Kievan Rus was a loose federation of East Slavic tribes in Europe from the late 9th to the mid-13th century, under the reign of the Rurik dynasty. The modern peoples of Belarus and Russia all claim Kievan Rus as their cultural ancestors, according to Russian historiography the first ruler to start uniting East Slavic lands into what has become known as Kievan Rus was Prince Oleg. He extended his control from Novgorod south along the Dnieper river valley to protect trade from Khazar incursions from the east, Sviatoslav I achieved the first major expansion of Kievan Rus territorial control, fighting a war of conquest against the Khazars. Vladimir the Great introduced Christianity with his own baptism and, by decree, extended it to all inhabitants of Kiev and beyond. Kievan Rus reached its greatest extent under Yaroslav the Wise, his sons assembled and issued its first written legal code, the state declined beginning in the late 11th century and during the 12th century, disintegrating into various rival regional powers.
The state finally fell to the Mongol invasion of the 1240s. During its existence, Kievan Rus was known as the land of the Rus, in Greek as Ῥωσία, in Old French as Russie, Rossie, in Latin as Russia, and from the 12th century Ruthenia. Various etymologies have been proposed, including Ruotsi, the Finnish designation for Sweden, and Ros, the term Kievan Rus was coined in the 19th century in Russian historiography to refer to the period when the centre was in Kiev. Later, the Russian term was rendered into Belarusian and Ukrainian as Кіеўская Русь Kijeŭskaja Rus’ and Ки́ївська Русь Kyivska Rus’, prior to the emergence of Kievan Rus in the 9th century AD, the lands between the Baltic Sea and Black Sea were primarily populated by eastern Slavic tribes. In the northern region around Novgorod were the Ilmen Slavs and neighboring Krivichi, who occupied territories surrounding the headwaters of the West Dvina, Dnieper, to their north, in the Ladoga and Karelia regions, were the Finnic Chud tribe. In the south, in the area around Kiev, were the Poliane, a group of Slavicized tribes with Iranian origins, the Drevliane to the west of the Dnieper, and the Severiane to the east.
To their north and east were the Vyatichi, and to their south was forested land settled by Slav farmers, controversy persists over whether the Rus’ were Varangians or Slavs. This uncertainty is due largely to a paucity of contemporary sources, attempts to address this question instead rely on archaeological evidence, the accounts of foreign observers and literature from centuries later. To some extent the controversy is related to the myths of modern states in the region. According to the Normanist view, the Rus were Scandinavians, while Russian and Ukrainian nationalist historians generally argue that the Rus were themselves Slavs. Normanist theories focus on the earliest written source for the East Slavs, archaeological evidence from the area suggests that a Scandinavian population was present during the 10th century at the latest. On balance, it likely that the Rus proper were a small minority of Scandinavians who formed an elite ruling class. Liutprand of Cremona, who was twice an envoy to the Byzantine court, identifies the Russi with the Norse, leo the Deacon, a 10th-century Byzantine historian and chronicler, refers to the Rus as Scythians and notes that they tended to adopt Greek rituals and customs
Syrias capital and largest city is Damascus. Religious groups include Sunnis, Alawites, Mandeans, Salafis, Sunni Arabs make up the largest religious group in Syria. Its capital Damascus and largest city Aleppo are among the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, in the Islamic era, Damascus was the seat of the Umayyad Caliphate and a provincial capital of the Mamluk Sultanate in Egypt. The post-independence period was tumultuous, and a number of military coups. In 1958, Syria entered a union with Egypt called the United Arab Republic. Syria was under Emergency Law from 1963 to 2011, effectively suspending most constitutional protections for citizens, Bashar al-Assad has been president since 2000 and was preceded by his father Hafez al-Assad, who was in office from 1970 to 2000. Mainstream modern academic opinion strongly favours the argument that the Greek word is related to the cognate Ἀσσυρία, Assyria, in the past, others believed that it was derived from Siryon, the name that the Sidonians gave to Mount Hermon.
