In ancient Greece, the symposium was a part of a banquet that took place after the meal, when drinking for pleasure was accompanied by music, recitals, or conversation. Literary works that describe or take place at a symposium include two Socratic dialogues, Plato's Symposium and Xenophon's Symposium, as well as a number of Greek poems such as the elegies of Theognis of Megara. Symposia are depicted in Etruscan art that shows similar scenes. In modern usage, it has come to mean an academic conference or meeting such as a scientific conference; the equivalent of a Greek symposium in Roman society is the Latin convivium. The Greek symposium was a key Hellenic social institution, it was a forum for men of respected families to debate, boast, or to revel with others. They were held to celebrate the introduction of young men into aristocratic society. Symposia were held by aristocrats to celebrate other special occasions, such as victories in athletic and poetic contests, they were a source of pride for them.
Symposia were held in the andrōn, the men's quarters of the household. The participants, or "symposiasts", would recline on pillowed couches arrayed against the three walls of the room away from the door. Due to space limitations, the couches would number between seven and nine, limiting the total number of participants to somewhere between fourteen and twenty seven. If any young men took part, they sat up. However, in Macedonian symposia, the focus was not only on drinking but hunting, young men were allowed to recline only after they had killed their first wild boar. Food and wine were served. Entertainment was provided, depending on the occasion could include games, flute-girls or boys, slaves performing various acts, hired entertainment. Symposia were held for specific occasions; the most famous symposium of all, described in Plato's dialogue of that name was hosted by the poet Agathon on the occasion of his first victory at the theater contest of the 416 BC Dionysia. According to Plato's account, the celebration was upstaged by the unexpected entrance of the toast of the town, the young Alcibiades, dropping in drunken and nearly naked, having just left another symposium.
The men at the symposium would discuss a multitude of topics—often philosophical, such as love and the differences between genders. A symposium would be overseen by a "symposiarch" who would decide how strong the wine for the evening would be, depending on whether serious discussions or sensual indulgence were in the offing; the Greeks and Romans customarily served their wine mixed with water, as the drinking of pure wine was considered a habit of uncivilized peoples. However, there were major differences between the Greek symposia. A Roman symposium served wine before and after food, women were allowed to join. In a Greek symposium, wine was only drunk after dinner, women were not allowed to attend; the wine was drawn from a krater, a large jar designed to be carried by two men, served from pitchers. Determined by the Master of Ceremonies, the wine was diluted to a specific strength and was mixed. Slave boys would manage the krater, transfer the wine into pitchers, they attended to each man in the symposium with the pitchers and filled their cups with wine.
Certain formalities were observed, most important among which were libations, the pouring of a small amount of wine in honour of various deities or the mourned dead. In a fragment from his c. 375 BC play Semele or Dionysus, Eubulus has the god of wine Dionysos describe proper and improper drinking: For sensible men I prepare only three kraters: one for health, the second for love and pleasure, the third for sleep. After the third one is drained, wise men go home; the fourth krater is not mine any more – it belongs to bad behaviour. In keeping with the Greek virtue of moderation, the symposiarch should have prevented festivities from getting out of hand, but Greek literature and art indicate that the third-krater limit was not observed. Symposiums are featured on Attic pottery and Richard Neer has argued that the chief function of Attic pottery was for use in the symposium. An amphora was used as a jug to hold the wine and one single cup was passed amongst the men. Cups used at symposiums were not as nearly intricate as amphoras.
