s, Balkan became the preferred although not yet exclusive term alongside Haemus among British travelers. Among Russian travelers not so burdened by classical toponymy, Balkan was the preferred term, zeunes goal was to have a geographical parallel term to the Italic and Iberian Peninsula, and seemingly nothing more. The gradually acquired political connotations are newer and, to a large extent, after the dissolution of Yugoslavia beginning in June 1991, the term Balkans again received a negative meaning, especially in Croatia and Slovenia, even in casual usage. A European Union initiative of 1999 is called the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe, and its northern boundary is often given as the Danube, Sava and Kupa Rivers. The Balkan Peninsula has an area of about 470,000 km2. It is more or less identical to the known as Southeastern Europe. As of 1920 until World War II, Italy included Istria, the current territory of Italy includes only the small area around Trieste inside the Balkan Peninsula. However, the regions of Trieste and Istria are not usually considered part of the Balkans by Italian geographers, the Western Balkans is a neologism coined to describe the countries of ex-Yugoslavia and AlbaniaBalkan Peninsula – The Balkan Peninsula, as defined by the Danube - Sava - Kupa line
8. Spain – By population, Spain is the sixth largest in Europe and the fifth in the European Union. Spains capital and largest city is Madrid, other urban areas include Barcelona, Valencia, Seville, Bilbao. Modern humans first arrived in the Iberian Peninsula around 35,000 years ago, in the Middle Ages, the area was conquered by Germanic tribes and later by the Moors. Spain is a democracy organised in the form of a government under a constitutional monarchy. It is a power and a major developed country with the worlds fourteenth largest economy by nominal GDP. Jesús Luis Cunchillos argues that the root of the span is the Phoenician word spy. Therefore, i-spn-ya would mean the land where metals are forged, two 15th-century Spanish Jewish scholars, Don Isaac Abravanel and Solomon ibn Verga, gave an explanation now considered folkloric. Both men wrote in two different published works that the first Jews to reach Spain were brought by ship by Phiros who was confederate with the king of Babylon when he laid siege to Jerusalem. This man was a Grecian by birth, but who had given a kingdom in Spain. He became related by marriage to Espan, the nephew of king Heracles, Heracles later renounced his throne in preference for his native Greece, leaving his kingdom to his nephew, Espan, from whom the country of España took its name. Based upon their testimonies, this eponym would have already been in use in Spain by c.350 BCE, Iberia enters written records as a land populated largely by the Iberians, Basques and Celts. Early on its coastal areas were settled by Phoenicians who founded Western Europe´s most ancient cities Cadiz, Phoenician influence expanded as much of the Peninsula was eventually incorporated into the Carthaginian Empire, becoming a major theater of the Punic Wars against the expanding Roman Empire. After an arduous conquest, the peninsula came fully under Roman Rule, during the early Middle Ages it came under Germanic rule but later, much of it was conquered by Moorish invaders from North Africa. In a process took centuries, the small Christian kingdoms in the north gradually regained control of the peninsula. The last Moorish kingdom fell in the same year Columbus reached the Americas, a global empire began which saw Spain become the strongest kingdom in Europe, the leading world power for a century and a half, and the largest overseas empire for three centuries. Continued wars and other problems led to a diminished status. The Napoleonic invasions of Spain led to chaos, triggering independence movements that tore apart most of the empire, eventually democracy was peacefully restored in the form of a parliamentary constitutional monarchy. Spain joined the European Union, experiencing a renaissance and steady economic growthSpain – Lady of Elche
9. France – France, officially the French Republic, is a country with territory in western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The European, or metropolitan, area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, Overseas France include French Guiana on the South American continent and several island territories in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. France spans 643,801 square kilometres and had a population of almost 67 million people as of January 2017. It is a unitary republic with the capital in Paris. Other major urban centres include Marseille, Lyon, Lille, Nice, Toulouse, during the Iron Age, what is now metropolitan France was inhabited by the Gauls, a Celtic people. The area was annexed in 51 BC by Rome, which held Gaul until 486, France emerged as a major European power in the Late Middle Ages, with its victory in the Hundred Years War strengthening state-building and political centralisation. During the Renaissance, French culture flourished and a colonial empire was established. The 16th century was dominated by civil wars between Catholics and Protestants. France became Europes dominant cultural, political, and military power under Louis XIV, in the 19th century Napoleon took power and established the First French Empire, whose subsequent Napoleonic Wars shaped the course of continental Europe. Following the collapse of the Empire, France endured a succession of governments culminating with the establishment of the French Third Republic in 1870. Following liberation in 1944, a Fourth Republic was established and later dissolved in the course of the Algerian War, the Fifth Republic, led by Charles de Gaulle, was formed in 1958 and remains to this day. Algeria and nearly all the colonies became independent in the 1960s with minimal controversy and typically retained close economic. France has long been a centre of art, science. It hosts Europes fourth-largest number of cultural UNESCO World Heritage Sites and receives around 83 million foreign tourists annually, France is a developed country with the worlds sixth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest by purchasing power parity. In terms of household wealth, it ranks fourth in the world. France performs well in international rankings of education, health care, life expectancy, France remains a great power in the world, being one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council with the power to veto and an official nuclear-weapon state. It is a member state of the European Union and the Eurozone. It is also a member of the Group of 7, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, originally applied to the whole Frankish Empire, the name France comes from the Latin Francia, or country of the FranksFrance – One of the Lascaux paintings: a horse – Dordogne, approximately 18,000 BC
10. Italy – Italy, officially the Italian Republic, is a unitary parliamentary republic in Europe. Located in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea, Italy shares open land borders with France, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia, San Marino, Italy covers an area of 301,338 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal and Mediterranean climate. Due to its shape, it is referred to in Italy as lo Stivale. With 61 million inhabitants, it is the fourth most populous EU member state, the Italic tribe known as the Latins formed the Roman Kingdom, which eventually became a republic that conquered and assimilated other nearby civilisations. The legacy of the Roman Empire is widespread and can be observed in the distribution of civilian law, republican governments, Christianity. The Renaissance began in Italy and spread to the rest of Europe, bringing a renewed interest in humanism, science, exploration, Italian culture flourished at this time, producing famous scholars, artists and polymaths such as Leonardo da Vinci, Galileo, Michelangelo and Machiavelli. The weakened sovereigns soon fell victim to conquest by European powers such as France, Spain and Austria. Despite being one of the victors in World War I, Italy entered a period of economic crisis and social turmoil. The subsequent participation in World War II on the Axis side ended in defeat, economic destruction. Today, Italy has the third largest economy in the Eurozone and it has a very high level of human development and is ranked sixth in the world for life expectancy. The country plays a prominent role in regional and global economic, military, cultural and diplomatic affairs, as a reflection of its cultural wealth, Italy is home to 51 World Heritage Sites, the most in the world, and is the fifth most visited country. The assumptions on the etymology of the name Italia are very numerous, according to one of the more common explanations, the term Italia, from Latin, Italia, was borrowed through Greek from the Oscan Víteliú, meaning land of young cattle. The bull was a symbol of the southern Italic tribes and was often depicted goring the Roman wolf as a defiant symbol of free Italy during the Social War. Greek historian Dionysius of Halicarnassus states this account together with the legend that Italy was named after Italus, mentioned also by Aristotle and Thucydides. The name Italia originally applied only to a part of what is now Southern Italy – according to Antiochus of Syracuse, but by his time Oenotria and Italy had become synonymous, and the name also applied to most of Lucania as well. The Greeks gradually came to apply the name Italia to a larger region, excavations throughout Italy revealed a Neanderthal presence dating back to the Palaeolithic period, some 200,000 years ago, modern Humans arrived about 40,000 years ago. Other ancient Italian peoples of undetermined language families but of possible origins include the Rhaetian people and Cammuni. Also the Phoenicians established colonies on the coasts of Sardinia and Sicily, the Roman legacy has deeply influenced the Western civilisation, shaping most of the modern worldItaly – The Colosseum in Rome, built c. 70 – 80 AD, is considered one of the greatest works of architecture and engineering of ancient history.
11. Central Europe – Central Europe lies between Eastern Europe and Western Europe. The concept of Central Europe is based on a historical, social and cultural identity. Central Europe is going through a phase of strategic awakening, with such as the CEI, Centrope. While the regions economy shows high disparities with regard to income, elements of unity for Western and Central Europe were Roman Catholicism and Latin. According to Hungarian historian Jenő Szűcs, foundations of Central European history at the first millennium were in connection with Western European development. The keyword of Western social development after millennium was the spread of liberties and autonomies in Western Europe and these phenomena appeared in the middle of the 13th century in Central European countries. There were self-governments of towns, counties and parliaments, in 1335 under the rule of the King Charles I of Hungary, the castle of Visegrád, the seat of the Hungarian monarchs was the scene of the royal summit of the Kings of Poland, Bohemia and Hungary. They agreed to cooperate closely in the field of politics and commerce, in the Middle Ages, countries in Central Europe adopted Magdeburg rights. Before 1870, the industrialization that had developed in Western and Central Europe, even in Eastern Europe, industrialization lagged far behind. Russia, for example, remained rural and agricultural. The concept of Central Europe was already known at the beginning of the 19th century, an example of that-time vision of Central Europe may be seen in J. Partsch’s book of 1903. On 21 January 1904, Mitteleuropäischer Wirtschaftsverein was established in Berlin with economic integration of Germany, another time, the term Central Europe became connected to the German plans of political, economic and cultural domination. The bible of the concept was Friedrich Naumann’s book Mitteleuropa in which he called for a federation to be established after the war. The concept failed after the German defeat in World War I, the revival of the idea may be observed during the Hitler era. According to Emmanuel de Martonne, in 1927 the Central European countries included, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania, italy and Yugoslavia are not considered by the author to be Central European because they are located mostly outside Central Europe. The author use both Human and Physical Geographical features to define Central Europe, the interwar period brought new geopolitical system and economic and political problems, and the concept of Central Europe took a different character. The centre of interest was moved to its eastern part – the countries that have appeared on the map of Europe, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, however, the conflict of interests was too big and neither Little Entente nor Intermarium ideas succeeded. The interwar period brought new elements to the concept of Central Europe, after the war, the Eastern part of Central Europe was placed at the centre of the conceptCentral Europe – Certain and disputed borders of Great Moravia under Svatopluk I (AD 870–894)
12. Dinaric Alps – The Dinaric Alps or Dinarides is a mountain chain which spans from Italy in the northwest, over Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Albania to Kosovo in the southeast. They extend for 645 kilometres along the coast of the Adriatic Sea, from the Julian Alps in the northwest down to the Šar-Korab massif, where the mountain direction changes to north-south. The highest mountain of the Dinaric Alps is Mount Triglav, a located in Julian Alps in north west Slovenia. The Dinaric Alps are the fifth most rugged and extensively mountainous area of Europe after the Caucasus Mountains, Alps, Pyrenees and Scandinavian Mountains. They are formed largely of Mesozoic and Cenozoic sedimentary rocks of dolomite, limestone, sand and conglomerates formed by seas and lakes that had once covered the area. During the Alpine earth movements that occurred 50–100 million years ago, immense lateral pressures folded, the Dinarides are named after Mount Dinara, a prominent peak in the center of the mountain range on the border of Croatia and Bosnia. The Mesozoic limestone forms a distinctive region of the Balkans, notable for features such as the Karst. The Quaternary ice ages had relatively little direct influence on the Balkans. No permanent ice caps existed, and there is evidence of extensive glaciation. Only the highest summits of Durmitor, Orjen and Prenj have glacial valleys, however, in the Prokletije, a range on the northern Albanian border that runs east to west, there is evidence of major glaciation. One geological feature of great importance to the landscape of the Dinarides must be considered in more detail. They are hard and slow to erode, and often persist as steep jagged escarpments, through which steep-sided gorges, the partially submerged western Dinaric Alps form the numerous islands and harbors along the Croatian coast. The most extensive example of limestone mountains in Europe are those of the Karst of the Dinaric Alps, here, all the characteristic features are encountered again and again as one travels through this wild and underpopulated country. Limestone is a porous rock, yet very hard and resistant to erosion. Water is the most important corrosive force, dissolving the limestone by chemical action of its natural acidity, as it percolates down through cracks in the limestone it opens up fissures and channels, often of considerable depth, so that whole systems of underground drainage develop. During subsequent millennia these work deeper, leaving in their wake enormous waterless caverns, sinkholes and grottoes and forming underground labyrinths of channels, the roofs of some of these caverns may eventually fall in, to produce great perpendicular-sided gorges, exposing the water to the surface once more. The Dinaric rivers carved many canyons characteristic for Dinaric Alps, only along the Dinaric gorges is communication possible across the Karst, and roads and railways tunnel through precipitous cliffs and traverse narrow ledges above roaring torrents. A number of springs and rivers rise in the Dinaric range, at the same time, the purity of these rocks is such that the rivers are crystal clear, and there is little soil-making residueDinaric Alps – Orjen at the Bay of Kotor is the most heavily karstified range of the Dinarides
13. Balkan – The Balkan Peninsula, or the Balkans, is a peninsula and a cultural area in Eastern and Southeastern Europe with various and disputed borders. The region takes its name from the Balkan Mountains that stretch from the Serbia-Bulgaria border to the Black Sea, the highest point of the Balkans is Mount Musala 2,925 metres in the Rila mountain range. In Turkish, Balkan means a chain of wooded mountains, the name is still preserved in Central Asia with the Balkan Daglary and the Balkan Province of Turkmenistan. A less popular hypothesis regarding its etymology is that it derived from the Persian Balā-Khāna, from Antiquity through the Middle Ages, the Balkan Mountains had been called by the local Thracian name Haemus. According to Greek mythology, the Thracian king Haemus was turned into a mountain by Zeus as a punishment, a reverse name scheme has also been suggested. D. Dechev considers that Haemus is derived from a Thracian word *saimon, a third possibility is that Haemus derives from the Greek word haema meaning blood. The myth relates to a fight between Zeus and the monster/titan Typhon, Zeus injured Typhon with a thunder bolt and Typhons blood fell on the mountains, from which they got their name. The earliest mention of the name appears in an early 14th-century Arab map, the Ottomans first mention it in a document dated from 1565. There has been no other documented usage of the word to refer to the region before that, there is also a claim about an earlier Bulgar Turkic origin of the word popular in Bulgaria, however it is only an unscholarly assertion. The word was used by the Ottomans in Rumelia in its meaning of mountain, as in Kod̲j̲a-Balkan, Čatal-Balkan, and Ungurus-Balkani̊. The concept of the Balkans was created by the German geographer August Zeune in 1808, during the 1820s, Balkan became the preferred although not yet exclusive term alongside Haemus among British travelers. Among Russian travelers not so burdened by classical toponymy, Balkan was the preferred term, zeunes goal was to have a geographical parallel term to the Italic and Iberian Peninsula, and seemingly nothing more. The gradually acquired political connotations are newer and, to a large extent, after the dissolution of Yugoslavia beginning in June 1991, the term Balkans again received a negative meaning, especially in Croatia and Slovenia, even in casual usage. A European Union initiative of 1999 is called the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe, and its northern boundary is often given as the Danube, Sava and Kupa Rivers. The Balkan Peninsula has an area of about 470,000 km2. It is more or less identical to the known as Southeastern Europe. As of 1920 until World War II, Italy included Istria, the current territory of Italy includes only the small area around Trieste inside the Balkan Peninsula. However, the regions of Trieste and Istria are not usually considered part of the Balkans by Italian geographers, the Western Balkans is a neologism coined to describe the countries of ex-Yugoslavia and AlbaniaBalkan – The Balkan Peninsula, as defined by the Danube - Sava - Kupa line
14. Rhodope Mountains – The Rhodopes are a mountain range in Southeastern Europe, with over 83% of its area in southern Bulgaria and the remainder in Greece. Its highest peak, Golyam Perelik, is the seventh highest Bulgarian mountain, the mountain range gives its name to the terrestrial ecoregion Rodope montane mixed forests that belongs in the Temperate broadleaf and mixed forests Biome and the Palearctic ecozone. The region is notable for its karst areas with their deep river gorges, large caves and specific sculptured forms. A significant part of Bulgarias hydropower resources is located in the areas of the range. There are a number of hydro-cascades and dams used for electricity production, irrigation, in Greece there are also the HPPs of Thisavros and Platanovrysi. The name of the Rhodope mountains has a Thracian provenance, rhod-ope is interpreted as the first name of a river, meaning rusty/reddish river, where Rhod- has the same Indo-European root as the Bulgarian руда, ръжда, риж, Latin rufus and German rot. In Greek mythology, Queen Rhodope of Thrace offended the gods, the wife of King Haemus of Thrace, the mountains are associated with the mythic figure of Orpheus. In geomorphological terms, the Rhodopes are part of the Rilo-Rhodope massif, the Rhodopes are spread over 14,735 square kilometers, of which 12,233 square kilometers are on Bulgarian territory. They have the greatest extent of any mountain range in Bulgaria. The mountains are about 240 kilometers long and about 100 to 120 kilometres wide, to the north the mountain slopes descend steeply towards the Upper Thracian Plain. To the west, the Rhodopes reach the Avram saddle, Yundola, to the south and east they extend over the border with Greece. The Rhodopes are a system of ridges and deep river valleys. Fifteen reserves have established in the region, some of which are under UNESCO protection. The location of the Rhodopes in the part of the Balkan Peninsula determines the climate in the region to a great extent. It is influenced both by the air coming from the north and by the warmer breeze from the Mediterranean. The average annual temperature in the Eastern Rhodopes is 13 °C, the precipitation is in December. In the Western Rhodopes, the temperature varies from 5 to 9 °C, the mild climate, combined with some other factors, works in favour of the development of recreation and tourist activities. The Pamporovo resort, where the microclimate permits a heavy snow cover to be preserved for a time, is an excellent exampleRhodope Mountains – Vacha Reservoir.
15. Western Europe – Western Europe, or West Europe, is the region comprising the western part of Europe. Below, some different geographic and geopolitical definitions of the term are outlined, prior to the Roman conquest, a large part of Western Europe had adopted the newly developed La Tène culture. This cultural and linguistic division was reinforced by the later political east-west division of the Roman Empire. The division between these two was enhanced during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages by a number of events, the Western Roman Empire collapsed, starting the Early Middle Ages. By contrast, the Eastern Roman Empire, mostly known as the Greek or Byzantine Empire, survived, in East Asia, Western Europe was historically known as taixi in China and taisei in Japan, which literally translates as the Far West. The term Far West became synonymous with Western Europe in China during the Ming dynasty, the Italian Jesuit priest Matteo Ricci was one of the first writers in China to use the Far West as an Asian counterpart to the European concept of the Far East. In his writings, Ricci referred to himself as Matteo of the Far West, the term was still in use in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Post-war Europe would be divided into two spheres, the West, influenced by the United States, and the Eastern Bloc. With the onset of the Cold War, Europe was divided by the Iron Curtain, behind that line lie all the capitals of the ancient states of Central and Eastern Europe. Although some countries were neutral, they were classified according to the nature of their political. This division largely defined the popular perception and understanding of Western Europe, the world changed dramatically with the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989. The Federal Republic of Germany peacefully absorbed the German Democratic Republic, COMECON and the Warsaw Pact were dissolved, and in 1991, the Soviet Union ceased to exist. Several countries which had part of the Soviet Union regained full independence. Although the term Western Europe was more prominent during the Cold War, it remains much in use, in 1948 the Treaty of Brussels was signed between Belgium, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. It was further revisited in 1954 at the Paris Conference, when the Western European Union was established and it was declared defunct in 2011, after the Treaty of Lisbon, and the Treaty of Brussels was terminated. When the Western European Union was dissolved, it had 10 member countries, six member countries, five observer countries. The CIA divides Western Europe into two smaller subregions, regional voting blocs were formed in 1961 to encourage voting to various UN bodies from different regional groups. The European Union is an economic and political union of 28 member states that are located primarily in Europe, some Western and Northern European countries of Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein are members of EFTA, though cooperating to varying degree with the European UnionWestern Europe – The Great Schism in Christianity, the predominant religion in Western Europe at the time.
