The Ottoman Empire known in Western Europe as the Turkish Empire or Turkey, was a state that controlled much of Southeast Europe, Western Asia and North Africa between the 14th and early 20th centuries. It was founded at the end of the 13th century in northwestern Anatolia in the town of Söğüt by the Oghuz Turkish tribal leader Osman I. After 1354, the Ottomans crossed into Europe, with the conquest of the Balkans, the Ottoman beylik was transformed into a transcontinental empire; the Ottomans ended the Byzantine Empire with the 1453 conquest of Constantinople by Mehmed the Conqueror. During the 16th and 17th centuries, at the height of its power under the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent, the Ottoman Empire was a multinational, multilingual empire controlling most of Southeast Europe, parts of Central Europe, Western Asia, parts of Eastern Europe and the Caucasus, North Africa and the Horn of Africa. At the beginning of the 17th century, the empire contained numerous vassal states; some of these were absorbed into the Ottoman Empire, while others were granted various types of autonomy during the course of centuries.
With Constantinople as its capital and control of lands around the Mediterranean basin, the Ottoman Empire was at the centre of interactions between the Eastern and Western worlds for six centuries. While the empire was once thought to have entered a period of decline following the death of Suleiman the Magnificent, this view is no longer supported by the majority of academic historians; the empire continued to maintain a flexible and strong economy and military throughout the 17th and much of the 18th century. However, during a long period of peace from 1740 to 1768, the Ottoman military system fell behind that of their European rivals, the Habsburg and Russian empires; the Ottomans suffered severe military defeats in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, which prompted them to initiate a comprehensive process of reform and modernisation known as the Tanzimat. Thus, over the course of the 19th century, the Ottoman state became vastly more powerful and organised, despite suffering further territorial losses in the Balkans, where a number of new states emerged.
The empire allied with Germany in the early 20th century, hoping to escape from the diplomatic isolation which had contributed to its recent territorial losses, thus joined World War I on the side of the Central Powers. While the Empire was able to hold its own during the conflict, it was struggling with internal dissent with the Arab Revolt in its Arabian holdings. During this time, atrocities were committed by the Young Turk government against the Armenians and Pontic Greeks; the Empire's defeat and the occupation of part of its territory by the Allied Powers in the aftermath of World War I resulted in its partitioning and the loss of its Middle Eastern territories, which were divided between the United Kingdom and France. The successful Turkish War of Independence against the occupying Allies led to the emergence of the Republic of Turkey in the Anatolian heartland and the abolition of the Ottoman monarchy; the word Ottoman is a historical anglicisation of the name of Osman I, the founder of the Empire and of the ruling House of Osman.
Osman's name in turn was the Turkish form of the Arabic name ʿUthmān. In Ottoman Turkish, the empire was referred to as Devlet-i ʿAlīye-yi ʿOsmānīye, or alternatively ʿOsmānlı Devleti. In Modern Turkish, it is known as Osmanlı Devleti; the Turkish word for "Ottoman" referred to the tribal followers of Osman in the fourteenth century, subsequently came to be used to refer to the empire's military-administrative elite. In contrast, the term "Turk" was used to refer to the Anatolian peasant and tribal population, was seen as a disparaging term when applied to urban, educated individuals. In the early modern period, an educated urban-dwelling Turkish-speaker, not a member of the military-administrative class would refer to himself neither as an Osmanlı nor as a Türk, but rather as a Rūmī, or "Roman", meaning an inhabitant of the territory of the former Byzantine Empire in the Balkans and Anatolia; the term Rūmī was used to refer to Turkish-speakers by the other Muslim peoples of the empire and beyond.