However, the discovery of the inscription in 2000 seems to support the theory that the term Syria derives from Assyria. The area designated by the word has changed over time, since approximately 10,000 BC, Syria was one of centers of Neolithic culture where agriculture and cattle breeding appeared for the first time in the world. The following Neolithic period is represented by houses of Mureybet culture. At the time of the pre-pottery Neolithic, people used vessels made of stone, finds of obsidian tools from Anatolia are evidences of early trade relations. Cities of Hamoukar and Emar played an important role during the late Neolithic, archaeologists have demonstrated that civilization in Syria was one of the most ancient on earth, perhaps preceded by only those of Mesopotamia. The earliest recorded indigenous civilisation in the region was the Kingdom of Ebla near present-day Idlib, gifts from Pharaohs, found during excavations, confirm Eblas contact with Egypt. One of the earliest written texts from Syria is an agreement between Vizier Ibrium of Ebla and an ambiguous kingdom called Abarsal c.2300 BC.
The Northwest Semitic language of the Amorites is the earliest attested of the Canaanite languages, Mari reemerged during this period, and saw renewed prosperity until conquered by Hammurabi of Babylon. Ugarit arose during this time, circa 1800 BC, close to modern Latakia, Ugaritic was a Semitic language loosely related to the Canaanite languages, and developed the Ugaritic alphabet. The Ugarites kingdom survived until its destruction at the hands of the marauding Indo-European Sea Peoples in the 12th century BC, Yamhad was described in the tablets of Mari as the mightiest state in the near east and as having more vassals than Hammurabi of Babylon. Yamhad imposed its authority over Alalakh, the Hurrians states, the army of Yamhad campaigned as far away as Dēr on the border of Elam
Christian Johann Heinrich Heine was a German poet, journalist and literary critic. He is best known outside Germany for his lyric poetry. Heines verse and prose are distinguished by their satirical wit and he is considered part of the Young Germany movement. His radical political views led to many of his works being banned by German authorities, Heine spent the last 25 years of his life as an expatriate in Paris. Heine was born at Düsseldorf in what was the Duchy of Berg and he was called Harry in childhood but became known as Heinrich after his conversion to Lutheranism in 1825. Heines father, Samson Heine, was a textile merchant and his mother Peira, née van Geldern, was the daughter of a physician. Heinrich was the eldest of four children, Heine was a third cousin once removed of philosopher and economist Karl Marx, born to a German Jewish family in the Rhineland, with whom he became a frequent correspondent in life. Düsseldorf was a town with a population of around 16,000. The French Revolution and subsequent Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars involving Germany complicated Düsseldorfs political history during Heines childhood and it had been the capital of the Duchy of Jülich-Berg, but was under French occupation at the time of his birth.
It went to the Elector of Bavaria before being ceded to Napoleon in 1806 and it was first ruled by Joachim Murat, by Napoleon himself. Upon Napoleons downfall in 1815 it became part of Prussia, thus Heines formative years were spent under French influence. The adult Heine would always be devoted to the French for introduction of the Napoleonic Code and he glossed over the negative aspects of French rule in Berg, heavy taxation and economic depression brought about by the Continental Blockade. Heines parents were not particularly devout, as a young child they sent him to a Jewish school where he learned a smattering of Hebrew, but thereafter he attended Catholic schools. Here he learned French, which would be his second language - although he spoke it with a German accent. He acquired a love for Rhineland folklore. In 1814 Heine went to a school in Düsseldorf where he learned to read English. The most successful member of the Heine family was his uncle Salomon Heine, in 1816 Heine moved to Hamburg to become an apprentice at Heckscher & Co, his uncles bank, but displayed little aptitude for business.
He learned to hate Hamburg with its ethos, but it would become one of the poles of his life alongside Paris
Marseille, known as Marseilles in English, is a city in France. Known to the ancient Greeks and Romans as Massalia, Marseille was the most important trading centre in the region, Marseille is now Frances largest city on the Mediterranean coast and the largest port for commerce and cruise ships. The city was European Capital of Culture, together with Košice, Slovakia and it hosted the European Football Championship in 2016, and will be the European Capital of Sport in 2017. The city is home to campuses of Aix-Marseille University and part of one of the largest metropolitan conurbations in France. Marseille is the second largest city in France after Paris and the centre of the third largest metropolitan area in France after Paris, further east still are the Sainte-Baume, the city of Toulon and the French Riviera. To the north of Marseille, beyond the low Garlaban and Etoile mountain ranges, is the 1,011 m Mont Sainte Victoire. To the west of Marseille is the artists colony of lEstaque, further west are the Côte Bleue, the Gulf of Lion.
