Augustus II the Strong
Augustus II the Strong known in Saxony as Frederick Augustus I, was Elector of Saxony from 1697, Imperial Vicar and elected King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania in the years 1697–1706 and from 1709 until his death in 1733. Augustus' great physical strength earned him the nicknames "the Strong", "the Saxon Hercules" and "Iron-Hand", he liked to show that he lived up to his name by breaking horseshoes with his bare hands and engaging in fox tossing by holding the end of his sling with just one finger while two of the strongest men in his court held the other end. He is notable for having conceived a large number of children. In order to be elected King of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, Augustus converted to Roman Catholicism; as a Catholic, he received the Order of the Golden Fleece from the Holy Roman Emperor. As Elector of Saxony, he is best remembered as a patron of the arts and architecture, he established the Saxon capital of Dresden as a major cultural centre, attracting artists from across Europe to his court.
Augustus amassed an impressive art collection and built lavish baroque palaces in Dresden and Warsaw. His reigns brought Poland some troubled times, he led the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth in the Great Northern War, which allowed the Russian Empire to strengthen its influence in Europe within Poland. His main pursuit was bolstering royal power in the Commonwealth, characterized by broad decentralization in comparison with other European monarchies, he thus destabilized the state. Augustus ruled Poland with an interval. Augustus was born in Dresden on 12 May 1670, the younger son of the Elector Johann Georg III and Anne Sophie of Denmark; as the second son, Augustus had no expectation of inheriting the electorate, since his older brother, Johann Georg IV, assumed the post after the death of their father on 12 September 1691. Augustus was well educated, spent some years in travel and in fighting against France. Augustus married Kristiane Eberhardine of Brandenburg-Bayreuth in Bayreuth on 20 January 1693.
They had a son, Frederick Augustus II, who succeeded his father as Elector of Saxony and King of Poland as Augustus III. While in Venice during the carnival season, his older brother, the Elector Johann Georg IV, contracted smallpox from his mistress Magdalena Sibylla of Neidschutz. On 27 April 1694, Johann Georg died without legitimate issue and Augustus became Elector of Saxony, as Friedrich Augustus I. To be eligible for election to the throne of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1697, Augustus had to convert to Roman Catholicism; the Saxon dukes had traditionally been called "champions of the Reformation". Saxony had been a stronghold of German Protestantism and Augustus' conversion was therefore considered shocking in Protestant Europe. Although the prince-elector guaranteed Saxony's religious status quo, Augustus' conversion alienated many of his Protestant subjects; as a result of the enormous expenditure of money used to bribe the Polish nobility and clergy, Augustus' contemporaries derisively referred to the Saxon duke's royal ambitions as his "Polish adventure".
His church policy within the Holy Roman Empire followed orthodox Lutheranism and ran counter to his new-found religious and absolutist convictions. The Protestant princes of the empire and the two remaining Protestant electors were anxious to keep Saxony well-integrated in their camp. According to the Peace of Augsburg, Augustus theoretically had the right to re-introduce Roman Catholicism, or at least grant full religious freedom to his fellow Catholics in Saxony, but this never happened. Saxony remained Lutheran and the few Roman Catholics residing in Saxony lacked any political or civil rights. In 1717, it became clear just how awkward the situation was: to realize his ambitious dynastic plans in Poland and Germany, it was necessary for Augustus' heirs to become Roman Catholic. After five years as a convert, his son—the future Augustus III—publicly avowed his Roman Catholicism; the Saxon Estates were outraged and revolted as it was became clear that the conversion to Roman Catholicism was not only a matter of form, but of substance as well.
Since the Peace of Westphalia, the Elector of Saxony had been the director of the Protestant body in the Reichstag. To placate the other Protestant states in the Empire, Augustus nominally delegated the directorship of the Protestant body to Johann Adolf II, Duke of Saxe-Weissenfels. However, when the Elector's son converted to Catholicism, the Electorate faced a hereditary Catholic succession instead of a return to a Protestant Elector upon Augustus's death; when the conversion became public in 1717, Brandenburg-Prussia and Hanover attempted to oust Saxony from the directorship and appoint themselves as joint directors, but they gave up the attempt in 1720. Saxony would retain the directorship of the Protestant body in the Reichstag until the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806, despite the fact that all remaining Electors of Saxony were Catholic; the wife of Augustus, the Electress Christiane Eberhardine, refused to follow her husband's example and remained a staunch Protestant. She did not attend her husband's coronation in Poland and led a rather quiet life outside Dresden, gaining some popularity for her stubbornness.
