Johann Stumpf (writer)
Johann Stumpf was an early writer on the history and topography of Switzerland. He was born at Bruchsal, was educated there and at Strasbourg and Heidelberg. In 1520 he became a chaplain in the order of the Knights Hospitaller, he was sent in 1521 to the preceptory of that order at Freiburg im Breisgau, ordained a priest at Basel, in 1522 was placed in charge of the preceptory at Bubikon. However, Stumpf went over to the Protestants, was present at the great Disputation in Bern, took part in the first Kappel War. In 1529 he married the first of his four wives, a daughter of Heinrich Brennwald, who wrote a work on Swiss history, stimulated his son-in-law to undertake historical studies. Stumpf made wide researches, with this object, for many years, undertook several journeys, of which that in 1544 to Engelberg and through the Valais seems to be the most important because his original diary has been preserved to us; the fruit of his labours was published in 1548 at Zürich in a huge folio of 934 pages, under the title of Gemeiner loblicher Eydgnoschafft Stetten, Landen und Voelckeren Chronick wirdiger thaaten Beschreybung.
The woodcuts are best in the first edition, it remained till Scheuchzer's day the chief authority on its subject. When he converted to Protestantism, Stumpf had carried over with him most of his parishioners, whom he continued to care for, as the Protestant pastor at Bubikon, till 1543, he became pastor of Stammheim until 1561, when he retired to Zürich, where he lived in retirement till his death in 1576. Stumpf published a monograph about Henry III, Holy Roman Emperor and a set of laudatory verses about each of the thirteen Swiss cantons; this article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: William Augustus Brevoort Coolidge. "Stumpf, Johann". In Chisholm, Hugh. Encyclopædia Britannica. Cambridge University Press. Media related to Johannes Stumpf at Wikimedia Commons
Holy Roman Emperor
The Holy Roman Emperor was the ruler of the Holy Roman Empire during the Middle Ages and the early modern period. The title was without interruption, held in conjunction with title of King of Germany throughout the 12th to 18th centuries. From an autocracy in Carolingian times the title by the 13th century evolved into an elected monarchy chosen by the prince-electors. Various royal houses of Europe, at different times, became de-facto hereditary holders of the title, notably the Ottonians and the Salians. Following the late medieval crisis of government, the Habsburgs kept possession of the title without interruption from 1440–1740; the final emperors were from the House of Lorraine, from 1765–1806. The Holy Roman Empire was dissolved after the defeat at Austerlitz by emperor Francis II, who continued to rule as Austrian emperor; the Holy Roman Emperor was perceived to rule by divine right, though he contradicted or rivaled the Pope, most notably during the Investiture controversy. In theory, the Holy Roman Emperor was primus inter pares among other Catholic monarchs.
In practice, a Holy Roman Emperor was only as strong as his army and alliances, including marriage alliances, made him. There was never a Holy Roman Empress regnant, though women such as Theophanu and Maria Theresa of Austria served as de facto Empresses regnant. Throughout its history, the position was viewed as a defender of the Roman Catholic faith; until the Reformation, the Emperor elect was required to be crowned by the Pope before assuming the imperial title. Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor was the last to be crowned by the Pope in 1530. After the Reformation, the elected Emperor always was a Roman Catholic. There were short periods in history when the electoral college was dominated by Protestants, the electors voted in their own political interest. From the time of Constantine I, the Roman emperors had, with few exceptions, taken on a role as promoters and defenders of Christianity; the reign of Constantine established a precedent for the position of the Christian emperor in the Church.
Emperors considered themselves responsible to the gods for the spiritual health of their subjects, after Constantine they had a duty to help the Church define orthodoxy and maintain orthodoxy. The emperor's role was to enforce doctrine, root out heresy, uphold ecclesiastical unity. Both the title and connection between Emperor and Church continued in the Eastern Roman Empire throughout the medieval period; the ecumenical councils of the 5th to 8th centuries were convoked by the Eastern Roman Emperors. In Western Europe, the title of Emperor became defunct after the death of Julius Nepos in 480, although the rulers of the barbarian kingdoms continued to recognize the Eastern Emperor at least nominally well into the 6th century. From the western perspective, the interregnum in the Roman Empire spanned the 8th centuries; the title of Emperor was revived in 800, when Charlemagne was crowned Emperor of the Romans by Pope Leo III. The title of Emperor in the West implied recognition by the pope; as the power of the papacy grew during the Middle Ages and emperors came into conflict over church administration.
