Flanker (rugby union)
Flanker is a position in the sport of rugby union. Each team of 15 players includes two flankers, who play in the forwards, are classified as either blindside or openside flankers, numbers 6 and 7 respectively; the name comes from their position in a scrum. They compete for the ball – most in rucks and mauls. Flankers assist in pushing in a scrum, but are expected to detach from the scrum as soon as the ball is out to get to the play before the opposition's forwards. Flankers participate in line-outs, either being lifted to contest or win possession, or to lift other players. Flankers are the key participants in the tackling process; the flankers the openside, are the fastest forwards on the team but still relied upon for tackling. Flankers can be known by several different names, they were called wing-forwards, although this name had a more specific meaning in New Zealand when they used a now-archaic scrum formation. This term is used any more, but the terms breakaway and flank forward are sometimes used.
Collectively, the flankers and the number eight can be known as the back-row forwards – referring to their scrum positions – or as loose forwards because they are loosely bound to the scrum. Flankers are the position where the player should have all-round attributes: speed, fitness and handling skills. Flankers are always involved in the game, as they are the players most involved in winning the ball in open play the openside flanker. Blindside flankers tend to be not as fast as their partners on the openside. In open play, flankers will stand behind the backs, supporting them. If any ball is dropped by the backs, the flankers' job is to clear up messy ball and start a new phase of play; because they are always close to the ball, they are first to the breakdown. Flankers do less pushing in the scrum than the tight five, but need to be fast as their task is to break and cover the opposing half-backs if the opponents win the scrum. At one time, flankers were allowed to break away from the scrum with the ball but this is no longer allowed and they must remain bound to the scrum until the ball is out.
Flankers have to defend at the back of the scrum if the opposition wins the ball and the opposing number 8 decides to pick and go. New Zealand openside flanker Richie McCaw, nominated for World Rugby Player of the Year a record eight times from 2002–2012, described three key roles for the flanker: "My main role as a flanker is, defensively, to tie in with the back line to ensure that the defence works well. On attack I think. You attack the back line and I'm the first person there to make sure we secure that ball. Thirdly I put pressure on break downs and make sure I disturb their ball and try to turn their ball over." The two flankers do not bind to the scrum in a fixed position. Instead, the openside flanker attaches to the scrum on whichever side is further from the nearer touchline, while the blind-side flanker attaches himself/herself to the scrum on the side closer to the touchline. Since most of the back play is on the open side, where there is more space, it is the openside flanker's job to be the first to any breakdown of play and to get his/her hands on any loose ball.
At a scrum where the ball has been won by the opposition, the openside flanker has the best view of when the ball is out and is able to break away and close down the opposing ball-carrier, reducing the time available for a pass or kick. Openside flankers are smaller and quicker than their blindside counterparts; the blindside flanker has the job of stopping any move by the opponents on the blind side from a scrum. Blindside flankers are responsible for cover defence from set pieces and may play a more physical role at the line-out, where they may well be used as a jumper, they can be used for breaking their opposition line in open play using their speed and strength to break tackles. Most countries prefer a quicker openside flanker with the ability to get off the scrum so that he can scavenge for the ball. In South Africa, however, it is preferred for the blindside flanker to be quicker as it is their duty to carry the ball, meaning they prefer the person running with the ball being quicker rather than the person trying steal it.
Flankers are not always assigned specific roles as blindsides. For example, Scotland flankers Finlay Calder and John Jeffrey played left and right, rather than open and blind. French teams tend not to make a distinction between the two roles, their flankers usually play left and right rather than open and blind: thus, Serge Betsen wore the number 6 but would pack down on either the open or blind sides of the scrum, will harass the opposition fly-half in the manner of an openside. Rugby union positions Scrum Playing Zinzan. "Position guide: blind-side flanker". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 18 December 2007. Brooke, Zinzan. "Position guide: open-side flanker". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 18 December 2007
World Rugby is the world governing body for the sport of rugby union. World Rugby organises the Rugby World Cup every four years, the sport's most recognised and most profitable competition, it organises a number of other international rugby competitions, such as the World Rugby Sevens Series, the Rugby World Cup Sevens, the World Under 20 Championship, the Pacific Nations Cup. World Rugby's headquarters are in Ireland, its membership now comprises 120 national unions. Each member country must be a member of one of the six regional unions into which the world is divided: Africa, Americas North, Europe, South America and Oceania. World Rugby was founded as the International Rugby Football Board in 1886 by Scotland and Ireland, with England joining in 1890. Australia, New Zealand and South Africa became full members in 1949. France became a member in 1978 and a further eighty members joined from 1987 to 1999; the body was renamed the International Rugby Board in 1998, took up its current name of World Rugby in November 2014.
