Saint Sebastian was an early Christian saint and martyr. According to traditional belief, he was killed during the Roman emperor Diocletian's persecution of Christians being tied to a post or tree and shot with arrows, though this did not kill him, he was, according to his legend and healed by Saint Irene of Rome, which became a popular subject in 17th-century painting. In all versions of the story, shortly after his recovery he went to Diocletian to warn him about his sins, as a result was clubbed to death, he is venerated in the Orthodox Church. The details of Saint Sebastian's martyrdom were first spoken of by 4th-century bishop Ambrose of Milan, in his sermon on Psalm 118. Ambrose stated that Sebastian came from Milan and that he was venerated there at that time. Saint Sebastian is a popular male saint today among athletes. In historical times he was regarded as a saint with a special ability to intercede to protect from plague, devotion to him increased when plague was active; the first surviving account giving details of Sebastian's life and death is the Passio Sancti Sebastiani, long thought to have been written by Ambrose of Milan in the 4th century, but now regarded as a 5th-century account by an unknown author.
This includes the "two martyrdoms", the care by Irene in between, other details that remained part of the story. According to Sebastian's 18th-century entry in Acta Sanctorum, still attributed to Ambrose by the 17th-century hagiographer Jean Bolland, the briefer account in the 14th-century Legenda Aurea, he was a man of Gallia Narbonensis, taught in Mediolanum. In 283, Sebastian entered the army in Rome under Emperor Carinus to assist the martyrs; because of his courage he became one of the captains of the Praetorian Guards under Diocletian and Maximian, who were unaware that he was a Christian. According to tradition and Marcellian were twin brothers from a distinguished family and were deacons. Both brothers married, they resided in Rome with their wives and children; the brothers were arrested. They were visited by their parents Tranquillinus and Martia in prison, who attempted to persuade them to renounce Christianity. Sebastian succeeded in converting Tranquillinus and Martia, as well as Saint Tiburtius, the son of Chromatius, the local prefect.
Another official and his wife Zoe were converted. It has been said; as soon as she had, her speech returned to her. Nicostratus brought the rest of the prisoners. Chromatius and Tiburtius converted. Marcus and Marcellian, after being concealed by a Christian named Castulus, were martyred, as were Nicostratus and Tiburtius. Sebastian had prudently concealed his faith. Diocletian reproached him for his supposed betrayal, he commanded him to be led to a field and there to be bound to a stake so that certain archers from Mauritania would shoot arrows at him. "And the archers shot at him till he was as full of arrows as an urchin is full of pricks, thus left him there for dead." Miraculously, the arrows did not kill him. The widow of Castulus, Irene of Rome, went to retrieve his body to bury it, she discovered he was still alive, she nursed him back to health. Sebastian stood by a staircase where the emperor was to pass and harangued Diocletian for his cruelties against Christians; this freedom of speech, from a person whom he supposed to have been dead astonished the emperor.
A pious lady, called Lucina, admonished by the martyr in a vision removed the body, buried it in the catacombs at the entrance of the cemetery of Calixtus, where now stands the Basilica of St. Sebastian. Remains reputed to be those of Sebastian are housed in Rome in the Basilica Apostolorum, built by Pope Damasus I in 367 on the site of the provisional tomb of Saints Peter and Paul; the church, today called San Sebastiano fuori le mura, was rebuilt in the 1610s under the patronage of Scipione Borghese. St. Ado, Eginard and other contemporary authors relate that, in the reign of Louis Debonnair, Pope Eugenius II gave the body of St. Sebastian to Hilduin, Abbot of St. Denys, who brought it into France, it was deposited at Saint Medard Abbey, at Soissons, on 8 December, in 826. Sebastian's cranium was brought to the town of Ebersberg in 934. A Benedictine abbey was founded there and became one of the most important pilgrimage sites in southern Germany, it is said the silver-encased cranium was used as a cup in which to present wine to the faithful during the feast of Saint Sebastian.
