Myth is a folklore genre consisting of narratives or stories that play a fundamental role in a society, such as foundational tales or origin myths. The main characters in myths are gods, demigods or supernatural humans. Stories of everyday human beings, although of leaders of some type, are contained in legends, as opposed to myths. Myths are endorsed by rulers and priests or priestesses, are linked to religion or spirituality. In fact, many societies group their myths and history together, considering myths and legends to be true accounts of their remote past. In particular, creation myths take place in a primordial age when the world had not achieved its form. Other myths explain how a society's customs and taboos were established and sanctified. There is a complex relationship between recital of myths and enactment of rituals; the study of myth began in ancient history. Rival classes of the Greek myths by Euhemerus and Sallustius were developed by the Neoplatonists and revived by Renaissance mythographers.
Today, the study of myth continues in a wide variety of academic fields, including folklore studies and psychology. The term mythology may either refer to the study of myths in general, or a body of myths regarding a particular subject; the academic comparisons of bodies of myth is known as comparative mythology. Since the term myth is used to imply that a story is not objectively true, the identification of a narrative as a myth can be political: many adherents of religions view their religion's stories as true and therefore object to the stories being characterised as myths. Scholars now speak of Christian mythology, Jewish mythology, Islamic mythology, Hindu mythology, so forth. Traditionally, Western scholarship, with its Judaeo-Christian heritage, has viewed narratives in the Abrahamic religions as being the province of theology rather than mythology. Labelling all religious narratives as myths can be thought of as treating different traditions with parity. Definitions of myth to some extent vary by scholar.
Finnish folklorist Lauri Honko offers a cited definition: Myth, a story of the gods, a religious account of the beginning of the world, the creation, fundamental events, the exemplary deeds of the gods as a result of which the world and culture were created together with all parts thereof and given their order, which still obtains. A myth expresses and confirms society's religious values and norms, it provides a pattern of behavior to be imitated, testifies to the efficacy of ritual with its practical ends and establishes the sanctity of cult. Scholars in other fields use the term myth in varied ways. In a broad sense, the word can refer to any traditional story, popular misconception or imaginary entity. However, while myth and other folklore genres may overlap, myth is thought to differ from genres such as legend and folktale in that neither are considered to be sacred narratives; some kinds of folktales, such as fairy stories, are not considered true by anyone, may be seen as distinct from myths for this reason.
Main characters in myths are gods, demigods or supernatural humans, while legends feature humans as their main characters. However, many exceptions or combinations exist, as in the Iliad and Aeneid. Moreover, as stories spread between cultures or as faiths change, myths can come to be considered folktales, their divine characters recast as either as humans or demihumans such as giants and faeries. Conversely and literary material may acquire mythological qualities over time. For example, the Matter of Britain and the Matter of France, seem distantly to originate in historical events of the fifth and eighth-centuries and became mythologised over the following centuries. In colloquial use, the word myth can be used of a collectively held belief that has no basis in fact, or any false story; this usage, pejorative, arose from labeling the religious myths and beliefs of other cultures as incorrect, but it has spread to cover non-religious beliefs as well. However, as used by folklorists and academics in other relevant fields, such as anthropology, the term myth has no implication whether the narrative may be understood as true or otherwise.
In present use, mythology refers to the collected myths of a group of people, but may mean the study of such myths. For example, Greek mythology, Roman mythology and Hittite mythology all describe the body of myths retold among those cultures. Folklorist Alan Dundes defines myth as a sacred narrative that explains how the world and humanity evolved into their present form. Dundes classified a sacred narrative as "a story that serves to define the fundamental worldview of a culture by explaining aspects of the natural world and delineating the psychological and social practices and ideals of a society". Anthropologist Bruce Lincoln defines myth as "ideology in narrative form." The compilation or description of myths is sometimes known as mythography, a term which can be used of a scholarly anthology of myths. Key mythographers in the Classical tradition include Ovid, whose tellings of myths have been profoundingly influential.