16. Western Asia – Western Asia, West Asia, Southwestern Asia or Southwest Asia is the westernmost subregion of Asia. The concept is in limited use, as it overlaps with the Middle East. The term is used for the purposes of grouping countries in statistics. The total population of Western Asia is an estimated 300 million as of 2015, in an unrelated context, the term is also used in ancient history and archaeology to divide the Fertile Crescent into the Asiatic or Western Asian cultures as opposed to ancient Egypt. As a geographic concept, Western Asia almost always includes the Levant, Mesopotamia, the term is used pragmatically and has no correct or generally agreed-upon definition. In contrast to this definition, the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation in its 2015 yearbook also includes Armenia and Azerbaijan, unlike the UNIDO, the United Nations Statistics Division excludes Iran from Western Asia and include Turkey, Georgia, and Cyprus in the region. These four countries are listed in the European category of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, the Olympic Council of Asias multi-sport event West Asian Games are contested by athletes representing these thirteen countries. Among the regions sports organisations are the West Asia Basketball Association, West Asian Billiards and Snooker Federation, West Asian Football Federation, Western Asia was in use as a geographical term in the early 19th century, even before Near East became current as a geopolitical concept. Use of the term in the context of contemporary geopolitics or world economy appears to date from the 1960s, Western Asia is located directly south of Eastern Europe. The region is surrounded by seven major seas, the Aegean Sea, the Black Sea, the Caspian Sea, the Persian Gulf, the Arabian Sea, the Red Sea, and the Mediterranean Sea. The Dasht-e Kavir and Dasht-e Lut deserts in eastern Iran naturally delimit the region somewhat from Asia itself, three major tectonic plates converge on Western Asia, including the African, Eurasian, and Arabian plates. The boundaries between the plates make up the Azores-Gibraltar Ridge, extending across North Africa, the Red Sea. The Arabian Plate is moving northward into the Anatolian plate at the East Anatolian Fault, several major aquifers provide water to large portions of Western Asia. In Saudi Arabia, two large aquifers of Palaeozoic and Triassic origins are located beneath the Jabal Tuwayq mountains and areas west to the Red Sea. Cretaceous and Eocene-origin aquifers are located beneath large portions of central and eastern Saudi Arabia, including Wasia, flood or furrow irrigation, as well as sprinkler methods, are extensively used for irrigation, covering nearly 90,000 km² across Western Asia for agriculture. Western Asia is primarily arid and semi-arid, and can be subject to drought, the region consists of grasslands, rangelands, deserts, and mountains. Water shortages are a problem in parts of West Asia, with rapidly growing populations increasing demands for water. Major rivers, including the Tigris and Euphrates, provide sources for water to support agricultureWestern Asia – A Lebanese cedar forest in winter.
17. Turkey – Turkey, officially the Republic of Turkey, is a transcontinental country in Eurasia, mainly in Anatolia in Western Asia, with a smaller portion on the Balkan peninsula in Southeast Europe. Turkey is a democratic, secular, unitary, parliamentary republic with a cultural heritage. The country is encircled by seas on three sides, the Aegean Sea is to the west, the Black Sea to the north, and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. The Bosphorus, the Sea of Marmara, and the Dardanelles, Ankara is the capital while Istanbul is the countrys largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Approximately 70-80% of the countrys citizens identify themselves as ethnic Turks, other ethnic groups include legally recognised and unrecognised minorities. Kurds are the largest ethnic minority group, making up approximately 20% of the population, the area of Turkey has been inhabited since the Paleolithic by various ancient Anatolian civilisations, as well as Assyrians, Greeks, Thracians, Phrygians, Urartians and Armenians. After Alexander the Greats conquest, the area was Hellenized, a process continued under the Roman Empire. The Seljuk Sultanate of Rûm ruled Anatolia until the Mongol invasion in 1243, the empire reached the peak of its power in the 16th century, especially during the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent. During the war, the Ottoman government committed genocides against its Armenian, Assyrian, following the war, the conglomeration of territories and peoples that formerly comprised the Ottoman Empire was partitioned into several new states. Turkey is a member of the UN, an early member of NATO. Turkeys growing economy and diplomatic initiatives have led to its recognition as a regional power while her location has given it geopolitical, the name of Turkey is based on the ethnonym Türk. The first recorded use of the term Türk or Türük as an autonym is contained in the Old Turkic inscriptions of the Göktürks of Central Asia, the English name Turkey first appeared in the late 14th century and is derived from Medieval Latin Turchia. Similarly, the medieval Khazar Empire, a Turkic state on the shores of the Black. The medieval Arabs referred to the Mamluk Sultanate as al-Dawla al-Turkiyya, the Ottoman Empire was sometimes referred to as Turkey or the Turkish Empire among its European contemporaries. The Anatolian peninsula, comprising most of modern Turkey, is one of the oldest permanently settled regions in the world, various ancient Anatolian populations have lived in Anatolia, from at least the Neolithic period until the Hellenistic period. Many of these peoples spoke the Anatolian languages, a branch of the larger Indo-European language family, in fact, given the antiquity of the Indo-European Hittite and Luwian languages, some scholars have proposed Anatolia as the hypothetical centre from which the Indo-European languages radiated. The European part of Turkey, called Eastern Thrace, has also been inhabited since at least forty years ago. It is the largest and best-preserved Neolithic site found to date, the settlement of Troy started in the Neolithic Age and continued into the Iron AgeTurkey – Some henges at Göbekli Tepe were erected as far back as 12,000 BC, predating those of Stonehenge, England by almost ten millennia.
18. Syrian Desert – To the south it borders and merges into the Arabian Desert. The land is open, gravely desert pavement, cut with occasional wadis, the desert is bounded by the Orontes Valley and volcanic field of Harrat al-Shamah to the west, and by the Euphrates to the east. In the north, the desert gives way to the fertile areas of grass. Several parts of the Syrian Desert have been referred to such as the Palmyrene desert around Palmyra. The name Shamiyah has also used for the Syrian Desert. The 700-900m high region in the middle of the desert is the Hamad Plateau, what little rain arrives on the plateau flows into local salt flats. The highest peaks of the Plateau are those of the 1000m+ Khawr um Wual in Saudi Arabia, together with the other deserts of the Arabian Peninsular, the Hamad Desert has been described as one of the most arid deserts of the world. The Syrian Desert is the origin of the Syrian hamster, storks, herons, cranes, small waders, waterfowl and also raptors visit the seasonal lakes. The large mammals are now no longer to be found, thought to be due to hunting by man, the desert was historically inhabited by Bedouin tribes, and many tribes still remain in the region, their members living mainly in towns and settlements built near oases. Some Bedouin still maintain their way of life in the desert. Safaitic inscriptions, proto-Arabic texts written by literate Bedouin, are throughout the Syrian Desert. These date approximately from the 1st century B. C. to the 4th century A. D, the desert was first traversed by motor vehicle in 1919. A series of Coalition military operations were ineffective at removing the resistance presence in the Desert. Arabian desert Fertile Crescent List of deserts by area Syrian steppeSyrian Desert
19. Negev Desert – The Negev or Naqab is a desert and semidesert region of southern Israel. The regions largest city and administrative capital is Beersheba, in the north, at its southern end is the Gulf of Aqaba and the resort city of Eilat. It contains several development towns, including Dimona, Arad and Mitzpe Ramon, as well as a number of small Bedouin cities, including Rahat and Tel as-Sabi and Lakyah. There are also several kibbutzim, including Revivim and Sde Boker, the origin of the word negev is from the Hebrew root denoting dry. In the Bible, the word Negev is also used for the direction south, during the British Mandate it was called Beersheba sub-district. The Negev covers more than half of Israel, over some 13,000 km² or at least 55% of the land area. It forms a triangle shape whose western side is contiguous with the desert of the Sinai Peninsula. The Negev has a number of interesting cultural and geological features, among the latter are three enormous, craterlike makhteshim, which are unique to the region, Makhtesh Ramon, Makhtesh Gadol, and Makhtesh Katan. The Negev is a rocky desert and it is a melange of brown, rocky, dusty mountains interrupted by wadis and deep craters. It can be split into five different ecological regions, northern, western and central Negev, the high plateau, the northern Negev, or Mediterranean zone, receives 300 mm of rain annually and has fairly fertile soils. The western Negev receives 250 mm of rain per year, with light, sand dunes can reach heights of up to 30 metres here. The high plateau area of Ramat HaNegev stands between 370 metres and 520 metres above sea level with temperatures in summer and winter. The area gets 100 mm of rain per year, with inferior, the Arabah Valley along the Jordanian border stretches 180 km from Eilat in the south to the tip of the Dead Sea in the north. The Arabah Valley is very arid with barely 50 mm of rain annually and it has inferior soils in which little can grow without irrigation and special soil additives. Vegetation in the Negev is sparse, but certain trees and plants there, among them Acacia, Pistacia, Retama, Urginea maritima. A small population of Arabian leopards, an animal in the Arabian peninsula. The Negev Tortoise is a endangered species that currently lives only in the sands of the western. The Negev shrew is a species of mammal of the family Soricidae found only in Israel, hyphaene thebaica or doum palm can be found in the Southern NegevNegev Desert – Ein Avdat in the Zin Valley in the Negev
20. Maghreb – The Maghreb, or the Greater Maghreb, is usually defined as much or most of the region of western North Africa or Northwest Africa, west of Egypt. Historical terms for the region or various portions of the Maghreb include Mauretania, Numidia, Libya, the term maghrib is Arabic for west, from the verb gharaba. In the strict sense, the definite form al-maghrib denotes the country of Morocco in particular and it identified the westernmost territories that fell to the Islamic conquests of the 7th century. Today, it is a noun for the present region of the Maghreb. The Berber languages alternative term for the region, Tamazgha, has been popularized by Berber activists since the second half of the 20th century. As recently as the late 19th century it was used to refer to the Western Mediterranean region of coastal North Africa in general, and to Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia in particular. The region was unified as an independent political entity during the rule of the Berber kingdom of Numidia. The most enduring rule was that of the local Berber empires of the Almoravids, Almohads, Hammadids, Zirids, Marinids, Saadi, the Ottoman Turks ruled the region as well. Mauritania, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, and Libya established the Maghreb Union in 1989 to promote cooperation and it was envisioned initially by Muammar Gaddafi as a superstate. The union included Western Sahara implicitly under Moroccos membership, putting Moroccos long cold war with Algeria to a rest, however, this progress was short-lived, and the union is now frozen. Tensions between Algeria and Morocco over Western Sahara re-emerged strongly, reinforced by the unsolved borderline issue between the two countries and these two main conflicts have hindered progress on the unions joint goals and practically made it inactive as a whole. Around 3,500 BC a tilt in the Earths orbit created a rapid desertification of the Sahara, the Maghreb or western North Africa is believed to have been inhabited by Berbers since from at least 10,000 BC. Maghreb coast ports were predominantly occupied or constructed by the Phoenicians, the main Phoenician settlements centered in the Gulf of Tunis along the North African littoral between the Pillars of Hercules and the Libyan coast east of ancient Cyrenaica. They dominated the trade and intercourse of the Western Mediterranean for centuries, Rome was greatly helped by the defection of King Massinissa and Carthaginians eastern Numidian Massylii client-allies. A century later, the Byzantine emperor Justinian I sent a force under General Belisarius that succeeded in destroying the Vandal kingdom, the Berbers contested outside-the-area control although after the 640s-700 AD period the Arabs controlled the entire region. The Arabs reached the Maghreb in early Umayyad times, Arab expansion and the spread of Islam pushed the development of trans-Saharan trade. While restricted due to the cost and dangers, the trade was highly profitable, commodities traded included such goods as salt, gold, ivory, and slaves. Arab control over the Maghreb was quite weak, various Islamic variations, such as the Ibadis and the Shia, were adopted by some Berbers, often leading to scorning of Caliphal control in favour of their own interpretation of IslamMaghreb – Magreb head ornament (Morocco)
21. Sahara Desert – The Sahara is the largest hot desert and the third largest desert in the world after Antarctica and the Arctic. Its area of 9,200,000 square kilometres is comparable to the area of the United States. The desert comprises much of North Africa, excluding the fertile region on the Mediterranean Sea coast, the Atlas Mountains of the Maghreb, and the Nile Valley in Egypt and Sudan. It stretches from the Red Sea in the east and the Mediterranean in the north to the Atlantic Ocean in the west, where the landscape gradually changes from desert to coastal plains. To the south, it is bounded by the Sahel, a belt of tropical savanna around the Niger River valley. The Sahara can be divided into several regions including, the western Sahara, the central Ahaggar Mountains, the Tibesti Mountains, the Aïr Mountains, the Ténéré desert, the name Sahara is derived from ṣaḥārā, the plural of the Arabic word for desert. The Sahara covers large parts of Algeria, Chad, Egypt, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Western Sahara, Sudan and it covers 9 million square kilometres, amounting to 31% of Africa. If all areas with an annual precipitation of less than 250 mm were included. It is one of three physiographic provinces of the African massive physiographic division. The Sahara is mainly rocky hamada, Ergs form only a minor part, wind or rare rainfall shape the desert features, sand dunes, dune fields, sand seas, stone plateaus, gravel plains, dry valleys, dry lakes, and salt flats. Unusual landforms include the Richat Structure in Mauritania, several deeply dissected mountains, many volcanic, rise from the desert, including the Aïr Mountains, Ahaggar Mountains, Saharan Atlas, Tibesti Mountains, Adrar des Iforas, and the Red Sea hills. The highest peak in the Sahara is Emi Koussi, a volcano in the Tibesti range of northern Chad. The central Sahara is hyperarid, with sparse vegetation, the northern and southern reaches of the desert, along with the highlands, have areas of sparse grassland and desert shrub, with trees and taller shrubs in wadis, where moisture collects. In the central, hyperarid region, there are subdivisions of the great desert, Tanezrouft, the Ténéré, the Libyan Desert, the Eastern Desert. These extremely arid areas often receive no rain for years, the northern limit also corresponds to the 100 mm isohyet of annual precipitation. To the south, the Sahara is bounded by the Sahel, the southern limit of the Sahara is indicated botanically by the southern limit of Cornulaca monacantha, or northern limit of Cenchrus biflorus, a grass typical of the Sahel. According to climatic criteria, the limit of the Sahara corresponds to the 150 mm isohyet of annual precipitation. The Sahara is the worlds largest low-latitude hot desert and this steady descending airflow causes a warming and a drying effect in the upper troposphereSahara Desert – A satellite image of the Sahara by NASA World Wind.
22. North Africa – North Africa or Northern Africa is the northernmost region of Africa. The United Nationss definition of Northern Africa is, Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Sudan, Tunisia, the countries of Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, and Libya are often collectively referred to as the Maghreb, which is the Arabic word for sunset. Egypt lies to the northeast and encompasses part of West Asia, while Sudan is situated on the edge of the Sahel, Egypt is a transcontinental country because of the Sinai Peninsula, which geographically lies in Western Asia. North Africa also includes a number of Spanish possessions, the Canary Islands and Madeira in the North Atlantic Ocean northwest of the African mainland are included in considerations of the region. From 3500 BC, following the abrupt desertification of the Sahara due to changes in the Earths orbit. The Islamic influence in the area is significant, and North Africa is a major part of the Muslim world. Some researchers have postulated that North Africa rather than East Africa served as the point for the modern humans who first trekked out of the continent in the Out of Africa migration. The Atlas Mountains extend across much of Morocco, northern Algeria and Tunisia, are part of the mountain system that also runs through much of Southern Europe. They recede to the south and east, becoming a steppe landscape before meeting the Sahara desert, the sediments of the Sahara overlie an ancient plateau of crystalline rock, some of which is more than four billion years old. Sheltered valleys in the Atlas Mountains, the Nile Valley and Delta, a wide variety of valuable crops including cereals, rice and cotton, and woods such as cedar and cork, are grown. Typical Mediterranean crops, such as olives, figs, dates and citrus fruits, the Nile Valley is particularly fertile, and most of the population in Egypt and Sudan live close to the river. Elsewhere, irrigation is essential to improve yields on the desert margins. The inhabitants of Saharan Africa are generally divided in a manner corresponding to the principal geographic regions of North Africa, the Maghreb, the Nile valley. The edge of the Sahel, to the south of Egypt has mainly been inhabited by Nubians, Ancient Egyptians record extensive contact in their Western desert with people that appear to have been Berber or proto-Berber, as well as Nubians from the south. They have contributed to the Arabized Berber populations, the official language or one of the official languages in all of the countries in North Africa is Arabic. The people of the Maghreb and the Sahara regions speak Berber languages and several varieties of Arabic, the Arabic and Berber languages are distantly related, both being members of the Afroasiatic language family. The Tuareg Berber languages are more conservative than those of the coastal cities. Over the years, Berbers have been influenced by contact with cultures, Greeks, Phoenicians, Egyptians, Romans, Vandals, Arabs, EuropeansNorth Africa – Market of Biskra in Algeria, 1899
23. Atlas Mountains – The Atlas Mountains are a mountain range in the Maghreb. It stretches around 2,500 km through Algeria, Morocco, the ranges highest peak is Jebel Toubkal, with an elevation of 4,167 metres in southwestern Morocco. It separates the Mediterranean and Atlantic coastlines from the Sahara Desert, the Atlas mountains are primarily inhabited by Berber populations. The terms for mountain in some Berber languages are adrar and adras, the mountains are home to a number of plant and animal species unique in Africa, often more like those of Europe, many of them are endangered and some have already gone extinct. The basement rock of most of Africa was formed during the Precambrian period, the Atlas was formed during three subsequent phases of Earths geology. The first tectonic deformation phase involves only the Anti-Atlas, which was formed in the Paleozoic Era as the result of continental collisions, North America, Europe and Africa were connected millions of years ago. The Anti-Atlas Mountains are believed to have originally formed as part of Alleghenian orogeny. These mountains were formed when Africa and America collided, and were once a chain rivaling todays Himalayas, today, the remains of this chain can be seen in the Fall Line region in the Eastern United States. Some remnants can also be found in the later formed Appalachians in North America, a second phase took place during the Mesozoic Era. It consisted of an extension of the Earths crust that rifted and separated the continents mentioned above. This extension was responsible for the formation of many thick intracontinental sedimentary basins including the present Atlas, most of the rocks forming the surface of the present High Atlas were deposited under the ocean at that time. Such convergent tectonic boundaries occur where two plates slide towards each other forming a zone, and/or a continental collision. However, there is a lack of evidence for the nature of the subduction in the Atlas region, or for the thickening of the Earths crust generally associated with continental collisions. In fact, one of the most striking features of the Atlas to geologists is the small amount of crustal thickening. Recent studies suggest that deep processes rooted in the Earths mantle may have contributed to the uplift of the High, the Atlas are rich in natural resources. There are deposits of ore, lead ore, copper, silver, mercury, rock salt, phosphate, marble. The range can be divided into four regions, Middle Atlas. The Middle Atlas is a portion of the Atlas mountain range lying completely in Morocco, the Middle Atlas is the westernmost of three Atlas Mountains chains that define a large, plateaued basin extending eastwardAtlas Mountains – Toubkal Mountain in Toubkal National Park in the High Atlas
24. Cyrenaica – Cyrenaica is the eastern coastal region of Libya. Also known as Pentapolis in antiquity, it formed part of the Roman province of Crete and Cyrenaica, later divided into Libya Pentapolis, during the Islamic period, the area came to be known as Barqa, after the city of Barca. In a wider sense, still in use, Cyrenaica includes all of the part of Libya. Cyrenaica borders on Tripolitania in the northwest and on Fezzan in the southwest, the region that used to be Cyrenaica officially until 1963 has formed several shabiyat, the administrative divisions of Libya, since 1995. The 2011 Libyan Civil War started in Cyrenaica, which came largely under the control of the National Transitional Council for most of the war. Geologically, Cyrenaica rests on a mass of Miocene limestone that tilts up steeply from the Mediterranean Sea and this mass is divided into two blocks. The Jebel Akhdar extends parallel to the coast from the Gulf of Sidra to the Gulf of Bomba, there is no continuous coastal plain, the longest strip running from the recess of Gulf of Sidra past Benghazi to Tolmeita. Thereafter, except for deltaic patches at Susa and Derna, the shore is all precipitous, a steep escarpment separates the coastal plain from a relatively level plateau, known as the Marj Plain, which lies at about 300 meters elevation. Above the Marj Plain lies a plateau at about 700 meters elevation. The Jebel Akhdar and its adjacent coast are part of the Mediterranean woodlands and forests ecoregion, the plant communities of this portion of Cyrenaica include forest, woodland, maquis, garrigue, steppe, and oak savanna. Small areas of maquis are found on north-facing slopes near the sea, juniperus phoenicea, Pistacia lentiscus, Quercus coccifera and Ceratonia siliqua are common tree and large shrub species in the maquis. Areas of red soil are found on the Marj Plain, which has borne abundant crops of wheat, plenty of springs issue on the highlands. Wild olive trees are abundant, and large areas of oak savanna provide pasture to the flocks, historically large areas of range were covered in forest. The forested area of the Jebel Akhdar has been shrinking in recent decades, a 1996 report to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization estimated that the forested area was reduced to 320,000 hectares from 500,000 hectares, mostly cleared to grow crops. The Green Mountain Conservation and Development Authority estimates that the area decreased from 500,000 hectares in 1976 to 180,000 hectares in 2007. The lower Jebel el-Akabah lies to the south and east of the Jebel Akhdar, the two highlands are separated by a depression. This eastern region, known in ancient times as Marmarica, is drier than the Jebel Akhdar. Historically, salt-collecting and sponge fishing were more important than agriculture, Bomba and Tobruk have good harborsCyrenaica – Map of Cyrenaica and Marmarica in the Roman era (Samuel Butler, 1907)
25. Ceuta – Ceuta is an 18. 5-square-kilometre Spanish autonomous city located on the north coast of Africa, sharing its land border with Morocco, in which it is thus an enclave. Separated from the Iberian peninsula by the Strait of Gibraltar, Ceuta lies along the boundary between the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. Ceuta, along with the Spanish exclave Melilla, is one of nine populated Spanish territories in Africa and it was part of Cádiz province until 14 March 1995 when the citys Statute of Autonomy was passed. Ceuta, like Melilla and the Canary Islands, was a port before Spain joined the European Union. As of 2011, it has a population of 82,376 and its population consists of Christians, Muslims, and small minorities of Sephardic Jews and ethnic Sindhi Hindus. Spanish is the language, while Moroccan Darija of the northern Jebli variety is spoken by between 40% and 50% of the population which is of Moroccan origin. It was known variously in Ancient Greek as, Ἀβύλη, Ἀβύλα, Ἀβλύξ, or Ἀβίλη στήλη – Abyle, Abila, Ablyx or Abile Stele – Pillar of Abyle), together with Gibraltar on the European side, it formed one of the famous Pillars of Hercules. It changed hands again approximately 400 years later, when Vandal tribes ousted the Romans, after being controlled by the Visigoths, it then became an outpost of the Byzantine Empire. Ceuta was an important Christian center since the fourth century, in the 7th century the Umayyads tried to conquer the region but were unsuccessful. Under the leadership of the Berber general Tariq ibn Ziyad, the Muslims used Ceuta as a ground for an assault on Visigothic Iberian Peninsula. After Julians death, the Berbers took direct control of the city and they destroyed Ceuta during the Kharijite rebellion led by Maysara al-Matghari in 740. Ceuta lay in ruins until it was resettled in the 9th century by Mâjakas, chief of the Majkasa Berber tribe, who started the short-lived Banu Isam dynasty. His great-grandson briefly allied his tribe with the Idrisids, but the Banu Isam rule ended in 931 when he abdicated in favor of Abd ar-Rahman III, Ceuta reverted to Moorish Andalusian rule in 927 along with Melilla, and later Tangier, in 951. Chaos ensued with the fall of the Umayyad caliphate in 1031, following this Ceuta and the rest of Muslim Iberia were controlled by successive North African dynasties. Starting in 1084, the Almoravid Berbers ruled the region until 1147, apart from Ibn Huds rebellion of 1232, they ruled until the Tunisian Hafsids established control. The Hafsids influence in the west rapidly waned, and Ceutas inhabitants eventually expelled them in 1249, after this, a period of political instability persisted, under competing interests from the Kingdom of Fez and the Kingdom of Granada. The Kingdom of Fez finally conquered the region in 1387, with assistance from the Crown of Aragon, in 1415, during the Battle of Ceuta, the city was captured by the Portuguese during the reign of John I of Portugal. The Benemerine sultan besieged the city in 1418 but was defeated, phillip II ascended the Portuguese throne in 1580 and Spanish kings of Portugal governed Ceuta for 60 yearsCeuta – Ceuta, as seen from Monte Hacho
