The Roman provinces were the lands and people outside of Rome itself that were controlled by the Republic and the Empire. Each province was ruled by a Roman, appointed as governor. Although different in many ways, they were similar to the states in Australia or the United States, the regions in the United kingdom or New Zealand, or the prefectures in Japan. Canada refers to some of its territory as provinces. A province was the basic and, until the tetrarchy, the largest territorial and administrative unit of the empire's territorial possessions outside Italy; the word province in Modern English has its origins in the Latin term used by the Romans. Provinces were governed by politicians of senatorial rank former consuls or former praetors. A exception was the province of Egypt, incorporated by Augustus after the death of Cleopatra; this exception was unique, but not contrary to Roman law, as Egypt was considered Augustus' personal property, following the tradition of the kings of the earlier Hellenistic period.
The Latin term provincia had a more general meaning of "jurisdiction". The Latin word provincia meant any task or set of responsibilities assigned by the Roman Senate to an individual who held imperium, a military command within a specified theater of operations. Under the Roman Republic, the magistrates were elected to office for a period of one year, those serving outside the city of Rome, such as consuls acting as generals on a military campaign, were assigned a particular provincia, the scope of authority within which they exercised their command; the territory of a people who were defeated in war might be brought under various forms of treaty, in some cases entailing complete subjection. The formal annexation of a territory created a province, in the modern sense of an administrative unit, geographically defined. Republican-period provinces were administered in one-year terms by the consuls and praetors who had held office the previous year and who were invested with imperium. Rome started expanding beyond Italy during the First Punic War.
The first permanent provinces to be annexed were Sicilia in 241 BC and Corsica et Sardinia in 237 BC. Militarized expansionism kept increasing the number of these administrative provinces, until there were no longer enough qualified individuals to fill the posts, good people; the terms of provincial governors had to be extended for multiple years, on occasion the senate awarded imperium to private citizens, most notably Pompey the Great. Prorogation undermined the republican constitutional principle of annual elected magistracies, the amassing of disproportionate wealth and military power by a few men through their provincial commands was a major factor in the transition from a republic to imperial autocracy. 241 BC – Sicilia taken over from the Carthaginians and annexed at the end of the First Punic War 237 BC – Corsica et Sardinia. It was annexed after a rebellion by the Achaean League. 146 BC – Africa home territory of Carthage. It was annexed following attacks on the allied Greek city of Massalia.
67 BC – Creta et Cyrenae. However, it was not organised as a province, it was incorporated into the province of Creta et Cyrenae when Crete was annexed in 67 BC. 63 BC – Pontus et Bithynia. It was organised as a Roman province at the end of the Third Mithridatic War by Pompey, who incorporated the eastern part of the defeated Kingdom of Pontus into it in 63 BC. 63 BC – Syria. The Romans controlled only a small area. In 74 BC Lycia and Pamphylia were added to the small Roman possessions in Cilicia. Cilicia came under Roman control towards the end of the Third Mithridatic War – 73–63 BC; the province was reorganised by Pompey in 63 BC. Cyprus was annexed and added to this province in 58 BC. 46 BC – Africa Nova, Julius Caesar annexed eastern Numidia and the new province called Africa Nova to distinguish it from the older province of Africa, which become known as Africa Vetus. Gallia Cisalpina was a province in the sense of an area of military command, but was never a province in the sense of an administrative unit.
During Rome's expansion in the Italian peninsula, the Romans assigned some areas as provinces in the sense of areas of militar
France the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean, it is bordered by Belgium and Germany to the northeast and Italy to the east, Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic and Indian oceans; the country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Nice. During the Iron Age, what is now metropolitan France was inhabited by a Celtic people. Rome annexed the area in 51 BC, holding it until the arrival of Germanic Franks in 476, who formed the Kingdom of Francia.