The best-known and most bitter conflict was that known as the investiture controversy, fought during the 11th century between Henry IV and Pope Gregory VII. After the coronation of Charlemagne, his successors maintained the title until the death of Berengar I of Italy in 924; the comparatively brief interregnum between 924 and the coronation of Otto the Great in 962 is taken as marking the transition from the Frankish Empire to the Holy Roman Empire. Under the Ottonians, much of the former Carolingian kingdom of Eastern Francia fell within the boundaries of the Holy Roman Empire. Since 911, the various German princes had elected the King of the Germans from among their peers; the King of the Germans would be crowned as emperor following the precedent set by Charlemagne, during the period of 962–1530. Charles V was the last emperor to be crowned by the pope, his successor, Ferdinand I adopted the title of "Emperor elect" in 1558; the final Holy Roman Emperor-elect, Francis II, abdicated in 1806 during the Napoleonic Wars that saw the Empire's final dissolution.
The term sacrum in connection with the German Roman Empire was first used in 1157 under Frederick I Barbarossa. The standard designation of the Holy Roman Emperor was "August Emperor of the Romans"; when Charlemagne was crowned in 800, he was styled as "most serene Augustus, crowned by God and pacific emperor, governing the Roman Empire," thus constituting the elements of "Holy" and "Roman" in the imperial title. The word Roman was a reflection of the principle of translatio imperii that regarded the Holy Roman Emperors as the inheritors of the title of Emperor of the Western Roman Empire, despite the continued existence of the Eastern Roman Empire. In German-language historiography, the term Römisch-deutscher Kaiser is used to distinguish the title from that of Roman Emperor on one hand, that of German Emperor on the other; the English term "Holy Roman Emperor" is a modern shorthand for "emperor of the Holy Roman Empire" not corresponding to the historical style or title, i.e. the adjective "holy" is not intended as modifying "emperor".
Unterwalden is the old name of a forest-canton of the Old Swiss Confederacy in central Switzerland, south of Lake Lucerne, consisting of two valleys or Talschaften, now two separate Swiss cantons and Nidwalden. Unterwalden was one of the three participants in the foundation of the Old Swiss Confederacy, named in the Pact of Brunnen of 1315 with Uri and Schwyz; the division of Unterwalden into two separate territories and Nidwalden in the early period is less than clear. Unterwalden figures as communitas hominum Intramontanorum Vallis Inferioris "community of the men between the mountains of the Lower Valley" in the Federal Charter of 1291. While Nidwalden and Obwalden may or may not have existed as independent sub-entities of Unterwalden during 1291-1315, there was an internal division between Obwalden and Nidwalden at least from 1350; the flag of Unterwalden in the 14th and 15th centuries was divided horizontally into equal parts red over white, identical with the flag of Solothurn. After the accession of Solothurn to the Confederacy in 1481, there were two cantons with identical flags, sometimes disambiguated by modifying the design of Solothurn's flag.
By 1600, Nidwalden was known as Unterwalden proper or Subsylvania, while Obwalden was known as "Unterwalden ob dem Wald" speaking an oxymoron, as it were Subsylvania super silva. From this time, there are two separate coats of arms for the two half-cantons, the red-and-white flag for Unterwalden proper or Nidwalden, while Obwalden had a silver key in a red field. By the 1640s, these two designs were re-combined in a white-and-red key on a red-and-white field as the coat of arms of the united canton. In Early Modern Switzerland, Unterwalden counted as a single state in "foreign relations" with the other member states of the Swiss Confederacy, but it consisted of two separate states internally, with separate governments and separate flags. Martin Zeiller in 1642 reports Unterwalden as divided in two separate Talschaften the inhabitants of which were derived from separate races, those of Obwalden from the "Romans", those in Nidwalden from the "Cimbri". Unterwalden was restored in the Act of Mediation with a single constitution, but with two separate capitals and Stans, two separate cantonal assemblies with equal sovereignty.