The airport lies to the north west of the city at Marignane on the Étang de Berre, the citys main thoroughfare stretches eastward from the Old Port to the Réformés quarter. Two large forts flank the entrance to the Old Port—Fort Saint-Nicolas on the south side and Fort Saint-Jean on the north. Further out in the Bay of Marseille is the Frioul archipelago which comprises four islands, one of which, If, is the location of Château dIf, the main commercial centre of the city intersects with the Canebière at rue St Ferréol and the Centre Bourse. To the south east of central Marseille in the 6th arrondissement are the Prefecture and the fountain of Place Castellane. To the south west are the hills of the 7th arrondissement, the railway station—Gare de Marseille Saint-Charles—is north of the Centre Bourse in the 1st arrondissement, it is linked by the Boulevard dAthènes to the Canebière. Marseille has a Mediterranean climate with mild, humid winters and warm to hot, december and February are the coldest months, averaging temperatures of around 12 °C during the day and 4 °C at night.
Marseille is officially the sunniest major city in France with over 2,900 hours of sunshine while the average sunshine in France is around 1,950 hours, less frequent is the Sirocco, a hot, sand-bearing wind, coming from the Sahara Desert. Snowfalls are infrequent, over 50% of years do not experience a single snowfall, whose name was probably adapted from an existing language related to Ligurian, was the first Greek settlement in France. It was established within modern Marseille around 600 BC by colonists coming from Phocaea on the Aegean coast of Asia Minor. The connection between Massalia and the Phoceans is mentioned in Thucydidess Peloponnesian War, he notes that the Phocaean project was opposed by the Carthaginians, the founding of Massalia has been recorded as a legend. Protis was invited inland to a banquet held by the chief of the local Ligurian tribe for suitors seeking the hand of his daughter Gyptis in marriage, at the end of the banquet, Gyptis presented the ceremonial cup of wine to Protis, indicating her unequivocal choice
The Bodleian Library, the main research library of the University of Oxford, is one of the oldest libraries in Europe. With over 12 million items, it is the second largest library in Britain after the British Library, known to Oxford scholars as Bodley or the Bod, it operates principally as a reference library and, in general, documents may not be removed from the reading rooms. They do, participate in OLIS, the Bodleian Libraries online union catalogue, much of the librarys archives were digitized and put online for public access in 2015. Since the 19th century a number of stores have been built. Before being granted access to the library, new readers are required to agree to a formal declaration and this declaration was traditionally an oral oath, but is now usually made by signing a letter to a similar effect. Ceremonies in which readers recite the declaration are still performed for those who wish to take them, external readers are still required to recite the declaration orally prior to admission.
The Bodleian Admissions Office has amassed a collection of translations of the declaration allowing those who are not native English speakers to recite it in their first language. Whilst the Bodleian Library, in its current incarnation, has a history dating back to 1602. The first purpose-built library known to have existed in Oxford was founded in the century under the will of Thomas Cobham. This small collection of chained books was situated above the side of the University Church of St Mary the Virgin on the High Street. A suitable room was built above the Divinity School. This room continues to be known as Duke Humfreys Library, after 1488, the university stopped spending money on the librarys upkeep and acquisitions, and manuscripts began to go unreturned to the library. The late sixteenth century saw the library go through a period of decline, the furniture was sold. During the reign of Edward VI, there was a purge of superstitious manuscripts, six of the Oxford University dons were tasked with helping Bodley in refitting the library in March 1658.