Pottery used at symposiums featured painted scenes of the god Dionysus and other mythical scenes related to drinking and celebration. Poetry and music were central to the pleasures of the symposium. Although free women of status did not attend symposia, high-class female prostitutes and entertainers were hired to perform and converse with the guests. Among the instruments, women might play was the aulos, a Greek woodwind instrument sometimes compared to an oboe; when string instruments were played, the barbiton was the traditional instrument. Slaves and boys provided service and entertainment; the guests participated in competitive entertainments. A game sometimes played at symposia was kottabos, in which players swirled the dregs of their wine in a kylix, a platter-like stemmed drinking vessel, flung them at a target. Another feature of the symposia were skolia, drinking song
An academic conference or scientific conference is a event for researchers to present and discuss their work. Together with academic or scientific journals, conferences provide an important channel for exchange of information between researchers. Conferences encompass various presentations, they tend to be concise, with a time span of about 10 to 30 minutes. The work may be bundled in written form as academic papers and published as the conference proceedings. A conference will include keynote speakers; the keynote lecture is longer, lasting sometimes up to an hour and a half if there are several keynote speakers on a panel. In addition to presentations, conferences feature panel discussions, round tables on various issues, poster sessions and workshops; some conferences take more interactive formats, such as the participant driven "unconference" or various conversational formats. Some academic conferences include the Artificial Intelligence International Conference, TED, Festival of Marketing, AliensFest.
Prospective presenters are asked to submit a short abstract of their presentation, which will be reviewed before the presentation is accepted for the meeting. Some disciplines require presenters to submit a paper of about 6–15 pages, peer reviewed by members of the program committee or referees chosen by them. In some disciplines, such as English and other languages, it is common for presenters to read from a prepared script. In other disciplines such as the sciences, presenters base their talk around a visual presentation that displays key figures and research results. A large meeting will be called a conference, while a smaller is termed a workshop, they might be single track or multiple track, where the former has only one session at a time, while a multiple track meeting has several parallel sessions with speakers in separate rooms speaking at the same time. The larger the conference, the more it is that academic publishing houses may set up displays. Large conferences may have a career and job search and interview activities.
At some conferences, social or entertainment activities such as tours and receptions can be part of the program. Business meetings for learned societies or interest groups can be part of the conference activities. Academic conferences fall into three categories: the themed conference, small conferences organized around a particular topic; these conferences are organized by regional, national, or international learned societies, held annually or on some other regular basis. The professional conference, large conferences not limited to academics but with academically related issues. Increasing numbers of amplified conferences are being provided which exploit the potential of WiFi networks and mobile devices in order to enable remote participants to contribute to discussions and listen to ideas. Advanced technology for meeting with any yet unknown person in a conference is performed by active RFID that may indicate wilfully identified and located upon approach via electronic tags. Conferences are organized either by a scientific society or by a group of researchers with a common interest.
Larger meetings may be handled on behalf of the scientific society by a Professional Conference Organiser or PCO. The meeting is announced by way of a Call For Papers or a Call For Abstracts, sent to prospective presenters and explains how to submit their abstracts or papers, it describes the broad theme and lists the meeting's topics and formalities such as what kind of abstract or paper has to be submitted, to whom, by what deadline. A CFP is distributed using a mailing list or on specialized online services. Contributions are submitted using an online abstract or paper management service. There has been a call for more sustainable academic conferencing, as flying to and consumption at conferences is one of the largest components of an academics environmental footprint. However, few conferences have enacted practices to reduce their environmental impact, despite guidelines being available. An analysis of academic conferences taking place in 2016, showed that only 4% of 116 conferences sampled offered carbon offset options and only 9% of these conferences implemented any form of action to their reduce environmental impact.
There have been accusations for scam, or fraudulent conferences.
Horticulture has been defined as the culture of plants for food and beauty. A more precise definition can be given as "The cultivation and sale of fruits, vegetables, ornamental plants, flowers as well as many additional services", it includes plant conservation, landscape restoration, soil management and garden design and maintenance, arboriculture. In contrast to agriculture, horticulture does not include large-scale crop production or animal husbandry. Horticulturists apply their knowledge and technologies used to grow intensively produced plants for human food and non-food uses and for personal or social needs, their work involves plant propagation and cultivation with the aim of improving plant growth, quality, nutritional value, resistance to insects and environmental stresses. They work as gardeners, therapists and technical advisors in the food and non-food sectors of horticulture. Horticulture refers to the growing of plants in a field or garden; the word horticulture is modeled after agriculture, comes from the Latin hortus "garden" and cultūra "cultivation", from cultus, the perfect passive participle of the verb colō "I cultivate".