In 2009, the International Olympic Committee voted to include rugby sevens in the 2016 Summer Olympics. World Rugby gained membership of the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations in 2010; until 1885 the laws of rugby football were made by England as the founder nation. However, following a disputed try in an international between Scotland and England in 1884, letters were exchanged in which England claimed that they made the laws, the try should stand. Scotland refused to play England in the 1885 Home Nations Championship. Following the dispute, the home unions of Scotland and Wales decided to form an international union whose membership would agree on the standard rules of rugby football; the three nations met in Dublin in 1886. On 5 December 1887, committee members of the Irish Rugby Football Union, Scottish Rugby Union and Welsh Rugby Union met in Manchester and wrote up the first four principles of the International Rugby Football Board. England refused to take part in the founding of the IRFB, stating that they should have greater representation, as they had more clubs.
The England Union refused to accept the IRFB as the recognised lawmaker of the game. This led to the IRFB taking the stance of member countries not playing England until they joined, no games were played against England in 1888 and 1889. In 1890 England joined the IRFB; the same year, the IRFB wrote the first international laws of rugby union. In 1893, the IRFB was faced with the divide between amateurism and professionalism, nicknamed the "Great Schism". Following the introduction of working class men to the game in Northern England, clubs began paying "broken time" payments to players, due to the loss of earnings from playing on a Saturday. Cumberland County Union complained of another club using monetary incentives to lure players, leading to the IRFB conducting an enquiry; the IRFB was warned by all the chief clubs in Lancashire and Yorkshire that any punishment would lead to the clubs seceding from the union. The debate over broken time payments caused the 22 leading clubs in Yorkshire and Lancashire to form the Northern Rugby Football Union.
The competing unions' laws of the game diverged immediately. England's seats on the IRFB were reduced from six to four in 1911; the Australian Rugby Union, New Zealand Rugby Football Union and South African Rugby Board joined the board with one seat each in 1948, with England's seats being reduced to two, the same as the other home nations. The three Southern Hemisphere unions were given a second seat each in 1958; the French Rugby Federation was admitted in 1978 and the Argentine Rugby Union, Canadian Rugby Union, Italian Rugby Federation and Japan Rugby Football Union were admitted in 1991. In 2016, Georgia and the USA were added to the voting Council with one vote each. Additionally, current Council members Argentina and Italy were granted a second representative and vote; the six regional associations represented on the Council received an additional vote. It is thought. In 1983 and 1984 the Australian and New Zealand Rugby Football Unions each proposed hosting such a tournament; the following year the board committed to conduct a feasibility study.