Duke Humfrey’s Library was refitted, and Bodley donated a number of his own books to furnish it, the library was formally re-opened on 8 November 1602 under the name “Bodleian Library”. There were around two thousand books in the library at this time, with an ornate Benefactors Register displayed prominently, in 1605, Francis Bacon gave the library a copy of The Advancement of Learning and described the Bodleian as an Ark to save learning from deluge. At this time, there were few books written in English held in the library, Thomas James suggested that Bodley should ask the Stationers Company to provide a copy of all books printed to the Bodleian. In 1610, Bodley made an agreement with the Stationers Company in London to put a copy of every book registered with them in the library, the Bodleian collection grew so fast that the building was expanded between 1610–1612, and again in 1634–1637
University of Cambridge
The University of Cambridge is a collegiate public research university in Cambridge, often regarded as one of the most prestigious universities in the world. Founded in 1209 and given royal status by King Henry III in 1231, Cambridge is the second-oldest university in the English-speaking world. The university grew out of an association of scholars who left the University of Oxford after a dispute with the townspeople, the two ancient universities share many common features and are often referred to jointly as Oxbridge. Cambridge is formed from a variety of institutions which include 31 constituent colleges, Cambridge University Press, a department of the university, is the worlds oldest publishing house and the second-largest university press in the world. The university operates eight cultural and scientific museums, including the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridges libraries hold a total of around 15 million books, eight million of which are in Cambridge University Library, a legal deposit library.
In the year ended 31 July 2015, the university had an income of £1.64 billion. The central university and colleges have an endowment of around £5.89 billion. The university is linked with the development of the high-tech business cluster known as Silicon Fen. It is a member of associations and forms part of the golden triangle of leading English universities and Cambridge University Health Partners. As of 2017, Cambridge is ranked the fourth best university by three ranking tables and no other institution in the world ranks in the top 10 for as many subjects. Cambridge is consistently ranked as the top university in the United Kingdom, the university has educated many notable alumni, including eminent mathematicians, politicians, philosophers, writers and foreign Heads of State. Ninety-five Nobel laureates, fifteen British prime ministers and ten Fields medalists have been affiliated with Cambridge as students, faculty, by the late 12th century, the Cambridge region already had a scholarly and ecclesiastical reputation, due to monks from the nearby bishopric church of Ely.
The University of Oxford went into suspension in protest, and most scholars moved to such as Paris, Reading. After the University of Oxford reformed several years later, enough remained in Cambridge to form the nucleus of the new university. A bull in 1233 from Pope Gregory IX gave graduates from Cambridge the right to teach everywhere in Christendom, the colleges at the University of Cambridge were originally an incidental feature of the system. No college is as old as the university itself, the colleges were endowed fellowships of scholars. There were institutions without endowments, called hostels, the hostels were gradually absorbed by the colleges over the centuries, but they have left some indicators of their time, such as the name of Garret Hostel Lane. Hugh Balsham, Bishop of Ely, founded Peterhouse, Cambridges first college, the most recently established college is Robinson, built in the late 1970s
Cambridge University Library
Cambridge University Library is the main research library of the University of Cambridge in England. It is the biggest of 114 libraries within the University. The Library is a scholarly resource for both the members of the University of Cambridge and for external researchers. Cambridge University Library comprises the main University Library and its affiliated libraries, as at August 2015, twenty-one affiliated libraries were associated with the main University Library, which is often referred to within the University as the University Library or just the UL. Through legal deposit and donation it receives around 100,000 items every year, the main University Library holds approximately 8 million items. Its original location was the Universitys Old Schools near Senate House until it outgrew the space there, the current acting librarian is Professor Christopher Young. As early as the century, Cambridge University owned a collection of manuscripts. These would have kept in chests along with other valuables. A common library can be traced to the beginning of the 15th century, the earliest catalogue is dated ca. 1424, at which there were 122 volumes in the library.
The second earliest surviving catalogue was drawn up in 1473, from the 16th century onwards it received generous donations or bequests of books and growth was considerably increased once the privilege of legal deposit had been granted. The current main University Library building was constructed between 1931 and 1934 under architect Giles Gilbert Scott, who designed the neighbouring Clare Memorial Court. The site had been used by the First Eastern General Hospital, built at the outbreak of the First World War on the 8 acres joint cricket field of Kings and Clare Colleges. The hospital had 1,700 beds at its height and treated some 70,000 casualties between 1914 and 1919, the library is a Grade II listed building. Inside are a number of 17th- and 18th century bookcases including the ones designed for the old University Library by James Essex in 1731-4, the building bears a marked resemblance to Scotts industrial architecture, including Bankside Power Station. The library tower stands 157 feet tall,6 feet shorter than the top of St Johns College Chapel and 10 feet taller than the peak of Kings College Chapel.