The Treaty of Verdun of 843 partitioned Francia into Middle Francia and West Francia. West Francia which became the Kingdom of France in 987 emerged as a major European power in the Late Middle Ages following its victory in the Hundred Years' War. During the Renaissance, French culture flourished and a global colonial empire was established, which by the 20th century would become the second largest in the world; the 16th century was dominated by religious civil wars between Protestants. France became Europe's dominant cultural and military power in the 17th century under Louis XIV. In the late 18th century, the French Revolution overthrew the absolute monarchy, established one of modern history's earliest republics, saw the drafting of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, which expresses the nation's ideals to this day. In the 19th century, Napoleon established the First French Empire, his subsequent Napoleonic Wars shaped the course of continental Europe. Following the collapse of the Empire, France endured a tumultuous succession of governments culminating with the establishment of the French Third Republic in 1870.
France was a major participant in World War I, from which it emerged victorious, was one of the Allies in World War II, but came under occupation by the Axis powers in 1940. Following liberation in 1944, a Fourth Republic was established and dissolved in the course of the Algerian War; the Fifth Republic, led by Charles de Gaulle, remains today. Algeria and nearly all the other colonies became independent in the 1960s and retained close economic and military connections with France. France has long been a global centre of art and philosophy, it hosts the world's fourth-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is the leading tourist destination, receiving around 83 million foreign visitors annually. France is a developed country with the world's sixth-largest economy by nominal GDP, tenth-largest by purchasing power parity. In terms of aggregate household wealth, it ranks fourth in the world. France performs well in international rankings of education, health care, life expectancy, human development.
France is considered a great power in global affairs, 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 leading member state of the European Union and the Eurozone, a member of the Group of 7, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, La Francophonie. Applied to the whole Frankish Empire, the name "France" comes from the Latin "Francia", or "country of the Franks". Modern France is still named today "Francia" in Italian and Spanish, "Frankreich" in German and "Frankrijk" in Dutch, all of which have more or less the same historical meaning. There are various theories as to the origin of the name Frank. Following the precedents of Edward Gibbon and Jacob Grimm, the name of the Franks has been linked with the word frank in English, it has been suggested that the meaning of "free" was adopted because, after the conquest of Gaul, only Franks were free of taxation.
Another theory is that it is derived from the Proto-Germanic word frankon, which translates as javelin or lance as the throwing axe of the Franks was known as a francisca. However, it has been determined that these weapons were named because of their use by the Franks, not the other way around; the oldest traces of human life in what is now France date from 1.8 million years ago. Over the ensuing millennia, Humans were confronted by a harsh and variable climate, marked by several glacial eras. Early hominids led a nomadic hunter-gatherer life. France has a large number of decorated caves from the upper Palaeolithic era, including one of the most famous and best preserved, Lascaux. At the end of the last glacial period, the climate became milder. After strong demographic and agricultural development between the 4th and 3rd millennia, metallurgy appeared at the end of the 3rd millennium working gold and bronze, iron. France has numerous megalithic sites from the Neolithic period, including the exceptiona
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia is an ecclesiastical territory or diocese of the Roman Catholic Church in southeastern Pennsylvania, in the United States. It covers the City and County of Philadelphia as well as Bucks, Chester and Montgomery counties; the diocese was erected by Pope Pius VII on April 8, 1808, from territories of the Archdiocese of Baltimore. The diocese included all of Pennsylvania and seven counties and parts of three counties in New Jersey; the diocese was raised to the dignity of a metropolitan archdiocese on February 12, 1875. The seat of the archbishop is the Cathedral-Basilica of Ss. Peter & Paul, it is the Metropolitan See of the Ecclesiastical Province of Philadelphia, which includes the suffragan episcopal sees of Allentown, Altoona-Johnstown, Greensburg, Harrisburg and Scranton. The territory of the province is coextensive with the state of Pennsylvania; the history of the Catholic Church in the area dates back to William Penn and when Mass was said publicly as early as 1707.
