Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental questions about existence, values, reason and language. Such questions are posed as problems to be studied or resolved; the term was coined by Pythagoras. Philosophical methods include questioning, critical discussion, rational argument, systematic presentation. Classic philosophical questions include: Is it possible to know anything and to prove it? What is most real? Philosophers pose more practical and concrete questions such as: Is there a best way to live? Is it better to be just or unjust? Do humans have free will? "philosophy" encompassed any body of knowledge. From the time of Ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle to the 19th century, "natural philosophy" encompassed astronomy and physics. For example, Newton's 1687 Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy became classified as a book of physics. In the 19th century, the growth of modern research universities led academic philosophy and other disciplines to professionalize and specialize.
In the modern era, some investigations that were traditionally part of philosophy became separate academic disciplines, including psychology, sociology and economics. Other investigations related to art, politics, or other pursuits remained part of philosophy. For example, is beauty objective or subjective? Are there many scientific methods or just one? Is political utopia a hopeful dream or hopeless fantasy? Major sub-fields of academic philosophy include metaphysics, ethics, political philosophy and philosophy of science. Traditionally, the term "philosophy" referred to any body of knowledge. In this sense, philosophy is related to religion, natural science and politics. Newton's 1687 Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy is classified in the 2000s as a book of physics. In the first part of the first book of his Academics, Cicero introduced the division of philosophy into logic and ethics. Metaphysical philosophy was the study of existence, God, logic and other abstract objects; this division has changed.
Natural philosophy has split into the various natural sciences astronomy, chemistry and cosmology. Moral philosophy still includes value theory. Metaphysical philosophy has birthed formal sciences such as logic and philosophy of science, but still includes epistemology and others. Many philosophical debates that began in ancient times are still debated today. Colin McGinn and others claim. Chalmers and others, by contrast, see progress in philosophy similar to that in science, while Talbot Brewer argued that "progress" is the wrong standard by which to judge philosophical activity. In one general sense, philosophy is associated with wisdom, intellectual culture and a search for knowledge. In that sense, all cultures and literate societies ask philosophical questions such as "how are we to live" and "what is the nature of reality". A broad and impartial conception of philosophy finds a reasoned inquiry into such matters as reality and life in all world civilizations. Western philosophy is the philosophical tradition of the Western world and dates to Pre-Socratic thinkers who were active in Ancient Greece in the 6th century BCE such as Thales and Pythagoras who practiced a "love of wisdom" and were termed physiologoi.
Socrates was a influential philosopher, who insisted that he possessed no wisdom but was a pursuer of wisdom. Western philosophy can be divided into three eras: Ancient, Medieval philosophy, Modern philosophy; the Ancient era was dominated by Greek philosophical schools which arose out of the various pupils of Socrates, such as Plato, who founded the Platonic Academy and his student Aristotle, founding the Peripatetic school, who were both influential in Western tradition. Other traditions include Cynicism, Greek Skepticism and Epicureanism. Important topics covered by the Greeks included metaphysics, the nature of the well-lived life, the possibility of knowledge and the nature of reason. With the rise of the Roman empire, Greek philosophy was increasingly discussed in Latin by Romans such as Cicero and Seneca. Medieval philosophy is the period following the fall of the Western Roman Empire and was dominated by the ris
Strasbourg is the capital and largest city of the Grand Est region of France and is the official seat of the European Parliament. Located at the border with Germany in the historic region of Alsace, it is the capital of the Bas-Rhin department. In 2016, the city proper had 279,284 inhabitants and both the Eurométropole de Strasbourg and the Arrondissement of Strasbourg had 491,409 inhabitants. Strasbourg's metropolitan area had a population of 785,839 in 2015, making it the ninth largest metro area in France and home to 13% of the Grand Est region's inhabitants; the transnational Eurodistrict Strasbourg-Ortenau had a population of 915,000 inhabitants in 2014. Strasbourg is one of the de facto capitals of the European Union, as it is the seat of several European institutions, such as the Council of Europe and the Eurocorps, as well as the European Parliament and the European Ombudsman of the European Union; the city is the seat of the Central Commission for Navigation on the Rhine and the International Institute of Human Rights.
