Medieval Latin was the form of Latin used in Roman Catholic Western Europe during the Middle Ages. In this region it served as the primary written language, though local languages were written to varying degrees. Latin functioned as the main medium of scholarly exchange, as the liturgical language of the Church, as the working language of science, literature and administration. Medieval Latin represented, in essence, a continuation of Classical Latin and Late Latin, with enhancements for new concepts as well as for the increasing integration of Christianity. Despite some meaningful differences from Classical Latin, Medieval writers did not regard it as a fundamentally different language. There is no real consensus on the exact boundary where Late Latin Medieval Latin begins; some scholarly surveys begin with the rise of early Ecclesiastical Latin in the middle of the 4th century, others around 500, still others with the replacement of written Late Latin by written Romance languages starting around the year 900.
The terms Medieval Latin and Ecclesiastical Latin are used synonymously, though some scholars draw distinctions. Ecclesiastical Latin refers to the form, used by the Roman Catholic Church, whereas Medieval Latin refers more broadly to all of the forms of Latin used in the Middle Ages; the Romance languages spoken in the Middle Ages were referred to as Latin, since the Romance languages were all descended from Classical, or Roman, Latin itself. Medieval Latin had an enlarged vocabulary, which borrowed from other sources, it was influenced by the language of the Vulgate, which contained many peculiarities alien to Classical Latin that resulted from a more or less direct translation from Greek and Hebrew. Greek provided much of the technical vocabulary of Christianity; the various Germanic languages spoken by the Germanic tribes, who invaded southern Europe, were major sources of new words. Germanic leaders became the rulers of parts of the Roman Empire that they conquered, words from their languages were imported into the vocabulary of law.
Other more ordinary words were replaced by coinages from Vulgar Latin or Germanic sources because the classical words had fallen into disuse. Latin was spread to areas such as Ireland and Germany, where Romance languages were not spoken, which had never known Roman rule. Works written in those lands where Latin was a learned language, having no relation to the local vernacular influenced the vocabulary and syntax of medieval Latin. Since subjects like science and philosophy, including Argumentation theory and Ethics, were communicated in Latin, the Latin vocabulary that developed for them became the source of a great many technical words in modern languages. English words like abstract, communicate, matter and their cognates in other European languages have the meanings given to them in medieval Latin; the influence of Vulgar Latin was apparent in the syntax of some medieval Latin writers, although Classical Latin continued to be held in high esteem and studied as models for literary compositions.
The high point of the development of medieval Latin as a literary language came with the Carolingian renaissance, a rebirth of learning kindled under the patronage of Charlemagne, king of the Franks. Alcuin was an important writer in his own right. Although it was developing into the Romance languages, Latin itself remained conservative, as it was no longer a native language and there were many ancient and medieval grammar books to give one standard form. On the other hand speaking there was no single form of "medieval Latin"; every Latin author in the medieval period spoke Latin as a second language, with varying degrees of fluency and syntax. Grammar and vocabulary, were influenced by an author's native language; this was true beginning around the 12th century, after which the language became adulterated: late medieval Latin documents written by French speakers tend to show similarities to medieval French grammar and vocabulary. For instance, rather than following the classical Latin practice of placing the verb at the end, medieval writers would follow the conventions of their own native language instead.
Whereas Latin had no definite or indefinite articles, medieval writers sometimes used forms of unus as an indefinite article, forms of ille as a definite article or quidam as something like an article. Unlike classical Latin, where esse was the only auxiliary verb, medieval Latin writers might use habere as an auxiliary, similar to constructions in Germanic and Romance languages; the accusative and infinitive construction in classical Latin was replaced by a subordinate clause introduced by quod or quia. This is identical, for example, to the use of que in similar constructions in French. In every age from the late 8th century onwards, there were learned writers who were familiar enough with classical syntax to be aware that these forms and usages were "wrong" and resisted their use, thus the Latin of a theologian like St Thomas Aquinas or of an erudite clerical historian such as William of Tyre tends to avoid most of the characteristics described above, showing its p
Trier known in English as Treves and Triers, is a city in Germany on the banks of the Moselle. Trier lies in a valley between low vine-covered hills of red sandstone in the west of the state of Rhineland-Palatinate, near the border with Luxembourg and within the important Moselle wine region; the German philosopher and one of the founders of Marxism, Karl Marx was born in the city in 1818. Founded by the Celts in the late-4th century BC as Treuorum, it was conquered by the Romans in the late-1st century BC and renamed Trevorum or Augusta Treverorum. Trier may be the oldest city in Germany, it is the oldest seat of a bishop north of the Alps. In the Middle Ages, the Archbishop-Elector of Trier was an important prince of the church, as the archbishop-electorate controlled land from the French border to the Rhine; the Archbishop-Elector had great significance as one of the seven electors of the Holy Roman Empire. With an approximate population of 105,000, Trier is the fourth-largest city in its state, after Mainz and Koblenz.