Following the death of Polish King John III Sobieski and having converted to Catholicism, Augustus won election as King of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwea
Aleksander Benedykt Sobieski
Aleksander Benedykt Stanisław Sobieski was a Polish prince, diplomat, writer and the son of John III Sobieski, King of Poland, his wife, Marie Casimire Louise de la Grange d'Arquien. He was a candidate for election to the Polish throne in 1697, following his father's death, but was unsuccessful. In 1702, he declined Charles XII of Sweden's offer to set him up as a rival king to Augustus II of Poland, he died in Rome in 1714, having become a Capuchin friar. In childhood he was educated by the most talented scholars and teachers in the country, by the age of 15 he spoke fluently several languages. In 1691 he accompanied his father on a military expedition to Moldavia where he learnt military tactics and broadened his fighting skills. At the end of his father's life, due to Sobieski's conflict with the eldest son Jakub, he was a to succeed his father to the throne, this never took place. In October 1696, while in Paris, he requested an audition with Louis XIV as the marquis of Jarosław. On January 19, 1698, together with his brother, Konstanty Władysław Sobieski, he organized a ball in Warsaw, in the honor of the newly crowned king Augustus II the Strong.
Sobieski accompanied Augustus II on military expeditions, most notably during the September campaign against the Tatars. He became a close friend and supporter of the king, he was known to be fond of the monarch. In October, the same year, Sobieski escorted his mother on her trip to Italy. In November, they were received by Eleonora Magdalena von Pfalz-Neuburg. In March, 1700, he was made a Knight of the Order of St. Michael. In December, from the hands of the French ambassador Prince Louis of Monaco, he received the Order of the Holy Spirit. In summer of 1702, Charles de Caradas, the Marquis du Heron, a member of the Sejm in Poland, suggested that Alexander should be seated on the throne of Hungary; that year the prince remained in Oława and he didn't accompany his brothers in an expedition to Saxony, however he did travel to Wrocław where he had an affair with the former mistress of Augustus II Anna Aloysia Esterle. Aleksander fought at the side of Charles XII during his campaign in Saxony, in 1706.
After the release of his brothers under the terms of the Treaty of Altranstädt, he halted his engagement in politics. In 1710 he settled in Rome. Still in 1709, under the pseudonym Armonte Calidio, he joined the Roman academy Arcadia and the congregation of writers and scholars. During the meetings held in the Arcadian Roman Mansion he recited his own poetry written in Latin. Aleksander throughout his life was passionate about theater, he created his own version of the Arcadian dramma nobile. In the years 1710-1713 he completed the composition of several operas, in collaboration with the composer Domenico Scarlattim and set designer Filippo Juvarra, he starred in his plays. A ship from Gdańsk, Printz Alexander von Pohlen, was named after him. Sobieski was buried in the Roman Capuchin Crypt. Aleksander Benedykt Stanislaw Sobieski at the Wilanow Palace Museum
Carlo Maratta or Maratti was an Italian painter, active in Rome, known principally for his classicizing paintings executed in a Late Baroque Classical manner. Although he is part of the classical tradition stemming from Raphael, he was not exempt from the influence of Baroque painting and in his use of colour, his contemporary and friend, Giovanni Bellori, wrote an early biography on Maratta. Born in Camerano part of the Papal States, Maratta went to Rome in 1636, accompanied by, Don Corintio Benicampi, secretary to Taddeo Barberini, he became an apprentice in the studio of Andrea Sacchi. It was at this time that the debate between Sacchi and Pietro da Cortona took place at the Accademia di San Luca, the artists academy in Rome. Sacchi argued that paintings should only have a few figures which should express the narrative whereas Cortona countered that a greater number of figures allowed for the development of sub themes. Maratta's painting at this time was allied with the classicism of Sacchi and was far more restrained and composed than the Baroque exuberance of Pietro da Cortona’s paintings.