In Western Europe, the two names "Ottoman Empire" and "Turkey" were used interchangeably, with "Turkey" being favoured both in formal and informal situations. This dichotomy was ended in 1920–23, when the newly established Ankara-based Turkish government chose Turkey as the sole official name. Most scholarly historians avoid the terms "Turkey", "Turks", "Turkish" when referring to the Ottomans, due to the empire's multinational character; as the Seljuk Sultanate of Rum declined in the 13th century, Anatolia was divided into a patchwork of independent Turkish principalities known as the Anatolian Beyliks. One of these beyliks, in the region of Bithynia on the frontier of the Byzantine Empire, was led by the Turkish tribal leader Osman I, a figure of obscure origins from whom the name Ottoman is derived. Osman's early followers consisted both of Turkish tribal groups and Byzantine renegades, many but not all converts to Islam. Osman extended the control of his principality by conquering Byzantine towns along the Sakarya River.
It is not well understood how the early Ottomans came to dominate their
Lublin is the ninth largest city in Poland and the second largest city of Lesser Poland. It is the capital and the center of Lublin Voivodeship with a population of 349,103. Lublin is the largest Polish city east of the Vistula River and is 170 kilometres to the southeast of Warsaw by road. One of the events that contributed to the city's development was the Polish-Lithuanian Union of Krewo in 1385. Lublin thrived as a centre of trade and commerce due to its strategic location on the route between Vilnius and Kraków; the Lublin Parliament session of 1569 led to the creation of a real union between the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, thus creating the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Lublin witnessed the early stages of Reformation in the 16th century. A Calvinist congregation was founded and groups of radical Arians appeared in the city, making it an important global centre of Arianism. At the turn of the centuries, Lublin was recognized for hosting a number of outstanding poets and historians of the epoch.
Until the partitions at the end of the 18th century, Lublin was a royal city of the Crown Kingdom of Poland. Its delegates and nobles had the right to participate in the Royal Election. In 1578 Lublin was chosen as the seat of the Crown Tribunal, the highest appeal court in the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, for centuries the city has been flourishing as a centre of culture and higher learning, with Kraków, Poznań and Lwów. Although Lublin was not spared from severe destruction during World War II, its picturesque and historical Old Town has been preserved; the district is one of Poland's official national Historic Monuments, as designated May 16, 2007, tracked by the National Heritage Board of Poland. The city is viewed as an attractive location for foreign investment and the analytical Financial Times Group has found Lublin to be one of the best cities for business in Poland; the Foreign Direct Investment ranking placed Lublin second among larger Polish cities in the cost-effectiveness category.
Lublin is noted for a high standard of living. Archaeological finds indicate a long presence of cultures in the area. A complex of settlements started to develop on the future site of Lublin and in its environs in the 6th-7th centuries. Remains of settlements dating back to the 6th century were discovered in the center of today's Lublin on Czwartek Hill; the period of the early Middle Ages was marked by intensification of habitation in the areas along river valleys. The settlements were centered around the stronghold on Old Town Hill, one of the main centers of Lendians tribe; when the tribal stronghold was destroyed in the 10th century, the center shifted to the northeast, to a new stronghold above Czechówka valley and, after the mid-12th century, to Castle Hill. At least two churches are presumed to have existed in Lublin in the early medieval period. One of them was most erected on Czwartek Hill during the rule of Casimir the Restorer in the 11th century; the castle became the seat of a Castellan, first mentioned in historical sources from 1224 but was quite present from the start of the 12th or 10th century.
The oldest historical document mentioning Lublin dates from 1198, so the name must have come into general use some time earlier. The location of Lublin at the eastern borders of the Polish lands gave it military significance. During the first half of the 13th century, Lublin was a target of attacks by Mongols and Lithuanians, which resulted in its destruction, it was ruled by Kingdom of Galicia–Volhynia between 1289 and 1302. Lublin was founded as a town by Władysław I the Elbow-high or between 1258 and 1279 during the rule of prince Bolesław V the Chaste. Casimir III the Great, appreciating the site's strategic importance, built a masonry castle in 1341 and encircled the city with defensive walls. From 1326, if not earlier, the stronghold on Castle Hill included a chapel in honor of the Holy Trinity. A stone church dated to the years 1335-1370 exists to this day. In 1392, the city received an important trade privilege from king Władysław II Jagiełło. With the coming of peace between Poland and Lithuania, it developed into a trade centre, handling a large portion of commerce between the countries.