The nearest major cities are Luxembourg, Saarbrücken, Koblenz. The University of Trier, the administration of the Trier-Saarburg district and the seat of the ADD, which until 1999 was the borough authority of Trier, the Academy of European Law are all based in Trier, it is one of the five "central places" of the state of Rhineland-Palatinate. Along with Luxembourg and Saarbrücken, fellow constituent members of the QuattroPole union of cities, it is central to the greater region encompassing Saar-Lor-Lux, Rhineland-Palatinate, Wallonia; the first traces of human settlement in the area of the city show evidence of linear pottery settlements dating from the early Neolithic period. Since the last pre-Christian centuries, members of the Celtic tribe of the Treveri settled in the area of today's Trier; the city of Trier derives its name from the Latin locative in Trēverīs for earlier Augusta Treverorum. The historical record describes the Roman Empire subduing the Treveri in the 1st century BC and establishing Augusta Treverorum in 16 BC.
The name distinguished it from the empire's many other cities honoring the first emperor Augustus. The city became the capital of the province of Belgic Gaul. In the 4th century, Trier was one of the largest cities in the Roman Empire with a population around 75,000 and as much as 100,000; the Porta Nigra dates from this era. A residence of the Western Roman Emperor, Roman Trier was the birthplace of Saint Ambrose. Sometime between 395 and 418 in 407 the Roman administration moved the staff of the Praetorian Prefecture from Trier to Arles; the city was not as prosperous as before. However, it remained the seat of a governor and had state factories for the production of ballistae and armor and woolen uniforms for the troops, clothing for the civil service, high-quality garments for the Court. Northern Gaul was held by the Romans along a line from north of Cologne to the coast at Boulogne through what is today southern Belgium until 460. South of this line, Roman control was firm, as evidenced by the continuing operation of the imperial arms factory at Amiens.
The Franks seized Trier from Roman administration in 459. In 870, it became part of Eastern Francia. Relics of Saint Matthias brought to the city initiated widespread pilgrimages; the bishops of the city grew powerful and the Archbishopric of Trier was recognized as an electorate of the empire, one of the most powerful states of Germany. The University of Trier was founded in the city in 1473. In the 17th century, the Archbishops and Prince-Electors of Trier relocated their residences to Philippsburg Castle in Ehrenbreitstein, near Koblenz. A session of the Reichstag was held in Trier in 1512, during which the demarcation of the Imperial Circles was definitively established. In the years from 1581 to 1593, the Trier witch trials were held the largest witch trial in European history, it was one of the four largest witch trials in Germany alongside the Fulda witch trials, the Würzburg witch trial, the Bamberg witch trials. The persecutions started in the diocese of Trier in 1581 and reached the city itself in 1587, where it was to lead to the death of about 368 people, was as such the biggest mass execution in Europe in peacetime.
This counts only those executed within the city itself, the real number of executions, counting those executed in all the witch hunts within the diocese as a whole, was therefore larger. The exact number of people executed has never been established. In the 17th and 18th centuries, Trier was sought after by France, who invaded during the Thirty Years' War, the War of the Grand Alliance, the War of the Spanish Succession, the War of the Polish Succession. France succeeded in claiming Trier in 1794 during the French Revolutionary Wars, the electoral archbishopric was dissolved. After the Napoleonic Wars ended in 1815, Trier passed to the Kingdom of Prussia; the German philosopher and one of the founders of Marxism, Karl Marx was born in the city in 1818. As part of the Prussian Rhineland, Trier developed economically during the 19th century; the city rose in revolt during the revolutions of 1848 in the German
A vernacular, or vernacular language, is the lect used in everyday life by the common people of a specific population. It is distinguished from national, liturgical or scientific idiom, or a lingua franca, used to facilitate communication across a large area, it is native spoken informally rather than written and seen as of lower status than more codified forms. It can be regional dialect, sociolect or an independent language. In the context of language standardization, the term "vernacular" is used to refer to nonstandard dialects of a certain language, as opposed to its prestige normative forms. Usage of the word "vernacular" is not recent. In 1688, James Howell wrote: Concerning Italy, doubtless there were divers before the Latin did spread all over that Country. Here, mother language and dialect are in use in a modern sense. According to Merriam-Webster, "vernacular" was brought into the English language as early as 1601 from the Latin vernaculus, in figurative use in Classical Latin as "national" and "domestic", having been derived from vernus and verna, a male or female slave born in the house rather than abroad.
