Pavia is a town and comune of south-western Lombardy, northern Italy, 35 kilometres south of Milan on the lower Ticino river near its confluence with the Po. It has a population of c. 73,000. The city was the capital of the Kingdom of the Lombards from 572 to 774. Pavia is the capital of the fertile province of Pavia, known for agricultural products including wine, rice and dairy products. Although there are a number of industries located in the suburbs, these tend not to disturb the peaceful atmosphere of the town, it is home to the ancient University of Pavia, which together with the IUSS, Ghislieri College, Borromeo College, Nuovo College, Santa Caterina College and the EDiSU, belongs to the Pavia Study System. Pavia is the episcopal seat of the Roman Catholic Bishop of Pavia; the city possesses many artistic and cultural treasures, including several important churches and museums, such as the well-known Certosa di Pavia. The Central Hospital of Pavia is one of the most important hospitals in Italy.
Dating back to pre-Roman times, the town of Pavia known as Ticinum, was a municipality and an important military site under the Roman Empire. It was said by Pliny the Elder to have been founded by the Laevi and Marici, two Ligurian tribes, while Ptolemy attributes it to the Insubres; the Roman city most began as a small military camp, built by the consul Publius Cornelius Scipio in 218 BC to guard a wooden bridge he had built over the river Ticinum, on his way to search for Hannibal, rumoured to have managed to lead an army over the Alps and into Italy. The forces of Rome and Carthage ran into each other soon thereafter, the Romans suffered the first of many crushing defeats at the hands of Hannibal, with the consul himself losing his life; the bridge was destroyed, but the fortified camp, which at the time was the most forward Roman military outpost in the Po Valley, somehow survived the long Second Punic War, evolved into a garrison town. Its importance grew with the extension of the Via Aemilia from Ariminum to the Po River, which it crossed at Placentia and there forked, one branch going to Mediolanum and the other to Ticinum, thence to Laumellum where it divided once more, one branch going to Vercellae - and thence to Eporedia and Augusta Praetoria - and the other to Valentia - and thence to Augusta Taurinorum.
It was at Pavia in 476 AD that the reign of Romulus Augustulus, the last emperor of the Western Roman Empire ended and Roman rule ceased in Italy. Romulus Augustulus, while considered the last emperor of the Western Roman Empire, was a usurper of the imperial throne. Though being the emperor, Romulus Augustulus was the mouthpiece for his father Orestes, the person who exercised power and governed Italy during Romulus Augustulus's short reign. Ten months after Romulus Augustulus's reign began, Orestes's soldiers under the command of one of his officers named Odoacer and killed Orestes in the city of Pavia in 476; the rioting that took place as part of Odoacer's uprising against Orestes sparked fires that burnt much of Pavia to the point that Odoacer, as the new king of Italy, had to suspend the taxes for the city for five years so that it could finance its recovery. Without his father, Romulus Augustulus was powerless. Instead of killing Romulus Augustulus, Odoacer pensioned him off at 6,000 solidi a year before declaring the end of the Western Roman Empire and himself king of the new Kingdom of Italy.
Odoacer's reign as king of Italy did not last long, because in 488 the Ostrogothic peoples led by their king Theoderic invaded Italy and waged war against Odoacer. After fighting for 5 years, Theoderic defeated Odoacer and on March 15, 493, assassinated Odoacer at a banquet meant to negotiate a peace between the two rulers. With the establishment of the Ostrogoth kingdom based in northern Italy, Theoderic began his vast program of public building. Pavia was among several cities that Theodoric chose to expand, he began the construction of the vast palace complex that would become the residence of Lombard monarchs several decades later. Theoderic commissioned the building of the Roman-styled amphitheatre and bath complex in Pavia. Near the end of Theoderic's reign the Christian philosopher Boethius was imprisoned in one of Pavia's churches from 522 to 525 before his execution for treason, it was during Boethius's captivity in Pavia that he wrote his seminal work the Consolation of Philosophy. Pavia played an important role in the war between the Eastern Roman Empire and the Ostrogoths that began in 535.