Constantino Brumidi was a Greek-Italian-American historical painter, best known and honored for his fresco work in the Capitol Building in Washington, DC. Brumidi was born in Rome, his father a Greek from Filiatra in the province of Messinia and his mother an Italian, he showed his talent for fresco painting at an early age and painted in several Roman palaces, among them being that of Prince Torlonia. Under Gregory XVI he worked for three years in the Vatican; the occupation of Rome by French forces in 1849 persuaded Brumidi to emigrate, having joined the short-lived risorgimental Roman Republic, he sailed for the United States, where he became a naturalized citizen in 1852. Taking up his residence in New York City, the artist painted a number of portraits. Subsequently, he undertook more important works, the principal being a fresco of the Crucifixion in St. Stephen's Church, for which he executed a Martyrdom of St. Stephen and an Assumption of Mary, he executed frescoes at Taylor's Chapel, Maryland.
In 1854 Brumidi went to Mexico, where he painted an allegorical representation of the Holy Trinity in the Mexico City cathedral. On his way back to New York he stopped at Washington D. C. and visited the Capitol. Impressed with the opportunity for decoration presented by its vast interior wall spaces, he offered his services for that purpose to Quartermaster General Montgomery C. Meigs; this offer was accepted, about the same time Meigs was commissioned as a captain of cavalry. His first art work in the Capitol Building was in the meeting room of the House Committee on Agriculture. At first he received eight dollars a day, which Jefferson Davis Secretary of War of the United States, helped increase to ten dollars, his work attracting much favourable attention, he was given further commissions, settled into the position of a Government painter. His chief work in Washington was done in the rotunda of the Capitol and included the Apotheosis of George Washington in the dome and the Frieze of American History, which contains allegorical scenes from American history.
His work in the rotunda was left unfinished at his death, but he had decorated many other sections of the building, most notably hallways in the Senate side of the Capitol now known as the Brumidi Corridors. Brumidi's Liberty and Union paintings are mounted near the ceiling of the White House entrance hall. In the Cathedral-Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, he pictured St. Peter and St. Paul. Brumidi was a capable, if conventional painter, his black and white modeling in the work at Washington, in imitation of bas-relief, is strikingly effective, he decorated the entrance hall of Saleaudo, located at Frederick and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. A Brumidi fresco appears behind the altar in St. Ignatius Church in Maryland. Another, of Saint Aloysius Gonzaga receiving communion from Saint Charles Borromeo, hangs over the high altar of St Aloysius Church in Washington, D. C. Brumidi died in Washington, D. C. and was interred at Glenwood Cemetery.
When he was buried, his grave was unmarked. The location of Brumidi's grave was lost for 72 years, it was rediscovered, on February 19, 1952, a marker was placed above it. Forgotten for many years, Brumidi's role was rescued from obscurity by Myrtle Cheney Murdock. On June 10, 2008, Congress passed, on September 1, 2008, President George W. Bush signed, Public Law 110-59, which posthumously awarded the Congressional Gold Medal to Constantino Brumidi, to be displayed in the Capitol Visitor Center, as part of an exhibit honoring him; this article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Herbermann, Charles, ed.. "article name needed". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton. Wolanin, Barbara A.. Constantino Brumidi: artist of the Capitol. Washington: U. S. Government Printing Office. Broumidis. "EI" Magazine of European Art Center 6st issue 1994 p. 13 & 39-41 Constantino Brumidi: Il Michelangelo Del Capitol - Dossena, Tiziano Thomas, L'Idea Magazine N.24, Vol. II, 2005, New York
Vatican City Vatican City State, is an independent city-state enclaved within Rome, Italy. Established with the Lateran Treaty, it is distinct from yet under "full ownership, exclusive dominion, sovereign authority and jurisdiction" of the Holy See. With an area of 44 hectares, a population of about 1,000, it is the smallest state in the world by both area and population; the Vatican City is an ecclesiastical or sacerdotal-monarchical state ruled by the pope who is, religiously speaking, the bishop of Rome and head of the Catholic Church. The highest state functionaries are all Catholic clergy of various national origins. Since the return of the popes from Avignon in 1377, they have resided at the Apostolic Palace within what is now Vatican City, although at times residing instead in the Quirinal Palace in Rome or elsewhere; the Holy See dates back to early Christianity, is the primate episcopal see of the Catholic Church, with 1.3 billion Catholics around the world distributed in the Latin Church and 23 Eastern Catholic Churches.