Like Sacchi, his paintings were inspired by the works of the great painters from Parma and Bologna: Annibale Carracci, Guido Reni, Francesco Albani and Giovanni Lanfranco. He developed a close relationship with Sacchi till the death of his master in 1661, his fresco of'Constantine ordering the Destruction of Pagan Idols' for the Baptistery of the Lateran, based on designs by Sacchi, gained him attention as an artist but his first prominent independent work was the'Adoration of the Shepherds' for San Giuseppe di Falegnami. Another major work from this period was'The Mystery of the Trinity Revealed to St. Augustine' painted for the church of Santa Maria dei Sette Dolori. Pope Alexander VII commissioned many paintings from him including The Visitation for Santa Maria della Pace and the Nativity in the gallery of the Quirinal Palace where he worked under the direction of Cortona who selected him for this task, his pictures of the late 1650s exhibit light and movement derived from Roman Baroque painting, combined with classical idealism.
From 1660, he built up a private client base amongst wealthy patrons of Europe, establishing the most prominent art studio in Rome of his time and, after the death of Bernini in 1680, he became the leading artist in Rome. In 1664, Maratta became the director of the Accademia di San Luca and, concerned with elevating the status of artists, promoted the study and drawing of the art of Classical Antiquity. During the 1670s he was commissioned by Pope Clement X to fresco the ceiling of the salone in the Palazzo Altieri. Unlike Giovan Battista Gaulli’s nave fresco in the nearby church of the Gesu, being painted at the same time, Maratta did not employ illusionism, his major works of this period included: The Appearance of the Virgin to St. Philip Neri now in the Pitti Palace in Florence, it was not, as his critics claimed, numerous depictions of the Virgin that earned him the nickname Carluccio delle Madonne or ‘Little Carlo of the Madonnas', but his gifted interpretation of this theme. Other works included an altarpiece, The Death of St Francis Xavier in the San Francesco Xavier Chapel in the right transept of the Church of the Gesu.
Maratta was a well-known portrait painter. He painted Cardinal Antonio Barberini, Pope Clement IX and a self-portrait, he painted numerous English sitters during their visits to Rome on the Grand Tour, having sketched antiquities for John Evelyn as early as 1645. In 1679 or 1680, a daughter, was born to Maratta by his mistress, Francesca Gommi, he recognized her as his daughter in 1698 and upon becoming a widower in 1700, Maratta married the girl's mother. His daughter's features were incorporated into a number of Maratta's late paintings. In 1704, Maratta was knighted by Pope Clement XI. With a general decline in patronage around the beginning of the eighteenth century and due to the economic downturn, Maratta turned his hand to painting restoration, including works by Raphael and Carracci, his sculptural designs included figures of the Apostles for San Giovanni in Laterano. He continued to run his studio into old age when he could no longer paint. Maratta died in 1713 in Rome, was buried there in Santa Maria degli Angeli.
List of Carlo Maratta pupils and assistants Birth of the Virgin, 1643–45, Church of Saint Clare, Nocera Umbra. Juno Beseeching Aeolus to Release the Winds Against the Trojan Fleet, 1654–1656, Ackland Art Museum, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; the Triumph of Clemency, 1673–1675, Palazzo Altieri, Rome. The Virgin and Child in Glory, c.1680, Spanish Royal Collection, National Museum, Madrid St John the Baptist Explaining the Doctrine of the Immaculate Conception to Sts Gregory and John Chrysostom, 1686, Cybo Chapel, Santa Maria del Popolo, Rome. Portrait of Clement IX Rospigliosi, 1669, Pinacoteca Gallery, Vatican Museums, Rome. Saint Joseph and the Infant Christ, Dunedin Public Art Gallery, Dunedin. Assumption of an Enthroned Virgin, Santa Maria in Vepretis, San Ginesio Chaney, Edward; the Evolution of English Collecting. Yale University Press. Finn, Alex. A Kiss in Time. N.k
Jean-Baptiste Colbert was a French politician who served as the Minister of Finances of France from 1661 to 1683 under the rule of King Louis XIV. Colbert worked to increase France's colonial holdings. Colbert worked to develop the domestic economy by raising tariffs and by encouraging major public works projects, to ensure that the French East India Company had access to foreign markets, so that they could always obtain coffee, dyewoods, fur and sugar. In addition, Colbert founded the French merchant marine. Colbert's market reforms included the foundation of the Manufacture royale de glaces de miroirs in 1665 to supplant the importation of Venetian glass and to encourage the technical expertise of Flemish cloth manufacturing in France, he founded royal tapestry works at Gobelins and supported those at Beauvais. Colbert issued more than 150 edicts to regulate the guilds. Colbert's father and grandfather were merchants in his birthplace of France, he claimed to have Scottish ancestry. A general belief exists that he spent his early youth at a Jesuit college, working for a Parisian banker.
