France the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean, it is bordered by Belgium and Germany to the northeast and Italy to the east, Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic and Indian oceans; the country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Nice. During the Iron Age, what is now metropolitan France was inhabited by a Celtic people. Rome annexed the area in 51 BC, holding it until the arrival of Germanic Franks in 476, who formed the Kingdom of Francia.
The Treaty of Verdun of 843 partitioned Francia into Middle Francia and West Francia. West Francia which became the Kingdom of France in 987 emerged as a major European power in the Late Middle Ages following its victory in the Hundred Years' War. During the Renaissance, French culture flourished and a global colonial empire was established, which by the 20th century would become the second largest in the world; the 16th century was dominated by religious civil wars between Protestants. France became Europe's dominant cultural and military power in the 17th century under Louis XIV. In the late 18th century, the French Revolution overthrew the absolute monarchy, established one of modern history's earliest republics, saw the drafting of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, which expresses the nation's ideals to this day. In the 19th century, Napoleon established the First French Empire, his subsequent Napoleonic Wars shaped the course of continental Europe. Following the collapse of the Empire, France endured a tumultuous succession of governments culminating with the establishment of the French Third Republic in 1870.
France was a major participant in World War I, from which it emerged victorious, was one of the Allies in World War II, but came under occupation by the Axis powers in 1940. Following liberation in 1944, a Fourth Republic was established and dissolved in the course of the Algerian War; the Fifth Republic, led by Charles de Gaulle, remains today. Algeria and nearly all the other colonies became independent in the 1960s and retained close economic and military connections with France. France has long been a global centre of art and philosophy, it hosts the world's fourth-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is the leading tourist destination, receiving around 83 million foreign visitors annually. France is a developed country with the world's sixth-largest economy by nominal GDP, tenth-largest by purchasing power parity. In terms of aggregate household wealth, it ranks fourth in the world. France performs well in international rankings of education, health care, life expectancy, human development.
France is considered a great power in global affairs, being one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council with the power to veto and an official nuclear-weapon state. It is a leading member state of the European Union and the Eurozone, a member of the Group of 7, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, La Francophonie. Applied to the whole Frankish Empire, the name "France" comes from the Latin "Francia", or "country of the Franks". Modern France is still named today "Francia" in Italian and Spanish, "Frankreich" in German and "Frankrijk" in Dutch, all of which have more or less the same historical meaning. There are various theories as to the origin of the name Frank. Following the precedents of Edward Gibbon and Jacob Grimm, the name of the Franks has been linked with the word frank in English, it has been suggested that the meaning of "free" was adopted because, after the conquest of Gaul, only Franks were free of taxation.
Another theory is that it is derived from the Proto-Germanic word frankon, which translates as javelin or lance as the throwing axe of the Franks was known as a francisca. However, it has been determined that these weapons were named because of their use by the Franks, not the other way around; the oldest traces of human life in what is now France date from 1.8 million years ago. Over the ensuing millennia, Humans were confronted by a harsh and variable climate, marked by several glacial eras. Early hominids led a nomadic hunter-gatherer life. France has a large number of decorated caves from the upper Palaeolithic era, including one of the most famous and best preserved, Lascaux. At the end of the last glacial period, the climate became milder. After strong demographic and agricultural development between the 4th and 3rd millennia, metallurgy appeared at the end of the 3rd millennium working gold and bronze, iron. France has numerous megalithic sites from the Neolithic period, including the exceptiona
Gabrielle-Charlotte Patin, was a French numismatist and painter during the 17th century. Granddaughter of medical doctor and letter writer Guy Patin, daughter of medical doctor and numismatist Charles Patin and moralist writer Madeleine Patin, as well as sister of the writer and art critic Charlotte-Catherine Patin, Gabrielle-Charlotte Patin published a Latin work on Phoenician numismatics: De Phœnice in numismate imperatoris Caracallæ expressa epistola. Gabrielle-Charlotte Patin was made, as were her sister and parents, a member of the Galileiana Academy of Arts and Science under the name "Diserte". At this academy, she gave the panegyric lecture on Louis XIV in 1685. Numismatics 17th-century French literature
Système universitaire de documentation
The système universitaire de documentation or SUDOC is a system used by the libraries of French universities and higher education establishments to identify and manage the documents in their possession. The catalog, which contains more than 10 million references, allows students and researcher to search for bibliographical and location information in over 3,400 documentation centers, it is maintained by the Bibliographic Agency for Higher Education. Official website
Guy Patin was a French doctor and man of letters. Patin was doyen of the Faculty of Medicine in Paris and professor in the Collège de France starting in 1655, his scientific and medical works are not considered enlightened by modern medical scholars. He is most well known today for his extensive correspondence: his style was light and playful, his letters are an important document for historians of medicine. Patin and his son Charles were dealers in clandestine books, Patin wrote occasional poetry. On 22 March 1648, Patin wrote a famous letter commenting on the new rage of tea drinking in Paris, calling it "the impertinent novelty of the century", mentioning the new book by Dr. Philibert Morisset titled Ergo Thea Chinesium, Menti Confert, which praises tea as a panacea: One of our doctors, named Morisset, much more of a braggart than a skilful man... caused a thesis on tea to be published here. Everybody disapproved of it. Naudaeana et Patiniana, ou, Singularitez Remarquables, recording conversations between Patin and his great friend Gabriel Naudé, librarian of the Bibliothèque Mazarine, was edited by Jean-Aymar Piganiol de La Force and published in Paris, 1701.