26. Autonomous cities of Spain – Spain is not a federation, but a highly decentralized unitary state. Some scholars have referred to the system as a federal system in all. There are 17 autonomous communities and two cities that are collectively known as autonomies. The two autonomous cities have the right to become autonomous communities, but neither has yet used this right and this unique framework of territorial administration is known as the State of Autonomies. The autonomous communities are governed according to the constitution and their own organic laws known as Statutes of Autonomy, since devolution was intended to be asymmetrical in nature, the scope of competences vary for each community, but all have the same parliamentary structure. Spain is a country made up of different regions with varying economic and social structures, as well as different languages. While the entire Spanish territory was united under one crown by the 16th century, the constituent territories—be it crowns, kingdoms, principalities or dominions—retained much of their former institutional existence, including limited legislative, judicial or fiscal autonomy. These territories also exhibited a variety of customs, laws. From the 18th century onwards, the Bourbon kings and the government tried to establish a more centralized regime, leading figures of the Spanish Enlightenment advocated for the building of a Spanish nation beyond the internal territorial boundaries. This culminated in 1833, when Spain was divided into 49 provinces and these were the Basque Country and Catalonia. This gave rise to peripheral nationalisms along with Spanish nationalism, therefore, economic and social changes that had produced a national cultural unification in France had the opposite effect in Spain. In a response to Catalan demands, limited autonomy was granted to Catalonia in 1913 and it was granted again in 1932 during the Second Spanish Republic, when the Generalitat, Catalonias mediaeval institution of government, was restored. During General Francos dictatorial regime, centralism was most forcefully enforced as a way of preserving the unity of the Spanish nation, peripheral nationalism, along with communism and atheism were regarded by his regime as the main threats. When Franco died in 1975, Spain entered into a phase of transition towards democracy, the then Prime Minister of Spain, Adolfo Suárez, met with Josep Tarradellas, president of the Generalitat of Catalonia in exile. An agreement was made so that the Generalitat would be restored and limited competencies would be transferred while the constitution was still being written. In the end, the constitution, published and ratified in 1979, found a balance in recognizing the existence of nationalities and regions in Spain, within the indissoluble unity of the Spanish nation. The starting point in the organization of Spain was the second article of the constitution. In order to exercise this right, the established a open process whereby the nationalitiesAutonomous cities of Spain – A map of Iberia in 1757
27. Strait of Gibraltar – The Strait of Gibraltar is a narrow strait that connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea and separates Gibraltar and Peninsular Spain in Europe from Morocco and Ceuta in Africa. The name comes from the Rock of Gibraltar, which in turn originates from the Arabic Jebel Tariq named after Tariq ibn Ziyad. It is also known as the Straits of Gibraltar, the Gut of Gibraltar, the STROG in naval use, and Bab Al Maghrib, Gate of the West. In the Middle Ages, Muslims called it Al-Zuqaq, The Passage, the Romans called it Fretum Gatitanum, Europe and Africa are separated by 7.7 nautical miles of ocean at the straits narrowest point. Ferries cross between the two every day in as little as 35 minutes. The Spanish side of the Strait is protected under El Estrecho Natural Park, on the northern side of the Strait are Spain and Gibraltar, while on the southern side are Morocco and Ceuta. Its boundaries were known in antiquity as the Pillars of Hercules, there are several islets, such as the disputed Isla Perejil, that are claimed by both Morocco and Spain. Due to its location, the Strait is commonly used for illegal immigration from Africa to Europe, the International Hydrographic Organization defines the limits of the Strait of Gibraltar as follows, On the West. A line joining Cape Trafalgar to Cape Spartel, a line joining Europa Point to P. Almina. The seabed of the Strait is composed of synorogenic Betic-Rif clayey flysch covered by Pliocene and/or Quaternary calcareous sediments, exposed bedrock surfaces, coarse sediments and local sand dunes attest to the strong bottom current conditions at the present time. The resultant accumulation of huge salt and mineral deposits about the Mediterranean basin are directly linked to this era. It is believed that this took a short time, by geological standards. The erosion produced by the incoming waters seems to be the cause for the present depth of the strait. The strait is expected to close again as the African Plate moves northward relative to the Eurasian Plate, for full articles on the history of the north Gibraltar shore, see History of Gibraltar or History of Spain. For the full article on the history of the south Gibraltar shore, evidence of the first human habitation of the area by Neanderthals dates back to 125,000 years ago. Archaeological evidence of Homo sapiens habitation of the dates back c.40,000 years. In that year, the last Muslim government north of the straits was overthrown by a Spanish force, the small British enclave of the city of Gibraltar presents a third cultural group found in the straits. This enclave was first established in 1704 and has since used by Britain to act as a surety for control of the sea lanes intoStrait of Gibraltar – The Strait of Gibraltar as seen from space. (North is to the left: The Iberian Peninsula is on the left and North Africa on the right).
28. Melilla – Melilla is a Spanish autonomous city located on the north coast of Africa, sharing a border with Morocco with an area of 12.3 square kilometres. Melilla, along with Ceuta, is one of two permanently inhabited Spanish cities in mainland Africa and it was part of Málaga province until 14 March 1995 when the citys Statute of Autonomy was passed. Melilla, like Ceuta, was a port before Spain joined the European Union. As of 2011, it had a population of 78,476 made up of ethnic Spaniards, ethnic Riffian Berbers, both Spanish and Riffian-Berber are the two most widely spoken languages, with Spanish as the only official language. Melilla is officially subject to a claim along with the city of Ceuta. The current Berber name of Melilla is Mřič or Mlilt which means the white one, Melilla was an ancient Berber village and a Phoenician and later Punic trade establishment under the name of Rusadir. Later it became a part of the Roman province of Mauretania Tingitana, rusaddir is mentioned by Ptolemy and Pliny who call it oppidum et portus, also by Mela, under the corrupted form Rusicada and by the Itinerarium Antonini. Rusaddir was supposed to have once been the seat of a bishop, but there is no record of any bishop of the supposed see, as centuries passed, it went through Vandal, Byzantine and Hispano-Visigothic hands. The political history is similar to that of towns in the region of the Moroccan Rif, local rule passed through Amazigh, Phoenician, Punic, Roman, Umayyad, Idrisid, Almoravid, Almohad, Marinid, and then Wattasid rulers. During the Middle Ages it was the Berber city of Mlila, Melilla was immediately threatened with reconquest and was besieged during 1694–1696 and 1774–1775. One Spanish officer reflected, an hour in Melilla, from the point of view of merit, was more than thirty years of service to Spain. The current limits of the Spanish territory around the fortress were fixed by treaties with Morocco in 1859,1860,1861, and 1894. In the late 19th century, as Spanish influence expanded, Melilla became the authorized center of trade on the Rif coast between Tetuan and the Algerian frontier. The value of trade increased, goat skins, eggs and beeswax being the principal exports, and cotton goods, tea, sugar, in 1893, the Rif Berbers launched the First Melillan campaign and 25,000 Spanish soldiers had to be dispatched against them. The conflict was known as the Margallo War, after the Governor of Melilla and Spanish General Juan García y Margallo. In 1908 two companies, under the protection of Bou Hmara, a chieftain ruling the Rif region, started mining lead. A railway to the mines was begun, in October of that year the Bou Hmaras vassals revolted against him and raided the mines, which remained closed until June 1909. By July the workmen were again attacked and several of them killed, severe fighting between the Spaniards and the tribesmen followed, in the Second Melillan campaignMelilla – Port of Melilla
29. Pillars of Hercules – The Pillars of Hercules was the phrase that was applied in Antiquity to the promontories that flank the entrance to the Strait of Gibraltar. The northern Pillar, Calpe Mons, is the Rock of Gibraltar, according to Platos account, the lost realm of Atlantis was situated beyond the Pillars of Hercules, in effect placing it in the realm of the Unknown. Renaissance tradition says the pillars bore the warning Ne plus ultra, according to some Roman sources, while on his way to the garden of the Hesperides on the island of Erytheia, Hercules had to cross the mountain that was once Atlas. Instead of climbing the mountain, Hercules used his superhuman strength to smash through it. By doing so, he connected the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea, one part of the split mountain is Gibraltar and the other is either Monte Hacho or Jebel Musa. These two mountains taken together have since then known as the Pillars of Hercules, though other natural features have been associated with the name. The Pillars appear as supporters of the coat of arms of Spain, originating in the impresa of Spains sixteenth century king Charles I and it bears the motto Plus Ultra, Latin for further beyond, implying that the pillars were a gateway. The columns of the Melqart temple at Tyre were also of religious significance, Syriac scholars were aware of the Pillars through their efforts to translate Greek scientific works into their language as well as into Arabic. The Syriac compendium of known as Ktaba dellat koll ellan. Ulysses justifies endangering his sailors by the fact that his goal is to gain knowledge of the unknown, the Pillars appear prominently on the engraved title page of Sir Francis Bacons Instauratio Magna,1620, an unfinished work of which the second part was his influential Novum Organum. The motto along the base says Multi pertransibunt et augebitur scientia, the image was based on the use of the pillars in Spanish and Habsburg propaganda. On the Spanish coast at Los Barrios are Torres de Hercules which are twin towers that were inspired by the Pillars of Hercules and these towers are the tallest buildings in AndalucíaPillars of Hercules – The European Pillar of Hercules: the Rock of Gibraltar (foreground), with the North African shore in the background.
30. Jebel Musa, Morocco – Jebel Musa is a mountain in the northernmost part of Morocco, on the African side of the Strait of Gibraltar. It is part of the Rif mountain chain, the mountain is generally identified as the southern Pillar of Hercules, Abila Mons. Together with the Rock of Gibraltar to the north, it is identified as one of the Pillars of Hercules. The pillars of Hercules arose from one of his twelve labours, earlier, Perseus defeated the Titan Atlas by showing him the head of the Gorgon. Atlas was petrified, his became an forest and his shoulders became cliffs. Later, Hercules was directed to get the Cattle of Geryon, according to the legend this split in the mountain created a sea link between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean Sea. This link was the Strait of Gibraltar, Jebel Musa is 842 metres high. To the north, across the Strait of Gibraltar, lie Spain, to the east is Ceuta, a Spanish exclave, and to the west and south is Morocco. By road, the mountain is about 22 kilometres west of Ceuta, Jebel Musa is opposite the Rock of Gibraltar at the entrance to the Mediterranean Sea from the Atlantic Ocean. It is an important landmark in the region of Tangier-Tetouan on the north coast of Morocco, the coastlines around the mountain show evidence of having had varying sea levels through the ages. These highstands are at 120-130 metres,80 to 90 metres,40 to 60 metres, in Ceuta, around the town of Benzú, the mountain is known as The Dead Woman, because from that direction it resembles a woman on her back. The mountain is a site for birdwatching, migratory birds use the updraughts and thermals from Jebel Musa to gain height before attempting to cross the Strait of Gibraltar. The Strait of Gibraltar is one of the worlds most prominent migration bottlenecks and raptor watching is popular in the fall, the area around the mountain has over 200 caves that attract visiting cavers. The area around the mountain is mainly forest and is identified in the Plan for Protected Areas in Morocco as a Site of Biological and Ecological InterestJebel Musa, Morocco – View of Jebel Musa from Benzú, Spain
31. Carthage – Carthage was the centre or capital city of the ancient Carthaginian civilization, on the eastern side of the Lake of Tunis in what is now the Tunis Governorate in Tunisia. The city developed from a Phoenician colony into the capital of an empire dominating the Mediterranean Sea during the first millennium BC, the apocryphal queen Dido is regarded as the founder of the city, though her historicity has been questioned. According to accounts by Timaeus of Tauromenium, she purchased from a tribe the amount of land that could be covered by an oxhide. The ancient city was destroyed by the Roman Republic in the Third Punic War in 146 BC then re-developed as Roman Carthage, the Roman city was again occupied by the Muslim conquest of the Maghreb, in 698. The archaeological site was first surveyed in 1830, by Danish consul Christian Tuxen Falbe, Excavations were performed in the second half of the 19th century by Charles Ernest Beulé and by Alfred Louis Delattre. The Carthage National Museum was founded in 1875 by Cardinal Charles Lavigerie, the open-air Carthage Paleo-Christian Museum has exhibits excavated under the auspices of UNESCO from 1975 to 1984. The Latin Carthāgō, Carthāginis is an n-stem, as reflected in the English adjective Carthaginian, the Latin adjective pūnicus, a variant of the word Phoenician, is reflected in English in some borrowings from Latin—notably the Punic Wars and the Punic language. The Modern Standard Arabic form قرطاج is an adoption of French Carthage, Carthage was built on a promontory with sea inlets to the north and the south. The citys location made it master of the Mediterraneans maritime trade, all ships crossing the sea had to pass between Sicily and the coast of Tunisia, where Carthage was built, affording it great power and influence. Two large, artificial harbors were built within the city, one for harboring the citys massive navy of 220 warships, a walled tower overlooked both harbors. The city had walls,37 km in length, longer than the walls of comparable cities. Most of the walls were located on the shore, thus could be less impressive, the 4.0 to 4.8 km of wall on the isthmus to the west were truly massive and were never penetrated. The city had a huge necropolis or burial ground, religious area, market places, council house, towers, and a theater, roughly in the middle of the city stood a high citadel called the Byrsa. Carthage was one of the largest cities of the Hellenistic period and was among the largest cities in preindustrial history. Whereas by AD14, Rome had at least 750,000 inhabitants and in the following century may have reached 1 million, according to the not always reliable history of Herodian, Carthage rivaled Alexandria for second place in the Roman empire. On top of Byrsa hill, the location of the Roman Forum, the neighborhood, with its houses, shops, and private spaces, is significant for what it reveals about daily life there over 2100 years ago. The remains have been preserved under embankments, the substructures of the later Roman forum, the housing blocks are separated by a grid of straight streets about 6 m wide, with a roadway consisting of clay, in situ stairs compensate for the slope of the hill. The habitat is typical, even stereotypical, in some places, the ground is covered with mosaics called punica pavement, sometimes using a characteristic red mortarCarthage – Thermes of Antoninus Pius at Carthage
32. Roman Empire – Civil wars and executions continued, culminating in the victory of Octavian, Caesars adopted son, over Mark Antony and Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium in 31 BC and the annexation of Egypt. Octavians power was then unassailable and in 27 BC the Roman Senate formally granted him overarching power, the imperial period of Rome lasted approximately 1,500 years compared to the 500 years of the Republican era. The first two centuries of the empires existence were a period of unprecedented political stability and prosperity known as the Pax Romana, following Octavians victory, the size of the empire was dramatically increased. After the assassination of Caligula in 41, the senate briefly considered restoring the republic, under Claudius, the empire invaded Britannia, its first major expansion since Augustus. Vespasian emerged triumphant in 69, establishing the Flavian dynasty, before being succeeded by his son Titus and his short reign was followed by the long reign of his brother Domitian, who was eventually assassinated. The senate then appointed the first of the Five Good Emperors, the empire reached its greatest extent under Trajan, the second in this line. A period of increasing trouble and decline began with the reign of Commodus, Commodus assassination in 192 triggered the Year of the Five Emperors, of which Septimius Severus emerged victorious. The assassination of Alexander Severus in 235 led to the Crisis of the Third Century in which 26 men were declared emperor by the Roman Senate over a time span. It was not until the reign of Diocletian that the empire was fully stabilized with the introduction of the Tetrarchy, which saw four emperors rule the empire at once. This arrangement was unsuccessful, leading to a civil war that was finally ended by Constantine I. Constantine subsequently shifted the capital to Byzantium, which was renamed Constantinople in his honour and it remained the capital of the east until its demise. Constantine also adopted Christianity which later became the state religion of the empire. However, Augustulus was never recognized by his Eastern colleague, and separate rule in the Western part of the empire ceased to exist upon the death of Julius Nepos. The Eastern Roman Empire endured for another millennium, eventually falling to the Ottoman Turks in 1453, the Roman Empire was among the most powerful economic, cultural, political and military forces in the world of its time. It was one of the largest empires in world history, at its height under Trajan, it covered 5 million square kilometres. It held sway over an estimated 70 million people, at that time 21% of the entire population. Throughout the European medieval period, attempts were made to establish successors to the Roman Empire, including the Empire of Romania, a Crusader state. Rome had begun expanding shortly after the founding of the republic in the 6th century BC, then, it was an empire long before it had an emperorRoman Empire – The Augustus of Prima Porta (early 1st century AD)
33. Vandal – The Vandals are believed to have migrated from southern Scandinavia to the area between the lower Oder and Vistula rivers during the 2nd century BC and to have settled in Silesia from around 120 BC. They are associated with the Przeworsk culture and were possibly the people as the Lugii. Around 400 the Vandals were pushed westwards again, this time by the Huns, in 409, the Vandals crossed the Pyrenees into the Iberian Peninsula, where their main groups, the Hasdingi and the Silingi, settled in Gallaecia and Baetica respectively. In 429, under king Genseric, the Vandals entered North Africa, by 439 they established a kingdom which included the Roman province of Africa as well as Sicily, Corsica, Sardinia, Malta and the Balearic Islands. They fended off several Roman attempts to recapture the African province and their kingdom collapsed in the Vandalic War of 533–4, in which Justinian I managed to reconquer the province for the Eastern Roman Empire. Renaissance and Early Modern writers characterized the Vandals as barbarians, sacking and looting Rome and this led to the use of the term vandalism to describe any senseless destruction, particularly the barbarian defacing of artwork. However, modern historians tend to regard the Vandals during the period from Late Antiquity to the Early Middle Ages as perpetuators, not destroyers. The connection would be that Vendel is the homeland of the Vandals prior to the Migration Period. Further possible homelands of the Vandals in Scandinavia are Vendsyssel in Denmark, the etymology of the name may be related to a Germanic verb *wand- to wander. The Germanic mythological figure of Aurvandil shining wanderer, dawn wanderer, evening star, much has forwarded the theory that the tribal name Vandal reflects worship of Aurvandil or the Dioscuri, probably involving an origin myth that the Vandalic kings were descended from Aurvandil. Some medieval authors applied the ethnonym Vandals to Slavs, Veneti, Wends and it was once thought that the Slovenes were the descendants of the Vandals, but this is not the view of modern scholars. The Vandals are believed to have migrated from southern Scandinavia to the area between the lower Oder and Vistula somewhere in the 2nd century BC, and to have settled in Silesia from around 120 BC. The earliest mention of the Vandals is from Pliny the Elder, tribes within this category who he mentions are the Burgundiones, Varini, Carini, and the Gutones. Most archaeologists and historians identify the Vandals with the Przeworsk culture, the bearers of the Przeworsk culture mainly practiced cremation, with occasional inhumation. The Lugii have been identified by historians as the same people as the Vandals. The Lugii are mentioned by Strabo, Tacitus and Ptolemy as a group of tribes living between the Vistula and the Oder. Neither Strabo, Tacitus or Ptolemy mentions the Vandals, while Pliny the Elder mentions the Vandals, according to John Anderson, the Lugii and Vandili are designations of the same tribal group, the latter an extended ethnic name, the former probably a cult-title. By the end of the 2nd century, the Vandals were divided in two main groups, the Silingi and the Hasdingi, with the Silingi being associated with SilesiaVandal – Vandalic goldfoil jewellery from the 3rd or 4th century
34. Visigoths – The Visigoths were the western branches of the nomadic tribes of Germanic peoples referred to collectively as the Goths. These tribes flourished and spread throughout the late Roman Empire in Late Antiquity, the Visigoths emerged from earlier Gothic groups who had invaded the Roman Empire beginning in 376 and had defeated the Romans at the Battle of Adrianople in 378. Relations between the Romans and the Visigoths were variable, alternately warring with one another and making treaties when convenient, the Visigoths invaded Italy under Alaric I and sacked Rome in 410. The Visigoths first settled in southern Gaul as foederati of the Romans – a relationship established in 418, however, they soon fell out with their Roman hosts and established their own kingdom with its capital at Toulouse. They next extended their authority into Hispania at the expense of the Suebi, in 507, however, their rule in Gaul was ended by the Franks under Clovis I, who defeated them in the Battle of Vouillé. After that, the Visigoth kingdom was limited to Hispania, in or around 589, the Visigoths under Reccared I converted from Arianism to Nicene Christianity, gradually adopting the culture of their Hispano-Roman subjects. Their legal code, the Visigothic Code abolished the practice of applying different laws for Romans. Once legal distinctions were no longer being made between Romani and Gothi, they became known collectively as Hispani, in the century that followed, the region was dominated by the Councils of Toledo and the episcopacy. In 711 or 712, a force of invading African Moors defeated the Visigoths in the Battle of Guadalete and their king and many members of their governing elite were killed, and their kingdom rapidly collapsed. During their governance of the Kingdom of Hispania, the Visigoths built several churches that survive and they also left many artifacts, which have been discovered in increasing numbers by archaeologists in recent times. The Treasure of Guarrazar of votive crowns and crosses is the most spectacular and they founded the only new cities in western Europe from the fall of the Western half of the Roman Empire until the rise of the Carolingian dynasty. Many Visigothic names are still in use in modern Spanish and Portuguese, contemporaneous references to the Gothic tribes use the terms Vesi, Ostrogothi, Thervingi, and Greuthungi. Most scholars have concluded that the terms Vesi and Tervingi were both used to refer to one particular tribe, while the terms Ostrogothi and Greuthungi were used to refer to another. In addition, the Notitia Dignitatum equates the Vesi with the Tervingi in a reference to the years 388–391, the earliest sources for each of the four names are roughly contemporaneous. The first recorded reference to the Tervingi is in a eulogy of the emperor Maximian, delivered in or shortly after 291 and it says that the Tervingi, another division of the Goths, joined with the Taifali to attack the Vandals and Gepidae. The first known use of the term Ostrogoths is in a document dated September 392 from Milan and this would explain why the latter terms dropped out of use shortly after 400, when the Goths were displaced by the Hunnic invasions. Wolfram believes that the people Zosimus describes were those Tervingi who had remained behind after the Hunnic conquest, for the most part, all of the terms discriminating between different Gothic tribes gradually disappeared after they moved into the Roman Empire. The last indication that the Goths whose king reigned at Toulouse thought of themselves as Vesi is found in a panegyric on Avitus by Sidonius Apollinaris dated 1 January 456, most recent scholars have concluded that Visigothic group identity emerged only within the Roman EmpireVisigoths – Detail of the votive crown of Reccesuinth from the Treasure of Guarrazar, hanging in Madrid. The hanging letters spell [R]ECCESVINTUS REX OFFERET [King R. offers this].