The independent Vatican City-state, on the other hand, came into existence in 11 February 1929 by the Lateran Treaty between the Holy See and Italy, which spoke of it as a new creation, not as a vestige of the much larger Papal States, which had encompassed much of central Italy. Within the Vatican City are religious and cultural sites such as St. Peter's Basilica, the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museums, they feature some of sculptures. The unique economy of Vatican City is supported financially by the sale of postage stamps and souvenirs, fees for admission to museums, sales of publications; the name Vatican City was first used in the Lateran Treaty, signed on 11 February 1929, which established the modern city-state. The name is taken from the geographic location of the state. "Vatican" is derived from the name of an Etruscan settlement, Vatica or Vaticum meaning garden, located in the general area the Romans called vaticanus ager, "Vatican territory". The official Italian name of the city is Città del Vaticano or, more formally, Stato della Città del Vaticano, meaning "Vatican City State".
Although the Holy See and the Catholic Church use Ecclesiastical Latin in official documents, the Vatican City uses Italian. The Latin name is Status Civitatis Vaticanæ; the name "Vatican" was in use in the time of the Roman Republic for a marshy area on the west bank of the Tiber across from the city of Rome. Under the Roman Empire, many villas were constructed there, after Agrippina the Elder drained the area and laid out her gardens in the early 1st century AD. In AD 40, her son, Emperor Caligula built in her gardens a circus for charioteers, completed by Nero, the Circus Gaii et Neronis called the Circus of Nero. Before the arrival of Christianity, it is supposed that this uninhabited part of Rome had long been considered sacred, or at least not available for habitation. A shrine dedicated to the Phrygian goddess Cybele and her consort Attis remained active long after the Constantinian Basilica of St. Peter was built nearby; the low quality of Vatican water after the reclamation of the area, was commented on by the poet Martial.
Tacitus wrote, that in AD 69, the Year of the Four Emperors, when the northern army that brought Vitellius to power arrived in Rome, "a large proportion camped in the unhealthy districts of the Vatican, which resulted in many deaths among the common soldiery. The Vatican Obelisk was taken by Caligula from Heliopolis in Egypt to decorate the spina of his circus and is thus its last visible remnant; this area became the site of martyrdom of many Christians after the Great Fire of Rome in AD 64. Ancient tradition holds. Opposite the circus was a cemetery separated by the Via Cornelia. Funeral monuments and mausoleums and small tombs as well as altars to pagan gods of all kinds of polytheistic religions were constructed lasting until before the construction of the Constantinian Basilica of St. Peter's in the first half of the 4th century. Remains of this ancient necropolis were brought to light sporadically during renovations by various popes throughout the centuries, increasing in frequency during the Renaissance until it was systematically excavated by orders of Pope Pius XII from 1939 to 1941.
The Constantinian basilica was built in 326 over what was believed to be the tomb of Saint Peter, buried in that cemetery. From on, the area became more populated in connection with activity at the basilica. A palace was constructed nearby as early as the 5th century during the pontificate of Pope Symmachus. Popes came to have a secular role as governors of regions near Rome, they ruled the Papal States, which covered a large portion of the Italian peninsula, for more than a thousand years until the mid-19th century, when all the territory belonging to the papacy was seized by the newly created Kingdom of Italy. For most of this time the popes did not live at the Vatican; the Lateran Palace, on the opposite side
Thomas Ustick Walter
Thomas Ustick Walter was an American architect, the dean of American architecture between the 1820 death of Benjamin Latrobe and the emergence of H. H. Richardson in the 1870s, he was the fourth Architect of the Capitol and responsible for adding the north and south wings and the central dome, predominately the current appearance of the U. S. Capitol building. Walter was one of the founders and second president of the American Institute of Architects. Born in 1804 in Philadelphia, Walter was the son of mason and bricklayer Joseph S. Walter and his wife Deborah. Walter received early training in a variety of fields including masonry, physical science, the fine arts. At 15, Walter entered the office of William Strickland, studying architecture and mechanical drawing established his own practice in 1830. Walter was commissioned by Spruce Street Baptist Church to design its new building at 418 Spruce Street; the 1829 building is today home to the Society Hill Synagogue. Walter's first major commission was the Philadelphia County Prison.