Gustave Vapereau, Dictionnaire universel des littératures, Hachette, 1876, p. 1554. Thèse de l’École des chartes de Laure Jestaz Françoise Waquet, Guy et Charles Patin, père et fils, et la contrebande du livre à Paris au XVIIe siècle in Journal des savants, 1979, n°2. Pp. 125–148. Loïc Capron, Correspondance française de Guy Patin, édition critique en ligne sur le site de la Bibliothèque interuniversitaire de Santé
Antoine Masson was a French painter, but above all a line engraver, born at Loury, near Orléans. He had no other teaching, he was received by the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture in 1679 and exhibited at the Paris Salon of 1699. He engraved 68 plates portraits, of which the most celebrated are those of Henri de Lorraine, count of Harcourt, known as the "Cadet à la Perle," Gaspard Charrier, Olivier d'Ormesson, his most famous subject is "The Pilgrims of Emmaus," after Titian, known as "The Tablecloth", because of the extreme care with which Masson has rendered the texture of linen. Among his few surviving drawings are pastels of Charles II, King of England and Pierre Dupuis, his work shows extraordinary facility and great talent for color, but it is marred by mannerisms, such as in his engraved portrait of Guy Patin, in which the nose was formed from one spiral cut. His daughter, Madeleine Masson, married the engraver Nicolas Habert. Antoine Masson died in Paris. Bryan, Michael. "Masson, Anthony" in A Biographical and Critical Dictionary of Painters and Engravers, 2 volumes.
London: Carpenter. Volumes 1 and 2 at Google Books. Gilman et al. editors. "Masson, Antoine" in New International Encyclopedia, volume 13 at the Internet Archive. Herluison, Henri. Masson, pp. 38–39 in Artistes orléanais. Orléans: H. Herluison. Meyer, Véronique. "Masson, Antoine". Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online. Oxford University Press, accessed 11 January 2015, subscription required. Robert-Dumesnil, A. P. F.. "Antoine Masson", vol. 2, pp. 98–139, in Le Peintre-graveur français. Paris: Warée. Copy at Google Books. Media related to Antoine Masson at Wikimedia Commons Artnet entry
National Library of the Czech Republic
The National Library of the Czech Republic is the central library of the Czech Republic. It is directed by the Ministry of Culture; the library's main building is located in the historical Clementinum building in Prague, where half of its books are kept. The other half of the collection is stored in the district of Hostivař; the National Library is the biggest library in the Czech Republic, in its funds there are around 6 million documents. The library has around 60,000 registered readers; as well as Czech texts, the library stores older material from Turkey and India. The library houses books for Charles University in Prague; the library won international recognition in 2005 as it received the inaugural Jikji Prize from UNESCO via the Memory of the World Programme for its efforts in digitising old texts. The project, which commenced in 1992, involved the digitisation of 1,700 documents in its first 13 years; the most precious medieval manuscripts preserved in the National Library are the Codex Vyssegradensis and the Passional of Abbes Kunigunde.
In 2006 the Czech parliament approved funding for the construction of a new library building on Letna plain, between Hradčanská metro station and Sparta Prague's football ground, Letná stadium. In March 2007, following a request for tender, Czech architect Jan Kaplický was selected by a jury to undertake the project, with a projected completion date of 2011. In 2007 the project was delayed following objections regarding its proposed location from government officials including Prague Mayor Pavel Bém and President Václav Klaus. Plans for the building had still not been decided in February 2008, with the matter being referred to the Office for the Protection of Competition in order to determine if the tender had been won fairly. In 2008, Minister of Culture Václav Jehlička announced the end of the project, following a ruling from the European Commission that the tender process had not been carried out legally; the library was affected by the 2002 European floods, with some documents moved to upper levels to avoid the excess water.
Over 4,000 books were removed from the library in July 2011 following flooding in parts of the main building. There was a fire at the library in December 2012. List of national and state libraries Official website