After the Eastern Roman general Belisarius's victory over the Ostrogothic leader Wittigis in 540 and the loss of most of the Ostrogoth lands in Italy, Pavia was among the last centres of Ostrogothic resistance that continued the war and opposed Eastern Roman rule. After the capitulation of the Ostrogothic leadership in 540 more than a thousand men remained garrisoned in Pavia and Verona dedicated to opposing Eastern Roman rule; the resilience of Ostrogoth strongholds like Pavia against invading forces allowed pockets of Ostrogothic rule to limp along until being defeated in 561. Pavia and the peninsula of Italy didn't remain long under the rule of the Eastern Roman Empire, for in 568, a new people invaded Italy; this new invading people in 568
Piacenza is a city and comune in the Emilia-Romagna region of northern Italy, the capital of the eponymous province. The etymology is long-standing, tracing an origin from the Latin verb placēre, "to please." In French, in English, it is called Plaisance. The name means a "pleasant abode", or as James Boswell reported some of the etymologists of his time to have translated it, "comely"; this was a name "of good omen."Piacenza is located at a major crossroads at the intersection of Route E35/A1 between Bologna and Milan, Route E70/A21 between Brescia and Turin. Piacenza is at the confluence of the Trebbia, draining the northern Apennine Mountains, the Po, draining to the east. Piacenza hosts two universities, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore and Polytechnic University of Milan. Before its settlement by the Romans, the area was populated by other peoples. Before says Polybius, "These plains were anciently inhabited by Etruscans" before the Gauls took the entire Po Valley from them. Piacenza and Cremona were founded as Roman military colonies in May 218 BC.
The Romans had planned to construct them after the successful conclusion of the latest war with the Gauls ending in 219 BC. In the spring of 218 BC, after declaring war on Carthage, the Senate decided to accelerate the foundation and gave the colonists 30 days to appear on the sites to receive their lands, they were each to be settled by 6,000 Roman citizens. The reaction of the region's Gauls was swift. Taking refuge in Mutina, the latter sent for military assistance. A small force under Lucius Manlius was prevented from reaching the area; the Senate sent two legions under Gaius Atelius. Collecting Manlius and the colonists, they descended on Piacenza and Cremona and placed castra there of 480 square metres to support the building of the city. Piacenza must have been walled as the walls were in place when the Battle of the Trebia was fought around the city in December. There is no evidence either archaeological of a prior settlement at that exact location. Piacenza was the 53rd colony to be placed by Rome since its foundation.
It was the first among the Gauls of the Po valley. It had to be supplied by boat after the Battle of Trebbia, when Hannibal controlled the countryside, for which purpose a port was constructed. In 209 BC, Hasdrubal Barca crossed the Alps and laid siege to the city, but he was unable to take it and withdrew. In 200 BC, the Gauls burned it, selling the population into slavery. Subsequently, the victorious Romans managed to recover 2000 citizens. In 198 BC, a combined force of Gauls and Ligurians plundered the whole region; as the people had never recovered from being sold into slavery, in 190 BC they complained to Senate of underpopulation. The construction of the Via Aemilia in the 180's made the city accessible from the Adriatic ports, which improved trade and the prospects for timely defense; the Liver of Piacenza, a bronze model of a sheep's liver for the purposes of haruspicy discovered in 1877 at Gossolengo just to the south of Piacenza, bears witness to the survival of the disciplina Etrusca well after the Roman conquest.
Although sacked and devastated several times, the city always recovered and by the 6th century Procopius was calling it "the principal city in the country of Aemilia". The first Bishop of Piacenza, San Vittorio, declared Saint Antoninus of Piacenza, a soldier of the Theban Legion, the patron saint of Piacenza and had the first basilica constructed in his honor in 324; the basilica was restored in 903 and rebuilt in 1101, again in 1562, is still a church today. The remains of the bishop and the soldier-saint are in urns under the altar; the theme of Antoninus, protector of Piacenza, is well known in art. Piacenza was sacked during the course of the Gothic War. After a short period of being reconquered by the Roman emperor Justinian I, it was conquered by the Lombards, who made it a duchy seat. After its conquest by Francia in the ninth century, the city began to recover, aided by its location along the Via Francigena that connected the Holy Roman Empire with Rome, its population and importance grew further after the year 1000.