Designed as a humane model in its time, the prison was built between 1832 and 1835. Walter designed the First Presbyterian Church of West Chester, which opened its doors in January 1834. In March 1834, the Walter-designed Wills Eye Hospital opened on the southwest corner of 18th and Race Streets in Philadelphia, he first came to national recognition for his design of Girard College for Orphans in Philadelphia, among the last and grandest expressions of the Greek Revival movement. Walter designed mansions, churches, the hotel at Brandywine Springs, courthouses. In 1836, he designed the Bank of Chester County at Pennsylvania, he designed the St. James Episcopal Church which opened in 1840. In Lexington, Virginia, he designed the Lexington Presbyterian Church in 1843; the same year he designed the Chapel of the Cross in North Carolina. In Norfolk, Virginia, he designed the Norfolk Academy in 1840; the Tabb Street Presbyterian Church was erected at Petersburg, Virginia in 1843. It has been suggested that Walter designed the Second Empire-styled Quarters B and Quarters D at Admiral's Row in Brooklyn, New York.
Among the notable residences designed by Walter were his own home, located at High and Morton Streets in the Germantown section of Philadelphia. Walter designed the Garrett-Dunn House in Philadelphia's Mt. Airy neighborhood, destroyed by fire after being struck by lightning on August 2, 2009. Among his smaller designs was the 1839 Newkirk Viaduct Monument, commissioned by the PW&B to mark the completion of the first rail line south from Philadelphia; the most famous of Walter's constructions is the dome of the U. S. Capitol. By 1850, the rapid expansion of the United States had caused a space shortage in the Capitol. Walter was selected to design extensions for the Capitol, his plan added the familiar cast-iron dome. There were at least six draftsmen in Walter's office, headed by Walter's chief assistant, August Schoenborn, a German immigrant who had learned his profession from the ground up, it appears. These included the curved arch ribs and an ingenious arrangement used to cantilever the base of the columns.
This made it appear that the diameter of the base exceeded the actual diameter of the foundation, thereby enlarging the proportions of the total structure. Construction on the wings proceeded rapidly. Walter's fireproof cast iron dome was authorized by Congress on March 3, 1855, was nearly completed by December 2, 1863, when the Statue of Freedom was placed on top, he reconstructed the interior of the west center building for the Library of Congress after the fire of 1851. Walter continued as Capitol architect until 1865, when he resigned his position over a minor contract dispute. After 14 years in Washington, he retired to his native Philadelphia. In the 1870s, financial setbacks forced him to come out of retirement, he worked as second-in-command when his friend and younger colleague John McArthur, Jr. won the competition for Philadelphia City Hall. He continued on that vast project until his death in 1887. For their architectural accomplishments, both Walter and Benjamin Latrobe are honored in a ceiling mosaic in the East Mosaic Corridor at the entrance to the Main Reading Room of the Library of Congress.
Walter's grandson, Thomas Ustick Walter III, was an architect. Old Patent Office Building 1877 U. S. Patent Office fire Aoc.gov file Brief biography of Thomas Ustick Walter Walter's drawings at the Atheneum of Philadelphia The Winterthur Library Overview of an archival collection on Thomas Ustick Walter. Library of Congress, Jefferson Building East Corridor mosaics Old Patent Office Building video
Oil painting is the process of painting with pigments with a medium of drying oil as the binder. Used drying oils include linseed oil, poppy seed oil, walnut oil, safflower oil; the choice of oil imparts a range of properties to the oil paint, such as the amount of yellowing or drying time. Certain differences, depending on the oil, are visible in the sheen of the paints. An artist might use several different oils in the same painting depending on specific pigments and effects desired; the paints themselves develop a particular consistency depending on the medium. The oil may be boiled with a resin, such as pine resin or frankincense, to create a varnish prized for its body and gloss. Although oil paint was first used for Buddhist paintings by painters in western Afghanistan sometime between the fifth and tenth centuries, it did not gain popularity until the 15th century, its practice may have migrated westward during the Middle Ages. Oil paint became the principal medium used for creating artworks as its advantages became known.