Supposedly, in opening the building, Neville Chamberlain referred to it as this magnificent erection, contrary to popular belief, pornographic material is not stored in the tower. The library has been extended several times, the main building houses the Japanese and Chinese collections in the Aoi Pavilion, an extension donated by Tadao Aoi and opened in 1998. The library is building a new facility in Ely
Islam is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion which professes that there is only one and incomparable God and that Muhammad is the last messenger of God. It is the worlds second-largest religion and the major religion in the world, with over 1.7 billion followers or 23% of the global population. Islam teaches that God is merciful, all-powerful, and unique, and He has guided mankind through revealed scriptures, natural signs, and a line of prophets sealed by Muhammad. The primary scriptures of Islam are the Quran, viewed by Muslims as the word of God. Muslims believe that Islam is the original and universal version of a faith that was revealed many times before through prophets including Adam, Abraham, Moses. As for the Quran, Muslims consider it to be the unaltered, certain religious rites and customs are observed by the Muslims in their family and social life, while social responsibilities to parents and neighbors have been defined. Besides, the Quran and the sunnah of Muhammad prescribe a comprehensive body of moral guidelines for Muslims to be followed in their personal, political, Islam began in the early 7th century.
Originating in Mecca, it spread in the Arabian Peninsula. The expansion of the Muslim world involved various caliphates and empires, most Muslims are of one of two denominations, Sunni or Shia. Islam is the dominant religion in the Middle East, North Africa, sizable Muslim communities are found in Horn of Africa, China, Mainland Southeast Asia, Northern Borneo and the Americas. Converts and immigrant communities are found in almost every part of the world, Islam is a verbal noun originating from the triliteral root s-l-m which forms a large class of words mostly relating to concepts of wholeness, submission and peace. In a religious context it means voluntary submission to God, Islām is the verbal noun of Form IV of the root, and means submission or surrender. Muslim, the word for an adherent of Islam, is the active participle of the verb form. The word sometimes has connotations in its various occurrences in the Quran. In some verses, there is stress on the quality of Islam as a state, Whomsoever God desires to guide.
Other verses connect Islām and dīn, Today, I have perfected your religion for you, I have completed My blessing upon you, still others describe Islam as an action of returning to God—more than just a verbal affirmation of faith. In the Hadith of Gabriel, islām is presented as one part of a triad that includes imān, Islam was historically called Muhammadanism in Anglophone societies. This term has fallen out of use and is said to be offensive because it suggests that a human being rather than God is central to Muslims religion
University of Oxford
The University of Oxford is a collegiate research university located in Oxford, England. It grew rapidly from 1167 when Henry II banned English students from attending the University of Paris, after disputes between students and Oxford townsfolk in 1209, some academics fled north-east to Cambridge where they established what became the University of Cambridge. The two ancient universities are frequently referred to as Oxbridge. The university is made up of a variety of institutions, including 38 constituent colleges, All the colleges are self-governing institutions within the university, each controlling its own membership and with its own internal structure and activities. Being a city university, it not have a main campus, its buildings. Oxford is the home of the Rhodes Scholarship, one of the worlds oldest and most prestigious scholarships, the university operates the worlds oldest university museum, as well as the largest university press in the world and the largest academic library system in Britain.
Oxford has educated many notable alumni, including 28 Nobel laureates,27 Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom, the University of Oxford has no known foundation date. Teaching at Oxford existed in form as early as 1096. It grew quickly in 1167 when English students returned from the University of Paris, the historian Gerald of Wales lectured to such scholars in 1188 and the first known foreign scholar, Emo of Friesland, arrived in 1190. The head of the university had the title of chancellor from at least 1201, the university was granted a royal charter in 1248 during the reign of King Henry III. After disputes between students and Oxford townsfolk in 1209, some academics fled from the violence to Cambridge, the students associated together on the basis of geographical origins, into two nations, representing the North and the South. In centuries, geographical origins continued to many students affiliations when membership of a college or hall became customary in Oxford. At about the time, private benefactors established colleges as self-contained scholarly communities.
