Maynooth is a university town in north County Kildare, Ireland. It is home to Maynooth University and St Patrick's College, a Pontifical University and Ireland's main Roman Catholic seminary. Maynooth is the seat of the Irish Catholic Bishops' Conference and holds the headquarters of Ireland's largest development charity, Trócaire. Maynooth is located 24 kilometres west of central Dublin. Maynooth is located on the R148 road between Leixlip and Kilcock, with the M4 motorway bypassing the town. Other roads connect the town to Celbridge and Dunboyne. Maynooth is on the Dublin to Sligo rail line and is served by a commuter and intercity train service. Maynooth comes from Irish: Maigh Nuadhat or Maigh Nuadhad, meaning "plain of Nuadha". Maigh Nuad is the modern spelling. Nuadha was one of the gods of the ancient Irish, corresponding to Nudd of Wales and Nodens of ancient Britain and Gaul. Maynooth was a long-term centre for the Geraldine or FitzGerald family, which dominated Irish affairs in during the Anglo-Norman and Tudor periods.
From 1932 to 1937, the town was the unofficial home to the King's representative in Ireland, Governor General Domhnall Ua Buachalla, who declined to take up official residence in the Viceregal Lodge in the Phoenix Park, whose family operated a hardware store in the town until 2005, the only shop with an Irish language name in the town for many years, though during 2014 a sweet shop named An Siopa Milseán opened a few doors away. The town is just inside the western edge of The Pale, it has, at either end of the main street, Maynooth Castle and Carton House, two former seats of the Dukes of Leinster. The castle was a stronghold of the 16th century historical figure Thomas FitzGerald, 10th Earl of Kildare, better known as Silken Thomas; the castle was overrun after the rebellion of the Earl. The most important historical buildings in the town are those of St. Patrick's College and some which antedate the foundation of the college, while others are in the late Georgian and neo-Gothic revival style.
The "new range" of buildings was erected by A. W. N. Pugin in 1850 under a commission from college president Laurence F. Renehan, while the College Chapel was designed and completed by James Joseph McCarthy during the presidency of Dr. Robert Browne in 1894. Conolly's Folly is within Maynooth's extensive town boundaries, although it is much closer to Celbridge. There are three old monastic settlements in the vicinity of Maynooth, including Laraghbryan and its cemetery and its Round Tower and Grangewilliam; the population of 14,585 makes Maynooth the fifth largest settlement in Kildare and the 31st largest settlement in Ireland. However during the academic year the population of Maynooth nearly doubles in size. Measurement can be difficult as much of the population is transient – students at Maynooth University or St. Patrick's College, or temporary employees at the nearby Intel and Hewlett Packard facilities. There are two third-level educational institutions – St Patrick's College, founded under King George III in 1795 to train Ireland's Roman Catholic clergy, Maynooth University, separated from St. Patrick's College in 1997 – located in the town.
They share many facilities. Maynooth University is the only university in the Republic of Ireland not situated in a city. There are two secondary schools, four primary schools: a girls' school, a boys' school, an Educate Together school, an Irish-speaking school. Kildare VEC has received patronage authority to build a second secondary school, albeit their expressed desire is to split the existing one to senior and junior schools instead; the town contains a fire station, in addition to the area's part-time Garda station, a health centre, a branch library, a credit union as well as various restaurants, including Romayo's, voted to be the best Take-Away in Leinster in 2014. Maynooth is served by two churches named St. Mary's, one St. Mary's Church of Ireland, incorporated into the walls of St. Patrick's College, St. Mary's Roman Catholic church, where the Kilcock Road turns into Maynooth Village, serving the Maynooth Parish of St. Mary's and Ladychapel. Close by is the former Moyglare Church, used as the Church of Ireland, Meath & Kildare Diocesan Centre.
Maynooth Community Church is a congregation linked to the Presbyterian Church in Ireland. The town is the main retail and service centre for North Kildare and South Meath, with branches of SuperValu, Tesco Ireland and Lidl, as well as a wide variety of non-chain stores. In October 2005, Dunnes Stores opened a major shopping centre off the town's main street, Manor Mills; this centre contains a number such as Easons and Elvery's Sports. On 18 January 2007 Tesco Ireland announced plans to demolish its existing store in Maynooth and build a larger shopping centre, anchored by a Tesco Extra store, on a neighbouring site; the new centre is known after nearby Carton House. The Tesco Extra portion of the new shopping centre opened on 3 November 2008, with Heatons, Sports Direct, Next Children and Boots. A number of shops that formed part of the former Maynooth Shopping Centre remain open on the old site. Maynooth is on the Royal Canal, navigable from central Dublin to this point, now used for leisure purposes.