That period marked a gradual transfer of governing powers from the feudal lords to a new enterprising class, as well to the feudal class of the countryside. In 1095, the city was the site of the Council of Piacenza, in which the First Crusade was proclaimed. From 1126, Piacenza was an important member of the Lombard League. In this role, it took part in the war against Frederick I, Holy Roman Emperor, in the subsequent battle of Legnano, it successfully fought the neighbouring communes of Cremona and Parma, expanding its possessions. Piacenza captured control of the trading routes with Genoa, where the first Piacentini bankers had settled, from the Malaspina counts and the bishop of Bobbio. In the 13th century, despite unsuccessful wars against Frederick I, Piacenza managed to gain strongholds on the Lombardy shore of the Po; the primilaries of the Peace of Cons
Durante di Alighiero degli Alighieri known by his name of art Dante Alighieri or as Dante, was an Italian poet during the Late Middle Ages. His Divine Comedy called Comedìa and christened Divina by Giovanni Boccaccio, is considered the most important poem of the Middle Ages and the greatest literary work in the Italian language. In the late Middle Ages, most poetry was written in Latin, making it accessible only to the most educated readers. In De vulgari eloquentia, Dante defended the use of the vernacular in literature, he would write in the Tuscan dialect for works such as The New Life and the Divine Comedy. Dante was instrumental in establishing the literature of Italy, his depictions of Hell and Heaven provided inspiration for the larger body of Western art, he is cited as an influence among many others. In addition, the first use of the interlocking three-line rhyme scheme, or the terza rima, is attributed to him. In Italy, he is referred to as il Sommo Poeta and il Poeta. Dante was born in 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, its first section, the Inferno, begins, "Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita", implying that Dante was around 35 years old, since the average lifespan according to the Bible is 70 years. Some verses of the Paradiso section of the Divine Comedy provide a possible clue that he was born under the sign of Gemini: "As I revolved with the eternal twins, I saw revealed, from hills to river outlets, the threshing-floor that makes us so ferocious". In 1265, the sun was in Gemini between May 11 and June 11. Giovanni Boccaccio described Dante's appearance and demeanor as follows: "the poet was of middle height, in his years he walked somewhat bent over, with a grave and gentle gait, he was clad always in most seemly attire, such as befitted his ripe years. His face was long, his nose aquiline, his eyes big rather than small, his jaws were large, his lower lip protruded.
He had a brown complexion, his hair and beard were thick and curly, his countenance was always melancholy and thoughtful." 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. Dante's father, Alighiero 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; this suggests that Alighiero or his family may have enjoyed some protective prestige and status, although some suggest that the politically inactive Alighiero was of such low standing that he was not considered worth exiling. Dante's family was loyal to the Guelphs, a political alliance that supported the Papacy and, involved in complex opposition to the Ghibellines, who were backed by the Holy Roman Emperor; the poet's mother was Bella a member of the Abati family. She died when Dante was not yet ten years old, Alighiero soon married again, to Lapa di Chiarissimo Cialuffi.
It is uncertain whether he married her, since widowers were limited in such matters, but this woman bore him two children, Dante's half-brother Francesco and half-sister Tana. When Dante was 12, he was promised in marriage to Gemma di Manetto Donati, daughter of Manetto Donati, member of the powerful Donati family. 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, whom he first met when he was only nine. Years after his marriage to Gemma he claims to have met Beatrice again; the exact date of his marriage is not known: the only certain information is that, before his exile in 1301, he had three children. Dante fought with the Guelph cavalry at the Battle of Campaldino; this victory brought about a reformation of the Florentine constitution. To take any part in public life, one had to enroll in one of the city's many commercial or artisan guilds, so Dante entered the Physicians' and Apothecaries' Guild.