On April 8, 1808, the suffragan dioceses of Boston, New York and Bardstown were erected by Pope Pius VII from the territory of the Diocese of Baltimore, raised to the rank of metropolitan archdiocese. Michael Egan was appointed as the first bishop and was consecrated as a bishop on October 28, 1810, by Archbishop John Carroll. In 1868, the dioceses of Harrisburg and Wilmington were erected from the territory of the diocese. Philadelphia was raised to a metropolitan archiepiscopal see on February 12, 1875, with Harrisburg and Scranton as suffragan dioceses. On January 28, 1961, the five northern counties of Berks, Lehigh and Schuylkill were split off from the archdiocese, to create the Diocese of Allentown. By 1969, the archdiocese had grown to 1,351,704 parishioners, 1,096 diocesan priests, 676 priests of religious institutes and 6,622 religious women. Beginning in 2005, members of the diocese and its hierarchy have been impacted by sexual abuse scandals. Two grand jury reports, guilty pleas and convictions indicate administrative mishandling of cases and other issues.
In February 2012, the diocese announced the largest reorganization of their elementary and high school education system, with numerous recommended school closings and/or mergers. In a Thursday, August 23, 2012 online news story article about the Archdiocese's schools by Lou Baldwin of Catholic News Service, it was announced that the Faith in the Future Foundation would assume management of the seventeen archdiocesan high schools and the four special education schools. Michael Francis Egan, O. F. M. Henry Conwell Francis Patrick Kenrick, appointed Archbishop of Baltimore Saint John Nepomucene Neumann, C. Ss. R. James Frederick Wood Patrick John Ryan Edmond Francis Prendergast Cardinal Dennis Joseph Dougherty Cardinal John Francis O'Hara, C. S. C. Cardinal John Joseph Krol Cardinal Anthony Joseph Bevilacqua Cardinal Justin Francis Rigali Charles Joseph Chaput, O. F. M. Cap. John Joseph McCort, appointed Coadjutor Bishop and Bishop of Altoona Michael Joseph Crane Gerald Patrick O'Hara, appointed Bishop of Savannah and Apostolic Nuncio and Titular Archbishop Hugh L. Lamb, appointed Bishop of Greensburg J. Carroll McCormick, appointed Bishop of Scranton Joseph Mark McShea, appointed Bishop of Allentown Cletus Joseph Benjamin Francis James Furey, appointed Coadjutor Archbishop and Archbishop of San Antonio Gerald Vincent McDevitt John Joseph Graham Thomas Jerome Welsh, appointed Bishop of Arlington and Bishop of Allentown Martin Nicholas Lohmuller Edward Thomas Hughes, appointed Bishop of Metuchen Francis B.
Schulte, appointed Bishop of Wheeling-Charleston and Archbishop of New Orleans Louis A. DeSimone Edward Peter Cullen, appointed Bishop of Allentown Joseph Francis Martino, appointed Bishop of Scranton Robert P. Maginnis Michael Francis Burbidge, appointed Bishop of Raleigh and Bishop of Arlington Joseph R. Cistone, appointed Bishop of Saginaw Joseph P. McFadden, appointed Bishop of Harrisburg Daniel E. Thomas, appointed Bishop of Toledo Timothy C. Senior John J. McIntyre Michael J. Fitzgerald Edward Michael Deliman Note: Years in parentheses indicate the time of service as a priest of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, prior to appointment to the episcopacy; the archdiocese is sub-divided into each administered by a Regional Dean. Present Deans and their Deaneries are as follows: The first Catholic school established in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia was at St. Mary Parish in Philadelphia during the late eighteenth century. During the nineteenth century, Bishop Kenrick encouraged the establishment of Catholic schools.
Subsequently, St. John Neumann made the establishment of parish elementary schools a priority and by 1860 there were seventeen parish elementary schools in Philadelphia. Between 1900 and 1930, Catholic elementary schools increased to 124 schools in Philadelphia and 78 schools in the four suburban counties. Between 1945 and 1965, 62 new Catholic elementary schools were established. With the foundation of Archbishop Ryan School for Children with Deafness in 1912, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia school system began serving families o
Kayseri is a large industrialised city in Central Anatolia, Turkey. It is the seat of Kayseri Province; the city of Kayseri, as defined by the boundaries of Kayseri Metropolitan Municipality, is structurally composed of five metropolitan districts, the two core districts of Kocasinan and Melikgazi, since 2004 Hacılar, İncesu and Talas. Kayseri is located at the foot of the extinct volcano Mount Erciyes that towers 3,916 metres over the city; the city is cited in the first ranks among Turkey's cities that fit the definition of Anatolian Tigers. The city retains a number including several from the Seljuk period. While it is visited en route to the international tourist attractions of Cappadocia, Kayseri has many attractions in its own right: Seljuk and Ottoman era monuments in and around the city centre, Mount Erciyes as a trekking and alpinism centre, Zamantı River as a rafting centre, the historic sites of Kültepe, Ağırnas and Develi. Kayseri is home to Erciyes University. According to the Turkish Statistical Institute, as of 2011 the city of Kayseri had a population of 844,656.