Before the age of 20, Colbert had a post in the war office, a position attributed to the marriage of an uncle to the sister of Secretary of War Michel le Tellier. Colbert spent some time as an inspector of troops becoming the personal secretary of Le Tellier. In 1647, through unknown means, Colbert acquired the confiscated goods of Pussort. In 1648, he and his wife Marie Charron, received 40,000 crowns from an unknown source. In 1657, he purchased the Barony of Seignelay. Colbert was recommended to King Louis XIV by Mazarin. While Cardinal Mazarin was in exile, Louis' trust in Colbert grew. In 1652 Colbert was asked to manage the affairs of the Cardinal; this new responsibility would detach Colbert from his other responsibility as commissaire des guerres. Although Colbert was not a supporter of Mazarin in principle, he would defend the cardinal's interests with unflagging devotion. Colbert's earliest recorded attempt at tax reform came in the form of a mémoire to Mazarin, showing that of the taxes paid by the people, not one-half reached the King.
The paper contained an attack upon the Superintendent Fouquet. The postmaster of Paris, a spy of Fouquet's, read the letter, leading to a dispute which Mazarin attempted to suppress. In 1661, Mazarin died and Colbert "made sure of the King's favour" by revealing the location of some of Mazarin's hidden wealth. In January 1664 Colbert became the Superintendent of buildings. In short, Colbert acquired power in every department except that of war. A great financial and fiscal reform at once claimed all his energies. Not only the nobility, but many others who had no legal claim to exemption, paid no taxes. Supported by the young king Louis XIV, Colbert aimed the first blow at the man accused of being the greatest of the royal embezzlers, the superintendent Nicolas Fouquet. Fouquet's fall secured Colbert's own advancement. With the abolition of the office of superintendent and of many other offices dependent upon it, the supreme control of the finances became vested in a royal council; the sovereign functioned as its president.
His ruthlessness in this case, dangerous precedent though it gave, seemed necessary. When he had punished guilty officials, he turned his attention to the fraudulent creditors of the government. Colbert had a simple method of operation, he repudiated some of the public loans and cut off from others a percentage, which varied, at first according to his own decision, afterwards according to that of the council that he established to examine all claims against the state. Much more serious difficulties met his attempts to introduce equality in the pressure of the taxes on the various classes. To diminish the number of the privileged proved impossible, but Colbert resisted false claims for exemption, lightened the unjust direct taxation by increasing the indirect taxes, from which the privileged could not escape. At the same time he immensely improved the mode of collection on his own, his relentless hard work and thrift made him an esteemed minister. He achieved a reputation for his work of improving the state of French manufacturing and bringing the economy back from the brink of bankruptcy.