Unterwalden was a canton of the Restored Swiss Confederacy of 1815, it was listed as a canton in the constitution of 1848, as Unterwalden. The name of Unterwalden has been omitted in the 1999 constitution, with Obwalden und Nidwalden named as two separate cantons. Vnderwalden in M. Zeiller, Topographia Helvetiae, Rhaetiae et Valesiae
Battle of Sempach
The Battle of Sempach was fought on 9 July 1386, between Leopold III, Duke of Austria and the Old Swiss Confederacy. The battle was a decisive Swiss victory in which numerous Austrian nobles died; the victory helped turn the loosely allied Swiss Confederation into a more unified nation and is seen as a turning point in the growth of Switzerland. During 1383 and 1384, the expansion of the Old Swiss Confederacy collided with Austrian interests; the interests of Austria were further undermined in the Pact of Constance, a union of Zürich, Solothurn and 51 cities of Swabia. In 1385, there were various attacks, without formal declaration of war or central organization, by forces of Zürich and Lucerne on the Austrian strongholds of Rapperswil, Rothenburg and Wolhusen. In January 1386, Lucerne expanded its sphere of influence by entering pacts with a number of towns and valleys under Austrian control, including Entlebuch, Meienberg and Willisau; this move was the immediate cause of war. A local Austrian force defeated the confederate garrison at Meienberg.
On 14 January, Lucerne called the confederacies for assistance. An armistice was called on 21 February, negotiations were held in Zürich, but neither side had any real interest in ending the conflict at this point, as the armistice ended, the conflict escalated into a full-scale military confrontation. Duke Leopold gathered his troops at Brugg, consisting of his feudal vassals from Swabia, the Alsace, Thurgau, Tyrol, as well as bourgeois forces of various towns and Italian and German mercenaries. In the course of a few weeks, no less than 167 noblemen, both secular and of the church, declared war on the Swiss; these declarations were sent to the Swiss diet in 20 packets, in order to increase the effect of shock. On 24 June, a messenger from Württemberg brought 15 declarations of war. Before all letters had been read, the messenger from Pfirt delivered another eight, before he had finished speaking, letters from the lords of Schaffhausen were brought in. Another eight messengers arrived on the following day.
The gathering of Austrian forces at Brugg suggested an intended attack on Zürich, the Confederate forces moved to protect that city. But Leopold marched south, to Zofingen and on to Willisau with the intention of ravaging the Lucerne countryside and ultimately aiming for the city of Lucerne; the Austrian army had a troop of mowers with them with the purpose of cutting down the corn and destroying the harvests along their route. The town of Willisau was plundered and burned, the army moved on to Sursee on Lake Sempach, thence towards Sempach on 9 July. Leopold's men taunted those behind the walls of the town, a knight waved a noose at them and promised them he would use it on their leaders. Another mockingly pointed to the soldiers setting fire to the ripe fields of grain, asked them to send a breakfast to the reapers. From behind the walls, there was a shouted retort: "Lucerne and the allies will bring them breakfast!" Confederate troops of Lucerne, Uri and Unterwalden had marched back from Zürich once it became clear that this was not Leopold's target.
The forces of Zürich had remained behind defending their own city, while those of Bern had not heeded the confederate call for assistance. The Confederation army had assembled at the bridge over the Reuss River at Gisikon, it marched from there, hoping to catch Leopold still at Sempach where he could be pressed against the lake. Around noon, the two armies made contact about 2 km outside of Sempach; this was to the mutual surprise of both armies, which were both not in battle order. But both sides formed ranks; the site of the battle is marked by the old battle chapel, consecrated in the year after the battle. The Swiss held the wooded high ground close to the village of Hildisrieden. Since the terrain was not deemed suitable for a cavalry attack, Leopold's knights dismounted, because they did not have time to prepare for the engagement, they were forced to cut off the tips of their poulaines which would have hindered their movement on foot; the Swiss chroniclers report how a huge pile of these shoe-tips was found in a heap after the battle, they are depicted in the background of the battle scene in the Lucerne Chronicle of 1513.
The main body of the Confederation army completed its deployment from the marching column, formed up, attacked the knights from the flank aggressively. The Austrian force, on the other hand, formed a wide rank and threatened to surround the outnumbered confederates. How and at what point the battle turned in favour of the confederates is a matter of debate, it has been suggested that an important factor was the midday heat in July, which wore out the Austrian knights wearing heavy armour much more than the armed confederates. Another factor may have been a fatal underestimation of the confederates on the part of the nobility. According to the account by Tschudi, seeing the small strength of the confederate force, the nobles were concerned that if they sent the mercenaries in front, as would have been common practice, they might not see any action at all, as the mercenaries would finish the job on their own. Therefore, they insisted on taking the front ranks. Traditional Swiss historiography since the 16th century has attributed the turning of the tide to the heroic deed of Arnold von Winkelried, who opened a breach in the Habsburg lines by throwing himself into their pikes, taking them down with his body so that the confederates could attack through the opening.