Hortus is cognate with the native English word yard and the borrowed word garden. The major areas of Horticulture include: Arboriculture is the study of, the selection, plant and removal of, individual trees, shrubs and other perennial woody plants. Turf management includes all aspects of the production and maintenance of turf grass for sports, leisure use or amenity use. Floriculture includes the marketing of floral crops. Study of flower cultivation. Landscape horticulture includes the production and maintenance of landscape plants. Olericulture includes the marketing of vegetables. Pomology includes the marketing of pome fruits. Viticulture includes the marketing of grapes. Oenology includes all aspects of winemaking. Postharvest physiology involves maintaining the quality of and preventing the spoilage of plants and animals. Horticulture has a long history; the study and science of horticulture dates all the way back to the times of Cyrus the Great of ancient Persia, has been going on since, with present-day horticulturists such as Freeman S. Howlett and Luther Burbank.
The practice of horticulture can be retraced for many thousands of years. The cultivation of taro and yam in Papua New Guinea dates back to at least 6950–6440 cal BP; the origins of horticulture lie in the transition of human communities from nomadic hunter-gatherers to sedentary or semi-sedentary horticultural communities, cultivating a variety of crops on a small scale around their dwellings or in specialized plots visited during migrations from one area to the next. In the Pre-Columbian Amazon Rainforest, natives are believed to have used biochar to enhance soil productivity by smoldering plant waste. European settlers called it Terra Preta de Indio. In forest areas such horticulture is carried out in swiddens. A characteristic of horticultural communities is that useful trees are to be found planted around communities or specially retained from the natural ecosystem. Horticulture differs from agriculture in two ways. First, it encompasses a smaller scale of cultivation, using small plots of mixed crops rather than large fields of single crops.
Secondly, horticultural cultivations include a wide variety of crops including fruit trees with ground crops. Agricultural cultivations however as a rule focus on one primary crop. In pre-contact North America the semi-sedentary horticultural communities of the Eastern Woodlands contrasted markedly with the mobile hunter-gatherer communities of the Plains people. In Central America, Maya horticulture involved augmentation of the forest with useful trees such as papaya, cacao and sapodilla. In the cornfields, multiple crops were grown such as beans, squash and chilli peppers, in some cultures tended or by women. Since 1804 The Royal Horticultural Society, a UK charity, leads on the encouragement and improvement of the science and practice of horticulture in all its branches and shares this knowledge through its community and learning programmes, world class gardens and shows; the oldest Horticultural society in the world, founded in 1768, is the Ancient Society of York Florists. They still have four shows a year in York, UK.
The professional body representing horticulturists in Great Britain and Ireland is the Institute of Horticulture. The IOH has an international branch for members outside of these islands; the International Society for Horticultural Science promotes and encourages research and education in all branches of horticultural science. The American Society of Horticultural Science promotes and encourages research and education in all branches of horticultural science in the Americas; the Australian Society of Horticultural Science was established in 1990 as a professional society for the promotion and enhancement of Australian horticultural science and industry. The National Junior Horticultural Association was established in 1934 and was the first organisation in the world dedicated to youth and horticulture. NJHA programs are designed to help young people obtain a basic understanding of, develop skills in, the ever-expanding art and science of horticulture; the New Zealand Horticulture Institute. The Global Horticulture Initiative (GlobalHo
Leuven or Louvain is the capital of the province of Flemish Brabant in Belgium. It is located about 25 kilometres east of Brussels; the municipality itself comprises the historic city and the former neighbouring municipalities of Heverlee, Kessel-Lo, a part of Korbeek-Lo, Wilsele and Wijgmaal. It is the eighth largest city in Belgium and the fourth in Flanders with more than 100,244 inhabitants. Leuven is home to the KU Leuven, the largest and oldest university of the Low Countries and the oldest Catholic university still in existence; the related university hospital of UZ Leuven is one of the largest hospitals in Europe. The city is known for being the headquarters of Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world's largest brewer and one of the five largest consumer-goods companies in the world; the earliest mention of Leuven dates from 891, when a Viking army was defeated by the Frankish king Arnulf of Carinthia. According to a legend, the city's red and white arms depict the blood-stained shores of the river Dyle after this battle to Austria’s Flag.