A year there was another meeting in Paris, the Union subsequently voted on the idea. It was the South African Rugby Board's vote that proved to be crucial in setting up a tied vote, as they voted in favour though they knew they would be excluded due to the sporting boycott because of their apartheid policies. English and Welsh votes were changed, the vote was won 10 to 6; as at January 2017, World Rugby has 17 associated unions. Membership of World Rugby is a four-step process: A Union must apply to become an associate member of its Regional Union After all membership criteria are met, including one year as an associate member, the Union is admitted to the Regional Union as a full member After completion of stages 1 and 2, two years as a full member of a Regional Union, the Union may apply to become an Associate member of World Rugby; as an associate member, the union can participate in World Rugby funded tournaments but not the Rugby World Cup Following two years of associate membership of World Rugby, the union may apply to become a Full MemberRegional Unions Six regional associations, which represent each continent, are affiliated with World Rugby and help to develop the
New Zealand is a sovereign island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The country geographically comprises two main landmasses—the North Island, the South Island —and around 600 smaller islands. New Zealand is situated some 2,000 kilometres east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and 1,000 kilometres south of the Pacific island areas of New Caledonia and Tonga; because of its remoteness, it was one of the last lands to be settled by humans. During its long period of isolation, New Zealand developed a distinct biodiversity of animal and plant life; the country's varied topography and its sharp mountain peaks, such as the Southern Alps, owe much to the tectonic uplift of land and volcanic eruptions. New Zealand's capital city is Wellington. Sometime between 1250 and 1300, Polynesians settled in the islands that were named New Zealand and developed a distinctive Māori culture. In 1642, Dutch explorer Abel Tasman became the first European to sight New Zealand. In 1840, representatives of the United Kingdom and Māori chiefs signed the Treaty of Waitangi, which declared British sovereignty over the islands.
In 1841, New Zealand became a colony within the British Empire and in 1907 it became a dominion. Today, the majority of New Zealand's population of 4.9 million is of European descent. Reflecting this, New Zealand's culture is derived from Māori and early British settlers, with recent broadening arising from increased immigration; the official languages are English, Māori, NZ Sign Language, with English being dominant. A developed country, New Zealand ranks in international comparisons of national performance, such as quality of life, education, protection of civil liberties, economic freedom. New Zealand underwent major economic changes during the 1980s, which transformed it from a protectionist to a liberalised free-trade economy; the service sector dominates the national economy, followed by the industrial sector, agriculture. Nationally, legislative authority is vested in an elected, unicameral Parliament, while executive political power is exercised by the Cabinet, led by the prime minister Jacinda Ardern.
Queen Elizabeth II is the country's monarch and is represented by a governor-general Dame Patsy Reddy. In addition, New Zealand is organised into 11 regional councils and 67 territorial authorities for local government purposes; the Realm of New Zealand includes Tokelau. New Zealand is a member of the United Nations, Commonwealth of Nations, ANZUS, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, ASEAN Plus Six, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, the Pacific Community and the Pacific Islands Forum. Dutch explorer Abel Tasman sighted New Zealand in 1642 and named it Staten Land "in honour of the States General", he wrote, "it is possible that this land joins to the Staten Land but it is uncertain", referring to a landmass of the same name at the southern tip of South America, discovered by Jacob Le Maire in 1616. In 1645, Dutch cartographers renamed the land Nova Zeelandia after the Dutch province of Zeeland. British explorer James Cook subsequently anglicised the name to New Zealand. Aotearoa is the current Māori name for New Zealand.
It is unknown whether Māori had a name for the whole country before the arrival of Europeans, with Aotearoa referring to just the North Island. Māori had several traditional names for the two main islands, including Te Ika-a-Māui for the North Island and Te Waipounamu or Te Waka o Aoraki for the South Island. Early European maps labelled the islands North and South. In 1830, maps began to use North and South to distinguish the two largest islands and by 1907 this was the accepted norm; the New Zealand Geographic Board discovered in 2009 that the names of the North Island and South Island had never been formalised, names and alternative names were formalised in 2013. This set the names as North Island or Te Ika-a-Māui, South Island or Te Waipounamu. For each island, either its English or Māori name can be used. New Zealand was one of the last major landmasses settled by humans. Radiocarbon dating, evidence of deforestation and mitochondrial DNA variability within Māori populations suggest New Zealand was first settled by Eastern Polynesians between 1250 and 1300, concluding a long series of voyages through the southern Pacific islands.