Winkelried is explained as a legendary figure introduced t
Zürich or Zurich is the largest city in Switzerland and the capital of the canton of Zürich. It is located in north-central Switzerland at the northwestern tip of Lake Zürich; the municipality has 409,000 inhabitants, the urban agglomeration 1.315 million and the Zürich metropolitan area 1.83 million. Zürich is a hub for railways and air traffic. Both Zürich Airport and railway station are the busiest in the country. Permanently settled for over 2,000 years, Zürich was founded by the Romans, who, in 15 BC, called it Turicum. However, early settlements have been found dating back more than 6,400 years ago. During the Middle Ages, Zürich gained the independent and privileged status of imperial immediacy and, in 1519, became a primary centre of the Protestant Reformation in Europe under the leadership of Huldrych Zwingli; the official language of Zürich is German, but the main spoken language is the local variant of the Alemannic Swiss German dialect, Zürich German. Many museums and art galleries can be found in the city, including the Swiss National Museum and the Kunsthaus.
Schauspielhaus Zürich is one of the most important theatres in the German-speaking world. Zürich is a leading global city and among the world's largest financial centres despite having a small population; the city is home to a large number of financial institutions and banking companies. Most of Switzerland's research and development centres are concentrated in Zürich and the low tax rates attract overseas companies to set up their headquarters there. Monocle's 2012 "Quality of Life Survey" ranked Zürich first on a list of the top 25 cities in the world "to make a base within". According to several surveys from 2006 to 2008, Zürich was named the city with the best quality of life in the world as well as the wealthiest city in Europe in terms of GDP per capita; the Economist Intelligence Unit's Global Liveability Ranking sees Zürich rank among the top ten most liveable cities in the world. In German, the city name is written Zürich, pronounced in Swiss Standard German. In Zürich German, the local dialect of Swiss German, the name is pronounced without the final consonant, as Züri, although the adjective remains Zürcher.
The city is called Zurich in French, Zurigo in Italian, Turitg in Romansh. In English, the name used to be written without the umlaut. So, standard English practice for German calques is to either preserve the umlaut or replace it with the base letter followed by e, it is pronounced ZEWR-ik, more sometimes with /ts/, as in German. The earliest known form of the city's name is Turicum, attested on a tombstone of the late 2nd century AD in the form STA TURICEN; the name is interpreted as a derivation from a given name Gaulish personal name Tūros, for a reconstructed native form of the toponym of *Turīcon. The Latin stress on the long vowel of the Gaulish name, was lost in German but is preserved in Italian and in Romansh; the first development towards its Germanic form is attested as early as the 6th century with the form Ziurichi. From the 9th century onward, the name is established in an Old High German form Zurih. In the early modern period, the name became associated with the name of the Tigurini, the name Tigurum rather than the historical Turicum is sometimes encountered in Modern Latin contexts.
Settlements of the Neolithic and Bronze Age were found around Lake Zürich. Traces of pre-Roman Celtic, La Tène settlements were discovered near the Lindenhof, a morainic hill dominating the SE - NW waterway constituted by Lake Zurich and the river Limmat. In Roman times, during the conquest of the alpine region in 15 BC, the Romans built a castellum on the Lindenhof. Here was erected Turicum, a tax-collecting point for goods trafficked on the Limmat, which constituted part of the border between Gallia Belgica and Raetia: this customs point developed into a vicus. After Emperor Constantine's reforms in AD 318, the border between Gaul and Italy was located east of Turicum, crossing the river Linth between Lake Walen and Lake Zürich, where a castle and garrison looked over Turicum's safety; the earliest written record of the town dates from the 2nd century, with a tombstone referring to it as to the Statio Turicensis Quadragesima Galliarum, discovered at the Lindenhof. In the 5th century, the Germanic Alemanni tribe settled in the Swiss Plateau.