35. Hispania – Hispania was the Roman name for the Iberian Peninsula. Under the Republic, Hispania was divided into two provinces, Hispania Citerior and Hispania Ulterior, during the Principate, Hispania Ulterior was divided into two new provinces, Baetica and Lusitania, while Hispania Citerior was renamed Tarraconensis. Subsequently, the part of Tarraconensis was split off, first as Hispania Nova. The name, Hispania, was used in the period of Visigothic rule. The modern placenames Spain and Hispaniola are both derived from Hispania, one theory holds it to be of Punic derivation, from the Phoenician language of colonizing Carthage. Specifically, it may derive from a Punic cognate of Hebrew אי-שפניא meaning Island of the Hyrax or island of the hare or island of the rabbit. Others derive the word from Phoenician span, in the sense of hidden, and make it indicate a hidden, that is, Isidore of Sevilla considered Hispania derived from Hispalis. Occasionally Hispania was called Hesperia Ultima, the last western land in Greek, by Roman writers, another theory holds that the name derives from Ezpanna, the Basque word for border or edge, thus meaning the farthest area or place. The use of Latin Hispania, Castilian España, Catalan Espanya and French Espaigne, a document dated 1292 mentions the names of foreigners from Medieval Spain as Gracien dEspaigne. You are, Oh Spain, holy and always happy mother of princes and peoples and you, by right, are now the queen of all provinces, from whom the lights are given not only the sunset, but also the East. Navarre followed soon after in 1512, and Portugal in 1580, during this time, the concept of Spain was still unchanged. The King of Portugal would protest energetically when during a public act King Fernando talked about the Crown of Spain and it was after the independence of Portugal in 1640 when the concept of Spain started to shift and be applied to all the Peninsula except Portugal. Even so, Portugal would still complain when the terms Crown of Spain or Monarchy of Spain were still used in the 18th century with the Treaty of Utrecht. The Iberian peninsula has long inhabited, first by early hominids such as Homo erectus, Homo heidelbergensis. In the Paleolithic period, the Neanderthals entered Iberia and eventually took refuge from the migrations of modern humans. In the 40th millennium BC, during the Upper Paleolithic and the last ice age and these were nomadic hunter-gatherers originating on the steppes of Central Asia. When the last Ice Age reached its maximum extent, during the 30th millennium BC, in the millennia that followed, the Neanderthals became extinct and local modern human cultures thrived, producing pre-historic art such as that found in LArbreda Cave and in the Côa Valley. In the Mesolithic period, beginning in the 10th millennium BC and this was an interstadial deglaciation that lessened the harsh conditions of the Ice AgeHispania – Archaeological Roman Ensemble of Mérida (Emerita Augusta), Extremadura, Spain.
36. Byzantine Empire – It survived the fragmentation and fall of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD and continued to exist for an additional thousand years until it fell to the Ottoman Turks in 1453. During most of its existence, the empire was the most powerful economic, cultural, several signal events from the 4th to 6th centuries mark the period of transition during which the Roman Empires Greek East and Latin West divided. Constantine I reorganised the empire, made Constantinople the new capital, under Theodosius I, Christianity became the Empires official state religion and other religious practices were proscribed. Finally, under the reign of Heraclius, the Empires military, the borders of the Empire evolved significantly over its existence, as it went through several cycles of decline and recovery. During the reign of Maurice, the Empires eastern frontier was expanded, in a matter of years the Empire lost its richest provinces, Egypt and Syria, to the Arabs. This battle opened the way for the Turks to settle in Anatolia, the Empire recovered again during the Komnenian restoration, such that by the 12th century Constantinople was the largest and wealthiest European city. Despite the eventual recovery of Constantinople in 1261, the Byzantine Empire remained only one of several small states in the area for the final two centuries of its existence. Its remaining territories were annexed by the Ottomans over the 15th century. The Fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Empire in 1453 finally ended the Byzantine Empire, the term comes from Byzantium, the name of the city of Constantinople before it became Constantines capital. This older name of the city would rarely be used from this point onward except in historical or poetic contexts. The publication in 1648 of the Byzantine du Louvre, and in 1680 of Du Canges Historia Byzantina further popularised the use of Byzantine among French authors, however, it was not until the mid-19th century that the term came into general use in the Western world. The Byzantine Empire was known to its inhabitants as the Roman Empire, the Empire of the Romans, Romania, the Roman Republic, Graikia, and also as Rhōmais. The inhabitants called themselves Romaioi and Graikoi, and even as late as the 19th century Greeks typically referred to modern Greek as Romaika and Graikika. The authority of the Byzantine emperor as the legitimate Roman emperor was challenged by the coronation of Charlemagne as Imperator Augustus by Pope Leo III in the year 800. No such distinction existed in the Islamic and Slavic worlds, where the Empire was more seen as the continuation of the Roman Empire. In the Islamic world, the Roman Empire was known primarily as Rûm, the Roman army succeeded in conquering many territories covering the entire Mediterranean region and coastal regions in southwestern Europe and north Africa. These territories were home to different cultural groups, both urban populations and rural populations. The West also suffered heavily from the instability of the 3rd century ADByzantine Empire – Tremissis with the image of Justinian the Great (r. 527–565) (see Byzantine insignia)
37. Muslim – A Muslim is someone who follows or practices Islam, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion. Muslims consider the Quran, their book, to be the verbatim word of God as revealed to the Islamic prophet. They also follow the teachings and practices of Muhammad as recorded in traditional accounts, Muslim is an Arabic word meaning one who submits. Most Muslims will accept anyone who has publicly pronounced Shahadah as a Muslim, the shahadah states, There is no god but the God and Muhammad is the last messenger of the God. The testimony authorized by God in the Quran that can found in Surah 3,18 states, There is no god except God, which in Arabic, is the exact testimony which God Himself utters, as well as the angels and those who possess knowledge utter. The word muslim is the active participle of the verb of which islām is a verbal noun, based on the triliteral S-L-M to be whole. A female adherent is a muslima, the plural form in Arabic is muslimūn or muslimīn, and its feminine equivalent is muslimāt. The Arabic form muslimun is the stem IV participle of the triliteral S-L-M, the ordinary word in English is Muslim. It is sometimes transliterated as Moslem, which is an older spelling, the word Mosalman is a common equivalent for Muslim used in Central Asia. Until at least the mid-1960s, many English-language writers used the term Mohammedans or Mahometans, although such terms were not necessarily intended to be pejorative, Muslims argue that the terms are offensive because they allegedly imply that Muslims worship Muhammad rather than God. Other obsolete terms include Muslimite and Muslimist, musulmán/Mosalmán is a synonym for Muslim and is modified from Arabic. In English it was sometimes spelled Mussulman and has become archaic in usage, the Muslim philosopher Ibn Arabi said, A Muslim is a person who has dedicated his worship exclusively to God. Islam means making ones religion and faith Gods alone. The Quran states that men were Muslims because they submitted to God, preached His message and upheld His values. Thus, in Surah 3,52 of the Quran, Jesus disciples tell him, We believe in God, and you be our witness that we are Muslims. In Muslim belief, before the Quran, God had given the Tawrat to Moses, the Zabur to David and the Injil to Jesus, who are all considered important Muslim prophets. The most populous Muslim-majority country is Indonesia, home to 12. 7% of the worlds Muslims, followed by Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Egypt. About 20% of the worlds Muslims lives in the Middle East and North Africa, Sizable minorities are found in India, China, Russia, Ethiopia. The country with the highest proportion of self-described Muslims as a proportion of its population is MoroccoMuslim – Afghan Muslims praying inside Gardens of Babur in Kabul, Afghanistan.
38. Berber people – Berbers or Amazighen are an ethnic group indigenous to North Africa. They are distributed in an area stretching from the Atlantic Ocean to the Siwa Oasis in Egypt, historically, they spoke Berber languages, which together form the Berber branch of the Afro-Asiatic family. The majority of Berbers are predominantly Sunni Muslim, the Berber identity is usually wider than language and ethnicity, and encompasses the entire history and geography of North Africa. Berbers are not an entirely homogeneous ethnicity and they encompass a range of phenotypes, societies and ancestries, the unifying forces for the Berber people may be their shared language, or a collective identification with Berber heritage and history. There are some twenty-five to thirty million Berber speakers in North Africa, the number of ethnic Berbers is far greater, as a large part of the Berbers have acquired other languages over the course of many decades or centuries, and no longer speak Berber today. The majority of North Africas population is believed to be Berber in origin, Berbers call themselves some variant of the word i-Mazigh-en, possibly meaning free people or noble men. The name likely had its ancient parallel in the Roman and Greek names for Berbers, dihya or Kahina was a religious and military leader who led a fierce Berber resistance against the Arab-Muslim expansion in Northwest Africa. Kusaila was a leader of the Awraba tribe of the Berber people. A history by a Roman consul in Africa made the first reference of the barbarian to describe Numidia. The use of the term Berber spread in the following the arrival of the Vandals during their major invasions. The English term was introduced in the 19th century, replacing the earlier Barbary, for the historian Abraham Isaac Laredo the name Amazigh could be derived from the name of the ancestor Mezeg which is the translation of biblical ancestor Dedan son of Sheba in the Targum. According to Leo Africanus, Amazigh meant free man, though this has been disputed, further, it also has a cognate in the Tuareg word Amajegh, meaning noble. The Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, and Byzantines mentioned various tribes with similar names living in Greater Libya in the areas where Berbers were later found, later tribal names differ from the classical sources, but are probably still related to the modern Amazigh. The Meshwesh tribe among them represents the first thus identified from the field, all those names are similar and perhaps foreign renditions of the name used by the Berbers in general for themselves, Imazighen. The Maghreb region in northwestern Africa is believed to have been inhabited by Berbers from at least 10,000 BC, local cave paintings, which have been dated to twelve millennia before present, have been found in the Tassili nAjjer region of southern Algeria. Other rock art has been observed in Tadrart Acacus in the Libyan desert, a Neolithic society, marked by domestication and subsistence agriculture, developed in the Saharan and Mediterranean region of northern Africa between 6000 and 2000 BC. This type of life, richly depicted in the Tassili nAjjer cave paintings of southeastern Algeria, prehistorical Tifinagh scripts were also found in the Oran region. During the pre-Roman era, several independent states existed before the king Masinissa unified the people of NumidiaBerber people – Hoggar painting
39. Tuscany – Tuscany is a region in central Italy with an area of about 23,000 square kilometres and a population of about 3.8 million inhabitants. Tuscany is known for its landscapes, traditions, history, artistic legacy, Tuscany produces wines, including Chianti, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Morellino di Scansano and Brunello di Montalcino. Having a strong linguistic and cultural identity, it is considered a nation within a nation. Tuscany is traditionally a popular destination in Italy, and the main tourist destinations by number of tourist arrivals are Florence, Pisa, Montecatini Terme, Castiglione della Pescaia and Grosseto. The village of Castiglione della Pescaia is also the most visited destination in the region. Additionally, Siena, Lucca, the Chianti region, Versilia and Val dOrcia are also internationally renowned, Tuscany has over 120 protected nature reserves, making Tuscany and its capital Florence popular tourist destinations that attract millions of tourists every year. In 2012, the city of Florence was the worlds 89th most visited city, roughly triangular in shape, Tuscany borders the regions of Liguria to the northwest, Emilia-Romagna to the north and east, Umbria to the east and Lazio to the southeast. The comune of Badia Tedalda, in the Tuscan Province of Arezzo, has an exclave named Ca Raffaello within Emilia-Romagna, Tuscany has a western coastline on the Tyrrhenian Sea, containing the Tuscan Archipelago, of which the largest island is Elba. Tuscany has an area of approximately 22,993 square kilometres, surrounded and crossed by major mountain chains, and with few plains, the region has a relief that is dominated by hilly country used for agriculture. Hills make up nearly two-thirds of the total area, covering 15,292 square kilometres, and mountains. Plains occupy 8. 4% of the total area—1,930 square kilometres —mostly around the valley of the River Arno, many of Tuscanys largest cities lie on the banks of the Arno, including the capital Florence, Empoli and Pisa. The pre-Etruscan history of the area in the late Bronze and Iron Ages parallels that of the early Greeks, following this, the Villanovan culture saw Tuscany, and the rest of Etruria, taken over by chiefdoms. City-states developed in the late Villanovan before Orientalization occurred and the Etruscan civilization rose, the Etruscans created the first major civilization in this region, large enough to establish a transport infrastructure, to implement agriculture and mining and to produce vibrant art. The Etruscans lived in Etruria well into prehistory, throughout their existence, they lost territory to Magna Graecia, Carthage and Celts. Despite being seen as distinct in its manners and customs by contemporary Greeks, the cultures of Greece, one reason for its eventual demise was this increasing absorption by surrounding cultures, including the adoption of the Etruscan upper class by the Romans. Soon after absorbing Etruria, Rome established the cities of Lucca, Pisa, Siena, and Florence, endowed the area with new technologies and development, and ensured peace. These developments included extensions of existing roads, introduction of aqueducts and sewers, however, many of these structures have been destroyed by erosion due to weather. The Roman civilization in the West collapsed in the 5th century AD, in the years following 572, the Longobards arrived and designated Lucca the capital of their Duchy of TusciaTuscany – Hilly landscape in Val d'Orcia
40. Florence – Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the Metropolitan City of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with 383,083 inhabitants, Florence was a centre of medieval European trade and finance and one of the wealthiest cities of the time. It is considered the birthplace of the Renaissance, and has called the Athens of the Middle Ages. A turbulent political history includes periods of rule by the powerful Medici family, from 1865 to 1871 the city was the capital of the recently established Kingdom of Italy. The Historic Centre of Florence attracts 13 million tourists each year and it was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1982. The city is noted for its culture, Renaissance art and architecture, the city also contains numerous museums and art galleries, such as the Uffizi Gallery and the Palazzo Pitti, and still exerts an influence in the fields of art, culture and politics. Due to Florences artistic and architectural heritage, it has been ranked by Forbes as one of the most beautiful cities in the world, in 2008, the city had the 17th highest average income in Italy. Florence originated as a Roman city, and later, after a period as a flourishing trading and banking medieval commune. According to the Encyclopædia Britannica, it was politically, economically, and culturally one of the most important cities in Europe, the language spoken in the city during the 14th century was, and still is, accepted as the Italian language. Starting from the late Middle Ages, Florentine money—in the form of the gold florin—financed the development of all over Europe, from Britain to Bruges, to Lyon. Florentine bankers financed the English kings during the Hundred Years War and they similarly financed the papacy, including the construction of their provisional capital of Avignon and, after their return to Rome, the reconstruction and Renaissance embellishment of Rome. Florence was home to the Medici, one of European historys most important noble families, Lorenzo de Medici was considered a political and cultural mastermind of Italy in the late 15th century. Two members of the family were popes in the early 16th century, Leo X, catherine de Medici married king Henry II of France and, after his death in 1559, reigned as regent in France. Marie de Medici married Henry IV of France and gave birth to the future king Louis XIII, the Medici reigned as Grand Dukes of Tuscany, starting with Cosimo I de Medici in 1569 and ending with the death of Gian Gastone de Medici in 1737. The Etruscans initially formed in 200 BC the small settlement of Fiesole and it was built in the style of an army camp with the main streets, the cardo and the decumanus, intersecting at the present Piazza della Repubblica. Situated along the Via Cassia, the route between Rome and the north, and within the fertile valley of the Arno, the settlement quickly became an important commercial centre. Peace returned under Lombard rule in the 6th century, Florence was conquered by Charlemagne in 774 and became part of the Duchy of Tuscany, with Lucca as capital. The population began to again and commerce prosperedFlorence – A collage of Florence showing the Galleria degli Uffizi (top left), followed by the Palazzo Pitti, a sunset view of the city and the Fountain of Neptune in the Piazza della Signoria
41. Landscapes – A landscape is the visible features of an area of land, its landforms and how they integrate with natural or man-made features. The character of a landscape helps define the self-image of the people who inhabit it and it is the dynamic backdrop to people’s lives. Landscape can be as varied as farmland, a landscape park, the activity of modifying the visible features of an area of land is referred to as landscaping. There are several definitions of what constitutes a landscape, depending on context, the term landscape emerged around the turn of the sixteenth century to denote a painting whose primary subject matter was natural scenery. Land may be taken in its sense of something to people belong. The suffix ‑scape is equivalent to the more common English suffix ‑ship, the roots of ‑ship are etymologically akin to Old English sceppan or scyppan, meaning to shape. The suffix ‑schaft is related to the verb schaffen, so that ‑ship, the word landscape, first recorded in 1598, was borrowed from a Dutch painters term. An example of this usage can be found as early as 1662 in the Book of Common Prayer, Could we but climb where Moses stood. Setting, In works of narrative, it includes the moment in time and geographic location in which a story takes place. Picturesque, The word literally means in the manner of a picture, fit to be made into a picture, and used as early as 1703, gilpin’s Essay on Prints defined picturesque as a term expressive of that peculiar kind of beauty, which is agreeable in a picture. A view, A sight or prospect of some landscape or extended scene, wilderness, An uncultivated, uninhabited, and inhospitable region. Cityscape, The urban equivalent of a landscape, in the visual arts a cityscape is an artistic representation, such as a painting, drawing, print or photograph, of the physical aspects of a city or urban area. Seascape, A photograph, painting, or other work of art depicts the sea. Geomorphology is the study of the origin and evolution of topographic and bathymetric features created by physical or chemical processes operating at or near Earths surface. Geomorphology is practiced within physical geography, geology, geodesy, engineering geology, archaeology and this broad base of interests contributes to many research styles and interests within the field. The surface of Earth is modified by a combination of processes that sculpt landscapes, and geologic processes that cause tectonic uplift and subsidence. Many of these factors are strongly mediated by climate, the Earth surface and its topography therefore are an intersection of climatic, hydrologic, and biologic action with geologic processes. Desert, Plain, Taiga, Tundra, Wetland, Mountain, Mountain range, Cliff, Coast, Littoral zone, Glacier, Polar regions of Earth, Shrubland, Forest, Rainforest, Woodland, Jungle, MoorsLandscapes – A prairie: Badlands National Park, South Dakota, USA.