Strasbourg's historic city centre, the Grande Île, was classified a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1988, the first time such an honour was placed on an entire city centre. Strasbourg is immersed in Franco-German culture and although violently disputed throughout history, has been a cultural bridge between France and Germany for centuries through the University of Strasbourg the second largest in France, the coexistence of Catholic and Protestant culture, it is home to the largest Islamic place of worship in France, the Strasbourg Grand Mosque. Economically, Strasbourg is an important centre of manufacturing and engineering, as well as a hub of road and river transportation; the port of Strasbourg is the second largest on the Rhine after Germany. Before the 5th century, the city was known as Argantorati, a Celtic Gaulish name Latinized first as Argentorate, as Argentoratum; that Gaulish name is a compound of -rati, the Gaulish word for fortified enclosures, cognate to the Old Irish ráth, arganto-, the Gaulish word for silver, but any precious metal gold, suggesting either a fortified enclosure located by a river gold mining site, or hoarding gold mined in the nearby rivers.
After the 5th century, the city became known by a different name Gallicized as Strasbourg. That name is of Germanic origin and means "Town of roads"; the modern Stras- is cognate to the German Straße and English street, all of which are derived from Latin strata, while -bourg is cognate to the German Burg and English borough, all of which are derived from Proto-Germanic *burgz. Gregory of Tours was the first to mention the name change: in the tenth book of his History of the Franks written shortly after 590 he said that Egidius, Bishop of Reims, accused of plotting against King Childebert II of Austrasia in favor of his uncle King Chilperic I of Neustria, was tried by a synod of Austrasian bishops in Metz in November 590, found guilty and removed from the priesthood taken "ad Argentoratensem urbem, quam nunc Strateburgum vocant", where he was exiled. Strasbourg is situated at the eastern border of France with Germany; this border is formed by the Rhine, which forms the eastern border of the modern city, facing across the river to the German town Kehl.
The historic core of Strasbourg however lies on the Grande Île in the river Ill, which here flows parallel to, 4 kilometres from, the Rhine. The natural courses of the two rivers join some distance downstream of Strasbourg, although several artificial waterways now connect them within the city; the city lies in the Upper Rhine Plain, at between 132 metres and 151 metres above sea level, with the upland areas of the Vosges Mountains some 20 km to the west and the Black Forest 25 km to the east. This section of the Rhine valley is a major axis of north–south travel, with river traffic on the Rhine itself, major roads and railways paralleling it on both banks; the city is some 397 kilometres east of Paris. The mouth of the Rhine lies 450 kilometres to the north, or 650 kilometres as the river flows, whilst the head of navigation in Basel is some 100 kilometres to the south, or 150 kilometres by river. In spite of its position far inland, Strasbourg's climate is classified as oceanic, but a "semicontinental" climate with some degree of maritime influence in relation to the mild patterns of Western and Southern France.
The city has warm sunny summers and cool, overcast winters. Precipitation is elevated from mid-spring to the end of summer, but remains constant throughout the year, totaling 631.4 mm annually. On average, snow falls 30 days per year; the highest temperature recorded was 38.5 °C in August 2003, during the 2003 European heat wave. The lowest temperature eve
France the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean, it is bordered by Belgium and Germany to the northeast and Italy to the east, Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic and Indian oceans; the country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Nice. During the Iron Age, what is now metropolitan France was inhabited by a Celtic people. Rome annexed the area in 51 BC, holding it until the arrival of Germanic Franks in 476, who formed the Kingdom of Francia.
The Treaty of Verdun of 843 partitioned Francia into Middle Francia and West Francia. West Francia which became the Kingdom of France in 987 emerged as a major European power in the Late Middle Ages following its victory in the Hundred Years' War. During the Renaissance, French culture flourished and a global colonial empire was established, which by the 20th century would become the second largest in the world; the 16th century was dominated by religious civil wars between Protestants. France became Europe's dominant cultural and military power in the 17th century under Louis XIV. In the late 18th century, the French Revolution overthrew the absolute monarchy, established one of modern history's earliest republics, saw the drafting of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, which expresses the nation's ideals to this day. In the 19th century, Napoleon established the First French Empire, his subsequent Napoleonic Wars shaped the course of continental Europe. Following the collapse of the Empire, France endured a tumultuous succession of governments culminating with the establishment of the French Third Republic in 1870.
France was a major participant in World War I, from which it emerged victorious, was one of the Allies in World War II, but came under occupation by the Axis powers in 1940. Following liberation in 1944, a Fourth Republic was established and dissolved in the course of the Algerian War; the Fifth Republic, led by Charles de Gaulle, remains today. Algeria and nearly all the other colonies became independent in the 1960s and retained close economic and military connections with France. France has long been a global centre of art and philosophy, it hosts the world's fourth-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is the leading tourist destination, receiving around 83 million foreign visitors annually. France is a developed country with the world's sixth-largest economy by nominal GDP, tenth-largest by purchasing power parity. In terms of aggregate household wealth, it ranks fourth in the world. France performs well in international rankings of education, health care, life expectancy, human development.