Reliquary of Saint Sebastian in Ebersberg The belief that Saint Sebastian was a defense against the plague was a medieval addition to his reputation, which accounts for the enormous increase in his importance in the Late Middle Ages. The connection of the martyr shot with arrows with the plague is not an intuitive one, however. In Greco-Roman myth, the archer god, at times destroys his enemies by shooting plague-arrows from the heavens, but is the deliverer from pestilence. Similar metaphors for divine displeasure occur in the Hebrew Bible; the hopeful example of Sebastian being able to recover from his "first m
Adolf Brand was a German writer, egoist anarchist, pioneering campaigner for the acceptance of male bisexuality and homosexuality. Adolf Brand was born on 14 November 1874 in Germany, he became a school teacher before establishing a publishing firm and producing a German homosexual periodical, Der Eigene in 1896. This was the first ongoing homosexual publication in the world, ran until 1931; the name was taken from writings of egoist philosopher Max Stirner, who had influenced the young Brand, refers to Stirner's concept of "self-ownership" of the individual. Der Eigene concentrated on cultural and scholarly material, may have had an average of around 1500 subscribers per issue during its lifetime, although the exact numbers are uncertain. Contributors included Erich Mühsam, Kurt Hiller, John Henry Mackay and artists Wilhelm von Gloeden and Sascha Schneider. Brand contributed many articles himself. Brand's writings, together with those of other contributors to Der Eigene, aimed at a revival of Greek pederasty as a cultural model for modern homosexuality.
In 1899/1900 Brand published Elisar von Kupffer's influential anthology of homoerotic literature, Lieblingminne und Freundesliebe in der Weltliteratur. The work was reprinted in 1995. In 1899, he was sentenced to a year in prison for publicly striking Ernst Lieber, a Reichstag delegate and head of the Catholic Church-linked Center Party, with a dog whip. Brand became involved in Magnus Hirschfeld's Scientific-Humanitarian Committee, until there was a split in 1903. To this new group, male-male love, in particular that of an older man for a youth, was viewed as a simple aspect of virile manliness available to all men; the GdE was a sort of scouting movement that echoed the warrior creed of Sparta and the ideals of pederasty in Ancient Greece, the ideas on pedagogic eros of Gustav Wyneken. The GdE was involved with camping and trekking and practised nudism – the latter common as part of the Nacktkultur sweeping Germany. In the 1920s this would develop into the Freikörperkultur under Adolf Koch.
The GdE was similar to other such groups in Germany at the time, such as the Wandervogel. Wilhelm Jansen, co-founder of the Gemeinschaft der Eigenen, was one of the chief financial supporters of the Wandervogel and a leader in it; the writings and theories of the romantic anarchist John Henry Mackay had a significant influence on the GdE from 1906. Mackay had lived in Berlin for a decade and had become a friend of Friedlaender, who did not share the anarchist leanings of Brand and Mackay, favoring instead the thinking on'natural rights' and land reform current in Germany. Long before the advent of the term, Brand was a proponent of "outing" politicians who publicly proclaimed anti-gay positions while practicing homosexuality. In 1904, he claimed in print that Friedrich Dasbach, a Center Party Reichstag delegate, consorted with male prostitutes. Dasbach threatened to sue Brand for libel. In 1907, Brand claimed in print that German chancellor Prince von Bülow had a long-standing homosexual relationship with Privy Councilor Max Scheefer.
This time Brand was brought to court on libel charges and was sentenced to eighteen months in prison. In a justification for outing, Brand stated: "When someone... would like to set in the most damaging way the intimate love contact of others... at that moment his own love life ceases to be a private matter." Brand was sentenced to two months in prison in 1905 for publishing "lewd writings" in Der Eigene. During World War I Brand and the GdE curtailed their activities for the duration. After the war the enforcement of Paragraph 175 declined; the GdE and other groups formed a united'action committee' with Magnus Hirschfeld's group, to formulate a new law. In 1925 more groups joined and the larger Cartel for Reform of the Law against Sexual Offenses was formed. Despite a new law being drafted, it was not voted on, by 1929 there was no further chance to reform Paragraph 175. Adolf Brand gave up homosexual activism in the early 1930s, after constant harassment from the Nazis who silenced Der Eigene, destroyed his life's work and left him in financial ruin.