42. Italian Renaissance – The term Renaissance is in essence a modern one that came into currency in the 19th century, in the work of historians such as Jules Michelet and Jacob Burckhardt. The French word renaissance means Rebirth, and the era is best known for the renewed interest in the culture of classical antiquity after the period that Renaissance humanists labeled the Dark Ages. Though today perhaps best known for Italian Renaissance art and architecture, the period saw major achievements in literature, music, philosophy, Italy became the recognized European leader in all these areas by the late 15th century, and to varying degrees retained this lead until about 1600. This was despite a turbulent and generally disastrous period in Italian politics, the European Renaissance began in Tuscany, and centred in the city of Florence. It later spread to Venice, where the remains of ancient Greek culture were brought together, the Renaissance later had a significant effect on Rome, which was ornamented with some structures in the new allantico mode, then was largely rebuilt by humanist sixteenth-century popes. The Italian Renaissance peaked in the century as foreign invasions plunged the region into the turmoil of the Italian Wars. However, the ideas and ideals of the Renaissance endured and spread into the rest of Europe, setting off the Northern Renaissance, the Italian Renaissance is best known for its cultural achievements. Accounts of Renaissance literature usually begin with Petrarch and his friend, famous vernacular poets of the 15th century include the renaissance epic authors Luigi Pulci, Matteo Maria Boiardo, and Ludovico Ariosto. 15th century writers such as the poet Poliziano and the Platonist philosopher Marsilio Ficino made extensive translations from both Latin and Greek, the same is true for architecture, as practiced by Brunelleschi, Leon Battista Alberti, Andrea Palladio, and Bramante. Their works include Florence Cathedral, St. Peters Basilica in Rome, yet cultural contributions notwithstanding, some present-day historians also see the era as one of the beginning of economic regression for Italy. By the Late Middle Ages, Latium, the heartland of the Roman Empire. Rome was a city of ancient ruins, and the Papal States were loosely administered, and vulnerable to external interference such as that of France, and later Spain. The Papacy was affronted when the Avignon Papacy was created in southern France as a consequence of pressure from King Philip the Fair of France, in the south, Sicily had for some time been under foreign domination, by the Arabs and then the Normans. Sicily had prospered for 150 years during the Emirate of Sicily, in contrast Northern and Central Italy had become far more prosperous, and it has been calculated that the region was among the richest of Europe. The Crusades had built lasting trade links to the Levant, the main trade routes from the east passed through the Byzantine Empire or the Arab lands and onwards to the ports of Genoa, Pisa, and Venice. Luxury goods bought in the Levant, such as spices, dyes, moreover, the inland city-states profited from the rich agricultural land of the Po valley. From France, Germany, and the Low Countries, through the medium of the Champagne fairs, land and river trade routes brought goods such as wool, wheat, and precious metals into the region. The extensive trade that stretched from Egypt to the Baltic generated substantial surpluses that allowed significant investment in mining, thus, while northern Italy was not richer in resources than many other parts of Europe, the level of development, stimulated by trade, allowed it to prosperItalian Renaissance – Renaissance
43. History – History is the study of the past as it is described in written documents. Events occurring before written record are considered prehistory and it is an umbrella term that relates to past events as well as the memory, discovery, collection, organization, presentation, and interpretation of information about these events. Scholars who write about history are called historians and their works continue to be read today, and the gap between the culture-focused Herodotus and the military-focused Thucydides remains a point of contention or approach in modern historical writing. In Asia, a chronicle, the Spring and Autumn Annals was known to be compiled from as early as 722 BC although only 2nd-century BC texts survived. Ancient influences have helped spawn variant interpretations of the nature of history which have evolved over the centuries, the modern study of history is wide-ranging, and includes the study of specific regions and the study of certain topical or thematical elements of historical investigation. Often history is taught as part of primary and secondary education, the word history comes ultimately from Ancient Greek ἱστορία, meaning inquiry, knowledge from inquiry, or judge. It was in that sense that Aristotle used the word in his Περὶ Τὰ Ζῷα Ἱστορίαι, the ancestor word ἵστωρ is attested early on in Homeric Hymns, Heraclitus, the Athenian ephebes oath, and in Boiotic inscriptions. History was borrowed from Latin into Old English as stær, and it was from Anglo-Norman that history was borrowed into Middle English, and this time the loan stuck. In Middle English, the meaning of history was story in general, the restriction to the meaning the branch of knowledge that deals with past events, the formal record or study of past events, esp. human affairs arose in the mid-fifteenth century. With the Renaissance, older senses of the word were revived, and it was in the Greek sense that Francis Bacon used the term in the sixteenth century. For him, historia was the knowledge of objects determined by space and time, in an expression of the linguistic synthetic vs. analytic/isolating dichotomy, English like Chinese now designates separate words for human history and storytelling in general. In modern German, French, and most Germanic and Romance languages, which are synthetic and highly inflected. The adjective historical is attested from 1661, and historic from 1669, Historian in the sense of a researcher of history is attested from 1531. Historians write in the context of their own time, and with due regard to the current dominant ideas of how to interpret the past, in the words of Benedetto Croce, All history is contemporary history. History is facilitated by the formation of a discourse of past through the production of narrative. The modern discipline of history is dedicated to the production of this discourse. All events that are remembered and preserved in some authentic form constitute the historical record, the task of historical discourse is to identify the sources which can most usefully contribute to the production of accurate accounts of past. Therefore, the constitution of the archive is a result of circumscribing a more general archive by invalidating the usage of certain texts and documentsHistory – Historia by Nikolaos Gysis (1892)
44. Arts – The arts represent an outlet of expression that is usually influenced by culture in society and which in turn helps to change culture. As such, the arts are a manifestation of peoples internal creative impulse. Some art forms combine a visual element with performance or artwork with the written word, from prehistoric cave paintings to modern day films, art serves as a vessel for storytelling and conveying humankinds relationship with its environment. A debate exists in the arts and video game cultures over whether video games can be counted as an art form. In its most basic definition, art is a documented expression of a sentient being through or on an accessible medium so that anyone can view. The act itself of producing an expression can also be referred to as a certain art, or as art in general. If this solidified expression, or the act of producing it, is good or has value depends on those who access and rate it and this public rating is dependent on various subjective factors. Merriam-Webster defines the arts as painting, sculpture, music, theater, literature, etc. considered as a group of activities done by people with skill, and the study and application of the arts to the human environment. In Ancient Greece, all art and craft was referred to by the same word, thus, there was no distinction between the arts. Ancient Greek art brought the veneration of the form and the development of equivalent skills to show musculature, poise, beauty. Ancient Roman art depicted gods as idealized humans, shown with characteristic distinguishing features, in Byzantine and Gothic art of the Middle Ages, the dominance of the church insisted on the expression of biblical and not material truths. Eastern art has worked in a style akin to Western medieval art, namely a concentration on surface patterning. A characteristic of this style is that the colour is often defined by an outline. This is evident in, for example, the art of India, Tibet, religious Islamic art forbids iconography, and expresses religious ideas through geometry instead. The Artes Mechanicae were practised and developed in guild environments, the modern distinction between artistic and non-artistic skills did not develop until the Renaissance. In modern academia, the arts are usually grouped with or as a subset of the humanities, some subjects in the humanities are history, linguistics, literature, theology, philosophy, and/or logic. Drawing is a means of making an image, using any of a variety of tools. It generally involves making marks on a surface by applying pressure from a tool, common tools are graphite pencils, pen and ink, inked brushes, wax colour pencils, crayons, charcoals, pastels, and markersArts – Hans Rottenhammer, Allegory of the Arts (second half of the 16th century). Gemäldegalerie, Berlin
45. Science – Science is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe. The formal sciences are often excluded as they do not depend on empirical observations, disciplines which use science, like engineering and medicine, may also be considered to be applied sciences. However, during the Islamic Golden Age foundations for the method were laid by Ibn al-Haytham in his Book of Optics. In the 17th and 18th centuries, scientists increasingly sought to formulate knowledge in terms of physical laws, over the course of the 19th century, the word science became increasingly associated with the scientific method itself as a disciplined way to study the natural world. It was during this time that scientific disciplines such as biology, chemistry, Science in a broad sense existed before the modern era and in many historical civilizations. Modern science is distinct in its approach and successful in its results, Science in its original sense was a word for a type of knowledge rather than a specialized word for the pursuit of such knowledge. In particular, it was the type of knowledge which people can communicate to each other, for example, knowledge about the working of natural things was gathered long before recorded history and led to the development of complex abstract thought. This is shown by the construction of calendars, techniques for making poisonous plants edible. For this reason, it is claimed these men were the first philosophers in the strict sense and they were mainly speculators or theorists, particularly interested in astronomy. In contrast, trying to use knowledge of nature to imitate nature was seen by scientists as a more appropriate interest for lower class artisans. A clear-cut distinction between formal and empirical science was made by the pre-Socratic philosopher Parmenides, although his work Peri Physeos is a poem, it may be viewed as an epistemological essay on method in natural science. Parmenides ἐὸν may refer to a system or calculus which can describe nature more precisely than natural languages. Physis may be identical to ἐὸν and he criticized the older type of study of physics as too purely speculative and lacking in self-criticism. He was particularly concerned that some of the early physicists treated nature as if it could be assumed that it had no intelligent order, explaining things merely in terms of motion and matter. The study of things had been the realm of mythology and tradition, however. Aristotle later created a less controversial systematic programme of Socratic philosophy which was teleological and he rejected many of the conclusions of earlier scientists. For example, in his physics, the sun goes around the earth, each thing has a formal cause and final cause and a role in the rational cosmic order. Motion and change is described as the actualization of potentials already in things, while the Socratics insisted that philosophy should be used to consider the practical question of the best way to live for a human being, they did not argue for any other types of applied scienceScience – Maize, known in some English-speaking countries as corn, is a large grain plant domesticated by indigenous peoples in Mesoamerica in prehistoric times.
46. Petrarch – Francesco Petrarca, commonly anglicized as Petrarch, was an Italian scholar and poet in Renaissance Italy, and one of the earliest humanists. Petrarchs rediscovery of Ciceros letters is often credited with initiating the 14th-century Renaissance, Petrarch is often considered the founder of Humanism. In the 16th century, Pietro Bembo created the model for the modern Italian language based on Petrarchs works, as well as those of Giovanni Boccaccio, Petrarch would be later endorsed as a model for Italian style by the Accademia della Crusca. Petrarchs sonnets were admired and imitated throughout Europe during the Renaissance and he is also known for being the first to develop the concept of the Dark Ages. This standing back from his time was possible because he straddled two worlds—the classical and his own modern day, Petrarch was born in the Tuscan city of Arezzo in 1304. He was the son of Ser Petracco and his wife Eletta Canigiani and his given name was Francesco Petracco. The name was Latinized to Petrarca, Petrarchs younger brother was born in Incisa in Val dArno in 1307. Dante was a friend of his father, Petrarch spent his early childhood in the village of Incisa, near Florence. He spent much of his life at Avignon and nearby Carpentras. He studied law at the University of Montpellier and Bologna with a lifelong friend, because his father was in the profession of law he insisted that Petrarch and his brother study law also. Petrarch however was interested in writing and Latin literature and considered these seven years wasted. Additionally he proclaimed that through legal manipulation his guardians robbed him of his small property inheritance in Florence and he protested, I couldnt face making a merchandise of my mind, as he viewed the legal system as the art of selling justice. Petrarch was a letter writer and counted Boccaccio among his notable friends to whom he wrote often. After the death of their parents, Petrarch and his brother Gherardo went back to Avignon in 1326 and this work gave him much time to devote to his writing. With his first large work, Africa, an epic in Latin about the great Roman general Scipio Africanus. On April 8,1341, he became the poet laureate since antiquity and was crowned by Roman Senatori Giordano Orsini. He traveled widely in Europe, served as an ambassador, and has called the first tourist because he traveled just for pleasure. During his travels, he collected crumbling Latin manuscripts and was a mover in the recovery of knowledge from writers of RomePetrarch – Petrarch
47. Dante – Durante degli Alighieri, simply called Dante, was a major Italian poet of the Late Middle Ages. In the late Middle Ages, the majority of poetry was written in Latin. In De vulgari eloquentia, however, Dante defended use of the vernacular in literature, as a result, Dante played an instrumental role in establishing the national language of Italy. In addition, the first use of the interlocking three-line rhyme scheme, Dante has been called the Father of the Italian language and one of the greatest poets of world literature. In Italy, Dante is often referred to as il Sommo Poeta and il Poeta, he, Petrarch, Dante was born in Florence, Republic of Florence, present-day Italy. The exact date of his birth is unknown, although it is believed to be around 1265. This can be deduced from autobiographic allusions in the Divine Comedy, in 1265, the sun was in Gemini between approximately May 11 and June 11. Dante claimed that his family descended from the ancient Romans, but the earliest relative he could mention by name was Cacciaguida degli Elisei, born no earlier than about 1100. Dantes father, Alaghiero or Alighiero di Bellincione, was a White Guelph who suffered no reprisals after the Ghibellines won the Battle of Montaperti in the middle of the 13th century. Dantes family had loyalties to the Guelphs, an alliance that supported the Papacy and which was involved in complex opposition to the Ghibellines. The poets mother was Bella, likely a member of the Abati family and she died when Dante was not yet ten years old, and Alighiero soon married again, to Lapa di Chiarissimo Cialuffi. When Dante was 12, he was promised in marriage to Gemma di Manetto Donati, daughter of Manetto Donati, contracting marriages at this early age was quite common and involved a formal ceremony, including contracts signed before a notary. But by this time Dante had fallen in love with another, Beatrice Portinari, years after his marriage to Gemma he claims to have met Beatrice again, he wrote several sonnets to Beatrice but never mentioned Gemma in any of his poems. The exact date of his marriage is not known, the certain information is that, before his exile in 1301. Dante fought with the Guelph cavalry at the Battle of Campaldino and this victory brought about a reformation of the Florentine constitution. To take any part in life, one had to enroll in one of the citys many commercial or artisan guilds, so Dante entered the Physicians. In the following years, his name is recorded as speaking or voting in the various councils of the republic. A substantial portion of minutes from meetings in the years 1298–1300 was lost, howeverDante – Profile portrait of Dante, by Sandro Botticelli
48. Botticelli – Alessandro di Mariano di Vanni Filipepi, known as Sandro Botticelli, was an Italian painter of the Early Renaissance. Botticellis posthumous reputation suffered until the late 19th century, since then, among Botticellis best-known works are The Birth of Venus and Primavera. Botticelli was born in the city of Florence in a house in the Via Nuova, BorgOgnissanti, Vasari reported that Botticelli was initially trained as a goldsmith by his brother Antonio. By 1462 he was apprenticed to Fra Filippo Lippi, many of his works have been attributed to the elder master. Influenced also by the monumentality of Masaccios painting, it was from Lippi that Botticelli learned a more intimate, by 1470, Botticelli had his own workshop. The Adoration of the Magi for Santa Maria Novella, contains the portraits of Cosimo de Medici, his sons Piero and Giovanni, the quality of the scene was hailed by Vasari as one of Botticellis pinnacles. In 1481, Pope Sixtus IV summoned Botticelli and other prominent Florentine, the iconological program was the supremacy of the Papacy. Sandros contribution included the Temptations of Christ, the Punishment of the Rebels, thus Vasari characterized the first printed Dante with Botticellis decorations, he could not imagine that the new art of printing might occupy an artist. Recent scholarship suggests otherwise, the Primavera was painted for Lorenzos townhouse in Florence, by 1499, both had been installed at Castello. In these works, the influence of Gothic realism is tempered by Botticellis study of the antique, but if the painterly means may be understood, the subjects themselves remain fascinating for their ambiguity. The complex meanings of these continue to receive widespread scholarly attention, mainly focusing on the poetry. The works do not illustrate particular texts, rather, each relies upon several texts for its significance, of their beauty, characterized by Vasari as exemplifying grace and by John Ruskin as possessing linear rhythm, there can be no doubt. The pictures feature Botticellis linear style emphasized by the soft continual contours, in 1491 he served on a committee to decide upon a façade for the Cathedral of Florence. For this reason, persisting in his attachment to that party, Botticelli biographer Ernst Steinmann searched for the artists psychological development through his Madonnas. In the deepening of insight and expression in the rendering of Marys physiognomy, Botticelli was already little employed in 1502. In 1504 he was a member of the appointed to decide where Michelangelos David would be placed. After his death, his reputation was eclipsed longer and more thoroughly than that of any other major European artist and his paintings remained in the churches and villas for which they had been created and his frescoes in the Sistine Chapel were upstaged by those of Michelangelo. The English collector William Young Ottley, however, had brought Botticellis The Mystical Nativity to London with him in 1799 after buying it in Italy, the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood incorporated elements of his work into their ownBotticelli – Probable self-portrait of Botticelli, in his Adoration of the Magi (1475)
49. Leonardo da Vinci – He has been variously called the father of palaeontology, ichnology, and architecture, and is widely considered one of the greatest painters of all time. Sometimes credited with the inventions of the parachute, helicopter and tank, many historians and scholars regard Leonardo as the prime exemplar of the Universal Genius or Renaissance Man, an individual of unquenchable curiosity and feverishly inventive imagination. Much of his working life was spent in the service of Ludovico il Moro in Milan. He later worked in Rome, Bologna and Venice, and he spent his last years in France at the home awarded to him by Francis I of France, Leonardo was, and is, renowned primarily as a painter. Among his works, the Mona Lisa is the most famous and most parodied portrait, Leonardos drawing of the Vitruvian Man is also regarded as a cultural icon, being reproduced on items as varied as the euro coin, textbooks, and T-shirts. Perhaps fifteen of his paintings have survived, Leonardo is revered for his technological ingenuity. He conceptualised flying machines, a type of armoured fighting vehicle, concentrated power, an adding machine. Some of his inventions, however, such as an automated bobbin winder. A number of Leonardos most practical inventions are nowadays displayed as working models at the Museum of Vinci. He made substantial discoveries in anatomy, civil engineering, geology, optics, and hydrodynamics, today, Leonardo is widely considered one of the most diversely talented individuals ever to have lived. Leonardo was born on 15 April 1452 at the hour of the night in the Tuscan hill town of Vinci. He was the son of the wealthy Messer Piero Fruosino di Antonio da Vinci, a Florentine legal notary, and Caterina. Leonardo had no surname in the modern sense – da Vinci simply meaning of Vinci, his birth name was Lionardo di ser Piero da Vinci, meaning Leonardo. The inclusion of the title ser indicated that Leonardos father was a gentleman, little is known about Leonardos early life. He spent his first five years in the hamlet of Anchiano in the home of his mother and his father had married a sixteen-year-old girl named Albiera Amadori, who loved Leonardo but died young in 1465 without children. When Leonardo was sixteen, his father married again to twenty-year-old Francesca Lanfredini, pieros legitimate heirs were born from his third wife Margherita di Guglielmo and his fourth and final wife, Lucrezia Cortigiani. Leonardo received an education in Latin, geometry and mathematics. In later life, Leonardo recorded only two childhood incidents, one, which he regarded as an omen, was when a kite dropped from the sky and hovered over his cradle, its tail feathers brushing his faceLeonardo da Vinci – Portrait of Leonardo