Kayseri was called Mazaka or Mazaca by the Hattians and was known as such to Strabo, during whose time it was the capital of the Roman province of Cilicia, known as Eusebia at the Argaeus, after Ariarathes V Eusebes, King of Cappadocia. The name was changed again by Archelaus, last King of Cappadocia and a Roman vassal, to "Caesarea in Cappadocia" in honour of Caesar Augustus, upon his death in 14 AD; when the Muslim Arabs arrived, they adapted the pronunciation to their writing resulting in Kaisariyah, this became Kayseri when the Seljuk Turks took control of the city in circa 1080, remaining as such since. The city has been continuously inhabited since c. 3000 BC with the establishment of the ancient trading colony at Kültepe, associated with the Hittites. The city has always been a vital trade centre as it is located on major trade routes along what was called the Great Silk Road. Kültepe, one of the oldest cities in Asia Minor, lies 20 km away; as Mazaca, the city served as the residence of the kings of Cappadocia.
In ancient times, it was on the crossroads of the trade routes from Sinope to the Euphrates and from the Persian Royal Road that extended from Sardis to Susa during the over 200 years of Achaemenid Persian rule. In Roman times, a similar route from Ephesus to the East crossed the city; the city stood on a low spur on the north side of Mount Erciyes. Only a few traces of the ancient site survive in the old town; the city was the centre of a satrapy under Persian rule until it was conquered by Perdikkas, one of the generals of Alexander the Great when it became the seat of a transient satrapy by another of Alexander's former generals, Eumenes of Cardia. The city was subsequently passed to the Seleucid empire after the battle of Ipsus but became once again the centre of an autonomous Greater Cappadocian kingdom under Ariarathes III of Cappadocia in around 250 BC. In the ensuing period, the city came under the sway of Hellenistic influence, was given the Greek name of Eusebia in honor of the Cappadocian king Ariarathes V Eusebes Philopator of Cappadocia.
The new name of Caesarea, by which it has since been known, was given to it by the last Cappadocian King Archelaus or by Tiberius. The city passed under formal Roman rule in 17 AD. Caesarea was destroyed by the Sassanid king Shapur I after his victory over the Emperor Valerian I in AD 260. At the time it was recorded to have around 400,000 inhabitants; the city recovered, became home to several early Christian saints: saints Dorothea and Theophilus the martyrs, Gregory of Nazianzus, Gregory of Nyssa and Basil of Caesarea. In the 4th century, bishop Basil established an ecclesiastic centre on the plain, about one mile to the northeast, which supplanted the old town, it included a system of almshouses, an orphanage, old peoples' homes, a leprosarium. The city's bishop, attended the Second Council of Ephesus and was suspended from the Council of Chalcedon A Notitia Episcopatuum composed during the reign of Byzantine Emperor Heraclius in about 640 lists 5 suffragan dioceses of the metropolitan see of Caesarea.
A 10th-century list gives it 15 suffragans. In all the Notitiae Caesarea is given the second place among the metropolitan sees of the patriarchate of Constantinople, preceded only by Constantinople itself, its archbishops were given the title of protothronos, meaning "of the first see". More than 50 first-millennium archbishops of the see are known by name, the see itself continued to be a residential see of the Eastern Orthodox Church until 1923, when by order of the Treaty of Lausanne all members of that Churchwere deported from what is now Turkey. Caesarea was the seat of an Armenian diocese. No longer a residential bishopric, Caesarea in Cappadocia is today listed by the Catholic Church as a titular see of the Armenian Catholic Church and the Melkite Catholic Church. A portion of Basil's new city was surrounded with strong walls, it was turned into a fortress by Justinian. Caesarea in the 9th century became a Byzantine administrative centre as the capital of the Byzantine Theme of Charsianon.