After the sacking and burning of the Institut für Sexualwissenschaft, he sent a public letter to his followers announcing the end of the movement. He and his wife were killed by an Allied bomb on 2 February 1945, he was 70 years old. James D. Steakley; the Early Homosexual Emancipation Movement in Germany. John Lauritsen and David Thorstad; the Early Homosexual Rights Movement, 1864–1935. Günter Grau. Hidden Holocaust? Gay and Lesbian Persecution in Germany 1933–45. Mark Blasius & Shane Phelan We Are Everywhere: A Historical Source Book of Gay and Lesbian Politics.. Harry Oosterhuis Homosexuality and Male Bonding in Pre-Nazi Germany: The Youth Movement, the Gay Movement, Male Bonding Before Hitler’s Rise. Original Transcripts from "Der Eigene", the First Gay Journal in the World J. S. Hohmann, ed. Der Eigene. Das Beste aus der ersten Homosex
Renaissance literature refers to European literature, influenced by the intellectual and cultural tendencies associated with the Renaissance. The literature of the Renaissance was written within the general movement of the Renaissance which arose in 14th-century Italy and continued until the 16th century while being diffused into the rest of the western world, it is characterized by the adoption of a humanist philosophy and the recovery of the classical Antiquity. It benefited from the spread of printing in the latter part of the 15th century. For the writers of the Renaissance, Greco-Roman inspiration was shown both in the themes of their writing and in the literary forms they used; the world was considered from an anthropocentric perspective. Platonic ideas were put to the service of Christianity; the search for pleasures of the senses and a critical and rational spirit completed the ideological panorama of the period. New literary genres such as the essay and new metrical forms such as the Spenserian stanza made their appearance.
The impact of the Renaissance varied across the continent. Areas where the Eastern Orthodox Churches were culturally dominant, as well as those areas of Europe under Islamic rule, were more or less outside its influence; the period focused on one's ability to accept what is going on in one's life. The earliest Renaissance literature appeared in Italy in the 14th century. From Italy the influence of the Renaissance spread at different times to other countries and continued to spread around Europe through the 17th century; the English Renaissance and the Renaissance in Scotland date from the late 15th century to the early 17th century. In northern Europe, the scholarly writings of Erasmus, the plays of William Shakespeare, the poems of Edmund Spenser and the writings of Sir Philip Sidney may be considered Renaissance in character; the creation of the printing press by Johannes Gutenberg in the 1440 encouraged authors to write in their local vernacular instead of Greek or Latin classical languages, thus widening the reading audience and promoting the spread of Renaissance ideas.
British literature#The Renaissance Elizabethan literature English Renaissance theatre Renaissance in Croatia Dutch Renaissance and Golden Age literature French Renaissance literature German literature#German Renaissance and Reformation High Renaissance Italian Renaissance literature Polish Renaissance literature Portuguese Renaissance and Portuguese literature#First classical phase: The Renaissance Scottish Renaissance literature Spanish Renaissance literature Swedish literature#Renaissance literature 14th century in literature 15th century in literature 16th century in literature 17th century in literature 14th century in poetry 15th century in poetry 16th century in poetry 17th century in poetry General Resources in the Renaissance & 17th Century
Jean-Louis André Théodore Géricault was an influential French painter and lithographer, whose best-known painting is The Raft of the Medusa. Although he died young, he was one of the pioneers of the Romantic movement. Born in Rouen, France, Géricault was educated in the tradition of English sporting art by Carle Vernet and classical figure composition by Pierre-Narcisse Guérin, a rigorous classicist who disapproved of his student's impulsive temperament while recognizing his talent. Géricault soon left the classroom, choosing to study at the Louvre, where from 1810 to 1815 he copied paintings by Rubens, Velázquez and Rembrandt. During this period at the Louvre he discovered a vitality he found lacking in the prevailing school of Neoclassicism. Much of his time was spent in Versailles, where he found the stables of the palace open to him, where he gained his knowledge of the anatomy and action of horses. Géricault's first major work, The Charging Chasseur, exhibited at the Paris Salon of 1812, revealed the influence of the style of Rubens and an interest in the depiction of contemporary subject matter.