Over the centuries that followed, these settlers developed a distinct culture now known as Māori. The population was divided into iwi and hapū who would sometimes cooperate, sometimes compete and sometimes fight against each other. At some point a group of Māori migrated to Rēkohu, now known as the Chatham Islands, where they developed their distinct Moriori culture; the Moriori population was all but wiped out between 1835 and 1862 because of Taranaki Māori invasion and enslavement in the 1830s, although European diseases contributed. In 1862 only 101 survived, the last known full-blooded Moriori died in 1933; the first Europeans known to have reached New Zeala
Rugby union positions
In the game of rugby union, there are 15 players on each team, comprising eight forwards and seven backs. In addition, there may be up to eight replacement players "on the bench", numbered 16–23. Players are not restricted to a single position, although they specialise in just one or two that suit their skills and body types. Players that play multiple positions are called "utility players"; the scrum must consist of eight players from each team: the "front row", the "second row", a "back row". The players outside the scrum are called "the backs": half back, first five, second five, two wings, a fullback. Early names, such as "three-quarters" and "outside-halves" are still used by many in the Northern Hemisphere, while in the Southern Hemisphere the fly-half and inside centre are colloquially called "first five-eighth" and "second five-eighth" while the scrum-half is known as the "half-back"; the backs play behind the forwards and are more built and faster. Successful backs are skilful at kicking.
Full-backs need to be good defenders and kickers, have the ability to catch a kicked ball. The wingers are among the fastest players in a team and score many of the tries; the centres' key attacking roles are to break through the defensive line and link with wingers. The fly-half can be a good kicker and directs the backline; the scrum-half retrieves the ball from the forwards and needs a quick and accurate pass to get the ball to the backs. Forwards compete for the ball in scrums and line-outs and are bigger and stronger than the backs. Props push in the scrums. Locks jump for the ball at the line-out after the hooker has thrown it in; the flankers and number eight should be the first forwards to a tackle and play an important role in securing possession of the ball for their team. There are a maximum of 15 players from each team on a rugby field at one time; the players' position at the start of the game are indicated by the numbers on the back of their shirts, 1 to 15. The positions are divided into two main categories.
In international matches, there are eight substitutes. The substitutes, numbered 16 to 23, can either take up the position of the player they replace or the on-field players can be shuffled to make room for this player in another position; the replacement players will have a number that corresponds with their intended replacement position with the numbers from 16 to 20 being forwards and 21 to 23 being backs. There are no personal squad numbers and a versatile player's position and number may change from one game to the next. Players can change positions with players on the field during the match, and, as long as the laws are followed, any player can change positions with another player during the match. Common examples are the fly-half playing the full-back's position in defence or a prop taking the hooker's position at line-outs. Different positions on the field suit certain skill sets and body types leading to players specialising in a limited number of positions; each position has certain roles to play on the field, although most have been established through convention rather than law.
During general play, as long as they are not offside, the players may be positioned anywhere on the field. It is during the set pieces and line-out, when the positions are enforced. During early rugby union games there were only two positions; the attacking possibilities of playing close behind the scrimmage were recognised. The players who stationed themselves between the forwards and tends became known as "half-tends", it was observed that the players outside scrimmage were not limited to a defensive role, so the tends and half-tends were renamed "backs" and "half-backs". As the game became more sophisticated, the backs positioned at different depths behind the forwards, they were further differentiated into half-backs, three-quarter-backs, full-back. Specialised roles for the scrum evolved with "wing-forward" being employed to protect the half-back; the first international between England and Scotland was played in 1871 and consisted of twenty players on each side: thirteen forwards, three half-backs, one three-quarter and three full-backs.
The player numbers were reduced to fifteen in 1877. Numbers were added to the backs of players' jerseys in the 1920s as a way for coaches and selectors to rate individual players; the various positions have changed names over time and many are known by different names in different countries. Players in the flanker positions were known as "wing forwards", while in the backs, "centre three-quarter" and "wing three-quarter" were used to describe the outside centre and wing The names used by World Rugby tend to reflect Northern Hemisphere usage although fly-half is still known as "outside-half" or "stand-off" in Britain, "outhalf" in Ireland. In New Zealand, the scrum-half is still referred to as the "half-back", the fly-half is referred to as the "first five-eighth", the inside centre is called the "second five-eighth" and t
Spain the Kingdom of Spain, is a country located in Europe. Its continental European territory is situated on the Iberian Peninsula, its territory includes two archipelagoes: the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa, the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea. The African enclaves of Ceuta, Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera make Spain the only European country to have a physical border with an African country. Several small islands in the Alboran Sea are part of Spanish territory; the country's mainland is bordered to the south and east by the Mediterranean Sea except for a small land boundary with Gibraltar. With an area of 505,990 km2, Spain is the largest country in Southern Europe, the second largest country in Western Europe and the European Union, the fourth largest country in the European continent. By population, Spain is the fifth in the European Union. Spain's capital and largest city is Madrid. Modern humans first arrived in the Iberian Peninsula around 35,000 years ago. Iberian cultures along with ancient Phoenician, Greek and Carthaginian settlements developed on the peninsula until it came under Roman rule around 200 BCE, after which the region was named Hispania, based on the earlier Phoenician name Spn or Spania.