The 1500-year-old Kayseri Castle, built init
Roman Catholic Diocese of Włocławek
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Włocławek Latin: Vladislavien, until the 20th century known as the Roman Catholic Diocese of Kujawy, is a suffragan diocese of the Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic Church in the Ecclesiastical province of the Metropolitan Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Gniezno in western Poland. Its cathedral episcopal see is a Minor Basilica: Bazylika Katedralna Wniebowzięcia NMP in the city of Włocławek, in Kujawsko-Pomorskie, it has two more Minor Basilicas: Basilica of Our Lady of Licheń, in Licheń Stary, Wielkopolskie Bazylika Wniebowzięcia NMP, in Zduńska Wola, Łódzkie. The diocese is headed by the Bishop Wiesław Mering, appointed in 2003. We disregard the merely-legendary precursor Diocese of Kruszwica Established in 1015 as Diocese of Kujawy–Pomorze / Kruszwicka / Cuiavia–Pomerania, on territory split off from the suppressed Diocese of Kolberg Renamed in 1148 as Diocese of Kujawy–Pomorze / Cuiavia–Pomerania / since ca. 1124/26 called Włocławek after its see Gained territory in 1633 from the Diocese of Płock Renamed on 1818.06.30 as Diocese of Kujawy–Kaliska / Cuiavia–Kalisz, having lost territories to its Metropolitan the Archdiocese of Gniezno, to Diocese of Poznań, to Diocese of Wrocław and to Diocese of Płock.
Renamed on 1925.10.28 after its see as Diocese of Włocławek / Wladislavia / Vladislavien Lost territory on 1992.03.25 to establish the Diocese of Kalisz. It enjoyed Papal visits from the Polish Pope John Paul II in June 1991 and June 1999; as per 2014, it pastorally served 762,750 Catholics on 8,824 km² in 232 parishes and 132 missions with 568 priests, 452 lay religious and 60 seminarians. Imported from List of bishops of Kujawy and ameneded. – Aleksander Myszczynski 1581–1585 – Maciej Wielicki 1597–1617 – Franciszek Lanczki 1617–1632 – Balthasar Miaskowski 1634–1638 – Krzysztof Charbicki 1639–1643 – Wenceslaus Paprocki 1643–1652 – Piotr Mieszkowski 1652–? – Valerius Wilezogerzosi 1653–1677 – Stanisław Domaniewski 1678–1696 – Piotr Mieszkowski 1695–? – Andreas Albinowski 1709–1723 – Wojciech Ignacy Bardziński 1725–1736 – Franciszek Antoni Kobielski 1737–1739 – Aleksander Działyński 1740–1759 – Franciszek Kanigowski 1759–1788 – Jan Dembowski 1766–1775 – Cyprian Kazimierz von Wolicki 1775–1781 – Maciej Grzegorz Garnysz 1781–1799 – Ludwik Stanisław Górski1789–1793 – Marcin Chyczewski 1794–1819 – Feliks Łukasz Lewiński1819–1825 – Józef Marcelin Dzięcielski 1838–1844 – Józef Joachim Goldtmann 1844–1861 – Taddeo Łubieński 1884–1898 – Carlo Pollner1884–1889 – Henryk Piotr Kossowski 1918–1938 – Wojciech Stanisław Owczarek 1918–1927 – Władysław Paweł Krynicki, Appointed Bishop of Włocławek 1939–19
Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering 9.98 million square kilometres, making it the world's second-largest country by total area. Canada's southern border with the United States is the world's longest bi-national land border, its capital is Ottawa, its three largest metropolitan areas are Toronto and Vancouver. As a whole, Canada is sparsely populated, the majority of its land area being dominated by forest and tundra, its population is urbanized, with over 80 percent of its inhabitants concentrated in large and medium-sized cities, many near the southern border. Canada's climate varies across its vast area, ranging from arctic weather in the north, to hot summers in the southern regions, with four distinct seasons. Various indigenous peoples have inhabited what is now Canada for thousands of years prior to European colonization. Beginning in the 16th century and French expeditions explored, settled, along the Atlantic coast.