This youthful success and monumental, was followed by a change in direction: for the next several years Géricault produced a series of small studies of horses and cavalrymen. He exhibited Wounded Cuirassier at the Salon in 1814, a work more labored and less well received. Géricault in a fit of disappointment entered the army and served for a time in the garrison of Versailles. In the nearly two years that followed the 1814 Salon, he underwent a self-imposed study of figure construction and composition, all the while evidencing a personal predilection for drama and expressive force. A trip to Florence and Naples, prompted in part by the desire to flee from a romantic entanglement with his aunt, ignited a fascination with Michelangelo. Rome itself inspired the preparation of a monumental canvas, the Race of the Barberi Horses, a work of epic composition and abstracted theme that promised to be "entirely without parallel in its time". However, Géricault returned to France. In 1821, he painted The Derby of Epsom.
Géricault continually returned to the military themes of his early paintings, the series of lithographs he undertook on military subjects after his return from Italy are considered some of the earliest masterworks in that medium. His most significant, most ambitious work, is The Raft of the Medusa, which depicted the aftermath of a contemporary French shipwreck, Meduse, in which the captain had left the crew and passengers to die; the incident became a national scandal, Géricault's dramatic interpretation presented a contemporary tragedy on a monumental scale. The painting's notoriety stemmed from its indictment of a corrupt establishment, but it dramatized a more eternal theme, that of man's struggle with nature, it excited the imagination of the young Eugène Delacroix, who posed for one of the dying figures. The classical depiction of the figures and structure of the composition stand in contrast to the turbulence of the subject, so that the painting constitutes an important bridge between neo-classicism and romanticism.
It fuses many influences: the Last Judgment of Michelangelo, the monumental approach to contemporary events by Antoine-Jean Gros, figure groupings by Henry Fuseli, the painting Watson and the Shark by John Singleton Copley. The painting ignited political controversy when first exhibited at the Paris Salon of 1819. While in London, Géricault witnessed urban poverty, made drawings of his impressions, published lithographs based on these observations which were free of sentimentality, he associated much there with the lithographer and caricaturist. After his return to France in 1821, Géricault was inspired to paint a series of ten portraits of the insane, the patients of a friend, Dr. Étienne-Jean Georget, a pioneer in psychiatric medicine, with each subject exhibiting a different affliction. There are five remaining portraits from the series, including Insane Woman; the paintings are noteworthy for their bravura style, expressive realism, for their documenting of the psychological discomfort of individuals, made all the more poignant by the history of insanity in Géricault's family, as well as the artist's own fragile mental health.
His observations of the human subject were not confined to the living, for some remarkable still-lifes—painted studies of severed heads and limbs—have been ascribed to the artist. Géricault's last efforts were directed toward preliminary studies for several epic compositions, including the Opening of the Doors of the Spanish Inquisition and the African Slave Trade; the preparatory drawings suggest works of great ambition. Weakened by riding accidents and chronic tubercular infection, Géricault died in Paris in 1824 after a long period of suffering, his bronze figure reclines, brush in hand, on his tomb at Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris, above a low-relief panel of The Raft of the Medusa. Ciofalo, John J; the Raft: A Play about the Tragic Life of Théodore Géricault Eitner, Lorenz, "Theodore Gericault", Salander-O'Reilly Whitney, Gericault in Italy, New Haven/London: Yale University Press Riding, Christine, "The Raft of the Medusa in Britain", Crossing the Channel: British and French Painting in the Age of Romanticism, Tate Publishing French painting 1774–1830: the Age of Revolution.
New York. 1975. Media related to Théodore G
In Greek mythology, Narcissus was a hunter from Thespiae in Boeotia, known for his beauty. According to Tzetzes, he was a Laconian hunter. Narcissus was proud, in that he disdained those who loved him, causing some to commit suicide to prove their unrelenting devotion to his striking beauty. Narcissus is the origin of the term narcissism, a fixation with oneself and one's physical appearance or public perception; the name is of uncertain etymology. According to R. S. P. Beekes, "he suffix points to a Pre-Greek word." The word narcissus has come to be used for the daffodil, but there is no clarity on whether the flower is named for the myth, or the myth for the flower, or if there is any true connection at all. Pliny the Elder wrote. Narcissus was the son of the river god Cephissus and nymph Liriope. Several versions of the myth have survived from ancient sources; the classic version is by Ovid, found in book 3 of his Metamorphoses. One day Narcissus was walking in the woods when Echo, an Oread saw him, fell in love, followed him.