The transition began with Early Netherlandish painting in Northern Europe, by the height of the Renaissance oil painting techniques had completely replaced the use of tempera paints in the majority of Europe. In recent years, water miscible. Water-soluble paints are either engineered or an emulsifier has been added that allows them to be thinned with water rather than paint thinner, allows, when sufficiently diluted fast drying times when compared with traditional oils. Traditional oil painting techniques begin with the artist sketching the subject onto the canvas with charcoal or thinned paint. Oil paint is mixed with linseed oil, artist grade mineral spirits, or other solvents to make the paint thinner, faster or slower-drying. A basic rule of oil paint application is'fat over lean', meaning that each additional layer of paint should contain more oil than the layer below to allow proper drying. If each additional layer contains less oil, the final painting will peel; this rule does not ensure permanence.
There are many other media that can be used with the oil, including cold wax and varnishes. These additional media can aid the painter in adjusting the translucency of the paint, the sheen of the paint, the density or'body' of the paint, the ability of the paint to hold or conceal the brushstroke; these aspects of the paint are related to the expressive capacity of oil paint. Traditionally, paint was transferred to the painting surface using paintbrushes, but there are other methods, including using palette knives and rags. Oil paint remains wet longer than many other types of artists' materials, enabling the artist to change the color, texture or form of the figure. At times, the painter might remove an entire layer of paint and begin anew; this can be done with a rag and some turpentine for a time while the paint is wet, but after a while the hardened layer must be scraped. Oil paint dries by oxidation, not evaporation, is dry to the touch within a span of two weeks, it is dry enough to be varnished in six months to a year.
Although the history of tempera and related media in Europe indicates that oil painting was discovered there independently, there is evidence that oil painting was used earlier in Afghanistan. Outdoor surfaces and surfaces like shields—both those used in tournaments and those hung as decorations—were more durable when painted in oil-based media than when painted in the traditional tempera paints. Most Renaissance sources, in particular Vasari, credited northern European painters of the 15th century, Jan van Eyck in particular, with the "invention" of painting with oil media on wood panel supports. However, Theophilus gives instructions for oil-based painting in his treatise, On Various Arts, written in 1125. At this period, it was used for painting sculptures and wood fittings especially for outdoor use. However, early Netherlandish painting with artists like Van Eyck and Robert Campin in the 15th century were the first to make oil the usual painting medium, explore the use of layers and glazes, followed by the rest of Northern Europe, only Italy.
Early works were still panel paintings on wood, but around the end of the 15th century canvas became more popular as the support, as it was cheaper, easier to transport, allowed larger works, did not require complicated preliminary layers of gesso. Venice, where sail-canvas was available, was a leader in the move to canvas. Small cabinet paintings were made on metal copper plates; these supports were more expensive but firm, allowing intricately fine detail. Printing plates from printmaking were reused for this purpose; the popularity of oil spread through Italy from the North, starting in Venice in the late 15th century. By 1540, the previous method for painting on panel had become all but extinct, although Italians continued to use chalk-based fresco for wall paintings, less successful and durable in damper northern climates; the linseed oil itself comes from a common fiber crop. Linen, a "support" for oil painting comes from the flax plant. Safflower oil or the walnut or poppyseed oil are sometimes used in formulating lighter colors li
A mural is any piece of artwork painted or applied directly on a wall, ceiling or other permanent surface. A distinguishing characteristic of mural painting is that the architectural elements of the given space are harmoniously incorporated into the picture; some wall paintings are painted on large canvases, which are attached to the wall. Whether these works can be called "murals" is a subject of some controversy in the art world, but the technique has been in common use since the late 19th century. Murals of sorts date to Upper Paleolithic times such as the cave paintings in the Lubang Jeriji Saléh cave in Borneo, Chauvet Cave in Ardèche department of southern France. Many ancient murals have been found within ancient Egyptian tombs, the Minoan palaces, the Oxtotitlán cave and Juxtlahuaca in Mexico and in Pompeii. During the Middle Ages murals were executed on dry plaster; the huge collection of Kerala mural painting dating from the 14th century are examples of fresco secco. In Italy, circa 1300, the technique of painting of frescos on wet plaster was reintroduced and led to a significant increase in the quality of mural painting.