The figurative meaning was broadened from vernacula. Varro, the classical Latin grammarian, used the term vocabula vernacula, "termes de la langue nationale" or "vocabulary of the national language" as opposed to foreign words. In general linguistics, a vernacular is contrasted with a lingua franca, a third-party language in which persons speaking different vernaculars not understood by each other may communicate. For instance, in Western Europe until the 17th century, most scholarly works had been written in Latin, serving as a lingua franca. Works written in Romance languages are said to be in the vernacular; the Divina Commedia, the Cantar de Mio Cid, The Song of Roland are examples of early vernacular literature in Italian and French, respectively. In Europe, Latin was used instead of vernacular languages in varying forms until c. 1701, in its latter stage as New Latin. In religion, Protestantism was a driving force in the use of the vernacular in Christian Europe, the Bible being translated from Latin into vernacular languages with such works as the Bible in Dutch: published in 1526 by Jacob van Liesvelt.
In Catholicism, vernacular bibles were provided, but Latin was used at Tridentine Mass until the Second Vatican Council of 1965. Certain groups, notably Traditionalist Catholics, continue to practice Latin Mass. In Eastern Orthodox Church, four Gospels translated to vernacular Ukrainian language in 1561 are known as Peresopnytsia Gospel. In India, the 12th century Bhakti movement led to the translation of Sanskrit texts to the vernacular. In science, an early user of the vernacular was Galileo, writing in Italian c. 1600, though some of his works remained in Latin. A example is Isaac Newton, whose 1687 Principia was in Latin, but whose 1704 Opticks was in English. Latin continues to be used in certain fields of science, notably binomial nomenclature in biology, while other fields such as mathematics use vernacular. In diplomacy, French displaced Latin in Europe in the 1710s, due to the military power of Louis XIV of France. Certain languages have both a classical form and various vernacular forms, with two used examples being Arabic and Chinese: see Varieties of Arabic and Chinese language.
In the 1920s, due to the May Fourth Movement, Classical Chinese was replaced by written vernacular Chinese. The vernacular is often contrasted with a liturgical language, a specialized use of a former lingua franca. For example, until the 1960s, Roman Rite Catholics held Masses in Latin rather than in vernaculars. In Hindu culture, traditionally religious or scholarly works were written in Sanskrit or in Tamil in Tamil country. Sanskrit was a lingua franca among the non-Indo-European languages of the Indian subcontinent and became more of one as the spoken language, or prakrits, began to diverge from it in different regions. With the rise of the bhakti movement from the 12th century onwards, religious works were created in the other languages: Hindi, Kannada and many others. For example, the Ramayana, one of Hinduism's sacred epics in Sanskrit, had vernacular versions such as Ranganadha Ramayanam composed in Telugu by Gona Buddha Reddy in the 15th century; these circumstances are a contrast between a vernacular and language variant used by the same speakers
Augustine of Canterbury
Augustine of Canterbury was a Benedictine monk who became the first Archbishop of Canterbury in the year 597. He is considered the "Apostle to the English" and a founder of the English Church. Augustine was the prior of a monastery in Rome when Pope Gregory the Great chose him in 595 to lead a mission known as the Gregorian mission, to Britain to Christianize King Æthelberht and his Kingdom of Kent from Anglo-Saxon paganism. Kent was chosen because Æthelberht had married a Christian princess, daughter of Charibert I the King of Paris, expected to exert some influence over her husband. Before reaching Kent, the missionaries had considered turning back, but Gregory urged them on, in 597, Augustine landed on the Isle of Thanet and proceeded to Æthelberht's main town of Canterbury. King Æthelberht converted to Christianity and allowed the missionaries to preach giving them land to found a monastery outside the city walls. Augustine was consecrated as a bishop and converted many of the king's subjects, including thousands during a mass baptism on Christmas Day in 597.