Narcissus sensed he was being followed and shouted "Who's there?". Echo repeated "Who's there?" She revealed her identity and attempted to embrace him. He told her to leave him alone, she was heartbroken and spent the rest of her life in lonely glens until nothing but an echo sound remained of her. Nemesis, the goddess of revenge, noticed this behaviour after learning the story and decided to punish Narcissus. Once, during the summer, he was getting thirsty after hunting, the goddess lured him to a pool where he leaned upon the water and saw himself in the bloom of youth. Narcissus did not realize it was his own reflection and fell in love with it, as if it was somebody else. Unable to leave the allure of his image, he realized that his love could not be reciprocated and he melted away from the fire of passion burning inside him turning into a gold and white flower. An earlier version ascribed to the poet Parthenius of Nicaea, composed around 50 BC, was rediscovered among the Oxyrhynchus papyri at Oxford.
Unlike Ovid's version, it ended with Narcissus. A version by Conon, a contemporary of Ovid ends in suicide. In it, a young man named Ameinias fell in love with Narcissus, who had spurned his male suitors. Narcissus spurned him and gave him a sword. Ameinias committed suicide at Narcissus's doorstep, he had prayed to the gods to give Narcissus a lesson for all the pain. Narcissus decided to drink some, he saw his reflection, became entranced by it, killed himself because he could not have his object of desire. A century the travel writer Pausanias recorded a novel variant of the story, in which Narcissus falls in love with his twin sister rather than himself. In all versions, his body disappears and all, left is a narcissus flower. In 1898 Havelock Ellis, an English sexologist, used the term "narcissus-like" in reference to excessive masturbation, whereby the person becomes his or her own sex object. In 1899, Paul Näcke was the first person to use the term "narcissism" in a study of sexual perversions.
Otto Rank, in 1911, published the first psychoanalytical paper concerned with narcissism, linking it to vanity and self-admiration. Sigmund Freud only published a paper devoted to narcissism in 1914, called "On Narcissism: An Introduction". One of the personality disorders is called narcissistic personality disorder; the myth of Narcissus has inspired artists for at least two thousand years before the Roman poet Ovid featured a version in book III of his Metamorphoses. This was followed in more recent centuries by other painters. In Stendhal's novel Le Rouge et le Noir, there is a classic narcissist in the character of Mathilde. Says Prince Korasoff to Julien Sorel, the protagonist, with respect to his beloved girl: She looks at herself instead of looking at you, so doesn't know you. During the two or three little outbursts of passion she has allowed herself in your favor, she has, by a great effort of imagination, seen in you the hero of her dreams, not yourself as you are.. The myth had a decided influence on English Victorian homoerotic culture, via André Gide's study of the myth, Le Traité du Narcisse, the only novel by Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray.
Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist starts with a story about Narcissus, found by the alchemist in a book brought by someone in the caravan. The alchemist's source was probably Hesketh Pearson's The Life of Oscar Wilde in which this story is recorded as one of Wilde's inspired inventions; this version of the Narcissus story is based on Wilde's "The Disciple" from his "Poems in Prose ". Author and poet Rainer Maria Rilke visits the character and symbolism of Narcissus in several of his poems. Seamus Heaney references Narcissus in his poem "Personal Helicon" from his first collection "Death of a Naturalist":"To stare, big-eyed Narcissus, into some spring Is beneath all adult dignity." In Rick Riordan's Heroes of Olympus series, Narcissus appears as a minor antagonist in the third book The Mark of Athena. In the fantas
The Renaissance is a period in European history, covering the span between the 14th and 17th centuries and marking the transition from the Middle Ages to modernity. The traditional view focuses more on the early modern aspects of the Renaissance and argues that it was a break from the past, but many historians today focus more on its medieval aspects and argue that it was an extension of the middle ages; the intellectual basis of the Renaissance was its version of humanism, derived from the concept of Roman Humanitas and the rediscovery of classical Greek philosophy, such as that of Protagoras, who said that "Man is the measure of all things." This new thinking became manifest in art, politics and literature. Early examples were the development of perspective in oil painting and the recycled knowledge of how to make concrete. Although the invention of metal movable type sped the dissemination of ideas from the 15th century, the changes of the Renaissance were not uniformly experienced across Europe: the first traces appear in Italy as early as the late 13th century, in particular with the writings of Dante and the paintings of Giotto.