50. Galileo Galilei – Galileo Galilei was an Italian polymath, astronomer, physicist, engineer, philosopher, and mathematician. He played a role in the scientific revolution of the seventeenth century. Galileo also worked in applied science and technology, inventing an improved military compass, Galileos championing of heliocentrism and Copernicanism was controversial during his lifetime, when most subscribed to either geocentrism or the Tychonic system. He met with opposition from astronomers, who doubted heliocentrism because of the absence of a stellar parallax. He was tried by the Inquisition, found vehemently suspect of heresy and he spent the rest of his life under house arrest. He has been called the father of observational astronomy, the father of modern physics, the father of scientific method, and the father of science. Galileo was born in Pisa, Italy, on 15 February 1564, the first of six children of Vincenzo Galilei, a famous lutenist, composer, and music theorist, and Giulia, three of Galileos five siblings survived infancy. The youngest, Michelangelo, also became a noted lutenist and composer although he contributed to financial burdens during Galileos young adulthood, Michelangelo was unable to contribute his fair share of their fathers promised dowries to their brothers-in-law, who would later attempt to seek legal remedies for payments due. Michelangelo would also occasionally have to borrow funds from Galileo to support his musical endeavours and these financial burdens may have contributed to Galileos early fire to develop inventions that would bring him additional income. When Galileo Galilei was eight, his family moved to Florence and he then was educated in the Vallombrosa Abbey, about 30 km southeast of Florence. Galileo Bonaiuti was buried in the church, the Basilica of Santa Croce in Florence. It was common for mid-sixteenth century Tuscan families to name the eldest son after the parents surname, hence, Galileo Galilei was not necessarily named after his ancestor Galileo Bonaiuti. The Italian male given name Galileo derives from the Latin Galilaeus, meaning of Galilee, the biblical roots of Galileos name and surname were to become the subject of a famous pun. In 1614, during the Galileo affair, one of Galileos opponents, in it he made a point of quoting Acts 1,11, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven. Despite being a genuinely pious Roman Catholic, Galileo fathered three children out of wedlock with Marina Gamba and they had two daughters, Virginia and Livia, and a son, Vincenzo. Their only worthy alternative was the religious life, both girls were accepted by the convent of San Matteo in Arcetri and remained there for the rest of their lives. Virginia took the name Maria Celeste upon entering the convent and she died on 2 April 1634, and is buried with Galileo at the Basilica of Santa Croce, Florence. Livia took the name Sister Arcangela and was ill for most of her life, Vincenzo was later legitimised as the legal heir of Galileo and married Sestilia BocchineriGalileo Galilei – Portrait of Galileo Galilei by Giusto Sustermans
51. Amerigo Vespucci – Colloquially referred to as the New World, this second super continent came to be termed Americas, deriving its name from Americus, the Latin version of Vespuccis first name. Amerigo Vespucci was born and raised in Florence on the Italian Peninsula and he was the third son of Ser Nastagio Vespucci, a Florentine notary, and Lisabetta Mini. The father of Ser Nastagio Vespucci had the name Amerigo Vespucci also, Amerigo Vespucci was educated by his uncle, Fra Giorgio Antonio Vespucci, a Dominican friar of the monastery of San Marco in Florence. Vespucci acquired the favor and protection of Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco de Medici who became the head of the business after the elder Lorenzos death in 1492, just around this time, Vespucci was engaged as the executor of Giannotto Berardi, an Italian merchant who had recently died in Seville. Vespucci organized the fulfillment of Berardis outstanding contract with the Castilian crown to provide twelve vessels for the Indies, after these were delivered, Vespucci continued as a provision contractor for Indies expeditions, and is known to have secured beef supplies for at least one of Columbus voyages. At the invitation of king Manuel I of Portugal, Vespucci participated as observer in several voyages that explored the east coast of South America between 1499 and 1502. On the first of these voyages he was aboard the ship that discovered that South America extended much further south than previously thought, the expeditions became widely known in Europe after two accounts attributed to Vespucci were published between 1502 and 1504. In 1507, Martin Waldseemüller produced a map on which he named the new continent America after the feminine Latin version of Vespuccis first name. In an accompanying book, Waldseemüller published one of the Vespucci accounts, in 1508, the position of chief of navigation of Spain was created for Vespucci, with the responsibility of planning navigation for voyages to the Indies. Two letters attributed to Vespucci were published during his lifetime, mundus Novus was a Latin translation of a lost Italian letter sent from Lisbon to Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco de Medici. It describes a voyage to South America in 1501–1502, mundus Novus was published in late 1502 or early 1503 and soon reprinted and distributed in numerous European countries. Lettera di Amerigo Vespucci delle isole nuovamente trovate in quattro suoi viaggi, printed in 1504 or 1505, it claimed to be an account of four voyages to the Americas made by Vespucci between 1497 and 1504. A Latin translation was published by the German Martin Waldseemüller in 1507 in Cosmographiae Introductio, Vespucci even developed a rudimentary, but fairly accurate method of determining longitude. In the 18th century, three unpublished familiar letters from Vespucci to Lorenzo de Medici were rediscovered, one describes a voyage made in 1499–1500 which corresponds with the second of the four voyages. Another was written from Cape Verde in 1501 in the part of the third of the four voyages. The third letter was sent from Lisbon after the completion of that voyage, some have suggested that Vespucci, in the two letters published in his lifetime, was exaggerating his role and constructed deliberate fabrications. However, many now believe that the two letters were not written by him but were fabrications by others based in part on genuine letters by Vespucci. It was the publication and widespread circulation of the letters that might have led Waldseemüller to name the new continent America on his map of 1507 in LorraineAmerigo Vespucci – Statue outside the Uffizi, Florence.
52. Luca Pacioli – Fra Luca Bartolomeo de Pacioli was an Italian mathematician, Franciscan friar, collaborator with Leonardo da Vinci, and a seminal contributor to the field now known as accounting. He is referred to as The Father of Accounting and Bookkeeping in Europe and he was also called Luca di Borgo after his birthplace, Borgo Sansepolcro, Tuscany. Luca Pacioli was born between 1446 and 1448 in Sansepolcro where he received an abbaco education and this was education in the vernacular rather than Latin and focused on the knowledge required of merchants. His father was Bartolomeo Pacioli, however Luca Pacioli was said to have lived with the Befolci family as a child in his birth town Sansepolcro. He moved to Venice around 1464, where he continued his own education while working as a tutor to the three sons of a merchant and it was during this period that he wrote his first book, a treatise on arithmetic for the boys he was tutoring. Between 1472 and 1475, he became a Franciscan friar, in 1475, he started teaching in Perugia, first as a private teacher, from 1477 holding the first chair in mathematics. He wrote a textbook in the vernacular for his students. He continued to work as a tutor of mathematics and was, in fact. In 1494, his first book to be printed, Summa de arithmetica, proportioni et proportionalita, was published in Venice. In 1497, he accepted an invitation from Duke Ludovico Sforza to work in Milan, there he met, taught mathematics to, collaborated and lived with Leonardo da Vinci. In 1499, Pacioli and Leonardo were forced to flee Milan when Louis XII of France seized the city and their paths appear to have finally separated around 1506. Pacioli died at about the age of 70 in 1517, most likely in Sansepolcro where it is thought that he had spent much of his final years, the manuscript was written between December 1477 and 29 April 1478. It contains 16 sections on merchant arithmetic, such as barter, exchange, profit, mixing metals, one part of 25 pages is missing from the chapter on algebra. A modern transcription has been published by Calzoni and Cavazzoni along with a translation of the chapter on partitioning problems. Proportioni et proportionalita, a textbook for use in the schools of Northern Italy and it was a synthesis of the mathematical knowledge of his time and contained the first printed work on algebra written in the vernacular. It is also notable for including the first published description of the method that Venetian merchants used during the Italian Renaissance. The system he published included most of the cycle as we know it today. He described the use of journals and ledgers, and warned that a person should not go to sleep at night until the debits equaled the creditsLuca Pacioli – Portrait of Luca Pacioli, traditionally attributed to Jacopo de' Barbari, 1495 (attribution controversial).
53. Puccini – Giacomo Antonio Domenico Michele Secondo Maria Puccini was an Italian opera composer who has been called the greatest composer of Italian opera after Verdi. Puccinis early work was rooted in traditional late-19th-century romantic Italian opera, later, he successfully developed his work in the realistic verismo style, of which he became one of the leading exponents. Puccinis most renowned works are La bohème, Tosca, and Madama Butterfly, Puccini was born Giacomo Antonio Domenico Michele Secondo Maria Puccini in Lucca in Tuscany, in 1858. He was one of nine children of Michele Puccini and Albina Magi, the Puccini family was established in Lucca as a local musical dynasty by Puccinis great-great grandfather – also named Giacomo. This first Giacomo Puccini was maestro di cappella of the Cattedrale di San Martino in Lucca and he was succeeded in this position by his son, Antonio Puccini, and then by Antonios son Domenico, and Domenicos son Michele. Each of these men studied music at Bologna, and some additional musical studies elsewhere. Domenico Puccini studied for a time under Giovanni Paisiello, each composed music for the church. In addition, Domenico composed several operas, and Michele composed one opera, Puccinis father Michele enjoyed a reputation throughout northern Italy, and his funeral was an occasion of public mourning, at which the then-famed composer Giovanni Pacini conducted a Requiem. However, when Michele Puccini died in 1864, his son Giacomo was only six years old, as a child, he nevertheless participated in the musical life of the Cattedrale di San Martino, as a member of the boys choir and later as a substitute organist. Puccini was given an education at the seminary of San Michele in Lucca. One of Puccinis uncles, Fortunato Magi, supervised his musical education, Puccini got a diploma from the Pacini School of Music in Lucca in 1880, having studied there with his uncle Fortunato, and later with Carlo Angeloni, who had also instructed Alfredo Catalani. Puccini studied at the conservatory for three years, sharing a room with Pietro Mascagni, in 1880, at the age of 21, Puccini composed his Mass, which marks the culmination of his familys long association with church music in his native Lucca. Puccini wrote a piece called the Capriccio sinfonica as a thesis composition for the Milan Conservatory. Puccinis teachers Ponchielli and Bazzini were impressed by the work, and it was performed at a student concert at the conservatory on 14 July 1883, conducted by Franco Faccio. Puccinis work was reviewed in the Milanese publication Perseveranza. After the premiere of the Capriccio sinfonica, Ponchielli and Puccini discussed the possibility that Puccinis next work might be an opera, Ponchielli invited Puccini to stay at his villa, where Puccini was introduced to another young man named Fernando Fontana. Puccini and Fontana agreed to collaborate on an opera, for which Fontana would provide the libretto, the work, Le Villi, was entered into a competition sponsored by the Sozogno music publishing company in 1883. Although it did not win, Le Villi was later staged at the Teatro Dal Verme, G. Ricordi & Co. music publishers assisted with the premier by printing the libretto without chargePuccini – Giacomo Puccini
54. Uffizi – The Uffizi Gallery is a prominent art museum located adjacent to the Piazza della Signoria in central Florence, region of Tuscany, Italy. The building of Uffizi complex was begun by Giorgio Vasari in 1560 for Cosimo I de Medici so as to accommodate the offices of the Florentine magistrates, hence the name uffizi, the construction was later continued by Alfonso Parigi and Bernardo Buontalenti and completed in 1581. The niches in the piers that alternate with columns filled with sculptures of artists in the 19th century. The Uffizi brought together under one roof the administrative offices, the Tribunal and the Archivio di Stato, the state archive. He commissioned from the architect Buontalenti the design of the Tribuna degli Uffizi that collected a series of masterpieces in one room, over the years, more sections of the palace were recruited to exhibit paintings and sculpture collected or commissioned by the Medici. The gallery had been open to visitors by request since the sixteenth century, because of its huge collection, some of its works have in the past been transferred to other museums in Florence—for example, some famous statues to the Bargello. A project was finished in 2006 to expand the exhibition space some 6,000 metres² to almost 13,000 metres². On 27 May 1993, a car exploded in Via dei Georgofili and damaged parts of the palace. The most severe damage was to the Niobe room and classical sculptures and neoclassical interior, the identity of the bomber or bombers are unknown, although it was almost certainly attributable to the Sicilian Mafia who were engaged in a period of terrorism at that time. Today, the Uffizi is one of the most popular tourist attractions of Florence, in high season, waiting times can be up to five hours. In early August 2007, Florence experienced a heavy rainstorm, the Gallery was partially flooded, with water leaking through the ceiling, and the visitors had to be evacuated. There was a more significant flood in 1966 which damaged most of the art collections in Florence severely. Here is a selection from the collection, The collection also contains some ancient sculptures, such as the Arrotino. Collections of the Uffizi Official website Uffizi – Google Art ProjectUffizi – Narrow courtyard between palace's two wings with view toward the Arno.
55. Pitti Palace – The Palazzo Pitti, in English sometimes called the Pitti Palace, is a vast, mainly Renaissance, palace in Florence, Italy. It is situated on the side of the River Arno. The core of the present palazzo dates from 1458 and was originally the residence of Luca Pitti. The palace was bought by the Medici family in 1549 and became the residence of the ruling families of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany. It grew as a treasure house as later generations amassed paintings, plates, jewelry. In the late 18th century, the palazzo was used as a base by Napoleon. The palace and its contents were donated to the Italian people by King Victor Emmanuel III in 1919, the palazzo is now the largest museum complex in Florence. The principal palazzo block, often in a building of design known as the corps de logis, is 32,000 square metres. It is divided into several principal galleries or museums detailed below, the construction of this severe and forbidding building was commissioned in 1458 by the Florentine banker Luca Pitti, a principal supporter and friend of Cosimo de Medici. The early history of the Palazzo Pitti is a mixture of fact, Pitti is alleged to have instructed that the windows be larger than the entrance of the Palazzo Medici. Besides obvious differences from the architects style, Brunelleschi died 12 years before construction of the palazzo began. The design and fenestration suggest that the architect was more experienced in utilitarian domestic architecture than in the humanist rules defined by Alberti in his book De Re Aedificatoria. Though impressive, the original palazzo would have no rival to the Florentine Medici residences in terms of either size or content. Whoever the architect of the Palazzo Pitti was, he was moving against the flow of fashion. The rusticated stonework gives the palazzo a severe and powerful atmosphere, reinforced by the series of seven arch-headed apertures. The Roman-style architecture appealed to the Florentine love of the new style allantica, work stopped after Pitti suffered financial losses following the death of Cosimo de Medici in 1464. Luca Pitti died in 1472 with the building unfinished, the building was sold in 1549 by Buonaccorso Pitti, a descendant of Luca Pitti, to Eleonora di Toledo. Raised at the court of Naples, Eleonora was the wife of Cosimo I de Medici of TuscanyPitti Palace – Early, tinted 20th-century photograph of the Palazzo Pitti, then still known as La Residenza Reale following the residency of King Victor Emmanuel II between 1865 and 1871, when Florence was the capital of Italy.
56. Chianciano Museum of Art – The Museo dArte di Chianciano Terme is a private art museum in Chianciano Terme, in Tuscany in central Italy. Its collections range from contemporary to Asian art, the museum was founded Roberto Gagliardi in 2009. It houses about 1000 works and occupies 3000 m2 in a hotel building. It hosts the Biennale di Chianciano, the museum was inaugurated on 29 August 2009, the opening date for the museum is 15 June 2016. The Biennale di Chianciano is a held every two years at the museum. It was first held in 2009, the fourth edition of the exhibition was held from 5 –13 September 2015. Works by about 100 artists were shown in the museum, and parts of the permanent collection of the museum were displayed in other parts of the townChianciano Museum of Art – Contents
57. Chianti – A Chianti wine Italian pronunciation, is any wine produced in the Chianti region, in central Tuscany, Italy. Baron Bettino Ricasoli created the Chianti recipe of 70% Sangiovese, 15% Canaiolo, the first definition of a wine-area called Chianti was made in 1716. It described the area near the villages of Gaiole, Castellina and Radda, in 1932 the Chianti area was completely re-drawn and divided in seven sub-areas, Classico, Colli Aretini, Colli Fiorentini, Colline Pisane, Colli Senesi, Montalbano and Rùfina. Most of the villages that in 1932 were suddenly included in the new Chianti Classico area added in Chianti to their name-such as Greve in Chianti which amended its name in 1972, wines labelled Chianti Classico come from the biggest sub-area of Chianti, that includes the original Chianti heartland. In 1996 part of the Colli Fiorentini sub-area was renamed Montespertoli, during the 1970s producers started to reduce the quantity of white grapes in Chianti. In 1995 it became legal to produce a Chianti with 100% Sangiovese, for a wine to retain the name of Chianti, it must be produced with at least 80% Sangiovese grapes. Aged Chianti, may be labelled as Riserva, Chianti that meets more stringent requirements may be labelled as Chianti Superiore, although Chianti from the Classico sub-area is not allowed in any event to be labelled as Superiore. The earliest documentation of a Chianti wine dates back to the 13th century when viticulture was known to flourish in the Chianti Mountains around Florence, the merchants in the nearby townships of Castellina, Gaiole and Radda formed the Lega del Chianti to produce and promote the local wine. In 1398, records note that the earliest incarnation of Chianti was as a white wine, subsequent expansions in 1967 would eventually bring the Chianti zone to cover a very large area all over central Tuscany. By the 18th century, Chianti was widely recognised as a red wine and it was not until the work of the Italian statesman Bettino Ricasoli that the modern Chianti recipe as a Sangiovese-based wine would take shape. Prior to Ricasoli, Canaiolo was emerging as the dominant variety in the Chianti blend with Sangiovese, in the mid-19th century, Ricasoli developed a recipe for Chianti that was based primarily on Sangiovese. His recipe called for 70% Sangiovese, 15% Canaiolo, 10% Malvasia, in 1967, the Denominazione di origine controllata regulation set by the Italian government firmly established the Ricasoli formula of a Sangiovese-based blend with 10–30% Malvasia and Trebbiano. The late 19th century saw a period of economic and political upheaval, first came oidium and then the phylloxera epidemic would take its toll on the vineyards of Chianti just as they had ravaged vineyards across the rest of Europe. The chaos and poverty following the Risorgimento heralded the beginning of the Italian diaspora that would take Italian vineyard workers and winemakers abroad as immigrants to new lands. Those that stayed behind and replanted choose high-yielding varieties like Trebbiano, following the Second World War, the general trend in the world wine market for cheap, easy-drinking wine saw a brief boom for the region. With over-cropping and an emphasis on quantity over quality, the reputation of Chianti among consumers eventually plummeted, by the 1950s, Trebbiano made up to 30% of many mass-market Chiantis. By the late 20th century, Chianti was often associated with basic Chianti sold in a squat bottle enclosed in a straw basket, called a fiasco. However, during the period, a group of ambitious producers began working outside the boundaries of DOC regulations to make what they believed would be a higher quality style of ChiantiChianti – Traditional straw basket fiasco of Chianti wine.