France is considered a great power in global affairs, being one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council with the power to veto and an official nuclear-weapon state. It is a leading member state of the European Union and the Eurozone, a member of the Group of 7, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, La Francophonie. Applied to the whole Frankish Empire, the name "France" comes from the Latin "Francia", or "country of the Franks". Modern France is still named today "Francia" in Italian and Spanish, "Frankreich" in German and "Frankrijk" in Dutch, all of which have more or less the same historical meaning. There are various theories as to the origin of the name Frank. Following the precedents of Edward Gibbon and Jacob Grimm, the name of the Franks has been linked with the word frank in English, it has been suggested that the meaning of "free" was adopted because, after the conquest of Gaul, only Franks were free of taxation.
Another theory is that it is derived from the Proto-Germanic word frankon, which translates as javelin or lance as the throwing axe of the Franks was known as a francisca. However, it has been determined that these weapons were named because of their use by the Franks, not the other way around; the oldest traces of human life in what is now France date from 1.8 million years ago. Over the ensuing millennia, Humans were confronted by a harsh and variable climate, marked by several glacial eras. Early hominids led a nomadic hunter-gatherer life. France has a large number of decorated caves from the upper Palaeolithic era, including one of the most famous and best preserved, Lascaux. At the end of the last glacial period, the climate became milder. After strong demographic and agricultural development between the 4th and 3rd millennia, metallurgy appeared at the end of the 3rd millennium working gold and bronze, iron. France has numerous megalithic sites from the Neolithic period, including the exceptiona
A thesis or dissertation is a document submitted in support of candidature for an academic degree or professional qualification presenting the author's research and findings. In some contexts, the word "thesis" or a cognate is used for part of a bachelor's or master's course, while "dissertation" is applied to a doctorate, while in other contexts, the reverse is true; the term graduate thesis is sometimes used to refer to both master's theses and doctoral dissertations. The required complexity or quality of research of a thesis or dissertation can vary by country, university, or program, the required minimum study period may thus vary in duration; the word "dissertation" can at times be used to describe a treatise without relation to obtaining an academic degree. The term "thesis" is used to refer to the general claim of an essay or similar work; the term "thesis" comes from the Greek θέσις, meaning "something put forth", refers to an intellectual proposition. "Dissertation" comes from the Latin dissertātiō, meaning "discussion".
Aristotle was the first philosopher to define the term thesis. "A'thesis' is a supposition of some eminent philosopher that conflicts with the general opinion...for to take notice when any ordinary person expresses views contrary to men's usual opinions would be silly". For Aristotle, a thesis would therefore be a supposition, stated in contradiction with general opinion or express disagreement with other philosophers. A supposition is a statement or opinion that may or may not be true depending on the evidence and/or proof, offered; the purpose of the dissertation is thus to outline the proofs of why the author disagrees with other philosophers or the general opinion. A thesis may be arranged as a thesis by publication or a monograph, with or without appended papers though many graduate programs allow candidates to submit a curated collection of published papers. An ordinary monograph has a title page, an abstract, a table of contents, comprising the various chapters, a bibliography or a references section.
They differ in their structure in accordance with the many different areas of study and the differences between them. In a thesis by publication, the chapters constitute an introductory and comprehensive review of the appended published and unpublished article documents. Dissertations report on a research project or study, or an extended analysis of a topic; the structure of a thesis or dissertation explains the purpose, the previous research literature impinging on the topic of the study, the methods used, the findings of the project. Most world universities use a multiple chapter format: a) an introduction, which introduces the research topic, the methodology, as well as its scope and significance. Degree-awarding institutions define their own house style that candidates have to follow when preparing a thesis document. In addition to institution-specific house styles, there exist a number of field-specific and international standards and recommendations for the presentation of theses, for instance ISO 7144.
Other applicable international standards include ISO 2145 on section numbers, ISO 690 on bibliographic references, ISO 31 on quantities or units. Some older house styles specify that front matter must use a separate page number sequence from the main text, using Roman numerals; the relevant international standard and many newer style guides recognize that this book design practice can cause confusion where electronic document viewers number all pages of a document continuously from the first page, independent of any printed page numbers. They, avoid the traditional separate number sequence for front matter and require a single sequence of Arabic numerals starting with 1 for the first printed page. Presentation requirements, including pagination, layout and color of paper, use of acid-free paper, paper size, order of components, citation style, will be checked page by page by the accepting officer before the thesis is accepted and a receipt is issued. However, strict standards are not always required.