As a consequence of various armed conflicts, France ceded nearly all of its colonies in North America in 1763. In 1867, with the union of three British North American colonies through Confederation, Canada was formed as a federal dominion of four provinces; this began an accretion of provinces and territories and a process of increasing autonomy from the United Kingdom. This widening autonomy was highlighted by the Statute of Westminster of 1931 and culminated in the Canada Act of 1982, which severed the vestiges of legal dependence on the British parliament. Canada is a parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy in the Westminster tradition, with Elizabeth II as its queen and a prime minister who serves as the chair of the federal cabinet and head of government; the country is a realm within the Commonwealth of Nations, a member of the Francophonie and bilingual at the federal level. It ranks among the highest in international measurements of government transparency, civil liberties, quality of life, economic freedom, education.
It is one of the world's most ethnically diverse and multicultural nations, the product of large-scale immigration from many other countries. Canada's long and complex relationship with the United States has had a significant impact on its economy and culture. A developed country, Canada has the sixteenth-highest nominal per capita income globally as well as the twelfth-highest ranking in the Human Development Index, its advanced economy is the tenth-largest in the world, relying chiefly upon its abundant natural resources and well-developed international trade networks. Canada is part of several major international and intergovernmental institutions or groupings including the United Nations, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the G7, the Group of Ten, the G20, the North American Free Trade Agreement and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum. While a variety of theories have been postulated for the etymological origins of Canada, the name is now accepted as coming from the St. Lawrence Iroquoian word kanata, meaning "village" or "settlement".
In 1535, indigenous inhabitants of the present-day Quebec City region used the word to direct French explorer Jacques Cartier to the village of Stadacona. Cartier used the word Canada to refer not only to that particular village but to the entire area subject to Donnacona. From the 16th to the early 18th century "Canada" referred to the part of New France that lay along the Saint Lawrence River. In 1791, the area became two British colonies called Upper Canada and Lower Canada collectively named the Canadas. Upon Confederation in 1867, Canada was adopted as the legal name for the new country at the London Conference, the word Dominion was conferred as the country's title. By the 1950s, the term Dominion of Canada was no longer used by the United Kingdom, which considered Canada a "Realm of the Commonwealth"; the government of Louis St. Laurent ended the practice of using'Dominion' in the Statutes of Canada in 1951. In 1982, the passage of the Canada Act, bringing the Constitution of Canada under Canadian control, referred only to Canada, that year the name of the national holiday was changed from Dominion Day to Canada Day.
The term Dominion was used to distinguish the federal government from the provinces, though after the Second World War the term federal had replaced dominion. Indigenous peoples in present-day Canada include the First Nations, Métis, the last being a mixed-blood people who originated in the mid-17th century when First Nations and Inuit people married European settlers; the term "Aboriginal" as a collective noun is a specific term of art used in some legal documents, including the Constitution Act 1982. The first inhabitants of North America are hypothesized to have migrated from Siberia by way of the Bering land bridge and arrived at least 14,000 years ago; the Paleo-Indian archeological sites at Old Crow Flats and Bluefish Caves are two of the oldest sites of human habitation in Canada. The characteristics of Canadian indigenous societies included permanent settlements, complex societal hierarchies, trading networks; some of these cultures had collapsed by the time European explorers arrived in the late 15th and early 16th centuries and have only been discovered through archeological investigations.