In 1474 the area around Lublin was carved out of Sandomierz Voivodeship and combined to form the Lublin Voivodeship, the third voivodeship of Lesser Poland. During the 15th century and 16th century the town grew rapidly; the largest trade fairs of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth were held in Lublin. During the 16th century the noble parliaments were held in Lublin several times. On 26 June 1569, one of the most important proclaimed the Union of Lublin, which united Poland and Lithuania; the Lithuanian name for the city is Liublinas. Lublin was one of the most influential cities of the state enjoyed voting rights during the royal elections in Poland; some of the artists and writers of the 16th century Polish renaissance lived and worked in Lublin, including Sebastian Klonowic and Jan Kochanowski, who died in the city in 1584. In 1578 the Crown Tribunal, the highest court of the Lesser Poland region, was established in Lublin. Since the second half of the 16th century, Protestant Reformation movements devolved in Lublin, a large congregation of Polish Brethren was present in the city.
One of Poland's most important Jewish communities was established in Lublin around this time. Jews established a respected yeshiva, Jewish hospital, synagogue and education centre and built the Grodzka Gate (known as the Jewish
Joseph ben Ephraim Karo spelled Yosef Caro, or Qaro, was author of the last great codification of Jewish law, the Shulchan Aruch, still authoritative for all Jews pertaining to their respective communities. To this end he is referred to as HaMechaber and as Maran. Joseph Karo was born in Toledo, Spain in 1488. In 1492, aged four years old, he was forced to flee Spain with his family and the rest of Spanish Jewry as a result of the Alhambra Decree and subsequently settled in the Kingdom of Portugal. After the expulsion of the Jews from Portugal in 1497, the Ottomans invited the Jews to settle within their empire. Karo went with his parents to Nikopolis a city under Ottoman rule. In Nikopol, he received his first instruction from his father, himself an eminent Talmudist, he married, Isaac Saba's daughter, after her death, the daughter of Hayyim Albalag, both of these men being well-known Talmudists. Between 1520 and 1522 Karo settled at Edirne, he settled in the city of Safed, Ottoman Galilee, where he arrived about 1535, having en route spent several years at Salonica and Istanbul.
For a short while he lived in Nikopol, but decided to make his way to the Land of Israel so that he could immerse himself in its sanctity and complete his written works. Passing through Salonica, he met the great kabbalist Joseph Taitazak, he continued his journey to the Holy Land via Egypt and settled in Safed. At Safed he was soon appointed a member of his rabbinical court. Berab exerted great influence upon him, Karo became an enthusiastic supporter of Berab's plans for the restitution of semicha, in abeyance for over 11 centuries. Karo was one of the first he ordained and after Berab's death, Karo tried to perpetuate the scheme by ordaining his pupil Moses Alshech, but he gave up his endeavors, convinced that he could not overcome the opposition to ordination. Karo established a yeshiva where he taught Torah to over 200 students. A Yemenite Jewish traveler, Zechariah al-Dhahiri, visited Rabbi Karo's yeshiva in Safed, in circa 1567 CE and wrote of his impressions on this wise: I journeyed from Syria, the province, through Upper Galilee, unto the city of Safed, the land of Canaan.
… I came into the city, lo! Within her dwelt the Divine Presence, for within her there is a large community, frowardness being removed far from them, about fourteen thousand in number! In eighteen seats of learning they had come to study the Talmud. There, I saw the light of the Law, the Jews had light, they surpassed all other communities. … Then it was that I knew my estimable worth, based on all my strength and ability, lo! I had been deficient in several matters. Now,'that, lacking cannot be numbered'. I made. Within the synagogues and midrashic study halls I had come to hear the expositors who expound upon a certain matter in several ways, seeing that they know every secret thing, from the walls of the ceiling, all the way down to its foundation – but the great luminary the wise man, Rabbi Joseph Karo, from whose seat of learning the wise men of Safed do not quit themselves, for in his heart the Talmud is stored, after he had sat down in learning for seven years, within a confined chamber.