Most Italian universities, for example, have only general requirements on the character size and the page formatting, leave much freedom for the actual typographic details. A thesis or dissertation committee is a committee. In the US, these committees consist of a primary supervisor or advisor and two or more committee members, who supervise the progress of the dissertation and may act as the examining committee, or jury, at the oral examination of the thesis. At most universities, the committee is chosen by the student in conjunction with his or her primary adviser after completion of the comprehensive examinations or prospectus meeting, may consist of members of the comps committee; the committee members are doctors in their field (whether a PhD or other des
Autonomous University of Madrid
The Autonomous University of Madrid is a Spanish public university established in 1968. It is located in northern Madrid. Throughout its history, the UAM has been one of Spain's most prominent higher education institutions, being ranked first amongst Spanish universities by the El Mundo University Supplement, by The Times Higher Education Supplement, by the Academic Ranking of World Universities yearly published by Shanghai Jiao Tong University. In the rankings on education, the UAM has positioned itself as one of the best young universities in the world, with an outstanding international projection in the field of research. For the subject "Mathematics" the university was ranked within top 51-75 universities in the world. In the "Times Higher Education 100 Under 50 University Rankings", the University achieved 49th position globally in 2012. In another similar ranking "QS Top 50 Under 50" by Quacquarelli Symonds, the Autonomous University of Madrid achieved 9th place in international comparison.
Its Faculty of Law is the most prestigious one in Spain. It is the Spanish university with the most researchers among the most cited according to the Thomson Reuters ranking citation in 2011; the Stabilization Plan of 1959 and the Development Plans of the 1960s boosted the Spanish economy after years of austerity and the self-sufficiency-based economy. The end of diplomatic and economic isolation led to an economic boom in Spain that resulted in the consolidation of a middle class similar to that of other Western European nations; as a result, the demand of higher education increased, the Spanish university system grew congested. The Francoist government had to respond to this by either creating new universities or expanding the reach of the existing ones; the Autonomous University of Madrid was established by the 5/1968 Decree approved by the Spanish Council of Ministers during the Francoist dictatorship along with the Autonomous University of Barcelona and the University of Bilbao. This Decree was sponsored by the then-Minister of Science and Education, José Luis Villar Palasí, in order to restructure the Spanish university system.
The name Universidad Autónoma de Madrid first appeared in an executive order by the Ministry, published on 13 August 1968. On June 8, 2018 the Autonomous University of Madrid celebrated its 50th Anniversary with a series of commemorative events, starting with a debate on university autonomy. In the debate, called "Past and future", the rector of the UAM Rafael Garesse, the rectors of the Autonomous University of Barcelona, Margarita Arboix, the Basque Country, Nekane Balluerka participated. UAM's Cantoblanco Campus holds most of the university's facilities, it is located 15 km north of Madrid and has an extension of over 2,200,000 m². Of these are nearly 770,000 urbanised and about a third of them garden areas; the campus was designed as a university town, to be self-sufficient, but would be away from Madrid in order to keep student activity against the Francoist dictatorship away from the capital. The campus held the faculties of Philosophy and Liberal Arts, economics, business management, science, as well as the rectorate, several other service buildings and sports facilities.
The university's other facilities, the faculty of medicine and the teacher training school "Santa Maria" are in downtown Madrid. There are two other teacher training schools in Cuenca. Over the years, the faculty of psychology, the biology building of the faculty of sciences, the new faculty of law along with its political science annex building, the polytechnic school, the libraries of humanities and sciences, as well as the Erasmus of Rotterdam dormitory have been built on the main campus; the original faculties were housed in interconnected buildings with several patios in between them. Characteristic of each building is a large number of stairs in its corridors designed to prevent students from running in case of police raids; this fact has been considered by many university officials as a setback in the integration of handicapped students. The newest facilities were built in a contemporary style, being more accessible and allowing more free movement to students. Sporting facilities include two swimming pools, two multiple-use pavilions, outdoor tennis, basketball, paddle tennis and futsal and beach volleyball courts.