Pope Gregory sent more missionaries in 601, along with encouraging letters and gifts for the churches, although attempts to persuade the native British bishops to submit to Augustine's authority failed. Roman bishops were established at London, Rochester in 604, a school was founded to train Anglo-Saxon priests and missionaries. Augustine arranged the consecration of his successor, Laurence of Canterbury; the archbishop died in 604 and was soon revered as a saint. After the withdrawal of the Roman legions from their province of Britannia in 410, the inhabitants were left to defend themselves against the attacks of the Saxons. Before the Roman withdrawal, Britannia had been converted to Christianity and produced the ascetic Pelagius. Britain sent three bishops to the Council of Arles in 314, a Gaulish bishop went to the island in 396 to help settle disciplinary matters. Material remains testify to a growing presence of Christians, at least until around 360. After the Roman legions departed, pagan tribes settled the southern parts of the island while western Britain, beyond the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms, remained Christian.
This native British Church developed in isolation from Rome under the influence of missionaries from Ireland and was centred on monasteries instead of bishoprics. Other distinguishing characteristics were its calculation of the date of Easter and the style of the tonsure haircut that clerics wore. Evidence for the survival of Christianity in the eastern part of Britain during this time includes the survival of the cult of Saint Alban and the occurrence in place names of eccles, derived from the Latin ecclesia, meaning "church". There is no evidence; the invasions destroyed most remnants of Roman civilisation in the areas held by the Saxons and related tribes, including the economic and religious structures. It was against this background that Pope Gregory I decided to send a mission called the Gregorian mission, to convert the Anglo-Saxons to Christianity in 595; the Kingdom of Kent was ruled by Æthelberht, who married a Christian princess named Bertha before 588, earlier than 560. Bertha was the daughter of Charibert one of the Merovingian kings of the Franks.
As one of the conditions of her marriage, she brought. Together in Canterbury, they restored a church that dated to Roman times—possibly the current St Martin's Church. Æthelberht allowed his wife freedom of worship. One biographer of Bertha states that under his wife's influence, Æthelberht asked Pope Gregory to send missionaries; the historian Ian N. Wood feels that the initiative came from the Kentish court as well as the queen. Other historians, believe that Gregory initiated the mission, although the exact reasons remain unclear. Bede, an 8th-century monk who wrote a history of the English church, recorded a famous story in which Gregory saw fair-haired Saxon slaves from Britain in the Roman slave market and was inspired to try to convert their people. More practical matters, such as the acquisition of new provinces acknowledging the primacy of the papacy, a desire to influence the emerging power of the Kentish kingdom under Æthelberht, were involved; the mission may have been an outgrowth of the missionary efforts against the Lombards who, as pagans and Arian Christians, were not on good relations with the Catholic church in Rome.
Aside from Æthelberht's granting of freedom of worship to his wife, the choice of Kent was dictated by a number of other factors. Kent was the dominant power in southeastern Britain. Since the eclipse of King Ceawlin of Wessex in 592, Æthelberht was the leading Anglo-Saxon ruler. Trade between the Franks and Æthelberht's kingdom was well established, the language barrier between the two regions was only a minor obstacle, as the interpreters for the mission came from the Franks. Lastly, Kent's proximity to the Franks allowed support from a Christian area. There is some evidence, including Gregory's letters to Frankish kings in support of the mission, that some of the Franks felt that they had a claim to overlordship over some of the southern British kingdoms at this time; the presence of a Frankish bishop could have lent credence to claims of overlordship, if Bertha's Bishop Liudhard was felt to be acting as a representative of the Frankish church and not as a spiritual advisor to the queen. Frankish influence was not political.