Now, aside from several branches of wisdom, within his heart are sealed, both and mysteries. I went one Sabbath to his seat of learning, to see his glorious magnanimity. I sat down by the entrance, alongside the doorpost of the gate, while my cogitations from foolishness were sorely gripped by fear. Now, that wise man the elder sat upon a chair, with his mouth he did amplify the subject matter. By an utterance he would draw man away from his burthen caused by the vicissitudes of time, in drawing him nigh unto the faithful God, he would clothe him, as it were, in sumptuous apparel fit for those who are free, by his recital of the verse:'The Law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul'. He deliberated on a certain matter by explicating its plain and esoteric sense. Before him were seated about two-hundred admirable and distinguished pupils, sitting upon benches; when he had finished his words of wisdom, he gestured to a certain disciple opposite him to speak. … Now, when that wise man heard the words of that disciple, he was astonished by his eloquence of speech who had given plausible arguments about the soul, he raised him up and exalted him above all the pupils that were with him.
… I stayed there awhile, until the wise man had gestured to his pupils to stand up, gave order to each one to learn a Mishna. So they went the pupils who were there gathered and the wise man; when Jacob Berab died, Karo was regarded as his successor, together with Rabbi Moshe of Trani he headed the Rabbinical Court of Safed. In fact, by this time, the Rabbinical Court of Safed had become the central rabbinical court in all of Old Yishuv, indeed of the diaspora as well, thus there was not a single matter of national or global importance that did not come to the attention and ruling of the Safed Beth Din. Its rulings were accepted as final and conclusive, Karo's halachic decisions and clarifications were sought by sages from every corner of the diaspora. Rabbi Joseph Karo was visited in Safed by the great Egyptian scholars of his day, Rabbi David ibn Abi Zimra and Rabbi Yaakov Castro, he came to be regarded as the leader of the entire generation. In a dramatic testimonial, Rabbi Shlomo Alkabetz
Egypt the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a country spanning the northeast corner of Africa and southwest corner of Asia by a land bridge formed by the Sinai Peninsula. Egypt is a Mediterranean country bordered by the Gaza Strip and Israel to the northeast, the Gulf of Aqaba and the Red Sea to the east, Sudan to the south, Libya to the west. Across the Gulf of Aqaba lies Jordan, across the Red Sea lies Saudi Arabia, across the Mediterranean lie Greece and Cyprus, although none share a land border with Egypt. Egypt has one of the longest histories of any country, tracing its heritage back to the 6th–4th millennia BCE. Considered a cradle of civilisation, Ancient Egypt saw some of the earliest developments of writing, urbanisation, organised religion and central government. Iconic monuments such as the Giza Necropolis and its Great Sphinx, as well the ruins of Memphis, Thebes and the Valley of the Kings, reflect this legacy and remain a significant focus of scientific and popular interest. Egypt's long and rich cultural heritage is an integral part of its national identity, which has endured, assimilated, various foreign influences, including Greek, Roman, Ottoman Turkish, Nubian.
Egypt was an early and important centre of Christianity, but was Islamised in the seventh century and remains a predominantly Muslim country, albeit with a significant Christian minority. From the 16th to the beginning of the 20th century, Egypt was ruled by foreign imperial powers: The Ottoman Empire and the British Empire. Modern Egypt dates back to 1922, when it gained nominal independence from the British Empire as a monarchy. However, British military occupation of Egypt continued, many Egyptians believed that the monarchy was an instrument of British colonialism. Following the 1952 revolution, Egypt expelled British soldiers and bureaucrats and ended British occupation, nationalized the British-held Suez Canal, exiled King Farouk and his family, declared itself a republic. In 1958 it merged with Syria to form the United Arab Republic, which dissolved in 1961. Throughout the second half of the 20th century, Egypt endured social and religious strife and political instability, fighting several armed conflicts with Israel in 1948, 1956, 1967 and 1973, occupying the Gaza Strip intermittently until 1967.