In modern times, the term became more well-known with the Mexican muralism art movement. There are many different techniques; the best-known is fresco, which uses water-soluble paints with a damp lime wash, a rapid use of the resulting mixture over a large surface, in parts. The colors lighten; the marouflage method has been used for millennia. Murals today are painted in a variety of ways; the styles can vary from abstract to trompe-l'œil. Initiated by the works of mural artists like Graham Rust or Rainer Maria Latzke in the 1980s, trompe-l'oeil painting has experienced a renaissance in private and public buildings in Europe. Today, the beauty of a wall mural has become much more available with a technique whereby a painting or photographic image is transferred to poster paper or canvas, pasted to a wall surface to give the effect of either a hand-painted mural or realistic scene. In the history of mural several methods have been used: A fresco painting, from the Italian word affresco which derives from the adjective fresco, describes a method in which the paint is applied on plaster on walls or ceilings.
The buon fresco technique consists of painting in pigment mixed with water on a thin layer of wet, lime mortar or plaster. The pigment is absorbed by the wet plaster. After this the painting stays for a long time up to centuries in brilliant colors. Fresco-secco painting is done on dry plaster; the pigments thus require a binding medium, such as egg, glue or oil to attach the pigment to the wall. Mezzo-fresco is painted on nearly-dry plaster, was defined by the sixteenth-century author Ignazio Pozzo as "firm enough not to take a thumb-print" so that the pigment only penetrates into the plaster. By the end of the sixteenth century this had displaced the buon fresco method, was used by painters such as Gianbattista Tiepolo or Michelangelo; this technique had, in reduced form, the advantages of a secco work. In Greco-Roman times encaustic colors applied in a cold state were used. Tempera painting is one of the oldest known methods in mural painting. In tempera, the pigments are bound in an albuminous medium such as egg yolk or egg white diluted in water.
In 16th-century Europe, oil painting on canvas arose as an easier method for mural painting. The advantage was that the artwork could be completed in the artist's studio and transported to its destination and there attached to the wall or ceiling. Oil paint may be a less satisfactory medium for murals because of its lack of brilliance in colour; the pigments are yellowed by the binder or are more affected by atmospheric conditions. The canvas itself is more subject to rapid deterioration than a plaster ground. Different muralists tend to become experts in their preferred medium and application, whether that be oil paints, emulsion or acrylic paints applied by brush, roller or airbrush/aerosols. Clients will ask for a particular style and the artist may adjust to the appropriate technique. A consultation leads to a detailed design and layout of the proposed mural with a price quote that the client approves before the muralist starts on the work; the area to be painted can be gridded to match the design allowing the image to be scaled step by step.