It provided an important stopping point before Dublin in the period directly before the coming of the railways to
Society of Jesus
The Society of Jesus is a scholarly religious congregation of the Catholic Church for men founded by Ignatius of Loyola and approved by Pope Paul III. The members are called Jesuits; the society is engaged in evangelization and apostolic ministry in 112 nations. Jesuits work in education, intellectual research, cultural pursuits. Jesuits give retreats, minister in hospitals and parishes, sponsor direct social ministries, promote ecumenical dialogue. Saint Ignatius of Loyola, a Basque nobleman from the Pyrenees area of northern Spain, founded the society after discerning his spiritual vocation while recovering from a wound sustained in the Battle of Pamplona, he composed the Spiritual Exercises to help others follow the teachings of Jesus Christ. In 1534, Ignatius and six other young men, including Francis Xavier and Peter Faber and professed vows of poverty and obedience, including a special vow of obedience to the Pope in matters of mission direction and assignment. Ignatius's plan of the order's organization was approved by Pope Paul III in 1540 by a bull containing the "Formula of the Institute".
Ignatius was a nobleman who had a military background, the members of the society were supposed to accept orders anywhere in the world, where they might be required to live in extreme conditions. Accordingly, the opening lines of the founding document declared that the society was founded for "whoever desires to serve as a soldier of God to strive for the defence and propagation of the faith and for the progress of souls in Christian life and doctrine." Jesuits are thus sometimes referred to colloquially as "God's soldiers", "God's marines", or "the Company", which evolved from references to Ignatius' history as a soldier and the society's commitment to accepting orders anywhere and to endure any conditions. The society participated in the Counter-Reformation and in the implementation of the Second Vatican Council; the Society of Jesus is consecrated under the patronage of Madonna Della Strada, a title of the Blessed Virgin Mary, it is led by a Superior General. The headquarters of the society, its General Curia, is in Rome.
The historic curia of Ignatius is now part of the Collegio del Gesù attached to the Church of the Gesù, the Jesuit mother church. In 2013, Jorge Mario Bergoglio became the first Jesuit to be elected Pope, taking the name Pope Francis; as of 2012, the Jesuits formed the largest single religious order of priests and brothers in the Catholic Church. The Jesuits have experienced a decline in numbers in recent decades; as of 2017 the society had 16,088 members, 11,583 priests and 4,505 Jesuits in formation, which includes brothers and scholastics. This represents a 42.6 percent decline since 1977, when the society had a total membership of 28,038, of which 20,205 were priests. This decline is most pronounced in Europe and the Americas, with modest membership gains occurring in Asia and Africa. There seems to be no "Pope Francis effect" in counteracting the fall of vocations among the Jesuits; the society is divided into 83 provinces along with six independent regions and ten dependent regions. On 1 January 2007, members served in 112 nations on six continents with the largest number in India and the US.
Their average age was 57.3 years: 63.4 years for priests, 29.9 years for scholastics, 65.5 years for brothers. The current Superior General of the Jesuits is Arturo Sosa; the society is characterized by its ministries in the fields of missionary work, human rights, social justice and, most notably, higher education. It operates colleges and universities in various countries around the world and is active in the Philippines and India. In the United States the Jesuits have historical ties to 28 colleges and universities and 61 high schools; the degree to which the Jesuits are involved in the administration of each institution varies. As of September 2018, 15 of the 28 Jesuit universities in the US had non-Jesuit lay presidents. According to a 2014 article in The Atlantic, "the number of Jesuit priests who are active in everyday operations at the schools isn’t nearly as high as it once was". Worldwide it runs 172 colleges and universities. A typical conception of the mission of a Jesuit school will contain such concepts as proposing Christ as the model of human life, the pursuit of excellence in teaching and learning, lifelong spiritual and intellectual growth, training men and women for others.