In 1978, Egypt signed the Camp David Accords withdrawing from the Gaza Strip and recognising Israel. The country continues to face challenges, from political unrest, including the recent 2011 revolution and its aftermath, to terrorism and economic underdevelopment. Egypt's current government is a presidential republic headed by President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, described by a number of watchdogs as authoritarian. Islam is the official religion of Egypt and Arabic is its official language. With over 95 million inhabitants, Egypt is the most populous country in North Africa, the Middle East, the Arab world, the third-most populous in Africa, the fifteenth-most populous in the world; the great majority of its people live near the banks of the Nile River, an area of about 40,000 square kilometres, where the only arable land is found. The large regions of the Sahara desert, which constitute most of Egypt's territory, are sparsely inhabited. About half of Egypt's residents live in urban areas, with most spread across the densely populated centres of greater Cairo and other major cities in the Nile Delta.
The sovereign state of Egypt is a transcontinental country considered to be a regional power in North Africa, the Middle East and the Muslim world, a middle power worldwide. Egypt's economy is one of the largest and most diversified in the Middle East, is projected to become one of the largest in the world in the 21st century. In 2016, Egypt became Africa's second largest economy. Egypt is a founding member of the United Nations, Non-Aligned Movement, Arab League, African Union, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. "Miṣr" is the Classical Quranic Arabic and modern official name of Egypt, while "Maṣr" is the local pronunciation in Egyptian Arabic. The name is of Semitic origin, directly cognate with other Semitic words for Egypt such as the Hebrew "מִצְרַיִם"; the oldest attestation of this name for Egypt is the Akkadian "mi-iṣ-ru" related to miṣru/miṣirru/miṣaru, meaning "border" or "frontier". There is evidence of rock carvings in desert oases. In the 10th millennium BCE, a culture of hunter-gatherers and fishers was replaced by a grain-grinding culture.
Climate changes or overgrazing around 8000 BCE began to desiccate the pastoral lands of Egypt, forming the Sahara. Early tribal peoples migrated to the Nile River where they developed a settled agricultural economy and more centralised society. By about 6000 BCE, a Neolithic culture rooted in the Nile Valley. During the Neolithic era, several predynastic cultures developed independently in Upper and Lower Egypt; the Badarian culture and the successor Naqada series are regarded as precursors to dynastic Egypt. The earliest known Lower Egyptian site, predates the Badarian by about seven hundred years. Contemporaneous Lower Egyptian communities coexisted with their southern counterparts for more than two thousand years, remaining culturally distinct, but maintaining frequent contact through trade; the earliest known evidence of Egyptian hieroglyphic inscriptions appeared during the predynastic period on Naqada III pottery vessels, dated to about 3200 BCE. A unified kingdom was founded c. 3150 BCE
The Umayyad Caliphate spelt Omayyad, was the second of the four major caliphates established after the death of Muhammad. The caliphate was ruled by the Umayyad dynasty; the third Caliph, Uthman ibn Affan, was a member of the Umayyad clan. The family established dynastic, hereditary rule with Muawiya ibn Abi Sufyan, long-time governor of Syria, who became the sixth Caliph after the end of the First Muslim Civil War in 661. After Mu'awiyah's death in 680, conflicts over the succession resulted in a Second Civil War and power fell into the hands of Marwan I from another branch of the clan. Syria remained the Umayyads' main power base thereafter, Damascus was their capital; the Umayyads continued the Muslim conquests, incorporating the Transoxiana, the Maghreb and the Iberian Peninsula into the Muslim world. At its greatest extent, the Umayyad Caliphate covered 11,100,000 km2 and 33 million people, making it one of the largest empires in history in both area and proportion of the world's population.