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 such meetings in the years 1298–1300 was lost, however, so the true extent of Dante's participation in the city's councils is uncertain. Gemma bore Dante several children. Although several others subsequently claimed to be his offspring, it is that only Jacopo, Pietro and Antonia were his actual children. Antonia became a nun, taking the name Sister Beatrice. Not much is known about Dante's education, it is known that he stud
Thiruvalluvar known as Valluvar, was a celebrated Tamil poet and philosopher. He is best known for authoring the Thirukkuṛaḷ, a collection of couplets on ethics and economical matters, love; the text is considered the greatest work of the Tamil literature and one of the finest works on ethics and morality. Much of the information about Valluvar comes from legendary accounts, little is known with certainty about his family background, religious affiliation, or birthplace, he is believed to have lived in Madurai and in the town of Mylapore, his floruit is dated variously from 4th century BCE to 5th century CE, based on the traditional accounts and the linguistic analyses of his writings. Maraimalai Adigal gives 31 BCE as the birth year of Valluvar. Valluvar has influenced every scholar down the ages since his time across the ethical, political, religious and spiritual spheres; because the life and ethics of the Tamils are considered to be defined in terms of the values set by the Kural literature, the government and the people of Tamil land alike venerate Valluvar and his work with utmost reverence.
He is known by numerous honorific designations, such as Saint, First Poet, Divine Poet and Great Scholar. There is negligible authentic information about the life of Valluvar. In fact, neither his actual name nor the original title of his work can be determined with certainty. Tirukkural itself does not name its author. Reminiscing this, Monsieur Ariel, a French scholar of the 19th century, famously said of the Tirukkural thus: Ce livre sans nom, par un auteur sans nom; the name Thiruvalluvar was first mentioned in the text Tiruvalluva Maalai. Various claims have been made regarding Valluvar's occupation. One tradition claims. Another theory is that he must have been from the agricultural caste of Vellalars because he extols agriculture in his work. Mu Raghava Iyengar speculated that "valluva" in his name is a variation of "vallabha", the designation of a royal officer. S. Vaiyapuri Pillai derived his name from "valluvan" and theorized that he was "the chief of the proclaiming boys analogous to a trumpet-major of an army".
The poem Kapilar Agaval, purportedly written by Kapilar, describes its author as a brother of Valluvar. It states that they were children of a Pulaya mother named a Brahmin father named Bhagwan; the poem claims that the couple had seven children, including four sisters. However, this legendary account is spurious. Kamil Zvelebil dates Kapilar Agaval to 15th century CE, based on its language. Various biographies mention the name of Valluvar's wife as Vasuki, but such details are of doubtful historicity. George Uglow Pope called Valluvar "the greatest poet of South India", but according to Zvelebil, he does not seem to have been a poet. According to Zvelebil, while the author handles the metre skillfully, the Tirukkuṛaḷ does not feature "true and great poetry" throughout the work, notably, in the third book, which deals with love and pleasure; this suggests that Valluvar's main aim was not to produce a work of art, but rather an instructive text focused on wisdom and ethics. Traditional account has it that Valluvar was left as a new-born child in a grove of ilupay or oil-nut tree, under a punnai or mastwood tree, near a temple sacred to Shiva at Mylapore.
He was raised by a Velalan couple. Some believe that he was the chief, a priest, a soothsayer and a doctor, heading the eighteen tribes that compose the Pariah community. Once when Valluvar helped a farmer from the town of Kaveripakkam named Margasahayan by saving his crops from a disease, Margasahayan offered Valluvar his daughter Vasuki in marriage as a token of gratitude. Valluvar and Vasuki earned a living by weaving clothes. Valluvar purchased thread from a merchant named Elelasingan, who became his lifelong friend and disciple. Elelasingan thus traded overseas. Valluvar is said to have authored the Kural text on the insistence of Elelasingan’s son Arlyakananthar. On the advice of Elelasingan and other friends, Valluvar took his work to the Madurai College at the Pandiyan King's court at Madurai. Poetess Avvaiyar and Poet Idaikkadar are said to have accompanied Valluvar on his journey to Madurai. Upon reaching the Madurai College, he presented his work to an assembly of forty-nine poets presided over by the Pandiyan King.