58. Brunello di Montalcino – Brunello di Montalcino is a red Italian wine produced in the vineyards surrounding the town of Montalcino located about 80 km south of Florence in the Tuscany wine region. Brunello, a diminutive of bruno, which means brown, is the name that was given locally to what was believed to be a grape variety grown in Montalcino. In Montalcino the name Brunello evolved into the designation of the wine produced with 100% Sangiovese, in 1980, Brunello di Montalcino was awarded the first Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita designation and today is one of Italys best-known and most expensive wines. One of the first records of Brunello was a red wine that was made in the Montalcino area in the early 14th century, in 1831, marchese Cosimo Ridolfi praised the merits of the red wines of Montalcino above all others in Tuscany. In 1865, a fair in Montalcino noted that the prize winning wine of the event was a select red wine known as a Brunello. By the end of World War II, Brunello di Montalcino had developed a reputation as one of Italys rarest wines. The only commercial producer recorded in government documents was the Biondi-Santi firm, which had declared only four vintages up to that point—1888,1891,1925, the high price and prestige of these wines soon encouraged other producers to emulate Biondi-Santis success. By the 1960s there were 11 producers making Brunello, and in 1968 the region was granted Denominazione di Origine Controllata status, by 1970 the number of producers had more than doubled to 25, and by 1980 there were 53 producers. In 1980, the Montalcino region was the first Italian wine region to be awarded Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita designation. By the turn of the 21st century, there were nearly 200 producers of Brunello di Montalcino, mostly farmers and family estates. Laboratory tests later confirmed that the wines were in fact Brunello except for a small portion that remained inconclusive. Montalcino has one of the warmest and driest climates in Tuscany with the grapes in the area ripening up to an earlier than in nearby Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. It is the most arid Tuscan DOCG, receiving an annual rainfall of around 700 mm. As with all of the Northern Hemisphere, the northern slopes receive fewer hours of sunlight and are generally cooler than the southern slopes, vineyards planted on the northern slopes ripen more slowly and tend to produce wines that are racier and more aromatic. Vineyards on the southern and western slopes receive more exposure to sunlight and more maritime winds which produces wines with more power. The top producers in the area have vineyards on both slopes, and make use of a blend of both styles, the town of Montalcino is a small medieval village located about 564 metres above sea level in the province of Siena. The wine district is centered to the northeast of the village in densely wooden, monte Amiata, the highest peak in Southern Tuscany, provides a sheltering influence from the southeast and tempers the regions climate and rainfall. Compared to the nearly 41,000 acres of planted land in Chianti, vineyards in Montalcino are planted in varied soils—including limestone, clay, schist, volcanic soil and a crumbly marl known as galestro—at altitudes ranging from 149 m to 500 mBrunello di Montalcino – Montalcino
59. Siena – Siena is a city in Tuscany, Italy. It is the capital of the province of Siena, the historic centre of Siena has been declared by UNESCO a World Heritage Site. It is one of the nations most visited tourist attractions, with over 163,000 international arrivals in 2008, Siena is famous for its cuisine, art, museums, medieval cityscape and the Palio, a horse race held twice a year. Siena, like other Tuscan hill towns, was first settled in the time of the Etruscans when it was inhabited by a called the Saina. A Roman town called Saena Julia was founded at the site in the time of the Emperor Augustus, the first document mentioning it dates from AD70. Some archaeologists assert that Siena was controlled for a period by a Gaulish tribe called the Senones, according to local legend, Siena was founded by Senius and Aschius, two sons of Remus and thus nephews of Romulus, after whom Rome was named. Supposedly after their fathers murder by Romulus, they fled Rome, taking them the statue of the she-wolf suckling the infants. Additionally they rode white and black horses, giving rise to the Balzana, some claim the name Siena derives from Senius. Other etymologies derive the name from the Etruscan family name Saina, Siena did not prosper under Roman rule. It was not sited near any major roads and lacked opportunities for trade and its insular status meant that Christianity did not penetrate until the 4th century AD, and it was not until the Lombards invaded Siena and the surrounding territory that it knew prosperity. Siena prospered as a trading post, and the constant streams of pilgrims passing to, the oldest aristocratic families in Siena date their line to the Lombards surrender in 774 to Charlemagne. This ultimately resulted in the creation of the Republic of Siena, the Republic existed for over four hundred years, from the late 11th century until the year 1555. During the golden age of Siena before the Black Death in 1348, in the Italian War of 1551–59, the republic was defeated by the rival Duchy of Florence in alliance with the Spanish crown. After 18 months of resistance, Siena surrendered to Spain on 17 April 1555, the new Spanish King Felipe II, owing huge sums to the Medici, ceded it to the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, to which it belonged until the unification of Italy in the 19th century. A Republican government of 700 Sienese families in Montalcino resisted until 1559, the picturesque city remains an important cultural centre, especially for humanist disciplines. The city lies at 322 m above sea level, the Siena Cathedral, begun in the 12th century, is a masterpiece of Italian Romanesque-Gothic architecture. Its main façade was completed in 1380, the original plan called for an ambitiously massive basilica, the largest then in the world, with, as was customary, an east-west nave. However, the scarcity of funds, in due to war and plague, truncated the projectSiena – View of downtown Piazza del Campo (Campo Square), with the Mangia Tower (Torre del Mangia) and Santa Maria Church
60. San Gimignano – San Gimignano is a small walled medieval hill town in the province of Siena, Tuscany, north-central Italy. Within the walls, the buildings include notable examples of both Romanesque and Gothic architecture, with outstanding examples of secular buildings as well as churches. The Palazzo Comunale, the Collegiate Church and Church of Sant Agostino contain frescos, the Historic Centre of San Gimignano, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In the 3rd century BC a small Etruscan village stood on the site of San Gimignano. The name of Silvia was changed to San Gimignano in 450 AD after Bishop Geminianus, from 929 the town was ruled by the bishops of Volterra. In the Middle Ages and the Renaissance era, it was a point for Catholic pilgrims on their way to Rome. In 1199, the city made itself independent of the bishops of Volterra and established a podestà, however, the peace of the town was disturbed for the next two centuries by conflict between Guelphs and Ghibellines, and family rivalries. This resulted in families building tower houses of increasing height, towards the end of the Medieval period they were 72 in number and up to 70 metres tall. The rivalry was finally restrained when it was ordained by the council that no tower was to be taller than that adjacent to the Palazzo Comunale. While the official patron is Saint Geminianus, the town also honours Saint Fina, known also as Seraphina and Serafina, the Chapel of Santa Fina in the Collegiate Church houses her shrine and frescos by Ghirlandaio. The house said to be her home stands in the town. On 8 May 1300, San Gimignano hosted Dante Alighieri in his role as ambassador of the Guelph League in Tuscany, the city flourished until 1348, when it was struck by the Black Death that affected all of Europe, and about half the townsfolk died. The town submitted to the rule of Florence, initially, some Gothic palazzi were built in the Florentine style, and many of the towers were reduced to the height of the houses. There was little subsequent development, and San Gimignano remained preserved in its medieval state until the 19th century, the city is on the ridge of a hill with its main axis being north/south. It is encircled by three walls and has at its highest point, to the west, the ruins of a fortress dismantled in the 16th century, there are eight entrances into the city, set into the second wall, which dates from the 12th and 13th centuries. The main gates are Porta San Giovanni on the ridge extending south, Porta San Matteo to the north west, the main streets are Via San Matteo and Via San Giovanni, which cross the city from north to south. At the heart of the town are four squares, the Piazza Duomo, on which stands the Collegiate Church, the Piazza della Cisterna, the Piazza Pecori and the Piazza delle Erbe. To the north of the town is another significant square, Piazza Agostino, the locations of the Collegiate Church and Sant Agostinos and their piazzas effectively divide the town into two regionsSan Gimignano – View of the town from the south
61. Val d'Orcia – The Val d’Orcia, or Valdorcia, is a region of Tuscany, central Italy, which extends from the hills south of Siena to Monte Amiata. Its gentle, cultivated hills are occasionally broken by gullies and by picturesque towns and villages such as Pienza, Radicofani and its landscape has been depicted in works of art from Renaissance painting to modern photography. Criterion, The landscape of the Val d’Orcia was celebrated by painters from the Scuola Senese, within the Val dOrcia is a strip of land following the Orcia river between the DOCG zones of Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. Here the Sangiovese and Trebbiano-based wines are produced under the Orcia Denominazione di origine controllata status, the DOC red wine is composed of at least 60% Sangiovese with other local varieties, such as Abrusco, permitted to fill in the remainder of the blend. The dry white wine and Vin Santo style DOC wines are composed of at least 50% Trebbiano with other local varieties filling out the rest of the blend. All grapes destined for DOC wine production are limited to a maximum harvest yield of 10 tonnes/hectare with the finished wines required to have an alcohol level of at least 12%. Val dOrcia is crossed by a nineteenth-century railway whose tracks, stations, the scenic line connects the small town of Asciano with Monte Antico for tourism purposes, using historic steam engines and carriages. Valdorcia Natural Park The Val dOrcia Natural Artistic and Cultural Park - turismo. intoscana. it Heritage railways in Val dOrciaVal d'Orcia – UNESCO World Heritage Site
62. Algeria – Algeria, officially the Peoples Democratic Republic of Algeria, is a sovereign state in North Africa on the Mediterranean coast. Its capital and most populous city is Algiers, located in the far north. With an area of 2,381,741 square kilometres, Algeria is the tenth-largest country in the world, the country is a semi-presidential republic consisting of 48 provinces and 1,541 communes. Abdelaziz Bouteflika has been President since 1999, Berbers are the indigenous inhabitants of Algeria. Algeria is a regional and middle power, the North African country supplies large amounts of natural gas to Europe, and energy exports are the backbone of the economy. According to OPEC Algeria has the 16th largest oil reserves in the world, Sonatrach, the national oil company, is the largest company in Africa. Algeria has one of the largest militaries in Africa and the largest defence budget on the continent, most of Algerias weapons are imported from Russia, with whom they are a close ally. Algeria is a member of the African Union, the Arab League, OPEC, the countrys name derives from the city of Algiers. The citys name in turn derives from the Arabic al-Jazāir, a form of the older Jazāir Banī Mazghanna. In the region of Ain Hanech, early remnants of hominid occupation in North Africa were found, neanderthal tool makers produced hand axes in the Levalloisian and Mousterian styles similar to those in the Levant. Algeria was the site of the highest state of development of Middle Paleolithic Flake tool techniques, tools of this era, starting about 30,000 BC, are called Aterian. The earliest blade industries in North Africa are called Iberomaurusian and this industry appears to have spread throughout the coastal regions of the Maghreb between 15,000 and 10,000 BC. Neolithic civilization developed in the Saharan and Mediterranean Maghreb perhaps as early as 11,000 BC or as late as between 6000 and 2000 BC and this life, richly depicted in the Tassili nAjjer paintings, predominated in Algeria until the classical period. The amalgam of peoples of North Africa coalesced eventually into a native population that came to be called Berbers. These settlements served as market towns as well as anchorages, as Carthaginian power grew, its impact on the indigenous population increased dramatically. Berber civilization was already at a stage in which agriculture, manufacturing, trade, by the early 4th century BC, Berbers formed the single largest element of the Carthaginian army. In the Revolt of the Mercenaries, Berber soldiers rebelled from 241 to 238 BC after being unpaid following the defeat of Carthage in the First Punic War. They succeeded in obtaining control of much of Carthages North African territory, the Carthaginian state declined because of successive defeats by the Romans in the Punic WarsAlgeria – Ancient Roman Empire ruins of Timgad. Street leading to the Arch of Trajan.
63. Bosnia and Herzegovina – Bosnia and Herzegovina, sometimes called Bosnia-Herzegovina, and, in short, often known informally as Bosnia, is a country in Southeastern Europe located on the Balkan Peninsula. Sarajevo is the capital and largest city, in the central and eastern interior of the country the geography is mountainous, in the northwest it is moderately hilly, and the northeast is predominantly flatland. The inland is a larger region and has a moderate continental climate, with hot summers and cold. The southern tip of the country has a Mediterranean climate and plain topography, Bosnia and Herzegovina is a region that traces permanent human settlement back to the Neolithic age, during and after which it was populated by several Illyrian and Celtic civilizations. Culturally, politically, and socially, the country has a rich history, the Ottomans brought Islam to the region, and altered much of the cultural and social outlook of the country. This was followed by annexation into the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, which lasted up until World War I. In the interwar period, Bosnia was part of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and after World War II, following the dissolution of Yugoslavia, the country proclaimed independence in 1992, which was followed by the Bosnian War, lasting until late 1995. The country is home to three ethnic groups or, officially, constituent peoples, as specified in the constitution. Bosniaks are the largest group of the three, with Serbs second and Croats third, a native of Bosnia and Herzegovina, regardless of ethnicity, is identified in English as a Bosnian. The terms Herzegovinian and Bosnian are maintained as a rather than ethnic distinction. Moreover, the country was simply called Bosnia until the Austro-Hungarian occupation at the end of the 19th century, Bosnia and Herzegovina has a bicameral legislature and a three-member Presidency composed of a member of each major ethnic group. The Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina is itself complex and consists of 10 cantons, additionally, the country has been a member of the Council of Europe since April 2002 and a founding member of the Mediterranean Union upon its establishment in July 2008. The name is believed to have derived from the hydronym of the river Bosna coursing through the Bosnian heartland. According to philologist Anton Mayer the name Bosna could be derived from Illyrian Bass-an-as which would be a diversion of the Proto-Indo-European root bos or bogh, meaning the running water. According to English medievalist William Miller the Slavic settlers in Bosnia adapted the Latin designation Basante, to their own idiom by calling the stream Bosna, the name Herzegovina originates from Bosnian magnate Stephen Vukčić Kosačas title, Herceg of Hum and the Coast. Hum, formerly Zahumlje, was a medieval principality that was conquered by the Bosnian Banate in the first half of the 14th century. Bosnia is located in the western Balkans, bordering Croatia to the north and west, Serbia to the east and it has a coastline about 20 kilometres long surrounding the city of Neum. It lies between latitudes 42° and 46° N, and longitudes 15° and 20° E, the countrys name comes from the two regions Bosnia and Herzegovina, which have a very vaguely defined border between themBosnia and Herzegovina – Mogorjelo, ancient Roman suburban Villa Rustica from the 4th century, near Čapljina
64. Cyprus – Cyprus, officially the Republic of Cyprus, is an island country in the Eastern Mediterranean and the third largest and third most populous island in the Mediterranean. It is located south of Turkey, west of Syria and Lebanon, northwest of Israel and Palestine, north of Egypt, the earliest known human activity on the island dates to around the 10th millennium BC. Archaeological remains from this include the well-preserved Neolithic village of Khirokitia. Cyprus was settled by Mycenaean Greeks in two waves in the 2nd millennium BC, Cyprus was placed under British administration based on Cyprus Convention in 1878 and formally annexed by Britain in 1914. While Turkish Cypriots made up 18% of the population, the partition of Cyprus and creation of a Turkish state in the north became a policy of Turkish Cypriot leaders, following nationalist violence in the 1950s, Cyprus was granted independence in 1960. On 15 July 1974, a coup détat was staged by Greek Cypriot nationalists and elements of the Greek military junta in an attempt at enosis and these events and the resulting political situation are matters of a continuing dispute. The Cyprus Republic has de jure sovereignty over the island of Cyprus, as well as its territorial sea and exclusive economic area, another nearly 4% of the islands area is covered by the UN buffer zone. The international community considers the part of the island as territory of the Republic of Cyprus occupied by Turkish forces. The occupation is viewed as illegal under law, amounting to illegal occupation of EU territory since Cyprus became a member of the European Union. Cyprus is a major tourist destination in the Mediterranean, on 1 January 2008, the Republic of Cyprus joined the eurozone. The earliest attested reference to Cyprus is the 15th century BC Mycenaean GreekCyprus – A copper mine on Cyprus. In antiquity, Cyprus was a major source of copper.
65. Greece – Greece, officially the Hellenic Republic, historically also known as Hellas, is a country in southeastern Europe, with a population of approximately 11 million as of 2015. Athens is the capital and largest city, followed by Thessaloniki. Greece is strategically located at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, situated on the southern tip of the Balkan peninsula, it shares land borders with Albania to the northwest, the Republic of Macedonia and Bulgaria to the north, and Turkey to the northeast. Greece consists of nine regions, Macedonia, Central Greece, the Peloponnese, Thessaly, Epirus, the Aegean Islands, Thrace, Crete. The Aegean Sea lies to the east of the mainland, the Ionian Sea to the west, the Cretan Sea and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. Greece has the longest coastline on the Mediterranean Basin and the 11th longest coastline in the world at 13,676 km in length, featuring a vast number of islands, eighty percent of Greece is mountainous, with Mount Olympus being the highest peak at 2,918 metres. From the eighth century BC, the Greeks were organised into various independent city-states, known as polis, which spanned the entire Mediterranean region and the Black Sea. Greece was annexed by Rome in the second century BC, becoming a part of the Roman Empire and its successor. The Greek Orthodox Church also shaped modern Greek identity and transmitted Greek traditions to the wider Orthodox World, falling under Ottoman dominion in the mid-15th century, the modern nation state of Greece emerged in 1830 following a war of independence. Greeces rich historical legacy is reflected by its 18 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, among the most in Europe, Greece is a democratic and developed country with an advanced high-income economy, a high quality of life, and a very high standard of living. A founding member of the United Nations, Greece was the member to join the European Communities and has been part of the Eurozone since 2001. Greeces unique cultural heritage, large industry, prominent shipping sector. It is the largest economy in the Balkans, where it is an important regional investor, the names for the nation of Greece and the Greek people differ from the names used in other languages, locations and cultures. The earliest evidence of the presence of human ancestors in the southern Balkans, dated to 270,000 BC, is to be found in the Petralona cave, all three stages of the stone age are represented in Greece, for example in the Franchthi Cave. Neolithic settlements in Greece, dating from the 7th millennium BC, are the oldest in Europe by several centuries and these civilizations possessed writing, the Minoans writing in an undeciphered script known as Linear A, and the Mycenaeans in Linear B, an early form of Greek. The Mycenaeans gradually absorbed the Minoans, but collapsed violently around 1200 BC and this ushered in a period known as the Greek Dark Ages, from which written records are absent. The end of the Dark Ages is traditionally dated to 776 BC, the Iliad and the Odyssey, the foundational texts of Western literature, are believed to have been composed by Homer in the 7th or 8th centuries BC. With the end of the Dark Ages, there emerged various kingdoms and city-states across the Greek peninsula, in 508 BC, Cleisthenes instituted the worlds first democratic system of government in AthensGreece – Fresco displaying the Minoan ritual of "bull leaping", found in Knossos, Crete.