The dynasty was overthrown by a rebellion led by the Abbasids in 750. Survivors of the dynasty established themselves in Cordoba in the form of an Emirate and a Caliphate, lasting until 1031; the Umayyad Caliphs were considered too secular by some of their Muslim subjects. Christians, who still constituted a majority of the Caliphate's population, Jews were allowed to practice their own religion but had to pay a head tax from which Muslims were exempt. There was, the Muslim-only zakat tax, earmarked explicitly for various welfare progammes. Muawiya's wife Maysum was a Christian. Relations between the caliphate's Muslim and Christian subjects were stable in this time; the Umayyads were involved in frequent battles with the Christian Byzantines without being concerned with protecting themselves in Syria, which had remained Christian like many other parts of the empire. Prominent positions were held by Christians, some of whom belonged to families that had served in Byzantine governments; the employment of Christians was part of a broader policy of religious accommodation, necessitated by the presence of large Christian populations in the conquered provinces, as in Syria.
This policy boosted Muawiya's popularity and solidified Syria as his power base. According to tradition, the Umayyad family and Muhammad both descended from a common ancestor, Abd Manaf ibn Qusai, they came from the city of Mecca in the Hijaz. Muhammad descended from Abd Manāf via his son Hashim, while the Umayyads descended from Abd Manaf via a different son, Abd-Shams, whose son was Umayya; the two families are therefore considered to be different clans of the same tribe. While the Umayyads felt deep animosity towards the Hashimites before Muhammad, their animosity deepened after the Battle of Badr of 624; the battle saw. This fueled the opposition of Abu Sufyan ibn Harb, the grandson of Umayya, to Muhammad, his family, Islam as a whole. Abu Sufyan sought to exterminate the adherents of the new religion by waging another battle against the Medina-based Muslims only a year after the Battle of Badr, he did this to avenge the defeat at Badr. Scholars regard the Battle of Uhud as the first defeat for the Muslims, since they incurred greater losses than the Meccans.
After the battle, Abu Sufyan's wife Hind, the daughter of Utba ibn Rabi'ah, is reported to have cut open the corpse of Hamza, taking out his liver which she attempted to eat. In 629, within five years of the defeat in the Battle of Uhud, Muhammad took control of Mecca and announced a general amnesty for all. Abu Sufyan and his wife Hind embraced Islam on the eve of the conquest of Mecca; the Umayyad's ascendancy began when Uthman ibn Affan, an early companion, second cousin and son-in-law of Muhammad became the third Caliph. Uthman placed some members of his clan at positions of power. Most notably, he appointed his first cousin, Marwan ibn al-Hakam, as his top advisor, which created a stir among the Hashimite companions of Muhammad, as Marwan had been permanently exiled from Medina by Muhammad. Uthman appointed his half-brother, Walid ibn Uqba, whom Hashimites accused of leading prayer while under the influence of alcohol, governor of Kufa and appointed his foster-brother Abdullah ibn Saad as the Governor of Egypt, replacing Amr ibn al-As.
Most notably, Uthman consolidated Muawiyah's governorship of Syria by granting him control over a larger area. Muawiyah proved a successful governor, he built up a loyal and disciplined army composed of Syrian Arabs and befriended Amr ibn al-As, the ousted governor of Egypt. In 639 Muawiyah was appointed as the governor of Syria after the previous governor Abu Ubaidah ibn al-Jarrah died in a plague along with 25,000 other people. In 649 Muawiyah set up a navy manned by Monophysite Christian and Jacobite Syrian Christian sailors and Muslim troops, who defeated the Byzantine navy at the Battle of the Masts in 655, opening up the Mediterranean. Uthman's rule saw the relaxing of restrictions instituted by the second Caliph Umar ibn Al-Khatt
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
A ketubah is a special type of Jewish prenuptial agreement. It is considered an integral part of a traditional Jewish marriage, outlines the rights and responsibilities of the groom, in relation to the bride. In modern practice, the ketubah has no agreed monetary value, is never enforced, except in Israel; the rabbis in ancient times insisted on the marriage couple entering into the ketubah as a protection for the wife. It acted as a replacement of the biblical mohar – the price paid by the groom to the bride, or her parents, for the marriage; the ketubah served as a contract, whereby the amount due to the wife came to be paid in the event of the cessation of marriage, either by the death of the husband or divorce. The biblical mohar created a major social problem: many young prospective husbands could not raise the mohar at the time when they would be expected to marry. So, to enable these young men to marry, the rabbis, in effect, delayed the time that the amount would be payable, when they would be more to have the sum.