At the end of the Western Roman Empire the Germanic tribal confederations migrated from Central Europe, invaded the Iberian peninsula and established independent realms in its western provinces, including the Suebi and Vandals. The Visigoths would forcibly integrate all remaining independent territories in the peninsula, including Byzantine provinces, into the Kingdom of Toledo, which more or less unified politically and all the former Roman provinces or successor kingdoms of what was documented as Hispania. In the early eighth century the Visigothic Kingdom fell to the Moors of the Umayyad Islamic Caliphate, who arrived to rule most of the peninsula in the year 726, leaving only a handful of small Christian realms in the north and lasting up to seven centuries in the Kingdom of Granada; this led to many wars during a long reconquering period across the Iberian Peninsula, which led to the creation of the Kingdom of Leon, Kingdom of Castile, Kingdom of Aragon and Kingdom of Navarre as the main Christian kingdoms to face the invasion.
Following the Moorish conquest, Europeans began a gradual process of retaking the region known as the Reconquista, which by the late 15th century culminated in the emergence of Spain as a unified country under the Catholic Monarchs. Until Aragon had been an independent kingdom, which had expanded toward the eastern Mediterranean, incorporating Sicily and Naples, had competed with Genoa and Venice. In the early modern period, Spain became the world's first global empire and the most powerful country in the world, leaving a large cultural and linguistic legacy that includes more than 570 million Hispanophones, making Spanish the world's second-most spoken native language, after Mandarin Chinese. During the Golden Age there were many advancements in the arts, with world-famous painters such as Diego Velázquez; the most famous Spanish literary work, Don Quixote, was published during the Golden Age. Spain hosts the world's third-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Spain is a secular parliamentary democracy and a parliamentary monarchy, with King Felipe VI as head of state.
It is a major developed country and a high income country, with the world's fourteenth largest economy by nominal GDP and sixteenth largest by purchasing power parity. It is a member of the United Nations, the European Union, the Eurozone, the Council of Europe, the Organization of Ibero-American States, the Union for the Mediterranean, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the Schengen Area, the World Trade Organization and many other international organisations. While not an official member, Spain has a "Permanent Invitation" to the G20 summits, participating in every summit, which makes Spain a de facto member of the group; the origins of the Roman name Hispania, from which the modern name España was derived, are uncertain due to inadequate evidence, although it is documented that the Phoenicians and Carthaginians referred to the region as Spania, therefore the most accepted etymology is a Semitic-Phoenician one.
Down the centuries there have been a number of accounts and hypotheses: The Renaissance scholar Antonio de Nebrija proposed that the word Hispania evolved from the Iberian word Hispalis, meaning "city of the western world". Jesús Luis Cunchillos argues that the root of the term span is the Phoenician word spy, meaning "to forge metals". Therefore, i-spn-ya would mean "the land where metals are forged", it may be a derivation of the Phoenician I-Shpania, meaning "island of rabbits", "land of rabbits" or "edge", a reference to Spain's location at the end of the Mediterranean. The word in question means "Hyrax" due to Phoenicians confusing the two animals. Hispania may derive from the poetic use of the term Hesperia, reflecting the Greek perception of Italy as a "western land" or "land of the setting sun" (Hesperia
England is a country, part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to Scotland to the north-northwest; the Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea lies to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south; the country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight. The area now called England was first inhabited by modern humans during the Upper Palaeolithic period, but takes its name from the Angles, a Germanic tribe deriving its name from the Anglia peninsula, who settled during the 5th and 6th centuries. England became a unified state in the 10th century, since the Age of Discovery, which began during the 15th century, has had a significant cultural and legal impact on the wider world; the English language, the Anglican Church, English law – the basis for the common law legal systems of many other countries around the world – developed in England, the country's parliamentary system of government has been adopted by other nations.