Italy in the Middle Ages
The history of the Italian peninsula during the medieval period can be defined as the time between the collapse of the Western Roman Empire and the Italian Renaissance. Late Antiquity in Italy lingered on into the 7th century under the Ostrogothic Kingdom and the Byzantine Empire under the Justinian dynasty, the Byzantine Papacy until the mid 8th century; the "Middle Ages" proper begin as the Byzantine Empire was weakening under the pressure of the Muslim conquests, the Exarchate of Ravenna fell under Lombard rule in 751. Lombard rule ended with the invasion of Charlemagne in 773, who established the Kingdom of Italy and the Papal States; this set the precedent for the main political conflict in Italy over the following centuries, between the Pope and the Holy Roman Emperor, culminating with conflict between Pope Gregory VII and Henry IV and the latter's "Walk to Canossa" in 1077. The term "Middle Ages" itself derives from the description of the period of "obscurity" in Italian history during the 9th to 11th centuries, the saeculum obscurum or "Dark Age" of the Roman papacy as seen from the perspective of the 14th to 15th century Italian Humanists.
In the 11th century began a political development unique to Italy, the transformation of medieval communes into powerful city states modelled on ancient Roman Republicanism. The republics of Venice, Genoa, among others, rose to great political power and paved the way for the Italian Renaissance and the "European miracle", the resurgence of Western civilization from comparative obscurity in the Early Modern period. On the other hand, the Italian city states were in a state of constant warfare, adding to and overlapping with the persistent conflict between the Pope and the Holy Roman Emperor; each city aligned itself with one faction or the other, yet was divided internally between the two warring parties and Ghibellines. Since the 13th century, these wars had been fought by mercenaries, giving rise to the Italian institution of condottieri and the Swiss mercenary culture. After the three decades of wars in Lombardy between the Duchy of Milan and the Republic of Venice, there was a balance of power between five emerging powerful states, which at the Peace of Lodi formed the so-called Italic League, bringing relative calm for the region for the first time in centuries.
These five powers were the maritime republics of Venice and Florence, whose naval powers dominated the east and west coast of the peninsula the territorial powers of Milan and the Papal States, dominating the northern and central parts of Italy and the Kingdom of Naples in the south. The precarious balance between these powers came to an end in 1494 as the duke of Milan Ludovico Sforza sought the aid of Charles VIII of France against Venice, triggering the Italian War of 1494–98; as a result, Italy became a battleground of the great European powers for the next sixty years culminating in the Italian War of 1551–59, which concluded with Habsburg Spain as the dominant power in Italy. The House of Habsburg would control Italy for the duration of the early modern period, until Napoleon's invasion of Italy in 1796. Italy was invaded by the Visigoths in the 5th century, Rome was sacked by Alaric in 410; the last Western Roman Emperor, Romulus Augustus, was deposed in 476 by an Eastern Germanic general, Odoacer.
He subsequently ruled in Italy for seventeen years as rex gentium, theoretically under the suzerainty of the eastern Roman emperor Zeno, but in total independence. The administration remained the same as that under the Western Roman Empire, gave religious freedoms to the Christians. Odoacer fought against the Vandals, who had occupied Sicily, other Germanic tribes that periodically invaded the peninsula. In 489, Emperor Zeno decided to oust the Ostrogoths, a foederatum people living in the Danube, by sending them into Italy. On February 25, 493 Theodoric the Great became the king of the Ostrogoths. Theodoric, who had lived long in Constantinople, is now considered a Romanized German, he in fact ruled over Italy through Roman personnel; the Goth minority, of Arian confession, constituted an aristocracy of landowners and militaries, but its influence over the country remained minimal. The reign of Theodoric is considered a period of recovery for the country. Infrastructures were repaired, frontiers were expanded, the economy well cared for.
The Latin culture flourished for the last time with figures like Theodoric's minister. However, Theodoric's successors were not equal to him; the eastern half of the Empire, now centred on Constantinople, invaded Italy in the early 6th century, the generals of emperor Justinian and Narses, conquered the Ostrogothic kingdom after years of warfare, ending in 552. This conflict, known as the Gothic Wars, destroyed much of the town life that had survived the barbarian invasions. Town life did not disappear, but they became smaller and more primitive than they had been in Roman times. Subsistence agriculture employed the bulk of the Italian population. Wars and disease epidemics had a dramatic effect on the demographics of Italy; the agricultural estates of the Roman era did not disappear. They produced an agricultural surplus, sold in towns; the withdrawal of Byzantine armies allowed the Lombards, to invade Italy. Cividal
Kingdom of England
The Kingdom of England was a sovereign state on the island of Great Britain from 927, when it emerged from various Anglo-Saxon kingdoms until 1707, when it united with Scotland to form the Kingdom of Great Britain. In 927, the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms were united by Æthelstan. In 1016, the kingdom became part of the North Sea Empire of Cnut the Great, a personal union between England and Norway; the Norman conquest of England in 1066 led to the transfer of the English capital city and chief royal residence from the Anglo-Saxon one at Winchester to Westminster, the City of London established itself as England's largest and principal commercial centre. Histories of the kingdom of England from the Norman conquest of 1066 conventionally distinguish periods named after successive ruling dynasties: Norman 1066–1154, Plantagenet 1154–1485, Tudor 1485–1603 and Stuart 1603–1714. Dynastically, all English monarchs after 1066 claim descent from the Normans; the completion of the conquest of Wales by Edward I in 1284 put Wales under the control of the English crown.