The mechanism adopted was to provide for the mohar to be a part of the ketubah. Both the mohar and the ketubah amounts served the same purpose: the protection for the wife should her support by her husband cease; the only difference between the two systems was the timing of the payment. A modern secular equivalent would be the entitlement to alimony in the event of divorce; the ketubah amount served as a disincentive for the husband contemplating divorcing his wife: he would need to have the amount in order to be able to pay to his wife. Over two hundred ketubot were discovered, in the Cairo Geniza, they date between the 6th and 19th centuries and, whilst many consist of plain text, there are examples that use decorative devices such as micrography and illumination to elaborate them. The content of the ketubah is in essence a one-way contract that formalizes the various requirements by Halakha of a Jewish husband vis à vis his wife; the Jewish husband takes upon himself in the ketubah the obligation that he will provide to his wife three major things: clothing and conjugal relations, that he will pay her a pre-specified amount of cash in the case of a divorce.
Thus the content of the ketubah dictates the wife's rights in the marriage and provides for her security and protection. The Mishna and Talmud Bavli record that the "Beth-Din of Kohanim" would oversee that the Ketubah of a Bat-Kohen would contract the amount of four hundred Zuz in the event the Bat-Kohen would be given a Get – the increase was written as the base amount due the Bat-Kohen and not as a bonus; the Talmud Yerushalmi opines that the Bat-Kohen who marries a non-Kohen receives that standard two hundred Zuz amount, as a penalty for not marrying within the greater family of Kohanim. Based on the research of A. Epstien, in his work "Toldot HaKetubah B'Yisrael", the recording of Four hundred Zuz in the Ketubah of the Bat-Kohen was well in effect during the Amora period, but from thence onward, no mentioning of the increased amount is found in Rabbinic sources; the ketubah is a significant popular form of Jewish ceremonial art. Ketubot have been made in a wide range of designs following the tastes and styles of the era and region in which they are made.
Many couples follow the Jewish tradition of hiddur mitzvah which calls for ceremonial objects such as the ketubah to be made as beautiful as possible. Traditional ketubot are not written in the Hebrew language, but in Aramaic, the lingua franca of Jews at the time ketubot became standardized; this was done in order to make sure the bride and groom understood the contract, being signed. Many contemporary ketubot have translations into English or other vernacular languages or an accompanying vernacular text. Many Conservative Jews and other non-Orthodox Jews use ketubot written in Hebrew rather than in Aramaic. Others may use Aramaic ketubot but have an additional official version in Hebrew. In recent years kettubot have become available in a variety of formats as well as the traditional Aramaic text used by the Orthodox community. Available texts include Conservative text, using the Lieberman Clause, Reform and Interfaith texts; some congregations have texts available for same sex couples too. In addition, Secular Humanist and Anniversary texts are available today.
In a traditional Jewish wedding ceremony, the ketubah is signed by two witnesses and traditionally read out loud under the chuppah. Friends or distant relatives are invited to witness the ketubah, considered an honour; the witnesses must be halakhically valid witnesses, so cannot be a blood relative of the couple. In Orthodox Judaism, women are not considered to be valid witnesses; the ketubah is handed to the bride for safekeeping. Ketubot are hung prominently in the home by the married couple as a daily reminder of their vows and responsibilities to each other. However, in some communities, the ketubah is either displayed in a private section of the home or is not displayed at all. Various reasons given for this include the fact that the details specify personal details, prominent display may invite jealousy or fears of the evil eye; the ketubah specified whether the bride was a virgin. In Sephardic communities, it still specifies the actual contribu