Among the earliest such founders were William of Durham, who in 1249 endowed University College, thereafter, an increasing number of students lived in colleges rather than in halls and religious houses. In 1333–34, an attempt by some dissatisfied Oxford scholars to found a new university at Stamford, Lincolnshire was blocked by the universities of Oxford and Cambridge petitioning King Edward III. Thereafter, until the 1820s, no new universities were allowed to be founded in England, even in London, thus and Cambridge had a duopoly, the new learning of the Renaissance greatly influenced Oxford from the late 15th century onwards. Among university scholars of the period were William Grocyn, who contributed to the revival of Greek language studies, and John Colet, the noted biblical scholar. With the English Reformation and the breaking of communion with the Roman Catholic Church, recusant scholars from Oxford fled to continental Europe, as a centre of learning and scholarship, Oxfords reputation declined in the Age of Enlightenment, enrolments fell and teaching was neglected
Genoa is the capital of the Italian region of Liguria and the sixth-largest city in Italy. In 2015,594,733 people lived within the administrative limits. As of the 2011 Italian census, the Province of Genoa, over 1.5 million people live in the wider metropolitan area stretching along the Italian Riviera. Genoa has been nicknamed la Superba due to its glorious past, part of the old town of Genoa was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2006. The citys rich history in notably its art, music. It is the birthplace of Christopher Columbus, Niccolò Paganini, Giuseppe Mazzini, which forms the southern corner of the Milan-Turin-Genoa industrial triangle of north-west Italy, is one of the countrys major economic centres. The city has hosted massive shipyards and steelworks since the 19th century, the Bank of Saint George, founded in 1407, is among the oldest in the world and has played an important role in the citys prosperity since the middle of the 15th century. Today a number of leading Italian companies are based in the city, including Fincantieri, Selex ES, Ansaldo Energia, Ansaldo STS, Edoardo Raffinerie Garrone, Piaggio Aerospace, the Genoa area has been inhabited since the fifth or fourth millennium BC.
In ancient times this area was frequented and inhabited by Ligures, Phocaeans and Etruscans. The city cemetery, dating from the 6th and 5th centuries BC, testifies to the occupation of the site by the Greeks, but the fine harbour probably saw use much earlier, perhaps by the Etruscans. In the 5th century BC was founded the first oppidum at the foot of the today called the Castle Hill which now is inside the medieval old town. The ancient Ligurian city was known as Stalia, so referred to by Artemidorus Ephesius and Pomponius Mela, Ligurian Stalia was overshadowed by the powerful Marseille and Vada Sabatia, near modern Savona. Stalia had an alliance with Rome through a foedus aequum in the course of the Second Punic War, the Carthaginians accordingly destroyed it in 209 BC. The town was rebuilt and, after the Carthaginian Wars ended in 146 BC. it received municipal rights, the original castrum thenceforth expanded towards the current areas of Santa Maria di Castello and the San Lorenzo promontory.
Trades included skins and honey, goods were shipped to the mainland, up to major cities like Tortona and Piacenza. Among the archeological remains from the Roman period, an amphitheatre was found, another theory traces the name to the Etruscan word Kainua which means New City and still another from the Latin word ianua, related to the name of the God Janus, meaning door or passage. The latter is in reference to its position at the centre of the Ligurian coastal arch. The Latin name, oppidum Genua, is recorded by Pliny the Elder as part of the Augustean Regio IX Liguria, after the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the Ostrogoths occupied Genoa
Palestine is a geographic region in Western Asia between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River. It is sometimes considered to include adjoining territories, the name was used by Ancient Greek writers, and was used for the Roman province Syria Palaestina, the Byzantine Palaestina Prima, and the Islamic provincial district of Jund Filastin. The region comprises most of the claimed for the biblical regions known as the Land of Israel. Historically, it has known as the southern portion of wider regional designations such as Canaan, ash-Sham. The boundaries of the region have changed throughout history, the region comprises the State of Israel and the Palestinian territories in which the State of Palestine was declared. Modern archaeology has identified 12 ancient inscriptions from Egyptian and Assyrian records recording likely cognates of Hebrew Pelesheth, the term Peleset is found in five inscriptions referring to a neighboring people or land starting from c.1150 BCE during the Twentieth dynasty of Egypt.