The indigenous population at the time of the first European settlements is estimated to have been between 200,000
Poland the Republic of Poland, is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 administrative subdivisions, covering an area of 312,696 square kilometres, has a temperate seasonal climate. With a population of 38.5 million people, Poland is the sixth most populous member state of the European Union. Poland's capital and largest metropolis is Warsaw. Other major cities include Kraków, Łódź, Wrocław, Poznań, Gdańsk, Szczecin. Poland is bordered by the Baltic Sea, Russia's Kaliningrad Oblast and Lithuania to the north and Ukraine to the east and Czech Republic, to the south, Germany to the west; the establishment of the Polish state can be traced back to AD 966, when Mieszko I, ruler of the realm coextensive with the territory of present-day Poland, converted to Christianity. The Kingdom of Poland was founded in 1025, in 1569 it cemented its longstanding political association with the Grand Duchy of Lithuania by signing the Union of Lublin; this union formed the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, one of the largest and most populous countries of 16th and 17th century Europe, with a uniquely liberal political system which adopted Europe's first written national constitution, the Constitution of 3 May 1791.
More than a century after the Partitions of Poland at the end of the 18th century, Poland regained its independence in 1918 with the Treaty of Versailles. In September 1939, World War II started with the invasion of Poland by Germany, followed by the Soviet Union invading Poland in accordance with the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact. More than six million Polish citizens, including 90% of the country's Jews, perished in the war. In 1947, the Polish People's Republic was established as a satellite state under Soviet influence. In the aftermath of the Revolutions of 1989, most notably through the emergence of the Solidarity movement, Poland reestablished itself as a presidential democratic republic. Poland is regional power, it has the fifth largest economy by GDP in the European Union and one of the most dynamic economies in the world achieving a high rank on the Human Development Index. Additionally, the Polish Stock Exchange in Warsaw is the largest and most important in Central Europe. Poland is a developed country, which maintains a high-income economy along with high standards of living, life quality, safety and economic freedom.
Having a developed school educational system, the country provides free university education, state-funded social security, a universal health care system for all citizens. Poland has 15 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Poland is a member state of the European Union, the Schengen Area, the United Nations, NATO, the OECD, the Three Seas Initiative, the Visegrád Group; the origin of the name "Poland" derives from the West Slavic tribe of Polans that inhabited the Warta river basin of the historic Greater Poland region starting in the 6th century. The origin of the name "Polanie" itself derives from the early Slavic word "pole". In some languages, such as Hungarian, Lithuanian and Turkish, the exonym for Poland is Lechites, which derives from the name of a semi-legendary ruler of Polans, Lech I. Early Bronze Age in Poland begun around 2400 BC, while the Iron Age commenced in 750 BC. During this time, the Lusatian culture, spanning both the Bronze and Iron Ages, became prominent; the most famous archaeological find from the prehistory and protohistory of Poland is the Biskupin fortified settlement, dating from the Lusatian culture of the early Iron Age, around 700 BC.
Throughout the Antiquity period, many distinct ancient ethnic groups populated the regions of what is now Poland in an era that dates from about 400 BC to 500 AD. These groups are identified as Celtic, Slavic and Germanic tribes. Recent archeological findings in the Kujawy region, confirmed the presence of the Roman Legions on the territory of Poland; these were most expeditionary missions sent out to protect the amber trade. The exact time and routes of the original migration and settlement of Slavic peoples lacks written records and can only be defined as fragmented; the Slavic tribes who would form Poland migrated to these areas in the second half of the 5th century AD. Up until the creation of Mieszko's state and his subsequent conversion to Christianity in 966 AD, the main religion of Slavic tribes that inhabited the geographical area of present-day Poland was Slavic paganism. With the Baptism of Poland the Polish rulers accepted Christianity and the religious authority of the Roman Church.
However, the transition from paganism was not a smooth and instantaneous process for the rest of the population as evident from the pagan reaction of the 1030s. Poland began to form into a recognizable unitary and territorial entity around the middle of the 10th century under the Piast dynasty. Poland's first documented ruler, Mieszko I, accepted Christianity with the Baptism of Poland in 966, as the new official religion of his subjects; the bulk of the population converted in the course of the next few centuries. In 1000, Boleslaw the Brave, continuing the policy of his father Mieszko, held a Congress of Gniezno and created the metropolis of Gniezno and the dioceses of Kraków, Kołobrzeg, Wrocław. However, the pagan unrest led to the transfer of the capital to Kraków in 1038 by Casimir I the Restorer. In 1109, Prince Bolesław III Wrymouth defeated the King of Germany Henry V at the Battle of Hundsfeld, stopping the Ge