Situated beside this river, near to the stronghold of the Dukes of Brabant, Leuven became the most important centre of trade in the duchy between the 11th and 14th centuries. A token of its former importance as a centre of cloth manufacture is shown in that ordinary linen cloth was known, in late-14th-century and 15th-century texts, as lewyn. In the 15th century, a new golden era began with the founding of what is now the largest and oldest university in the Low Countries, the Catholic University of Leuven, in 1425. In the 18th century, the brewery Den Horen flourished. In 1708, Sebastien Artois became the master brewer at Den Horen, gave his name to the brewery in 1717, now part of AB InBev, whose flagship beer, Stella Artois, is brewed in Leuven and sold in many countries. Leuven occupied by foreign armies. In the 20th century, both world wars inflicted major damage upon the city. Upon Germany's entry into World War I, the town was damaged by rampaging soldiers. In all, about 300 civilians lost their lives.
The university library was destroyed on 25 August 1914, using petrol and incendiary pastilles. 230,000 volumes were lost in the destruction, including Gothic and Renaissance manuscripts, a collection of 750 medieval manuscripts, more than 1,000 incunabula. The destruction of the library shocked the world, with the Daily Chronicle describing it as war not only against civilians but against "posterity to the utmost generation." It was rebuilt after the war, much of the collection was replaced. Great Britain and the United States were major providers of material for the replenishment of the collection; the new library building was financed by the National Committee of the United States for the Restoration of the University of Louvain and built to the design of architect Whitney Warren. Richard Harding Davis, a war correspondent for the New York Tribune, was in Leuven and wrote a column titled "The Germans Were Like Men After an Orgy" in which he described the organized civilian murders and vandalism committed by the occupying troops.
In World War II, after the start of the German offensive, Leuven formed part of the British Expeditionary Force's front line and was defended by units of the 3rd Division and Belgian troops. From 14 to 16 May 1940, the German Army Group B assaulted the city with heavy air and artillery support; the British withdrew their forces to the River Senne on the night of 16 May and the town was occupied the next day. The new university library building was set on fire by shelling, on 16 May, nearly a million books were lost. Given the presence of the KU Leuven, Europe's most innovative university according to Reuters, much of the local economy is concentrated on spin-offs from academic research. In addition, the Leuven-based research centre, IMEC, is a world class research centre in the field of nano-electronics and digital technologies; as a result, dozens of companies in high technological fields such as biotech, additive manufacturing and IT, are located near these research institutes on the Arenberg Science Park and Haasrode Research-Park.
Quite a few international companies such as Siemens, Nitto Denko, JSR Corporation or Commscope have important research oriented branches, in Leuven. The academic hospital Gasthuisberg is another advanced research institute, it is one of Europe's most advanced hospitals. As a result, large numbers of private service providers are active in the medical and legal fields; because it is the capital of the region of Flemish Brabant, many governmental institutions are located in Leuven, as well as the regional headquarters of transport corporations such as De Lijn. As one of Flanders Art-Cities, with a large range of cafés, cultural institutions and shopping neighbourhoods, Leuven attracts a fair share of tourists. Leuven is the worldwide headquarters of Anheuser-Busch InBev, the largest beer company in the world and is considered one of the largest fast-moving consumer goods companies in the world. InBev's Stella Artois brewery and main offices dominate the entire north-eastern part of the town, between the railway station and the canal to Mechelen.