Ignatius laid out his original vision for the new order in the "Formula of the Institute of the Society of Jesus", "the fundamental charter of the order, of which all subsequent official documents were elaborations and to which they had to conform." He ensured that his formula was contained in two papal bulls signed by Pope Paul III in 1540 and by Pope Julius III in 1550. The formula expressed the nature, community life, apostolate of the new religious order, its famous opening statement echoed Ignatius' military background: Whoever desires to serve as a soldier of God beneath the banner of the Cross in our Society, which we desire to be designated by the Name of Jesus, to serve the Lord alone and the Church, his spouse, under the Roman Pontiff, the Vicar of Christ on earth, after a solemn vow of perpetual chastity and obedience, keep what follows in mind. He is a member of a Society founded chiefly for this purpose: to strive for the defence and propagation of the faith and for the progress of souls in Christian life and doctrine, by means of public preaching and any other ministration whatsoever of the Word of God, further by means of ret
The novitiate called the noviciate, is the period of training and preparation that a Christian novice monastic, apostolic, or member of a religious order undergoes prior to taking vows in order to discern whether he or she is called to vowed religious life. It includes times of intense study, living in community, studying the vowed life, deepening one's relationship with God, deepening one's self-awareness, it is a time of creating a new way of being in the world. The novitiate stage in most communities is a two-year period of formation; these years are "Sabbath time" to deepen one's relationship with God, to intensify the living out of the community's mission and charism, to foster human growth. The novitiate experience for many communities includes a concentrated program of prayer, study and limited ministerial engagement. Novices are not admitted to vows until they have completed the prescribed period of training and proving, called the novitiate. In the Middle Ages novices would have dormitories in separate areas within a monastery.
Earlier, different orders followed their own rules governing the length and conditions of the novitiate. At the time of the Reformation, the Council of Trent legislated the length and conditions by which anyone aspiring to become a monk is obliged to be a novice; the novitiate, through which life in an institute is begun, is arranged so that the novices better understand their divine vocation, indeed one, proper to the institute, experience the manner of living of the institute, form their mind and heart in its spirit, so that their intention and suitability are tested. —Canon Law 646 Conscious of their own responsibility, the Novices are to collaborate with their Director in such a way that they faithfully respond to the grace of a divine vocation. —Canon Law 652.3 Members of the institute are to take care that they cooperate for their part in the work of formation of the Novices through example of life and prayer —Canon Law 652.3 Novices are to be led to cultivate human and Christian virtues.
—Canon Law 652 A novice is free to quit the novitiate at any time, the Novice Director, Formation Director, or Superior is free to dismiss him or her with or without cause in most communities. In novicating, the vows are continuous through training. In some novitiate communities monastic, the novice wears clothing, distinct from secular dress but is not the full habit worn by professed members of the community; the novice's day encompasses participation in the full canonical hours, manual labor, classes designed to instruct novices in the religious life he is preparing to embrace. Spiritual exercises and tests of humility are common features of a novitiate; some Roman Catholic communities encourage frequent confession and reception of Holy Communion by their novices. A Superior will appoint an experienced member of the community to oversee the training of novices; this may be a Finally Professed Member, novice master or mistress, responsible for the training of all novices. Different religious communities will have varying requirements for the duration of the novitiate.
One must complete a postulancy before entering the novitiate. In many apostolic religious communities in the United States, postulancy or candidacy is one to three years. In the Eastern Orthodox Church, the novitiate is set at three years before one may be tonsured a monk or nun, though this requirement may be waived; the term "novitiate" refers to the building, house, or complex within a monastery or convent, devoted to the needs of novices. Monasticism Novice master
Ordination is the process by which individuals are consecrated, that is, set apart as clergy to perform various religious rites and ceremonies. The process and ceremonies of ordination vary by denomination. One, in preparation for, or, undergoing the process of ordination is sometimes called an ordinand; the liturgy used at an ordination is sometimes referred to as an ordination. The tradition of the ordained monastic community began with the Buddha, who established orders of monks and of nuns; the procedure of ordination in Buddhism is laid down in the Vinaya and Patimokkha or Pratimoksha scriptures. There exist three intact ordination lineages nowadays in which one can receive an ordination according to the Buddha's teachings: Dharmaguptaka Lineage Mulasarvastivadin Lineage Theravada Lineage Saicho requested that the Japanese government allow the construction of a Mahayana ordination platform. Permission was granted in 822 CE; the platform was finished in 827 CE at Enryaku-ji temple on Mount Hiei, was the first in Japan.