His work won the ordeal set by the assembly and was accepted unanimously. The forty-nine professors along with Avvaiyar and Idaikkadar sung in praise of Valluvar and his work, compiled into an anthology named the Tiruvalluva Maalai; when Vasuki died, Valluvar buried her body in a sitting posture. Lamenting her death, he affection toward her. Valluvar was a deep thinker and a keen observer of life “in its more familiar and humbler walks.” He analyzed both the micro- and the macro-dimensions of the society and observed every action of not just the layman but the ruler, including the follies and vices of the kings, the education of the princes, the intrigues of the kings’ courts, the attitudes of tactics of the ministers, the havoc wreaked by periodic wars, the frequency of famines and epidemics. He scrutinized the application of morality in every sphere of life and the society and wrote down in couplets; the exact date of Valluvar is still under debate. With his time being uncertain, the exact time when he authored the Kural text remains e
Laozi rendered as Lao Tzu and Lao-Tze, was an ancient Chinese philosopher and writer. He is the reputed author of the Tao Te Ching, the founder of philosophical Taoism, a deity in religious Taoism and traditional Chinese religions. A semi-legendary figure, Laozi was portrayed as a 6th-century BC contemporary of Confucius, but some modern historians consider him to have lived during the Warring States period of the 4th century BC. A central figure in Chinese culture, Laozi is claimed by both the emperors of the Tang dynasty and modern people of the Li surname as a founder of their lineage. Laozi's work has been embraced by Chinese Legalism. In traditional accounts, Laozi's personal name is given as Li Er and his courtesy name as Boyang. A prominent posthumous name was Li Dan. Laozi itself is a honorific title: 老 and 子, it has been romanized numerous ways. The most common present form is Laozi or Lǎozǐ, based on the Hanyu Pinyin system adopted by Mainland China in 1958 and by Taiwan in 2009. During the 20th century, Lao-tzu was more common, based on the prevalent Wade–Giles system.
In the 19th century, the title was romanized as Lao-tse. Other forms include the variants Lao-tsu; as a religious figure, he is worshipped under the name "Supreme Old Lord" and as one of the "Three Pure Ones." During the Tang dynasty, he was granted the title "Supremely Mysterious and Primordial Emperor". In the mid-twentieth century, a consensus emerged among scholars that the historicity of the person known as Laozi is doubtful and that the Tao Te Ching was "a compilation of Taoist sayings by many hands". Alan Watts urged more caution, holding that this view was part of an academic fashion for skepticism about historical spiritual and religious figures and stating that not enough would be known for years – or ever – to make a firm judgment; the earliest certain reference to the present figure of Laozi is found in the 1st‑century BC Records of the Grand Historian collected by the historian Sima Qian from earlier accounts. In one account, Laozi was said to be a contemporary of Confucius during the 6th or 5th century BC.
His surname was Li and his personal name was Er or Dan. He was an official in the imperial archives and wrote a book in two parts before departing to the west. In another, Laozi was a different contemporary of Confucius titled Lao Laizi and wrote a book in 15 parts. In a third, he was the court astrologer Lao Dan who lived during the 4th century BC reign of Duke Xian of the Qin Dynasty; the oldest text of the Tao Te Ching so far recovered was written on bamboo slips and dates to the late 4th century BC. According to traditional accounts, Laozi was a scholar who worked as the Keeper of the Archives for the royal court of Zhou; this allowed him broad access to the works of the Yellow Emperor and other classics of the time. The stories assert that Laozi never opened a formal school but nonetheless attracted a large number of students and loyal disciples. There are many variations of a story retelling his encounter with Confucius, most famously in the Zhuangzi, he was sometimes held to have come from the village of Chu Jen in Chu.
In accounts where Laozi married, he was said to have had a son named Zong who became a celebrated soldier. The story tells of Zong the Warrior who defeats the enemy and triumphs, abandons the corpses of the enemy soldiers to be eaten by vultures. By coincidence Laozi and teaching the way of the Tao, comes on the scene and is revealed to be the father of Zong, from whom he was separated in childhood. Laozi tells his son that it is better to treat respectfully a beaten enemy, that the disrespect to their dead would cause his foes to seek revenge. Convinced, Zong orders his soldiers to bury the enemy dead. Funeral mourning is held for the dead of both parties and a lasting peace is made. Many clans of the Li family trace their descent to Laozi, including the emperors of the Tang dynasty; this family was known as the Longxi Li lineage. According to the Simpkinses, while many of these lineages are questionable, they provide a testament to Laozi's impact on Chinese culture; the third story in Sima Qian states that Laozi grew weary of the moral decay of life in Chengzhou and noted the kingdom's decline.