Neither the Egyptian nor the Assyrian sources provided clear regional boundaries for the term, approximately a century later, Aristotle used a similar definition for the region in Meteorology, in which he included the Dead Sea. The term is accepted to be a translation of the Biblical name Peleshet. The term is used in the Septuagint, who used a transliteration Land of Phylistieim different from the contemporary Greek place name Palaistínē. Following the Muslim conquest, place names that were in use by the Byzantine administration generally continued to be used in Arabic, Modern archaeologists and historians of the region refer to their field of study as Levantine archaeology. The region was among the earliest in the world to see human habitation, agricultural communities, during the Bronze Age, independent Canaanite city-states were established, and were influenced by the surrounding civilizations of ancient Egypt, Phoenicia, Minoan Crete, and Syria. Between 1550–1400 BCE, the Canaanite cities became vassals to the Egyptian New Kingdom who held power until the 1178 BCE Battle of Djahy during the wider Bronze Age collapse.
The region became part of the Neo-Assyrian Empire from c.740 BCE, in 539 BCE, the Babylonian empire was replaced by the Achaemenid Empire. In the 330s BCE, Macedonian ruler Alexander the Great conquered the region and it ultimately fell to the Seleucid Empire between 219–200 BCE. In 116 BCE, a Seleucid civil war resulted in the independence of certain regions including the Hasmonean principality in the Judaean Mountains, from 110 BCE, the Hasmoneans extended their authority over much of Palestine, creating a Judaean–Samaritan–Idumaean–Ituraean–Galilean alliance. The Judaean control over the region resulted in it becoming known as Judaea. Between 73–63 BCE, the Roman Republic extended its influence into the region in the Third Mithridatic War, conquering Judea in 63 BCE, and splitting the former Hasmonean Kingdom into five districts. The three-year Ministry of Jesus, culminating in his crucifixion, is estimated to have occurred from 28–30 CE, in 70 CE, Titus sacked Jerusalem, resulting in the dispersal of the citys Jews and Christians to Yavne and Pella
Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. It is an autonomous Region of Italy, along with surrounding minor islands, Sicily is located in the central Mediterranean Sea, south of the Italian Peninsula, from which it is separated by the narrow Strait of Messina. Its most prominent landmark is Mount Etna, the tallest active volcano in Europe, the island has a typical Mediterranean climate. The earliest archaeological evidence of activity on the island dates from as early as 12,000 BC. It became part of Italy in 1860 following the Expedition of the Thousand, a revolt led by Giuseppe Garibaldi during the Italian unification, Sicily was given special status as an autonomous region after the Italian constitutional referendum of 1946. Sicily has a rich and unique culture, especially regard to the arts, literature, cuisine. It is home to important archaeological and ancient sites, such as the Necropolis of Pantalica, the Valley of the Temples, Sicily has a roughly triangular shape, earning it the name Trinacria.
To the east, it is separated from the Italian mainland by the Strait of Messina, about 3 km wide in the north, and about 16 km wide in the southern part. The northern and southern coasts are each about 280 km long measured as a line, while the eastern coast measures around 180 km. The total area of the island is 25,711 km2, the terrain of inland Sicily is mostly hilly and is intensively cultivated wherever possible. Along the northern coast, the ranges of Madonie,2,000 m, Nebrodi,1,800 m. The cone of Mount Etna dominates the eastern coast, in the southeast lie the lower Hyblaean Mountains,1,000 m. The mines of the Enna and Caltanissetta districts were part of a leading sulphur-producing area throughout the 19th century and its surrounding small islands have some highly active volcanoes. Mount Etna is the largest active volcano in Europe and still casts black ash over the island with its ever-present eruptions and it currently stands 3,329 metres high, though this varies with summit eruptions, the mountain is 21 m lower now than it was in 1981.
It is the highest mountain in Italy south of the Alps, Etna covers an area of 1,190 km2 with a basal circumference of 140 km. This makes it by far the largest of the three volcanoes in Italy, being about two and a half times the height of the next largest, Mount Vesuvius. In Greek Mythology, the deadly monster Typhon was trapped under the mountain by Zeus, Mount Etna is widely regarded as a cultural symbol and icon of Sicily. The Aeolian Islands in the Tyrrhenian Sea, to the northeast of mainland Sicily form a volcanic complex, the three volcanoes of Vulcano and Lipari are currently active, although the latter is usually dormant