Prior to this, those wishing to become monks/nuns were ordained using the Hinayana precepts, whereas after the Mahayana ordination platform, people were ordained with the Bodhisattva precepts as listed in the Brahma Net Sutra. Pabbajja is an ordination procedure for novice Buddhist monks in the Theravada tradition; the legitimacy of ordained nuns has become a significant topic of discussion in recent years. Texts passed down in every Buddhist tradition record that Gautama Buddha created an order of ordained nuns, but the tradition has died out in some Buddhist traditions such as Theravada Buddhism, while remaining strong in others such as Chinese Buddhism. In the Tibetan lineage, which follows the Mulasarvastivadin lineage, the lineage of ordained nuns was not brought to Tibet by the Indian Vinaya masters, hence there is no rite for the ordination of full nuns; however th 14th Dalai Lama has endeavored for many years to improve this situation. In 2005, he asked ordained nuns in the Dharmaguptaka lineage Jampa Tsedroen, to form a committee to work for the acceptance of the bhiksuni lineage within the Tibetan tradition, donated €50,000 for further research.
The "1st International Congress on Buddhist Women’s Role in the Sangha: Bhikshuni Vinaya and Ordination Lineages" was held at the University of Hamburg from July 18–20, 2007, in cooperation with the University’s Asia-Africa Institute. Although the general tenor was that full ordination was overdue, the Dalai Lama presented a pre-drafted statement saying that more time was required to reach a decision, thus nullifying the intentions of the congress. In Medieval Sōtō Zen, a tradition of posthumous ordination was developed to give the laity access to Zen funeral rites. Chinese Ch’an monastic codes, from which Japanese Sōtō practices were derived, contain only monastic funeral rites. To solve this problem, the Sōtō school developed the practice of ordaining laypeople after death, thus allowing monastic funeral rites to be used for them as well; the Buddhist ordination tradition of the New Kadampa Tradition-International Kadampa Buddhist Union is not the traditional Buddhist ordination, but rather one newly created by Kelsang Gyatso.
Although those ordained within this organisation are called'monks' and'nuns' within the organisation, wear the robes of traditional Tibetan monks and nuns, in terms of traditional Buddhism they are neither ordained monks and nuns nor are they novice monks and nuns. Unlike most other Buddhist traditions, including all Tibetan Buddhist schools, which follow the Vinaya, the NKT-IKBU ordination consists of the Five Precepts of a lay person, plus five more precepts created by Kelsang Gyatso, he is said to view them as a “practical condensation” of the 253 Vinaya vows of ordained monks. There are no formal instructions and guidelines for the behaviour of monks and nuns within the NKT; because the behaviour of monks and nuns is not defined “each Resident Teacher developed his or her own way of ‘disciplining’ monks and nuns at their centres …”. Kelsang Gyatso's ordination has been publicly criticised by Geshe Tashi Tsering as going against the core teachings of Buddhism and against the teachings of Tsongkhapa, the founder of the Gelugpa school from which Kelsang Gyatso was expelled Ordination is one of the seven sacraments, variously called holy orders or cheirotonia.
Apostolic succession is considered an essential and necessary concept for ordination, in the belief that all ordained clergy are ordained by bishops who were ordained by other bishops tracing back to bishops ordained by the Apostles who were ordained by Christ, the great High Priest, who conferred his priesthood upon his Apostles. There are three "degrees" of ordination: deacon and bishop. Both bishops and presbyters have authority to celebrate the Eucharist. In common use, the term priest, when unqualified, refers to the rank of presbyter, whereas presbyter is used in rites of ordination and other places where a technical and precise term is required. Ordination of a bishop is performed by several bishops; the ordination of a new bishop is called a consecration. Many ancient sources specify that at least three bishops are necessary to consecrate another, e.g. the 13th Canon of the Council of Carthage states, "A bis
North Wales is a region of Wales. Retail and educational infrastructure are centred on Wrexham, Colwyn Bay and Bangor, it is bordered to the rest of Wales with the counties of Ceredigion and Powys, to the east by the English counties of Shropshire and Cheshire. North Wales was traditionally divided into three regions: Upper Gwynedd, defined as the area north of the River Dyfi and west of the River Conwy); the division with the rest of Wales depends on the particular use being made. For example, the boundary of North Wales Police differs from the boundary of the North Wales area of the Natural Resources Wales and the North Wales Regional Transport Consortium; the historic boundary follows the pre-1996 county boundaries of Merionethshire and Denbighshire which in turn follows the geographic features of the river Dovey to Aran Fawddwy crossing the high moorlands following the watershed until reaching Cadair Berwyn and following the river Rhaeadr and river Tanat to the Shropshire border. Montgomeryshire, one of the historic counties of Wales, is sometimes referred to as being in North Wales.