The Industrial Revolution began in 18th-century England, transforming its society into the world's first industrialised nation. England's terrain is chiefly low hills and plains in central and southern England. However, there is upland and mountainous terrain in the west; the capital is London, which has the largest metropolitan area in both the United Kingdom and the European Union. England's population of over 55 million comprises 84% of the population of the United Kingdom concentrated around London, the South East, conurbations in the Midlands, the North West, the North East, Yorkshire, which each developed as major industrial regions during the 19th century; the Kingdom of England – which after 1535 included Wales – ceased being a separate sovereign state on 1 May 1707, when the Acts of Union put into effect the terms agreed in the Treaty of Union the previous year, resulting in a political union with the Kingdom of Scotland to create the Kingdom of Great Britain. In 1801, Great Britain was united with the Kingdom of Ireland to become the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
In 1922 the Irish Free State seceded from the United Kingdom, leading to the latter being renamed the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The name "England" is derived from the Old English name Englaland, which means "land of the Angles"; the Angles were one of the Germanic tribes that settled in Great Britain during the Early Middle Ages. The Angles came from the Anglia peninsula in the Bay of Kiel area of the Baltic Sea; the earliest recorded use of the term, as "Engla londe", is in the late-ninth-century translation into Old English of Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People. The term was used in a different sense to the modern one, meaning "the land inhabited by the English", it included English people in what is now south-east Scotland but was part of the English kingdom of Northumbria; the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle recorded that the Domesday Book of 1086 covered the whole of England, meaning the English kingdom, but a few years the Chronicle stated that King Malcolm III went "out of Scotlande into Lothian in Englaland", thus using it in the more ancient sense.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, its modern spelling was first used in 1538. The earliest attested reference to the Angles occurs in the 1st-century work by Tacitus, Germania, in which the Latin word Anglii is used; the etymology of the tribal name itself is disputed by scholars. How and why a term derived from the name of a tribe, less significant than others, such as the Saxons, came to be used for the entire country and its people is not known, but it seems this is related to the custom of calling the Germanic people in Britain Angli Saxones or English Saxons to distinguish them from continental Saxons of Old Saxony between the Weser and Eider rivers in Northern Germany. In Scottish Gaelic, another language which developed on the island of Great Britain, the Saxon tribe gave their name to the word for England. An alternative name for England is Albion; the name Albion referred to the entire island of Great Britain. The nominally earliest record of the name appears in the Aristotelian Corpus the 4th-century BC De Mundo: "Beyond the Pillars of Hercules is the ocean that flows round the earth.
In it are two large islands called Britannia. But modern scholarly consensus ascribes De Mundo not to Aristotle but to Pseudo-Aristotle, i.e. it was written in the Graeco-Roman period or afterwards. The word Albion or insula Albionum has two possible origins, it either derives from a cognate of the Latin albus meaning white, a reference to the white cliffs of Dover or from the phrase the "island of the Albiones" in the now lost Massaliote Periplus, attested through Avienus' Ora Maritima to which the former served as a source. Albion is now applied to England in a more poetic capacity. Another romantic name for England is Loegria, related to the Welsh word for England and made popular by its use in Arthurian legend; the earliest known evidence of human presence in the area now known as England was that of Homo antecessor, dating to approximate
Valencia València, on the east coast of Spain, is the capital of the autonomous community of Valencia and the third-largest city in Spain after Madrid and Barcelona, with around 800,000 inhabitants in the administrative centre. Its urban area extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of around 1.6 million people. Valencia is Spain's third largest metropolitan area, with a population ranging from 1.7 to 2.5 million depending on how the metropolitan area is defined. The Port of Valencia is the 5th busiest container port in Europe and the busiest container port on the Mediterranean Sea; the city is ranked at Beta-global city in World Cities Research Network. Valencia is integrated into an industrial area on the Costa del Azahar. Valencia was founded as a Roman colony by the consul Decimus Junius Brutus Callaicus in 138 BC, called Valentia Edetanorum. In 714 Moroccan and Arab Moors occupied the city, introducing their language and customs. Valencia was the capital of the Taifa of Valencia.