As a cultural movement, the Renaissance encompassed innovative flowering of Latin and vernacular literatures, beginning with the 14th-century resurgence of learning based on classical sources, which contemporaries credited to Petrarch. In politics, the Renaissance contributed to the development of the customs and conventions of diplomacy, in science to an increased reliance on observation and inductive reasoning. Although the Renaissance saw revolutions in many intellectual pursuits, as well as social and political upheaval, it is best known for its artistic developments and the contributions of such polymaths as Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo, who inspired the term "Renaissance man"; the Renaissance began in the 14th century in Italy. Various theories have been proposed to account for its origins and characteristics, focusing on a variety of factors including the social and civic peculiarities of Florence at the time: its political structure, the patronage of its dominant family, the Medici, the migration of Greek scholars and texts to Italy following the Fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks.
Other major centres were northern Italian city-states such as Venice, Milan and Rome during the Renaissance Papacy. The Renaissance has a long and complex historiography, and, in line with general scepticism of discrete periodizations, there has been much debate among historians reacting to the 19th-century glorification of the "Renaissance" and individual culture heroes as "Renaissance men", questioning the usefulness of Renaissance as a term and as a historical delineation; the art historian Erwin Panofsky observed of this resistance to the concept of "Renaissance": It is no accident that the factuality of the Italian Renaissance has been most vigorously questioned by those who are not obliged to take a professional interest in the aesthetic aspects of civilization – historians of economic and social developments and religious situations, most natural science – but only exceptionally by students of literature and hardly by historians of Art. Some observers have called into question whether the Renaissance was a cultural "advance" from the Middle Ages, instead seeing it as a period of pessimism and nostalgia for classical antiquity, while social and economic historians of the longue durée, have instead focused on the continuity between the two eras, which are linked, as Panofsky observed, "by a thousand ties".
The word Renaissance meaning "Rebirth", first appeared in English in the 1830s. The word occurs in Jules Michelet's 1855 work, Histoire de France; the word Renaissance has been extended to other historical and cultural movements, such as the Carolingian Renaissance and the Renaissance of the 12th century. The Renaissance was a cultural movement that profoundly affected European intellectual life in the early modern period. Beginning in Italy, spreading to the rest of Europe by the 16th century, its influence was felt in literature, art, politics, science and other aspects of intellectual inquiry. Renaissance scholars employed the humanist method in study, searched for realism and human emotion in art. Renaissance humanists such as Poggio Bracciolini sought out in Europe's monastic libraries the Latin literary and oratorical texts of Antiquity, while the Fall of Constantinople generated a wave of émigré Greek scholars bringing precious manuscripts in ancient Greek, many of which had fallen into obscurity in the West.
It is in their new focus on literary and historical texts that Renaissance scholars differed so markedly from the medieval scholars of the Renaissance of the 12th century, who had focused on studying Greek and Arabic works of natural sciences and mathematics, rather than on such cultural texts. In the revival of neo-Platonism Renaissance humanists did not reject Christianity. However, a subtle shift took place in the way that intellectuals approached religion, reflected in many other areas of cultural life. In addition, many Greek Christian works, including the Greek New Testament, were brought back from Byzantium to Western Europe and engaged Western scholars for the first time since late antiquity; this new engagement with Greek Christian works, the return to the original Greek of the Ne
Warsaw is the capital and largest city of Poland. The metropolis stands on the Vistula River in east-central Poland and its population is estimated at 1.770 million residents within a greater metropolitan area of 3.1 million residents, which makes Warsaw the 8th most-populous capital city in the European Union. The city limits cover 516.9 square kilometres, while the metropolitan area covers 6,100.43 square kilometres. Warsaw is an alpha global city, a major international tourist destination, a significant cultural and economic hub, its historical Old Town was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Once described as the'Paris of the North', Warsaw was believed to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world until World War II. Bombed at the start of the German invasion in 1939, the city withstood a siege for which it was awarded Poland's highest military decoration for heroism, the Virtuti Militari. Deportations of the Jewish population to concentration camps led to the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising in 1943 and the destruction of the Ghetto after a month of combat.