The region is steeped in history and was for a millennium known as the Kingdom of Gwynedd. The mountainous stronghold of Snowdonia formed the nucleus of that realm and would become the last redoubt of independent Wales — only overcome in 1283. To this day it remains a stronghold of the Welsh language and a centre for Welsh national and cultural identity; the area is home to two of the three UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Wales. These are Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and canal and, the Edwardian castles and town walls of the region which comprise those at Caernarfon, Beaumaris and Harlech, it shares with Powys and Ceredigion the distinction of hosting the only UNESCO Biosphere reserve in Wales, Biosffer Dyfi Biosphere. The region is made up of the following administrative areas: the county borough of Wrexham the county of Flintshire the county of Denbighshire the county borough of Conwy the county of Gwynedd the county of the Isle of Anglesey In addition to the six Local Authority divisions, North Wales is divided into the following preserved counties for various ceremonial purposes: the preserved county of Clwyd the preserved county of Gwynedd North Wales was a European Parliament constituency until 1999.
There is an electoral region for the National Assembly for Wales with the name, which covers the northeast of Wales as well as the northern-most coastal areas of north-western Wales. The area is rural with many mountains and valleys. This, in combination with its coast, means. Farming, once the principal economic force in the area, is now much reduced in importance; the average income per capita of the local population is the lowest in the UK and much of the region has EU Objective 1 status. The eastern part of North Wales contains the most populous areas, with more than 300,000 people living in the areas around Wrexham and Deeside. Wrexham, with a population of 63,084 in 2001 is the largest town; the total population of North Wales is 687,937. The majority of other settlements are along the coast, including some popular resort towns, such as Rhyl, Llandudno and Tywyn; the A55 road links these towns to cities like Manchester and Birmingham and the port of Holyhead for ferries to Ireland. There are two cathedral cities – Bangor and St. Asaph – and a number of mediaeval castles The area of North Wales is about 6,172 square kilometres, making it larger than the country of Brunei, or the island of Bali.
The highest mountain in Wales and Ireland, is Snowdon in northwest Wales. North Wales has a diverse and complex geology with Precambrian schists along the Menai Strait and the great Cambrian dome behind Harlech and underlying much of western Snowdonia. In the Ordovician period much volcanism deposited a range of minerals and rocks over the north western parts of Gwynedd whilst to the east of the River Conwy lies a large area of upland rolling hills underlain by the Silurian mudstones and grits comprising the Denbigh and Migneint Moors. To the east, around Llangollen, to the north on Halkyn Mountain and the Great Orme and in eastern Anglesey are beds of limestone from which metals have been mined since pre-Roman times. Added to all this are the complexities posed by Parys Mountain and the outcrops of unusual minerals such as Jasper and Mona Marble which make the area of special interest to geologists. North Wales has a distinct regional identity, its dialect of the Welsh language differs from that of other regions, such as South Wales, in some ways: for example llefrith is used in most of the North instead of llaeth for "milk".
Dublin is the capital and largest city of Ireland. It is on the east coast of Ireland, in the province of Leinster, at the mouth of the River Liffey, is bordered on the south by the Wicklow Mountains, it has an urban area population of 1,173,179, while the population of the Dublin Region, as of 2016, was 1,347,359, the population of the Greater Dublin area was 1,904,806. There is archaeological debate regarding where Dublin was established by the Gaels in or before the 7th century AD. Expanded as a Viking settlement, the Kingdom of Dublin, the city became Ireland's principal settlement following the Norman invasion; the city expanded from the 17th century and was the second largest city in the British Empire before the Acts of Union in 1800. Following the partition of Ireland in 1922, Dublin became the capital of the Irish Free State renamed Ireland. Dublin is a historical and contemporary centre for education, the arts and industry; as of 2018 the city was listed by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network as a global city, with a ranking of "Alpha −", which places it amongst the top thirty cities in the world.