In some cases the design is projected straight onto the wall and traced with pencil before painting begins. Some muralists will paint directly without any prior sketching, preferring the spontaneous technique. Once completed the mural can be given coats of varnish or protective acrylic glaze to protect the work from UV rays and surface damage. In modern, quick form of muralling, young enthusiasts use POP clay mixed with glue or bond to give desired models on a canvas board; the canvas is set aside to let the clay dry. Once dried, the canvas and the shape can be painted with your choice of colors and coated with varnish; as an alternative to a hand-painted or airbrushed mural, digitally printed murals can be applied to surfaces. Existing murals can be photographed and be reproduced
Rome is the capital city and a special comune of Italy. Rome serves as the capital of the Lazio region. With 2,872,800 residents in 1,285 km2, it is the country's most populated comune, it is the fourth most populous city in the European Union by population within city limits. It is the centre of the Metropolitan City of Rome, which has a population of 4,355,725 residents, thus making it the most populous metropolitan city in Italy. Rome is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, within Lazio, along the shores of the Tiber; the Vatican City is an independent country inside the city boundaries of Rome, the only existing example of a country within a city: for this reason Rome has been defined as capital of two states. Rome's history spans 28 centuries. While Roman mythology dates the founding of Rome at around 753 BC, the site has been inhabited for much longer, making it one of the oldest continuously occupied sites in Europe; the city's early population originated from a mix of Latins and Sabines.
The city successively became the capital of the Roman Kingdom, the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire, is regarded by some as the first metropolis. It was first called The Eternal City by the Roman poet Tibullus in the 1st century BC, the expression was taken up by Ovid and Livy. Rome is called the "Caput Mundi". After the fall of the Western Empire, which marked the beginning of the Middle Ages, Rome fell under the political control of the Papacy, in the 8th century it became the capital of the Papal States, which lasted until 1870. Beginning with the Renaissance all the popes since Nicholas V pursued over four hundred years a coherent architectural and urban programme aimed at making the city the artistic and cultural centre of the world. In this way, Rome became first one of the major centres of the Italian Renaissance, the birthplace of both the Baroque style and Neoclassicism. Famous artists, painters and architects made Rome the centre of their activity, creating masterpieces throughout the city.
In 1871, Rome became the capital of the Kingdom of Italy, which, in 1946, became the Italian Republic. Rome has the status of a global city. In 2016, Rome ranked as the 14th-most-visited city in the world, 3rd most visited in the European Union, the most popular tourist attraction in Italy, its historic centre is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The famous Vatican Museums are among the world's most visited museums while the Colosseum was the most popular tourist attraction in world with 7.4 million visitors in 2018. Host city for the 1960 Summer Olympics, Rome is the seat of several specialized agencies of the United Nations, such as the Food and Agriculture Organization, the World Food Programme and the International Fund for Agricultural Development; the city hosts the Secretariat of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union for the Mediterranean as well as the headquarters of many international business companies such as Eni, Enel, TIM, Leonardo S.p. A. and national and international banks such as Unicredit and BNL.
Its business district, called EUR, is the base of many companies involved in the oil industry, the pharmaceutical industry, financial services. Rome is an important fashion and design centre thanks to renowned international brands centered in the city. Rome's Cinecittà Studios have been the set of many Academy Award–winning movies. According to the founding myth of the city by the Ancient Romans themselves, the long-held tradition of the origin of the name Roma is believed to have come from the city's founder and first king, Romulus. However, it is a possibility that the name Romulus was derived from Rome itself; as early as the 4th century, there have been alternative theories proposed on the origin of the name Roma. Several hypotheses have been advanced focusing on its linguistic roots which however remain uncertain: from Rumon or Rumen, archaic name of the Tiber, which in turn has the same root as the Greek verb ῥέω and the Latin verb ruo, which both mean "flow". There is archaeological evidence of human occupation of the Rome area from 14,000 years ago, but the dense layer of much younger debris obscures Palaeolithic and Neolithic sites.
Evidence of stone tools and stone weapons attest to about 10,000 years of human presence. Several excavations support the view that Rome grew from pastoral settlements on the Palatine Hill built above the area of the future Roman Forum. Between the end of the bronze age and the beginning of the Iron age, each hill between the sea and the Capitol was topped by a village. However, none of them had yet an urban quality. Nowadays, there is a wide consensus that the city developed through the aggregation of several villages around the largest one, placed above the Palatine; this aggregation was facilitated by the increase of agricultural productivity above the subsistence level, which allowed the establishment of secondary and tertiary activities. These in turn boosted the development of trade with the Greek colonies of southern Italy; these developments, which according to archaeological ev