A general Warsaw Uprising between August and October 1944 led to greater devastation and systematic razing by the Germans in advance of the Vistula–Oder Offensive. Warsaw gained the new title of Phoenix City because of its extensive history and complete reconstruction after World War II, which had left over 85% of its buildings in ruins. Warsaw is one of Europe's most dynamic metropolitan cities. In 2012 the Economist Intelligence Unit ranked Warsaw as the 32nd most liveable city in the world. In 2017 the city came 4th in the "Business-friendly" category and 8th in "Human capital and life style", it was ranked as one of the most liveable cities in Central and Eastern Europe. The city is a significant centre of research and development, Business process outsourcing, Information technology outsourcing, as well as of the Polish media industry; the Warsaw Stock Exchange is most important in Central and Eastern Europe. Frontex, the European Union agency for external border security as well as ODIHR, one of the principal institutions of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe have their headquarters in Warsaw.
Together with Frankfurt and Paris, Warsaw is one of the cities with the highest number of skyscrapers in the European Union. The city is the seat of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestra, University of Warsaw, the Warsaw Polytechnic, the National Museum, the Great Theatre—National Opera, the largest of its kind in the world, the Zachęta National Gallery of Art; the picturesque Old Town of Warsaw, which represents examples of nearly every European architectural style and historical period, was listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1980. Other main architectural attractions include the Castle Square with the Royal Castle and the iconic King Sigismund's Column, the Wilanów Palace, the Łazienki Palace, St. John's Cathedral, Main Market Square, palaces and mansions all displaying a richness of colour and detail. Warsaw is positioning itself as Central and Eastern Europe’s chic cultural capital with thriving art and club scenes and serious restaurants, with around a quarter of the city's area occupied by parks.
Warsaw's name in the Polish language is Warszawa. Other previous spellings of the name may have included Werszewa. According to some sources, the origin of the name is unknown. In Pre-Slavic toponomastic layer of Northern Mazovia: corrections and addenda, it is stated that the toponymy of northern Mazovia tends to have unclear etymology. Warszawa was the name of a fishing village. According to one theory Warszawa means "belonging to Warsz", Warsz being a shortened form of the masculine name of Slavic origin Warcisław; however the ending -awa is unusual for a big city. Folk etymology attributes the city name to a fisherman and his wife, Sawa. According to legend, Sawa was a mermaid living in the Vistula River. In actuality, Warsz was a 12th/13th-century nobleman who owned a village located at the modern-day site of the Mariensztat neighbourhood. See the Vršovci family which had escaped to Poland; the official city name in full is miasto stołeczne Warszawa. A native or resident of Warsaw is known as a Varsovian – in Polish warszawiak, warszawianka and warszawianie.
Other names for Warsaw include Varsovia and Varsóvia, Varsavia, Warschau, װאַרשע /Varshe, Varšuva, Varsó and Varšava The first fortified settlements on the site of today's Warsaw were located in Bródno and Jazdów. After Jazdów was raided by nearby clans and dukes, a new similar settlement was established on the site of a small fishing village called Warszowa; the Prince of Płock, Bolesław II of Masovia, established this settlement, the modern-day Warsaw, in about 1300. In the beginning of the 14th century it became one of the seats of the Dukes of Masovia, becoming the official capital of the Masovian Duchy in 1413. 14th-century Warsaw's economy rested on crafts and trade. Upon the extinction of the local ducal line, the duchy was reincorporated into the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland in 1526. In 1529, Warsaw for the first time became the seat of th