Other services on campus include 16 cafeterias and other eating facilities, medical services, a pharmacy with optic care, a foreign languages pavilion, a bookstore. The campus houses several research facilities partnered with the Spanish Scientific Research Council. Cantoblanco Campus is accessible by train belonging to Renfe Cercanias Commuter service, or by the Madrid Region Commuter Bus service; the campus is located in the B1 area of the Madrid Transports Consortium. UAM faculty of medicine is located north of Madrid near La Paz teaching hospital (that acts as one of the faculty's teaching ho
National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
The National and Kapodistrian University of Athens referred to as the University of Athens, is a public university in Zografou, Greece. It has been in continuous operation since its establishment in 1837 and is the oldest higher education institution of the modern Greek state and the first contemporary university in the Eastern Mediterranean. Today it is one of the largest universities by enrollment in Europe, with over 100,000 registered students; the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens is an integral part of the modern Greek academic and intellectual tradition. The University of Athens was founded on May 3, 1837, by King Otto of Greece and was named in his honour Othonian University, it was the first university in the liberated Greek state and in the surrounding area of Southeast Europe as well. It was the second academic institution after the Ionian Academy; this fledgling university consisted of four faculties. During its first year of operation, the institution was staffed by 33 professors, while courses were attended by 52 students and 75 non-matriculated "auditors".
It was first housed in the residence of architects Stamatios Kleanthis and Eduard Schaubert, on the north slope of the Acropolis, in Plaka, which now houses the Museum of the University. In November 1841 the university relocated on the Central Building of the University of Athens, a building designed by Danish architect Christian Hansen, he followed a neoclassical approach, "combining the monument's magnificence with a human scale simplicity" and gave the building its H-shape. The building was decorated by painter Carl Rahl, forming the famous "architectural trilogy of Athens", together with the building of the National Library of Greece and the building of the Athens Academy. Construction began in 1839 in a location to the north of the Acropolis, its front wing known as the Propylaea, was completed in 1842–1843. The rest of the wings' construction, supervised at first by Greek architect Lysandros Kaftantzoglou and by his colleague Anastasios Theofilas, was completed in 1864; the building is nowadays part of what is called the "Athenian Neoclassical Trilogy".
The Othonian University was renamed to National University in 1862, following events that forced King Otto to leave the country. It was renamed to "National and Kapodistrian University of Athens" to honour Ioannis Kapodistrias, the first head of state of the independent modern Greek state. A major change in the structure of the University came about in 1904, when the faculty of Arts was divided into two separate faculties: that of Arts and that of Sciences, the latter consisting of the departments of Physics and Mathematics and the School of Pharmacy. In 1919, a department of chemistry was added, in 1922 the School of Pharmacy was renamed a Department. A further change came about. Between 1895 and 1911, an average of 1,000 new students matriculated each year, a number which increased to 2,000 at the end of World War I; this resulted in the decision to introduce entrance examinations for all the faculties, beginning for the academic year 1927–28. Since 1954 the number of students admitted each year has been fixed by the Ministry of Education and Religion, by proposal of the faculties.
From 1911 until 1932 the university was separated into the Kapodistrian University and the National University. In 1932, the two separate legal entities were merged into the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. During the 1960s construction work began on the University Campus in the suburb of Ilissia, which houses the Schools of Philosophy and Sciences. In 2013, the University Senate made the decision to suspend all operations in the wake of the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs cutting 1,655 administrative jobs from universities around the country. In a statement, the University Senate said that "any educational and administrative operation of the University of Athens is objectively impossible"; the University of Athens is divided into schools and departments as follows. The naming is nοt consistent in English for historical reasons, but in Greek the largest divisions are named "σχολές" and are divided in "τμήματα", furthermore subdivided in "τομείς". In 2015 the external evaluation of the institution cited University of Athens as Worthy of merit.
An external evaluation of all academic departments in Greek universities will be conducted by the Hellenic Quality Assurance and Accreditation Agency in the following years. School of Theology Department of Theology Department of Social Theology School of Philosophy Department of History and Archaeology Department of Philology Department of Philosophy and Psychology Department of English Language and Literature Department of French Language and Literature Department of German Language and Literature Department of Spanish Language and Literature Department of Italian Language and Literature Department of Theatre Studies Department of Music Studies School of Law Department of Law School of Sciences Department of Mathematics Department of Physics Department of Chemistry Department of Biology Department of Geology and Geoenvironment D
Alsace is a cultural and historical region in eastern France, on the west bank of the upper Rhine next to Germany and Switzerland. From 1982 to 2016, Alsace was the smallest administrative région in metropolitan France, consisting of the Bas-Rhin and Haut-Rhin departments. Territorial reform passed by the French legislature in 2014 resulted in the merger of the Alsace administrative region with Champagne-Ardenne and Lorraine to form Grand Est. Alsatian is an Alemannic dialect related to Swabian and Swiss German, although since World War II most Alsatians speak French. Internal and international migration since 1945 has changed the ethnolinguistic composition of Alsace. For more than 300 years, from the Thirty Years' War to World War II, the political status of Alsace was contested between France and various German states in wars and diplomatic conferences; the economic and cultural capital of Alsace, as well as its largest city, is Strasbourg. The city is the seat of bodies; the name "Alsace" can be traced to the Old High German Ali-saz or Elisaz, meaning "foreign domain".