The name Dublin comes from the Irish word Dubhlinn, early Classical Irish Dubhlind/Duibhlind, from dubh meaning "black, dark", lind "pool", referring to a dark tidal pool. This tidal pool was located where the River Poddle entered the Liffey, on the site of the castle gardens at the rear of Dublin Castle. In Modern Irish the name is Duibhlinn, Irish rhymes from County Dublin show that in Dublin Leinster Irish it was pronounced Duílinn; the original pronunciation is preserved in the names for the city in other languages such as Old English Difelin, Old Norse Dyflin, modern Icelandic Dyflinn and modern Manx Divlyn as well as Welsh Dulyn. Other localities in Ireland bear the name Duibhlinn, variously anglicized as Devlin and Difflin. Scribes using the Gaelic script wrote bh with a dot over the b, rendering Duḃlinn or Duiḃlinn; those without knowledge of Irish omitted the dot. Variations on the name are found in traditionally Gaelic-speaking areas of Scotland, such as An Linne Dhubh, part of Loch Linnhe.
It is now thought that the Viking settlement was preceded by a Christian ecclesiastical settlement known as Duibhlinn, from which Dyflin took its name. Beginning in the 9th and 10th century, there were two settlements; the Viking settlement of about 841, a Gaelic settlement, Áth Cliath further up river, at the present day Father Mathew Bridge, at the bottom of Church Street. Baile Átha Cliath, meaning "town of the hurdled ford", is the common name for the city in modern Irish. Áth Cliath is a place name referring to a fording point of the River Liffey near Father Mathew Bridge. Baile Átha Cliath was an early Christian monastery, believed to have been in the area of Aungier Street occupied by Whitefriar Street Carmelite Church. There are other towns of the same name, such as Àth Cliath in East Ayrshire, Anglicised as Hurlford; the area of Dublin Bay has been inhabited by humans since prehistoric times, but the writings of Ptolemy in about AD 140 provide the earliest reference to a settlement there.
He called it Eblana polis. Dublin celebrated its'official' millennium in 1988, meaning the Irish government recognised 988 as the year in which the city was settled and that this first settlement would become the city of Dublin, it is now thought the Viking settlement of about 841 was preceded by a Christian ecclesiastical settlement known as Duibhlinn, from which Dyflin took its name. Beginning in the 9th and 10th century, there were two settlements which became the modern Dublin; the subsequent Scandinavian settlement centred on the River Poddle, a tributary of the Liffey in an area now known as Wood Quay. The Dubhlinn was a pool on the lowest stretch of the Poddle, used to moor ships; this pool was fully infilled during the early 18th century, as the city grew. The Dubhlinn lay where the Castle Garden is now located, opposite the Chester Beatty Library within Dublin Castle. Táin Bó Cuailgne refers to Dublind rissa ratter Áth Cliath, meaning "Dublin, called Ath Cliath". Dublin was established as a Viking settlement in the 10th century and, despite a number of attacks by the native Irish, it remained under Viking control until the Norman invasion of Ireland was launched from Wales in 1169.
It was upon the death of Muirchertach Mac Lochlainn in early 1166 that Ruaidrí Ua Conchobair, King of Connacht, proceeded to Dublin and was inaugurated King of Ireland without opposition. According to some historians, part of the city's early economic growth is attributed to a trade in slaves. Slavery in Ireland and Dublin reached its pinnacle in the 10th centuries. Prisoners from slave raids and kidnappings, which captured men and children, brought revenue to the Gaelic Irish Sea raiders, as well as to the Vikings who had initiated the practice; the victims came from Wales, England and beyond. The King of Leinster, Diarmait Mac Murchada, after his exile by Ruaidhrí, enlisted the help of Strongbow, the Earl of Pembroke, to conquer Dublin. Following Mac Murrough's death, Strongbow declared himself King of Leinster after gaining control of the city. In response to Strongbow's successful invasion, King Henry II of England affirmed his ultimate sovereignty by mou
Naples is the regional capital of Campania and the third-largest municipality in Italy after Rome and Milan. In 2017, around 967,069 people lived within the city's administrative limits while its province-level municipality has a population of 3,115,320 residents, its continuously built-up metropolitan area is the second or third largest metropolitan area in Italy and one of the most densely populated cities in Europe. First settled by Greeks in the second millennium BC, Naples is one of the oldest continuously inhabited urban areas in the world. In the ninth century BC, a colony known as Parthenope or Παρθενόπη was established on the Island of Megaride refounded as Neápolis in the sixth century BC; the city was an important part of Magna Graecia, played a major role in the merging of Greek and Roman society and a significant cultural centre under the Romans. It served as the capital of the Duchy of Naples of the Kingdom of Naples and of the Two Sicilies until the unification of Italy in 1861.