The Roman castle remained standing until the 7th century. A Carolingian castle, built on the site of the Roman castle by the grandson of Charlemagne, Louis the German, is mentioned in 835. Louis founded the Fraumünster abbey in 853 for his daughter Hildegard, he endowed the Benedictine convent with the lands of Zürich and the Albis forest, granted the convent immunity, placing it under his direct authority. In 1045, King Henry III granted the convent the right to hold markets, collect tolls, mint coins, thus made the abbess the ruler of the city. Zürich gained Imperial immediacy in 1218 with the extinction of the main line of the Zähringer family and attained a status comparable to statehood. During the 1230s, a city wall was built, enclosing 38 hectares, when the earliest stone houses on the Rennweg were built as well; the Carolingian castle was used as a quarry, as it had st
Growth of the Old Swiss Confederacy
The Old Swiss Confederacy began as a late medieval alliance between the communities of the valleys in the Central Alps, at the time part of the Holy Roman Empire, to facilitate the management of common interests such as free trade and to ensure the peace along the important trade routes through the mountains. The Hohenstaufen emperors had granted these valleys reichsfrei status in the early 13th century; as reichsfrei regions, the cantons of Uri and Unterwalden were under the direct authority of the emperor without any intermediate liege lords and thus were autonomous. With the rise of the Habsburg dynasty, the kings and dukes of Habsburg sought to extend their influence over this region and to bring it under their rule; the three founding cantons of the Schweizerische Eidgenossenschaft, as the confederacy was called, were joined in the early 14th century by the city states of Lucerne, Zürich, Bern, they managed to defeat Habsburg armies on several occasions. They profited from the fact that the emperors of the Holy Roman Empire, for most of the 14th century, came from the House of Luxembourg and regarded them as potential useful allies against the rival Habsburgs.
By 1460, the confederates controlled most of the territory south and west of the Rhine to the Alps and the Jura mountains. At the end of the 15th century, two wars resulted in an expansion to thirteen cantons: in the Burgundian Wars of the 1470s, the confederates asserted their hegemony on the western border, their victory in the Swabian War in 1499 against the forces of the Habsburg emperor Maximilian I ensured a de facto independence from the empire. During their involvement in the Italian Wars, the Swiss brought the Ticino under their control. Two similar federations sprung up in neighboring areas in the Alps in the 14th century: in the Grisons, the federation of the Three Leagues was founded, in the Valais, the Seven Tenths were formed as a result of the conflicts with the Dukes of Savoy. Neither federation was part of the medieval Eidgenossenschaft but both maintained close connections with it. Under the Hohenstaufen dynasty of the Holy Roman Empire, the three regions of Uri and Unterwalden had gained the Reichsfreiheit, the first two because the emperors wanted to place the strategically important pass of the St. Gotthard under their direct control, the latter because most of its territory belonged to reichsfrei monasteries.
The cities of Bern and Zürich had become reichsfrei when the dynasty of their patrons, the Zähringer, had died out. When Rudolph I of Habsburg was elected "King of the Germans" in 1273, he became the direct liege lord of these reichsfrei regions, he instituted a strict rule and raised the taxes to finance wars and further territorial acquisitions. When he died in 1291, his son Albert I got involved in a power struggle with Adolf of Nassau for the German throne, the Habsburg rule over the alpine territories weakened temporarily. Anti-Habsburg insurgences sprung up in Swabia and Austria, but were quashed by Albert in 1292. Zürich had participated in this uprising. Albert besieged the city; this time of turmoil prompted the Waldstätten to cooperate more trying to preserve or regain their Reichsfreiheit. The first alliance started in 1291 when Rudolph bought all the rights over the town of Lucerne and the abbey estates in Unterwalden from Murbach Abbey in Alsace; the Waldstätten saw their trade route over Lake Lucerne cut off and feared losing their independence.
When Rudolph died on July 15, 1291 the Communities prepared to defend themselves. On August 1, 1291 an Everlasting League was made between the Forest Communities for mutual defense against a common enemy. Uri and Schwyz got their status reconfirmed by Adolf of Nassau in 1297, but to no avail, for Albert won the power struggle and became emperor in 1298 after Adolf was killed in the Battle of Göllheim; the Federal Charter of 1291 is one of the oldest surviving written document of an alliance between Uri and Unterwalden, the founding cantons of the Old Swiss Confederacy. It is possible that it was written a few decades than the given date of 1291, which would put it in the same date range as the pact of Brunnen of 1315; the traditional date given for the foundation of the Swiss Confederacy in Swiss historiography of the 16th century is 1307. 1291 marks the death of king Rudolf I, 1307 falls into the reign of king Albert I, both members of the House of Habsburg ruling in a time of political instability, when the Holy Roman Empire had been without emperor for several decades.