In 1238 the Christian king James I of Aragon conquered the city and divided the land among the nobles who helped him conquer it, as witnessed in the Llibre del Repartiment. He created a new law for the city, the Furs of Valencia, which were extended to the rest of the Kingdom of Valencia. In the 18th century Philip V of Spain abolished the privileges as punishment to the kingdom of Valencia for aligning with the Habsburg side in the War of the Spanish Succession. Valencia was the capital of Spain when Joseph Bonaparte moved the Court there in the summer of 1812, it served as capital between 1936 and 1937, during the Second Spanish Republic. The city is situated on the banks of the Turia, on the east coast of the Iberian Peninsula, fronting the Gulf of Valencia on the Mediterranean Sea, its historic centre is one of the largest in Spain, with 169 ha. Due to its long history, this is a city with numerous popular celebrations and traditions, such as the Fallas, which were declared as Fiestas of National Tourist Interest of Spain in 1965 and Intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO in November 2016.
From 1991 to 2015, Rita Barberá Nolla was the mayor of the city, yet in 2015, Joan Ribó from Coalició Compromís, became mayor. The original Latin name of the city was Valentia, meaning "strength", or "valour", the city being named according to the Roman practice of recognising the valour of former Roman soldiers after a war; the Roman historian Livy explains that the founding of Valentia in the 2nd century BC was due to the settling of the Roman soldiers who fought against an Iberian rebel, Viriatus. During the rule of the Muslim kingdoms in Spain, it had the nickname Medina at-Tarab according to one transliteration, or Medina at-Turab according to another, since it was located on the banks of the River Turia, it is not clear if the term Balansiyya was reserved for the entire Taifa of Valencia or designated the city. By gradual sound changes, Valentia has in Castilian and València in Valencian. In Valencian, the grave accent ⟨è⟩ /ɛ/ contrasts with the acute accent ⟨é⟩ /e/—but the word València is an exception to this rule.
It is spelled according to Catalan etymology. Valencia stands on the banks of the Turia River, located on the eastern coast of the Iberian Peninsula and the western part of the Mediterranean Sea, fronting the Gulf of Valencia. At its founding by the Romans, it stood on a river island in 6.4 kilometres from the sea. The Albufera, a freshwater lagoon and estuary about 11 km south of the city, is one of the largest lakes in Spain; the City Council bought the lake from the Crown of Spain for 1,072,980 pesetas in 1911, today it forms the main portion of the Parc Natural de l'Albufera, with a surface area of 21,120 hectares. In 1976, because of its cultural and ecological value, the Generalitat Valenciana declared it a natural park. Valencia has a subtropical Mediterranean climate with short mild winters and long and dry summers, its average annual temperature is 18.4 °C. In the coldest month, the maximum temperature during the day ranges from 14 to 21 °C, the minimum temperature at night ranges from 5 to 11 °C.
In the warmest month – August, the maximum temperature during the day ranges from 28–34 °C, about 22 to 23 °C at night. Similar temperatures to those experienced in the northern part of Europe in summer last about 8 months, from April to November. March is transitional, the temperature exceeds 20 °C, with an average temperature of 19.3 °C during the day and 10.0 °C at night. December and February are the coldest months, with average temperatures around 17 °C during the day and 8 °C at night. Valencia has one of the mildest winters in Europe, owing to its southern location on the Mediterranean Sea and the Foehn phenomenon; the January average is comparable to temperatures expected for May and September in the major cities of northern Europe. Sunshine duration hours are 2,696 per year, from 15