He ventured west to live as a hermit in the unsettled frontier at the age of 80. At the western gate of the city, he was recognized by the guard Yinxi; the sentry asked the old master to record his wisdom for the good of the country before he would be permitted to pass. The text Laozi wrote was said to be the Tao Te Ching, although the present version of the text includes additions from periods. In some versions of the tale, the sentry was so touched by the work that he became a disciple and left with Laozi, never to be seen again. In others, the "Old Master" journeyed all the way to India and was the teacher of Siddartha Gautama, the Buddha. Others say. A seventh-century work, the Sandong Zhunang, embellished the relationship between Yinxi. Laozi pretended to be a farmer when reaching the western gate, but was recognized by Yinxi, who asked to be taught by the great master. Laozi was not satisfied by being noticed by the guard and demanded an explanation. Yinxi expressed his deep desire to find the Tao and explained that his long study of astrology allowed him to recognize Laozi's approach.
Yinxi was ac
Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with 383,084 inhabitants in 2013, over 1,520,000 in its metropolitan area. Florence was a centre of medieval European trade and finance and one of the wealthiest cities of that era, it is considered the birthplace of the Renaissance, has been called "the Athens of the Middle Ages". A turbulent political history includes periods of rule by the powerful Medici family and numerous religious and republican revolutions. From 1865 to 1871 the city was the capital of the established Kingdom of Italy; the Florentine dialect forms the base of Standard Italian and it became the language of culture throughout Italy due to the prestige of the masterpieces by Dante Alighieri, Giovanni Boccaccio, Niccolò Machiavelli and Francesco Guicciardini. The city attracts millions of tourists each year, the Historic Centre of Florence was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1982; the city is noted for Renaissance art and architecture and monuments.
The city contains numerous museums and art galleries, such as the Uffizi Gallery and the Palazzo Pitti, still exerts an influence in the fields of art and politics. Due to Florence's artistic and architectural heritage, it has been ranked by Forbes as one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Florence is an important city in Italian fashion, being ranked in the top 15 fashion capitals of the world. In 2008, the city had the 17th highest average income in Italy. Florence originated as a Roman city, after a long period as a flourishing trading and banking medieval commune, it was the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance. According to the Encyclopædia Britannica, it was politically and culturally one of the most important cities in Europe and the world from the 14th to 16th centuries; the language spoken in the city during the 14th century was, still is, accepted as the Italian language. All the writers and poets in Italian literature of the golden age are in some way connected with Florence, leading to the adoption of the Florentine dialect, above all the local dialects, as a literary language of choice.
Starting from the late Middle Ages, Florentine money—in the form of the gold florin—financed the development of industry all over Europe, from Britain to Bruges, to Lyon and Hungary. Florentine bankers financed the English kings during the Hundred Years War, they 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 history's 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 and Clement VII. Catherine de Medici married King Henry II of France and, after his death in, 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 formed in 200 BC the small settlement of Fiesole, destroyed by Lucius Cornelius Sulla in 80 BC in reprisal for supporting the populares faction in Rome. The present city of Florence was established by Julius Caesar in 59 BC as a settlement for his veteran soldiers and was named Fluentia, owing to the fact that it was built between two rivers, changed to Florentia, 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 main route between Rome and the north, within the fertile valley of the Arno, the settlement became an important commercial centre. In centuries to come, the city experienced turbulent periods of Ostrogothic rule, during which the city was troubled by warfare between the Ostrogoths and the Byzantines, which may have caused the population to fall to as few as 1,000 people. 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 grow again and commerce prospered. In 854, Florence and Fiesole were united in one county. Margrave Hugo chose Florence as his residency instead of Lucca at about 1000 AD; the Golden Age of Florentine art began around this time. In 1013, construction began on the Basilica di San Miniato al Monte; the exterior of the church was reworked in Romanesque style between 1059 and 1128. In 1100, Florence was a "Commune"; the city's primary resource was the Arno river, providing power and access for the industry, access to the Mediterranean sea for international trade. Another great source of strength was its industrious merchant community; the Florentine merchant banking skills became recognised in Europe after they brought decisive financial innovation to medieval fairs. This period saw the eclipse of Florence's powerful rival Pisa, the exercise of power by the mercantile elite following an anti-aristocratic movement, led by Giano della Bella, that resulted in a set of laws called the Ordinances of Justice.
Of a population estimated at 94,00