As of 1 November 2016, the population of Leuven was 100,244. The arrondissement of Leuven
Education is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, values and habits. Educational methods include storytelling, teaching and directed research. Education takes place under the guidance of educators and learners may educate themselves. Education can take place in formal or informal settings and any experience that has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts may be considered educational; the methodology of teaching is called pedagogy. Formal education is divided formally into such stages as preschool or kindergarten, primary school, secondary school and college, university, or apprenticeship. A right to education has been recognized by the United Nations. In most regions, education is compulsory up to a certain age. Etymologically, the word "education" is derived from the Latin word ēducātiō from ēducō, related to the homonym ēdūcō from ē- and dūcō. Education began in prehistory, as adults trained the young in the knowledge and skills deemed necessary in their society.
In pre-literate societies, this was achieved orally and through imitation. Story-telling passed knowledge and skills from one generation to the next; as cultures began to extend their knowledge beyond skills that could be learned through imitation, formal education developed. Schools existed in Egypt at the time of the Middle Kingdom. Plato founded the Academy in the first institution of higher learning in Europe; the city of Alexandria in Egypt, established in 330 BCE, became the successor to Athens as the intellectual cradle of Ancient Greece. There, the great Library of Alexandria was built in the 3rd century BCE. European civilizations suffered a collapse of literacy and organization following the fall of Rome in CE 476. In China, Confucius, of the State of Lu, was the country's most influential ancient philosopher, whose educational outlook continues to influence the societies of China and neighbours like Korea and Vietnam. Confucius gathered disciples and searched in vain for a ruler who would adopt his ideals for good governance, but his Analects were written down by followers and have continued to influence education in East Asia into the modern era.
The Aztecs had a well-developed theory about education, which has an equivalent word in Nahuatl called tlacahuapahualiztli. It means "the art of raising or educating a person" or "the art of strengthening or bringing up men." This was a broad conceptualization of education, which prescribed that it begins at home, supported by formal schooling, reinforced by community living. Historians cite that formal education was mandatory for everyone regardless of social class and gender. There was the word neixtlamachiliztli, "the act of giving wisdom to the face." These concepts underscore a complex set of educational practices, oriented towards communicating to the next generation the experience and intellectual heritage of the past for the purpose of individual development and his integration into the community. After the Fall of Rome, the Catholic Church became the sole preserver of literate scholarship in Western Europe; the church established cathedral schools in the Early Middle Ages as centres of advanced education.
Some of these establishments evolved into medieval universities and forebears of many of Europe's modern universities. During the High Middle Ages, Chartres Cathedral operated the famous and influential Chartres Cathedral School; the medieval universities of Western Christendom were well-integrated across all of Western Europe, encouraged freedom of inquiry, produced a great variety of fine scholars and natural philosophers, including Thomas Aquinas of the University of Naples, Robert Grosseteste of the University of Oxford, an early expositor of a systematic method of scientific experimentation, Saint Albert the Great, a pioneer of biological field research. Founded in 1088, the University of Bologne is considered the first, the oldest continually operating university. Elsewhere during the Middle Ages, Islamic science and mathematics flourished under the Islamic caliphate, established across the Middle East, extending from the Iberian Peninsula in the west to the Indus in the east and to the Almoravid Dynasty and Mali Empire in the south.
The Renaissance in Europe ushered in a new age of scientific and intellectual inquiry and appreciation of ancient Greek and Roman civilizations. Around 1450, Johannes Gutenberg developed a printing press, which allowed works of literature to spread more quickly; the European Age of Empires saw European ideas of education in philosophy, religion and sciences spread out across the globe. Missionaries and scholars brought back new ideas from other civilizations – as with the Jesuit China missions who played a significant role in the transmission of knowledge and culture between China and Europe, translating works from Europe like Euclid's Elements for Chinese scholars and the thoughts of Confucius for European audiences; the Enlightenment saw the emergence of a more secular educational outlook in Europe. In most countries today, full-time education, whether at school or otherwise, is compulsory for all children up to a certain age. Due to this the proliferation of compulsory education, combined with population growth, UNESCO has calculated that in the next 30 years more people will receive formal education than in all of human history thus far.