Edward III transformed the Kingdom of England into one of the most formidable military powers in Europe. From the 1340s the kings of England laid claim to the crown of France, but after the Hundred Years' War and the outbreak of the Wars of the Roses in 1455, the English were no longer in any position to pursue their French claims and lost all their land on the continent, except for Calais. After the turmoils of the Wars of the Roses, the Tudor dynasty ruled during the English Renaissance and again extended English monarchical power beyond England proper, achieving the full union of England and the Principality of Wales in 1542. Henry VIII oversaw the English Reformation, his daughter Elizabeth I the Elizabethan Religious Settlement, meanwhile establishing England as a great power and laying the foundations of the British Empire by claiming possessions in the New World. From the accession of James VI and I in 1603, the Stuart dynasty ruled England in personal union with Scotland and Ireland.
Under the Stuarts, the kingdom plunged into civil war, which culminated in the execution of Charles I in 1649. The monarchy returned in 1660, but the Civil War had established the precedent that an English monarch cannot govern without the consent of Parliament; this concept became established as part of the Glorious Revolution of 1688. From this time the kingdom of England, as well as its successor state the United Kingdom, functioned in effect as a constitutional monarchy. On 1 May 1707, under the terms of the Acts of Union 1707, the kingdoms of England and Scotland united to form the Kingdom of Great Britain; the Anglo-Saxons referred to themselves as the Engle or the Angelcynn names of the Angles. They called their land Engla land, meaning "land of the English", by Æthelweard Latinized Anglia, from an original Anglia vetus, the purported homeland of the Angles; the name Engla land became England by haplology during the Middle English period. The Latin name was Anglorum terra, the Old French and Anglo-Norman one Angleterre.
By the 14th century, England was used in reference to the entire island of Great Britain. The standard title for monarchs from Æthelstan until John was Rex Anglorum. Canute the Great, a Dane, was the first to call himself "King of England". In the Norman period Rex Anglorum remained standard, with occasional use of Rex Anglie. From John's reign onwards all other titles were eschewed in favour of Regina Anglie. In 1604 James I, who had inherited the English throne the previous year, adopted the title King of Great Britain; the English and Scottish parliaments, did not recognise this title until the Acts of Union of 1707. The kingdom of England emerged from the gradual unification of the early medieval Anglo-Saxon kingdoms known as the Heptarchy: East Anglia, Northumbria, Essex and Wessex; the Viking invasions of the 9th century upset the balance of power between the English kingdoms, native Anglo-Saxon life in general. The English lands were unified in the 10th century in a reconquest completed by King Æthelstan in 927 CE.
During the Heptarchy, the most powerful king among the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms might become acknowledged as Bretwalda, a high king over the other kings. The decline of Mercia allowed Wessex to become more powerful, it absorbed the kingdoms of Kent and Sussex in 825. The kings of Wessex became dominant over the other kingdoms of England during the 9th century. In 827, Northumbria submitted to Egbert of Wessex at Dore making Egbert the first king to reign over a united England. In 886, Alfred the Great retook London, which he regarded as a turning point in his reign; the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle says that "all of the English people not subject to the Danes submitted themselves to King Alfred." Asser added that "Alfred, king of the Anglo-Saxons, restored the city of London splendidly... and made it habitable once more." Alfred's "restoration"
The Rhineland is the name used for a loosely defined area of Western Germany along the Rhine, chiefly its middle section. The Rhinelands refers to a loosely defined region embracing the land on the banks of the Rhine in Central Europe, which were settled by Ripuarian and Salian Franks and became part of Frankish Austrasia. In the High Middle Ages, numerous Imperial States along the river emerged from the former stem duchy of Lotharingia, without developing any common political or cultural identity. A "Rhineland" conceptualization did not evolve until the 19th century after the War of the First Coalition, when a short-lived Cisrhenian Republic was established on territory conquered by French troops; the term covered the whole occupied zone west of the Rhine including the bridgeheads on the eastern banks. After the collapse of the French dominated West Bank in the early 19th century, the regions of Lower Rhine and Jülich-Cleves-Berg were annexed to the Kingdom of Prussia. In 1822 the Prussian administration reorganized the territory as the Rhine Province, a term continuing in the names of the German states of Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia.