The politically weak kings of this period had to make frequent concessions to their subjects and vassals in order to remain in power. The founding cantons received confirmations of the Freibriefe establishing their reichsfrei status. Unterwalden was properly granted this status by Albert's successor Henry VII in 1309; this did not prevent the dukes of Habsburg, who had had their homelands in the Aargau, from trying to reassert their sovereignty over the territories south of the Rhine. In the struggle for the crown of the Holy Roman Empire in 1314 between duke Frederick I of Austria and the Bavarian king Louis IV, the Waldstätten sided with Louis for fear of the Habsburgs trying to annex their counties again, like Rudolph I had done; when a long-simmering conflict between Schwyz and the abbey of Einsiedeln escalated once more, the Habsburgs responded by sending a strong army of knights against these peasants to subdue
Switzerland the Swiss Confederation, is a country situated in western and southern Europe. It consists of 26 cantons, the city of Bern is the seat of the federal authorities; the sovereign state is a federal republic bordered by Italy to the south, France to the west, Germany to the north, Austria and Liechtenstein to the east. Switzerland is a landlocked country geographically divided between the Alps, the Swiss Plateau and the Jura, spanning a total area of 41,285 km2. While the Alps occupy the greater part of the territory, the Swiss population of 8.5 million people is concentrated on the plateau, where the largest cities are to be found: among them are the two global cities and economic centres Zürich and Geneva. The establishment of the Old Swiss Confederacy dates to the late medieval period, resulting from a series of military successes against Austria and Burgundy. Swiss independence from the Holy Roman Empire was formally recognized in the Peace of Westphalia in 1648; the country has a history of armed neutrality going back to the Reformation.
It pursues an active foreign policy and is involved in peace-building processes around the world. In addition to being the birthplace of the Red Cross, Switzerland is home to numerous international organisations, including the second largest UN office. On the European level, it is a founding member of the European Free Trade Association, but notably not part of the European Union, the European Economic Area or the Eurozone. However, it participates in the Schengen Area and the European Single Market through bilateral treaties. Spanning the intersection of Germanic and Romance Europe, Switzerland comprises four main linguistic and cultural regions: German, French and Romansh. Although the majority of the population are German-speaking, Swiss national identity is rooted in a common historical background, shared values such as federalism and direct democracy, Alpine symbolism. Due to its linguistic diversity, Switzerland is known by a variety of native names: Schweiz. On coins and stamps, the Latin name – shortened to "Helvetia" – is used instead of the four national languages.
Switzerland is one of the most developed countries in the world, with the highest nominal wealth per adult and the eighth-highest per capita gross domestic product according to the IMF. Switzerland ranks at or near the top globally in several metrics of national performance, including government transparency, civil liberties, quality of life, economic competitiveness and human development. Zürich and Basel have all three been ranked among the top ten cities in the world in terms of quality of life, with the first ranked second globally, according to Mercer in 2018; the English name Switzerland is a compound containing Switzer, an obsolete term for the Swiss, in use during the 16th to 19th centuries. The English adjective Swiss is a loan from French Suisse in use since the 16th century; the name Switzer is from the Alemannic Schwiizer, in origin an inhabitant of Schwyz and its associated territory, one of the Waldstätten cantons which formed the nucleus of the Old Swiss Confederacy. The Swiss began to adopt the name for themselves after the Swabian War of 1499, used alongside the term for "Confederates", used since the 14th century.
The data code for Switzerland, CH, is derived from Latin Confoederatio Helvetica. The toponym Schwyz itself was first attested in 972, as Old High German Suittes perhaps related to swedan ‘to burn’, referring to the area of forest, burned and cleared to build; the name was extended to the area dominated by the canton, after the Swabian War of 1499 came to be used for the entire Confederation. The Swiss German name of the country, Schwiiz, is homophonous to that of the canton and the settlement, but distinguished by the use of the definite article; the Latin name Confoederatio Helvetica was neologized and introduced after the formation of the federal state in 1848, harking back to the Napoleonic Helvetic Republic, appearing on coins from 1879, inscribed on the Federal Palace in 1902 and after 1948 used in the official seal.. Helvetica is derived from the Helvetii, a Gaulish tribe living on the Swiss plateau before the Roman era. Helvetia appears as a national personification of the Swiss confederacy in the 17th century with a 1672 play by Johann Caspar Weissenbach.
Switzerland has existed as a state in its present form since the adoption of the Swiss Federal Constitution in 1848. The precursors of Switzerland established a protective alliance at the end of the 13th century, forming a loose confederation of states which persisted for centuries; the oldest traces of hominid existence in Switzerland date back about 150,000 years. The oldest known farming settlements in Switzerland, which were found at Gächlingen, have been dated to around 5300 BC; the earliest known cultural tribes of the area were members of the Hallstatt and La Tène cultures, named after the archaeological site of La Tène on the north side of Lake Neuchâtel. La Tène culture developed and flourished during the late Iron Age from around 450 BC under some influence from the Gree