An alternative explanation is from a Germanic Ell-sass, meaning "seated on the Ill", a river in Alsace. In prehistoric times, Alsace was inhabited by nomadic hunters. By 1500 BC, Celts began to settle in Alsace and cultivating the land, it should be noted that Alsace is a plain surrounded by the Vosges mountains and the Black Forest mountains. It creates Foehn winds which, along with natural irrigation, contributes to the fertility of the soil. In a world of agriculture, Alsace has always been a rich region which explains why it suffered so many invasions and annexations in its history. By 58 BC, the Romans had established Alsace as a center of viticulture. To protect this valued industry, the Romans built fortifications and military camps that evolved into various communities which have been inhabited continuously to the present day. While part of the Roman Empire, Alsace was part of Germania Superior. With the decline of the Roman Empire, Alsace became the territory of the Germanic Alemanni; the Alemanni were agricultural people, their Germanic language formed the basis of modern-day dialects spoken along the Upper Rhine.
Clovis and the Franks defeated the Alemanni during the 5th century AD, culminating with the Battle of Tolbiac, Alsace became part of the Kingdom of Austrasia. Under Clovis' Merovingian successors the inhabitants were Christianized. Alsace remained under Frankish control until the Frankish realm, following the Oaths of Strasbourg of 842, was formally dissolved in 843 at the Treaty of Verdun. Alsace formed part of the Middle Francia, ruled by the eldest grandson Lothar I. Lothar died early in 855 and his realm was divided into three parts; the part known as Lotharingia, or Lorraine, was given to Lothar's son. The rest was shared between Louis the German; the Kingdom of Lotharingia was short-lived, becoming the stem duchy of Lorraine in Eastern Francia after the Treaty of Ribemont in 880. Alsace was united with the other Alemanni east of the Rhine into the stem duchy of Swabia. At about this time, the surrounding areas experienced recurring fragmentation and reincorporations among a number of feudal secular and ecclesiastical lordships, a common process in the Holy Roman Empire.
Alsace experienced great prosperity during the 13th centuries under Hohenstaufen emperors. Frederick I set up Alsace as a province to be ruled by ministeriales, a non-noble class of civil servants; the idea was that such men would be more tractable and less to alienate the fief from the crown out of their own greed. The province had a central administration with its seat at Hagenau. Frederick II designated the Bishop of Strasbourg to administer Alsace, but the authority of the bishop was challenged by Count Rudolf of Habsburg, who received his rights from Frederick II's son Conrad IV. Strasbourg began to grow to become the commercially important town in the region. In 1262, after a long struggle with the ruling bishops, its citizens gained the status of free imperial city. A stop on the Paris-Vienna-Orient trade route, as well as a port on the Rhine route linking southern Germany and Switzerland to the Netherlands and Scandinavia, it became the political and economic center of the region. Cities such as Colmar and Hagenau began to grow in economic importance and gained a kind of autonomy within the "Décapole", a federation of ten free towns.
As in much of Europe, the prosperity of Alsace came to an end in the 14th century by a series of harsh winters, bad harvests, the Black Death. These hardships were blamed on Jews, leading to the pogroms of 1336 and 1339. In 1349, Jews of Alsace were accused of poisoning the wells with plague, leading to the massacre of thousands of Jews during the Strasbourg pogrom. Jews were subsequently forbidden to settle in the town. An additional natural disaster was the Rhine rift earthquake of 1356, one of Europe's worst which made ruins of Basel. Prosperity returned to Alsace under Habsburg administration during the Renaissance. Holy Roman Empire central power had begun to decline following years of imperial adventures in Italian lands ceding hegemony in Western Europe to France, which had long since centralized power. France began an aggressive policy of expanding eastward, first to the riv