Following the First World War, the western part of Rhineland was occupied by Entente forces demilitarized under the 1919 Treaty of Versailles and the 1925 Locarno Treaties. German forces remilitarized the territory in 1936, as part of a diplomatic test of will, three years before the outbreak of the Second World War. To the west the area stretches to the borders with Luxembourg and the Netherlands. Stretching down to the North Palatine Uplands in the south, this area, except for the Saarland, more or less corresponds with the modern use of the term; the southern and eastern parts are hill country, cut by river valleys, principally the Middle Rhine up to Bingen and its Ahr and Nahe tributaries. The border of the North German plain is marked by the lower Ruhr. In the south, the river cuts the Rhenish Massif; the area encompasses the western part of the Cologne Lowland. Some of the larger cities in the Rhineland are Aachen, Cologne, Duisburg, Düsseldorf, Koblenz, Leverkusen, Mainz, Mönchengladbach, Mülheim an der Ruhr, Remscheid, Solingen and Wuppertal.
Toponyms as well as local family names trace back to the Frankish heritage. The lands on the western shore of the Rhine are characterized by Roman influence, including viticulture. In the core territories, large parts of the population are members of the Catholic Church. At the earliest historical period, the territories between the Ardennes and the Rhine were occupied by the Treveri, the Eburones and other Celtic tribes, however, were all more or less modified and influenced by their Germanic neighbors. On the East bank of the Rhine, between the Main and the Lahn, were the settlements of the Mattiaci, a branch of the Germanic Chatti, while farther to the north were the Usipetes and Tencteri. Julius Caesar conquered the Celtic tribes on the West bank, Augustus established numerous fortified posts on the Rhine, but the Romans never succeeded in gaining a firm footing on the East bank; as the power of the Roman empire declined the Franks pushed forward along both banks of the Rhine, by the end of the 5th century had conquered all the lands, under Roman influence.
The Frankish conquerors of the Rhenish districts were singularly little affected by the culture of the Roman provincials they subdued, all traces of Roman civilization were submerged. By the 8th century, the Frankish dominion was established in western Germania and northern Gaul. On the division of the Carolingian Empire at the Treaty of Verdun the part the province to the east of the river fell to East Francia, while that to the west remained with the kingdom of Lotharingia. By the time of Emperor Otto I both banks of the Rhine had become part of the Holy Roman Empire, in 959 the Rhenish territory was divided between the duchies of Upper Lorraine, on the Mosel, Lower Lorraine on the Meuse; as the central power of the Holy Roman Emperor weakened, the Rhineland split up into numerous small independent principalities, each with its separate vicissitudes and special chronicles. The old Lotharingian divisions became obsolete, while the Lower Lorraine lands were referred to as the Low Countries, the name of Lorraine became restricted to the region on the upper Moselle that still bears it.
After the Imperial Reform of 1500/12, the territory was part of the Lower Rhenish–Westphalian, Upper Rhenish, Electoral Rhenish Circles. Notable Rhenish Imperial States included: the ecclesiastical electorates of Cologne and Trier the duchies of Jülich and Berg, forming the United Duchies of Jülich-Cleves-Berg from 1521 the County of Sponheim and numerous further Imperial Counties the Free Imperial Cities of Aachen and Cologne. In spite of its dismembered condition and the sufferings it underwent at the hands of its French neighbors in various periods of warfare, the Rhenish territory prospered and stood in the foremost rank of German culture and progress. Aachen was the place of coronation of the German emperors, the ecclesiastical principalities of the Rhine played a large role in German history. At the Peace of Basel in 1795, the whole of the left bank of the Rhine was tak