Formal education occurs in a structured environment. Formal education takes place in a school environme
Cultivated plant taxonomy
Cultivated plant taxonomy is the study of the theory and practice of the science that identifies, describes and names cultigens—those plants whose origin or selection is due to intentional human activity. Cultivated plant taxonomists do, work with all kinds of plants in cultivation. Cultivated plant taxonomy is one part of the study of horticultural botany, carried out in botanical gardens, large nurseries, universities, or government departments. Areas of special interest for the cultivated plant taxonomist include: searching for and recording new plants suitable for cultivation. Much of the work of the cultivated plant taxonomist is concerned with the naming of plants as prescribed by two plant nomenclatural Codes; the provisions of the International Code of Nomenclature for algae and plants serve scientific ends and the objectives of the scientific community, while those of the International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants are designed to serve both scientific and utilitarian ends by making provision for the names of plants used in commerce—the cultigens that have arisen in agriculture and horticulture.
These names, sometimes called variety names, are not in Latin but are added onto the scientific Latin names, they assist communication among the community of foresters and horticulturists. The history of cultivated plant taxonomy can be traced from the first plant selections that occurred during the agrarian Neolithic Revolution to the first recorded naming of human plant selections by the Romans; the naming and classification of cultigens followed a similar path to that of all plants until the establishment of the first Cultivated Plant Code in 1953 which formally established the cultigen classification category of cultivar. Since that time the classification and naming of cultigens has followed its own path. Cultivated plant taxonomy has been distinguished from the taxonomy of other plants in at least five ways. Firstly, there is a distinction made according to where the plants are growing — that is, whether they are wild or cultivated; this is alluded to by the Cultivated Plant Code which specifies in its title that it is dealing with cultivated plants.
Secondly, a distinction is made according to. This is indicated in Principle 2 of the Cultivated Plant Code which defines the scope of the Code as "... plants whose origin or selection is due to the intentional actions of mankind" — plants that have evolved under natural selection with human assistance. Thirdly, cultivated plant taxonomy is concerned with plant variation that requires the use of special classification categories that do not conform with the hierarchy of ranks implicit in the Botanical Code, these categories being the cultivar and grex; this feature is referred to in the Preamble to the Cultivated Plant Code which states that "The purpose of giving a name to a taxon is not to indicate its characters or history, but to supply a means of referring to it and to indicate to which category it is assigned." Fourthly, cultivated plant taxonomy serves a particular community of people: the Botanical Code focuses on the needs of plant taxonomists as they attempt to maintain order and stability for the scientific names of all plants, while the Cultivated Plant Code caters for the needs of people requiring names for plants used in the commercial world of agriculture and horticulture.
The difference between cultivated plant taxonomy and the taxonomy of other plants has been attributed to the purpose for which the taxonomy has been devised, it being plant-centred in the Botanical Code and human-centred in the Cultivated Plant Code. The key activities of cultivated plant taxonomy relate to naming; the rules associated with naming plants are separate from the methods, principles or purposes of classification, except that the units of classification, the taxa, are placed in a nested hierarchy of ranks – like species within genera, genera within families. There are three classification categories used in the Cultivated Plant Code, the cultivar and the Group and the grex, but they are only loosely equivalent to ranks in the Botanical Code. From the time of the ancient world, at least, plants have been classified in two ways. On the one hand there is the detached academic, philosophical or scientific interest in plants themselves: this groups plants by their relationship to one another according to their similarities and differences in structure and function.
There is the practical, utilitarian or anthropocentric interest which groups plants according to their human use. Cultivated plant taxonomy is concerned with the special classification categories needed for the plants of agriculture and forestry as regulated by the Cultivated Plant Code; this Code serves not only the scientific interests of formal nomenclature, it caters for the special utilitarian needs of people dealing with the plants of commerce. Those cultigens given names governed by the Cultivated Plant Code fulfill three criteria: they have special features considered of sufficient importance to warrant a name.