Between 1925 and 1936, Naples was expanded and upgraded by Benito Mussolini's government but subsequently sustained severe damage from Allied bombing during World War II, which led to extensive post-1945 reconstruction work. Naples has experienced significant economic growth in recent decades, helped by the construction of the Centro Direzionale business district and an advanced transportation network, which includes the Alta Velocità high-speed rail link to Rome and Salerno and an expanded subway network. Naples is the third-largest urban economy in Italy, after Rome; the Port of Naples is one of the most important in Europe and home of the Allied Joint Force Command Naples, the NATO body that oversees North Africa, the Sahel and Middle East. Naples' historic city centre is the largest in Europe and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with a wide range of culturally and significant sites nearby, including the Palace of Caserta and the Roman ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Naples is known for its natural beauties such as Posillipo, Phlegraean Fields and Vesuvius.
Neapolitan cuisine is synonymous with pizza – which originated in the city – but it includes many lesser-known dishes. The best-known sports team in Naples is the Serie A club S. S. C. Napoli, two-time Italian champions who play at the San Paolo Stadium in the southwest of the city, in the Fuorigrotta quarter. Naples has been inhabited since the Neolithic period; the earliest Greek settlements were established in the Naples area in the second millennium BC. Sailors from the Greek island of Rhodes established a small commercial port called Parthenope on the island of Megaride in the ninth century BC. By the eighth century BC, the settlement had expanded to include Monte Echia. In the sixth century BC the new urban zone of Neápolis was founded on the plain becoming one of the foremost cities of Magna Graecia; the city grew due to the influence of the powerful Greek city-state of Syracuse, became an ally of the Roman Republic against Carthage. During the Samnite Wars, the city, now a bustling centre of trade, was captured by the Samnites.
During the Punic Wars, the strong walls surrounding Neápolis repelled the invading forces of the Carthaginian general Hannibal. Naples was respected by the Romans as a paragon of Hellenistic culture. During the Roman era, the people of Naples maintained their Greek language and customs, while the city was expanded with elegant Roman villas and public baths. Landmarks such as the Temple of Dioscures were built, many emperors chose to holiday in the city, including Claudius and Tiberius. Virgil, the author of Rome's national epic, the Aeneid, received part of his education in the city, resided in its environs, it was during this period. Januarius, who would become Naples' patron saint, was martyred there in the fourth century AD; the last emperor of the Western Roman Empire, Romulus Augustulus, was exiled to Naples by the Germanic king Odoacer in the fifth century AD. Following the decline of the Western Roman Empire, Naples was captured by the Ostrogoths, a Germanic people, incorporated into the Ostrogothic Kingdom.
However, Belisarius of the Byzantine Empire recaptured Naples in 536, after entering the city via an aqueduct. In 543, during the Gothic Wars, Totila took the city for the Ostrogoths, but the Byzantines seized control of the area following the Battle of Mons Lactarius on the slopes of Vesuvius. Naples was expected to keep in contact with the Exarchate of Ravenna, the centre of Byzantine power on the Italian Peninsula. After the exarchate fell, a Duchy of Naples was created. Although Naples' Greco-Roman culture endured, it switched allegiance from Constantinople to Rome under Duke Stephen II, putting it under papal suzerainty by 763; the years between 818 and 832 were tumultuous in regard to Naples' relations with the Byzantine Emperor, with numerous local pretenders feuding for possession of the ducal throne. Theoctistus was appointed without imperial approval. However, the disgruntled general populace chased him from the city, instead elected Stephen III, a man who minted coins with his own initials, r