66. Malta – Malta, officially known as the Republic of Malta, is a Southern European island country consisting of an archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea. It lies 80 km south of Italy,284 km east of Tunisia, the country covers just over 316 km2, with a population of just under 450,000, making it one of the worlds smallest and most densely populated countries. The capital of Malta is Valletta, which at 0.8 km2, is the smallest national capital in the European Union, Malta has one national language, which is Maltese, and English as an official language. John, French and British, have ruled the islands, King George VI of the United Kingdom awarded the George Cross to Malta in 1942 for the countrys bravery in the Second World War. The George Cross continues to appear on Maltas national flag, the country became a republic in 1974, and although no longer a Commonwealth realm, remains a member state of the Commonwealth of Nations. Malta was admitted to the United Nations in 1964 and to the European Union in 2004, in 2008, Catholicism is the official religion in Malta. The origin of the term Malta is uncertain, and the modern-day variation derives from the Maltese language, the most common etymology is that the word Malta derives from the Greek word μέλι, meli, honey. The ancient Greeks called the island Μελίτη meaning honey-sweet, possibly due to Maltas unique production of honey, an endemic species of bee lives on the island. The Romans went on to call the island Melita, which can be considered either as a latinisation of the Greek Μελίτη or the adaptation of the Doric Greek pronunciation of the same word Μελίτα. Another conjecture suggests that the word Malta comes from the Phoenician word Maleth a haven or port in reference to Maltas many bays, few other etymological mentions appear in classical literature, with the term Malta appearing in its present form in the Antonine Itinerary. The extinction of the hippos and dwarf elephants has been linked to the earliest arrival of humans on Malta. Prehistoric farming settlements dating to the Early Neolithic period were discovered in areas and also in caves. The Sicani were the tribe known to have inhabited the island at this time and are generally regarded as being closely related to the Iberians. Pottery from the Għar Dalam phase is similar to found in Agrigento. A culture of megalithis temple builders then either supplanted or arose from this early period, the temples have distinctive architecture, typically a complex trefoil design, and were used from 4000 to 2500 BCE. Animal bones and a knife found behind an altar stone suggest that temple rituals included animal sacrifice. Tentative information suggests that the sacrifices were made to the goddess of fertility, the culture apparently disappeared from the Maltese Islands around 2500 BC. Archaeologists speculate that the builders fell victim to famine or diseaseMalta – Ġgantija megalithic temple complex
67. Monaco – Monaco, officially the Principality of Monaco, is a sovereign city-state and microstate, located on the French Riviera in Western Europe. France borders the country on three sides while the other side borders the Mediterranean Sea, Monaco has an area of 2.02 km2 and a population of about 38,400 according to the last census of 2015. With 19,009 inhabitants per km², it is the second smallest, Monaco has a land border of 5.47 km, a coastline of 3.83 km, and a width that varies between 1,700 and 349 m. The highest point in the country is a pathway named Chemin des Révoires on the slopes of Mont Agel, in the Les Révoires Ward. Monacos most populous Quartier is Monte Carlo and the most populous Ward is Larvotto/Bas Moulins, through land reclamation, Monacos land mass has expanded by twenty percent, in 2005, it had an area of only 1.974 km2. Monaco is known as a playground for the rich and famous, in 2014, it was noted about 30% of the population was made up of millionaires, more than in Zürich or Geneva. Monaco is a principality governed under a form of constitutional monarchy, although Prince Albert II is a constitutional monarch, he wields immense political power. The House of Grimaldi have ruled Monaco, with brief interruptions, the official language is French, but Monégasque, Italian, and English are widely spoken and understood. The states sovereignty was recognized by the Franco-Monegasque Treaty of 1861. Despite Monacos independence and separate foreign policy, its defense is the responsibility of France, however, Monaco does maintain two small military units. Economic development was spurred in the late 19th century with the opening of the countrys first casino, Monte Carlo, since then, Monacos mild climate, scenery, and gambling facilities have contributed to the principalitys status as a tourist destination and recreation center for the rich. In more recent years, Monaco has become a major banking center and has sought to diversify its economy into services and small, high-value-added, the state has no income tax, low business taxes, and is well known for being a tax haven. It is also the host of the street circuit motor race Monaco Grand Prix. Monaco is not formally a part of the European Union, but it participates in certain EU policies, including customs, through its relationship with France, Monaco uses the euro as its sole currency. Monaco joined the Council of Europe in 2004 and it is a member of the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie. Monacos name comes from the nearby 6th-century BC Phocaean Greek colony, according to an ancient myth, Hercules passed through the Monaco area and turned away the previous gods. As a result, a temple was constructed there, the temple of Hercules Monoikos, because the only temple of this area was the House of Hercules, the city was called Monoikos. It ended up in the hands of the Holy Roman Empire, an ousted branch of a Genoese family, the Grimaldi, contested it for a hundred years before actually gaining controlMonaco – Statue of Francesco Grimaldi, " Il Malizia " ("the Cunning"), disguised as a monk with a dagger hidden under the cloak of his habit. However, he was ousted by the Genoese just four years later. The Grimaldi family purchased Monaco from the Crown of Aragon in 1419.
68. Slovenia – Slovenia, officially the Republic of Slovenia, is a nation state in southern Central Europe, located at the crossroads of main European cultural and trade routes. It is bordered by Italy to the west, Austria to the north, Hungary to the northeast, Croatia to the south and southeast, and it covers 20,273 square kilometers and has a population of 2.06 million. It is a republic and a member of the United Nations, European Union. The capital and largest city is Ljubljana, additionally, the Dinaric Alps and the Pannonian Plain meet on the territory of Slovenia. The country, marked by a significant biological diversity, is one of the most water-rich in Europe, with a river network, a rich aquifer system. Over half of the territory is covered by forest, the human settlement of Slovenia is dispersed and uneven. Slovenia has historically been the crossroads of South Slavic, Germanic, Romance, although the population is not homogeneous, the majority is Slovene. Slovene is the language throughout the country. Slovenia is a largely secularized country, but its culture and identity have been influenced by Catholicism as well as Lutheranism. The economy of Slovenia is small, open, and export-oriented and has strongly influenced by international conditions. It has been hurt by the Eurozone crisis, started in the late 2000s. The main economic field is services, followed by industry and construction, Historically, the current territory of Slovenia was part of many different state formations, including the Roman Empire and the Holy Roman Empire, followed by the Habsburg Monarchy. In October 1918, the Slovenes exercised self-determination for the first time by co-founding the State of Slovenes, Croats, in December 1918, they merged with the Kingdom of Serbia into the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. During World War II, Slovenia was occupied and annexed by Germany, Italy, and Hungary, with a tiny area transferred to the Independent State of Croatia, in June 1991, after the introduction of multi-party representative democracy, Slovenia split from Yugoslavia and became an independent country. Present-day Slovenia has been inhabited since prehistoric times, and there is evidence of habitation from around 250,000 years ago. A pierced cave bear bone, dating from 43100 ±700 BP, in the 1920s and 1930s, artifacts belonging to the Cro-Magnon such as pierced bones, bone points, and needle were found by archaeologist Srečko Brodar in Potok Cave. It shows that wooden wheels appeared almost simultaneously in Mesopotamia and Europe, in the transition period between the Bronze age to the Iron age, the Urnfield culture flourished. Archaeological remains dating from the Hallstatt period have been found, particularly in southeastern Slovenia, among them a number of situlas in Novo Mesto, in the Iron Age, present-day Slovenia was inhabited by Illyrian and Celtic tribes until the 1st century BCSlovenia – A pierced cave bear bone, possibly flute, from Divje Babe
69. Syria – Syrias capital and largest city is Damascus. Religious groups include Sunnis, Christians, Alawites, Druze, Mandeans, Shiites, Salafis, Sunni Arabs make up the largest religious group in Syria. Its capital Damascus and largest city Aleppo are among the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, in the Islamic era, Damascus was the seat of the Umayyad Caliphate and a provincial capital of the Mamluk Sultanate in Egypt. The post-independence period was tumultuous, and a number of military coups. In 1958, Syria entered a union with Egypt called the United Arab Republic. Syria was under Emergency Law from 1963 to 2011, effectively suspending most constitutional protections for citizens, Bashar al-Assad has been president since 2000 and was preceded by his father Hafez al-Assad, who was in office from 1970 to 2000. Mainstream modern academic opinion strongly favours the argument that the Greek word is related to the cognate Ἀσσυρία, Assyria, in the past, others believed that it was derived from Siryon, the name that the Sidonians gave to Mount Hermon. However, the discovery of the inscription in 2000 seems to support the theory that the term Syria derives from Assyria. The area designated by the word has changed over time, since approximately 10,000 BC, Syria was one of centers of Neolithic culture where agriculture and cattle breeding appeared for the first time in the world. The following Neolithic period is represented by houses of Mureybet culture. At the time of the pre-pottery Neolithic, people used vessels made of stone, gyps, finds of obsidian tools from Anatolia are evidences of early trade relations. Cities of Hamoukar and Emar played an important role during the late Neolithic, archaeologists have demonstrated that civilization in Syria was one of the most ancient on earth, perhaps preceded by only those of Mesopotamia. The earliest recorded indigenous civilisation in the region was the Kingdom of Ebla near present-day Idlib, gifts from Pharaohs, found during excavations, confirm Eblas contact with Egypt. One of the earliest written texts from Syria is an agreement between Vizier Ibrium of Ebla and an ambiguous kingdom called Abarsal c.2300 BC. The Northwest Semitic language of the Amorites is the earliest attested of the Canaanite languages, Mari reemerged during this period, and saw renewed prosperity until conquered by Hammurabi of Babylon. Ugarit also arose during this time, circa 1800 BC, close to modern Latakia, Ugaritic was a Semitic language loosely related to the Canaanite languages, and developed the Ugaritic alphabet. The Ugarites kingdom survived until its destruction at the hands of the marauding Indo-European Sea Peoples in the 12th century BC, Yamhad was described in the tablets of Mari as the mightiest state in the near east and as having more vassals than Hammurabi of Babylon. Yamhad imposed its authority over Alalakh, Qatna, the Hurrians states, the army of Yamhad campaigned as far away as Dēr on the border of ElamSyria – Female figurine, 5000 BC. Ancient Orient Museum.
70. List of states with limited recognition – A number of polities have declared independence and sought diplomatic recognition from the international community as de jure sovereign states, but have not been universally recognized as such. These entities often have de facto control of their territory, a number of such entities have existed in the past. There are two traditional doctrines that provide indicia of how a de jure sovereign state comes into being, according to declarative theory, an entitys statehood is independent of its recognition by other states. By contrast, the constitutive theory defines a state as a person of international law if it is recognised as such by other states that are already a member of the international community. Proto-states often reference either or both doctrines in order to legitimise their claims to statehood, there are, for example, entities which meet the declarative criteria, but whose statehood is not recognised by any other states. Non-recognition is often a result of conflicts with other countries that claim those entities as integral parts of their territory, in other cases, two or more partially recognised entities may claim the same territorial area, with each of them de facto in control of a portion of it. Entities that are recognised by only a minority of the worlds states usually reference the declarative doctrine to legitimise their claims, the international community can judge this military presence too intrusive, reducing the entity to a puppet state where effective sovereignty is retained by the foreign power. Historical cases in this sense can be seen in Japanese-led Manchukuo or the German-created Slovak Republic and Independent State of Croatia before, in the 1996 case Loizidou vs. Turkey, the European Court of Human Rights judged Turkey for having exercised authority in the territory of Northern Cyprus. Historically this has happened in the case of the Holy See, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, the Sovereign Military Order of Malta is currently in this position. See list of governments in exile for unrecognised governments without control over the territory claimed, some states are slow to establish relations with new states and thus do not recognise them, despite having no dispute and sometimes favorable relations. These are excluded from the list, there are 193 United Nations member states. The Holy See and the State of Palestine have observer status in the United Nations. Some states maintain informal relations with states that do not officially recognise them, the Republic of China is one such state, as it maintains unofficial relations with many other states through its Economic and Cultural Offices, which allow regular consular services. This allows the ROC to have economic relations even with states that do not formally recognise it, a total of 56 states, including Germany, Italy, the United States, and the United Kingdom, maintain some form of unofficial mission in the ROC. The Sovereign Military Order of Malta is a sovereign entity and is not included. It has established full diplomatic relations with 105 sovereign states as a subject of international law. Five more states maintain neither and do not recognise its passports, Netherlands, Finland, Sweden, Iceland, uncontacted peoples who either live in societies that cannot be defined as states or whose statuses as such are not definitively known. Entities considered to be micronations are not included, even though micronations generally claim to be sovereign and independent, it is often up to debate whether a micronation truly controls its claimed territoryList of states with limited recognition – Women in Somaliland, wearing the colors of the Somaliland flag.
71. Northern Cyprus – Northern Cyprus, officially the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, is a self-declared state that comprises the northeastern portion of the island of Cyprus. Recognised only by Turkey, Northern Cyprus is considered by the community to be part of the Republic of Cyprus. Northern Cyprus extends from the tip of the Karpass Peninsula in the northeast to Morphou Bay, Cape Kormakitis and its westernmost point and its southernmost point is the village of Louroujina. A buffer zone under the control of the United Nations stretches between Northern Cyprus and the rest of the island and divides Nicosia, the islands largest city and capital of both sides. A coup détat in 1974, performed as part of an attempt to annex the island to Greece, due to its lack of recognition, Northern Cyprus is heavily dependent on Turkey for economic, political and military support. Attempts to reach a solution to the Cyprus dispute have been unsuccessful, the Turkish Army maintains a large force in Northern Cyprus. Northern Cyprus is a semi-presidential, democratic republic with a cultural heritage incorporating various influences, the official language is Turkish, with a distinct local dialect being spoken. The vast majority of the consists of Sunni Muslims, while religious attitudes are varied and mostly moderate. Northern Cyprus is an observer of the OIC and ECO, and has status in the PACE under the title Turkish Cypriot Community. A united Cyprus gained independence from British rule in August 1960, the agreement involved Cyprus being governed under a constitution which apportioned Cabinet posts, parliamentary seats and civil service jobs on an agreed ratio between the two communities. Within three years, tensions began to show between the Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots in administrative affairs, in particular, disputes over separate municipalities and taxation created a deadlock in government. In 1963 President Makarios proposed unilateral changes to the constitution, via 13 amendments, Turkish Cypriots filed a lawsuit against the 13 amendments in the Supreme Constitutional Court of Cyprus. On 25 April 1963, the SCCC decided that Makarios 13 amendments were illegal, on 21 May, the president of the SCCC resigned due to Makarios stance. On 15 July, Makarios ignored the decision of the SCCC, after the resignation of the president of the SCCC, the SCCC ceased to exist. The Supreme Court of Cyprus was formed by merging the SCCC and the High Court of Cyprus, on 30 November, Makarios legalized the 13 proposals. In 1963, the Greek Cypriot wing of the government created the Akritas plan which outlined a policy that would remove Turkish Cypriots from the government, the plan stated that if the Turkish Cypriots objected then they should be violently subjugated before foreign powers could intervene. Almost immediately, intercommunal violence broke out with a major Greek Cypriot paramilitary attack upon Turkish Cypriots in Nicosia, seven hundred Turkish hostages, including children, were taken from the northern suburbs of Nicosia. Nikos Sampson, a nationalist and future leader, led a group of Greek Cypriot irregulars into the mixed suburb of Omorphita/Küçük KaymaklıNorthern Cyprus – Sarayönü Square of Nicosia in 1969, after the division of the city
72. State of Palestine – The State of Palestine claims the West Bank and Gaza Strip with East Jerusalem as the designated capital. Most of the areas claimed by the State of Palestine have been occupied by Israel since 1967 in the aftermath of the Six-Day War and its independence was declared on 15 November 1988 by the Palestine Liberation Organization in Algiers as a government-in-exile. Since the British Mandate, the term Palestine has been associated with the area that currently covers the State of Israel, the West Bank. In 1947, the UN adopted a plan for a two-state solution in the remaining territory of the mandate. The plan was accepted by the Jewish leadership but rejected by the Arab leaders, on the eve of final British withdrawal, the Jewish Agency for Israel declared the establishment of the State of Israel according to the proposed UN plan. During the war, Israel gained additional territories that were designated to be part of the Arab state under the UN plan, Egypt occupied the Gaza Strip and Transjordan occupied the West Bank. Egypt initially supported the creation of an All-Palestine Government, but disbanded it in 1959, Transjordan never recognized it and instead decided to incorporate the West Bank with its own territory to form Jordan. The annexation was ratified in 1950 but was rejected by the international community, the Six-Day War in 1967, when Egypt, Jordan, and Syria fought against Israel, ended with Israel being in occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, besides other territories. In 1964, when the West Bank was controlled by Jordan, the Palestinian National Charter of the PLO defines the boundaries of Palestine as the whole remaining territory of the mandate, including Israel. Following the Six-Day War, the PLO moved to Jordan, the October 1974 Arab League summit designated the PLO as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people and reaffirmed their right to establish an independent state of urgency. In November 1974, the PLO was recognized as competent on all matters concerning the question of Palestine by the UN General Assembly granting them observer status as an entity at the UN. In spite of this decision, the PLO did not participate at the UN in its capacity of the State of Palestines government, in 1979, through the Camp David Accords, Egypt signaled an end to any claim of its own over the Gaza Strip. In July 1988, Jordan ceded its claims to the West Bank—with the exception of guardianship over Haram al-Sharif—to the PLO, in November 1988, the PLO legislature, while in exile, declared the establishment of the State of Palestine. In the month following, it was recognised by many states, including Egypt. In the Palestinian Declaration of Independence, the State of Palestine is described as being established on the Palestinian territory, the UN membership application submitted by the State of Palestine also specified that it is based on the 1967 borders. During the negotiations of the Oslo Accords, the PLO recognised Israels right to exist, after Israel took control of the West Bank from Jordan and Gaza Strip from Egypt, it began to establish Israeli settlements there. These were organised into Judea and Samaria district and Hof Aza Regional Council in the Southern District, in 1980, Israel decided to freeze elections for these councils and to establish instead Village Leagues, whose officials were under Israeli influence. Later this model became ineffective for both Israel and the Palestinians, and the Village Leagues began to break up, with the last being the Hebron League, dissolved in February 1988State of Palestine – The destroyed Palestinian Legislative Council building in Gaza City, Gaza–Israel conflict, September 2009
73. Gibraltar – Gibraltar is a British Overseas Territory located on the southern end of the Iberian Peninsula. It has an area of 6.7 km2 and shares its border with Spain. The Rock of Gibraltar is the landmark of the region. At its foot is a populated city area, home to over 30,000 Gibraltarians. An Anglo-Dutch force captured Gibraltar from Spain in 1704 during the War of the Spanish Succession on behalf of the Habsburg claim to the Spanish throne, the territory was subsequently ceded to Great Britain in perpetuity under the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713. Today Gibraltars economy is based largely on tourism, online gambling, financial services, the sovereignty of Gibraltar is a major point of contention in Anglo-Spanish relations as Spain asserts a claim to the territory. Gibraltarians overwhelmingly rejected proposals for Spanish sovereignty in a 1967 referendum, under the Gibraltar constitution of 2006, Gibraltar governs its own affairs, though some powers, such as defence and foreign relations, remain the responsibility of the British government. The name Gibraltar is the Spanish derivation of the Arabic name Jabal Ṭāriq, earlier, it was known as Mons Calpe, a name of Phoenician origin and one of the Pillars of Hercules. The pronunciation of the name in modern Spanish is, evidence of Neanderthal habitation in Gibraltar between 28,000 and 24,000 BP has been discovered at Gorhams Cave, making Gibraltar possibly the last known holdout of the Neanderthals. Within recorded history, the first inhabitants were the Phoenicians, around 950 BC, subsequently, Gibraltar became known as one of the Pillars of Hercules, after the Greek legend of the creation of the Strait of Gibraltar by Heracles. The Carthaginians and Romans also established semi-permanent settlements, after the collapse of the Roman Empire, Gibraltar came briefly under the control of the Vandals. The area later formed part of the Visigothic Kingdom of Hispania from 414 AD until the Islamic conquest of Iberia in 711 AD, in 1160, the Almohad Sultan Abd al-Mumin ordered that a permanent settlement, including a castle, be built. It received the name of Medinat al-Fath, on completion of the works in the town, the Sultan crossed the Strait to look at the works and stayed in Gibraltar for two months. The Tower of Homage of the Moorish Castle remains standing today, from 1274 onwards, the town was fought over and captured by the Nasrids of Granada, the Marinids of Morocco and the kings of Castile. In 1462, Gibraltar was finally captured by Juan Alonso de Guzmán, after the conquest, King Henry IV of Castile assumed the additional title of King of Gibraltar, establishing it as part of the comarca of the Campo Llano de Gibraltar. In 1501, Gibraltar passed back to the Spanish Crown, the occupation of the town by Alliance forces caused the exodus of the population to the surrounding area of the Campo de Gibraltar. As the Alliances campaign faltered, the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht was negotiated and ceded control of Gibraltar to Britain to secure Britains withdrawal from the war. Unsuccessful attempts by Spanish monarchs to regain Gibraltar were made with the siege of 1727 and again with the Great Siege of Gibraltar, during the American War of IndependenceGibraltar – View of the northern face of the Moorish Castle 's Tower of Homage. Built in the 14th century, it is the only Marinid construction outside Africa.