Belgium the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country in Western Europe. It is bordered by the Netherlands to the north, Germany to the east, Luxembourg to the southeast, France to the southwest, the North Sea to the northwest, it has a population of more than 11.4 million. The capital and largest city is Brussels; the sovereign state is a federal constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system. Its institutional organisation is structured on both regional and linguistic grounds, it is divided into three autonomous regions: Flanders in the north, Wallonia in the south, the Brussels-Capital Region. Brussels is the smallest and most densely populated region, as well as the richest region in terms of GDP per capita. Belgium is home to two main linguistic groups or Communities: the Dutch-speaking Flemish Community, which constitutes about 59 percent of the population, the French-speaking Community, which comprises about 40 percent of all Belgians. A small German-speaking Community, numbering around one percent, exists in the East Cantons.
The Brussels-Capital Region is bilingual, although French is the dominant language. Belgium's linguistic diversity and related political conflicts are reflected in its political history and complex system of governance, made up of six different governments. Belgium was part of an area known as the Low Countries, a somewhat larger region than the current Benelux group of states that included parts of northern France and western Germany, its name is derived after the Roman province of Gallia Belgica. From the end of the Middle Ages until the 17th century, the area of Belgium was a prosperous and cosmopolitan centre of commerce and culture. Between the 16th and early 19th centuries, Belgium served as the battleground between many European powers, earning the moniker the "Battlefield of Europe", a reputation strengthened by both world wars; the country emerged in 1830 following the Belgian Revolution. Belgium participated in the Industrial Revolution and, during the course of the 20th century, possessed a number of colonies in Africa.
The second half of the 20th century was marked by rising tensions between the Dutch-speaking and the French-speaking citizens fueled by differences in language and culture and the unequal economic development of Flanders and Wallonia. This continuing antagonism has led to several far-reaching reforms, resulting in a transition from a unitary to a federal arrangement during the period from 1970 to 1993. Despite the reforms, tensions between the groups have remained, if not increased. Unemployment in Wallonia is more than double that of Flanders. Belgium is one of the six founding countries of the European Union and hosts the official seats of the European Commission, the Council of the European Union, the European Council, as well as a seat of the European Parliament in the country's capital, Brussels. Belgium is a founding member of the Eurozone, NATO, OECD, WTO, a part of the trilateral Benelux Union and the Schengen Area. Brussels hosts several of the EU's official seats as well as the headquarters of many major international organizations such as NATO.
Belgium is a developed country, with an advanced high-income economy. It has high standards of living, quality of life, education, is categorized as "very high" in the Human Development Index, it ranks as one of the safest or most peaceful countries in the world. The name "Belgium" is derived from Gallia Belgica, a Roman province in the northernmost part of Gaul that before Roman invasion in 100 BC, was inhabited by the Belgae, a mix of Celtic and Germanic peoples. A gradual immigration by Germanic Frankish tribes during the 5th century brought the area under the rule of the Merovingian kings. A gradual shift of power during the 8th century led the kingdom of the Franks to evolve into the Carolingian Empire; the Treaty of Verdun in 843 divided the region into Middle and West Francia and therefore into a set of more or less independent fiefdoms which, during the Middle Ages, were vassals either of the King of France or of the Holy Roman Emperor. Many of these fiefdoms were united in the Burgundian Netherlands of the 15th centuries.
Emperor Charles V extended the personal union of the Seventeen Provinces in the 1540s, making it far more than a personal union by the Pragmatic Sanction of 1549 and increased his influence over the Prince-Bishopric of Liège. The Eighty Years' War divided the Low Countries into the northern United Provinces and the Southern Netherlands; the latter were ruled successively by the Spanish and the Austrian Habsburgs and comprised most of modern Belgium. This was the theatre of most Franco-Spanish and Franco-Austrian wars during the 17th and 18th centuries. Following the campaigns of 1794 in the French Revolutionary Wars, the Low Countries—including territories that were never nominally under Habsburg rule, such as the Prince-Bishopric of Liège—were annexed by the French First Republic, ending Austrian rule in the region; the reunification of the Low Countries as the United Kingdom of the Netherlands occurred at the dissolution of the First French Empire in 1815, after the defeat of Napo