Historians note that, despite Colbert's efforts, France became impoverished because of the King's excessive spending on wars. Having thus introduced a measure of order and economy into the workings of the government, Colbert now called for the enrichment of the country by commerce; the state, through Colbert's dirigiste policies, fostered manufacturing enterprises in a wide variety of fields. The authorities established new industries, protected inv
Poland the Republic of Poland, is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 administrative subdivisions, covering an area of 312,696 square kilometres, has a temperate seasonal climate. With a population of 38.5 million people, Poland is the sixth most populous member state of the European Union. Poland's capital and largest metropolis is Warsaw. Other major cities include Kraków, Łódź, Wrocław, Poznań, Gdańsk, Szczecin. Poland is bordered by the Baltic Sea, Russia's Kaliningrad Oblast and Lithuania to the north and Ukraine to the east and Czech Republic, to the south, Germany to the west; the establishment of the Polish state can be traced back to AD 966, when Mieszko I, ruler of the realm coextensive with the territory of present-day Poland, converted to Christianity. The Kingdom of Poland was founded in 1025, in 1569 it cemented its longstanding political association with the Grand Duchy of Lithuania by signing the Union of Lublin; this union formed the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, one of the largest and most populous countries of 16th and 17th century Europe, with a uniquely liberal political system which adopted Europe's first written national constitution, the Constitution of 3 May 1791.
More than a century after the Partitions of Poland at the end of the 18th century, Poland regained its independence in 1918 with the Treaty of Versailles. In September 1939, World War II started with the invasion of Poland by Germany, followed by the Soviet Union invading Poland in accordance with the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact. More than six million Polish citizens, including 90% of the country's Jews, perished in the war. In 1947, the Polish People's Republic was established as a satellite state under Soviet influence. In the aftermath of the Revolutions of 1989, most notably through the emergence of the Solidarity movement, Poland reestablished itself as a presidential democratic republic. Poland is regional power, it has the fifth largest economy by GDP in the European Union and one of the most dynamic economies in the world achieving a high rank on the Human Development Index. Additionally, the Polish Stock Exchange in Warsaw is the largest and most important in Central Europe. Poland is a developed country, which maintains a high-income economy along with high standards of living, life quality, safety and economic freedom.
Having a developed school educational system, the country provides free university education, state-funded social security, a universal health care system for all citizens. Poland has 15 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Poland is a member state of the European Union, the Schengen Area, the United Nations, NATO, the OECD, the Three Seas Initiative, the Visegrád Group; the origin of the name "Poland" derives from the West Slavic tribe of Polans that inhabited the Warta river basin of the historic Greater Poland region starting in the 6th century. The origin of the name "Polanie" itself derives from the early Slavic word "pole". In some languages, such as Hungarian, Lithuanian and Turkish, the exonym for Poland is Lechites, which derives from the name of a semi-legendary ruler of Polans, Lech I. Early Bronze Age in Poland begun around 2400 BC, while the Iron Age commenced in 750 BC. During this time, the Lusatian culture, spanning both the Bronze and Iron Ages, became prominent; the most famous archaeological find from the prehistory and protohistory of Poland is the Biskupin fortified settlement, dating from the Lusatian culture of the early Iron Age, around 700 BC.
Throughout the Antiquity period, many distinct ancient ethnic groups populated the regions of what is now Poland in an era that dates from about 400 BC to 500 AD. These groups are identified as Celtic, Slavic and Germanic tribes. Recent archeological findings in the Kujawy region, confirmed the presence of the Roman Legions on the territory of Poland; these were most expeditionary missions sent out to protect the amber trade. The exact time and routes of the original migration and settlement of Slavic peoples lacks written records and can only be defined as fragmented; the Slavic tribes who would form Poland migrated to these areas in the second half of the 5th century AD. Up until the creation of Mieszko's state and his subsequent conversion to Christianity in 966 AD, the main religion of Slavic tribes that inhabited the geographical area of present-day Poland was Slavic paganism. With the Baptism of Poland the Polish rulers accepted Christianity and the religious authority of the Roman Church.
However, the transition from paganism was not a smooth and instantaneous process for the rest of the population as evident from the pagan reaction of the 1030s. Poland began to form into a recognizable unitary and territorial entity around the middle of the 10th century under the Piast dynasty. Poland's first documented ruler, Mieszko I, accepted Christianity with the Baptism of Poland in 966, as the new official religion of his subjects; the bulk of the population converted in the course of the next few centuries. In 1000, Boleslaw the Brave, continuing the policy of his father Mieszko, held a Congress of Gniezno and created the metropolis of Gniezno and the dioceses of Kraków, Kołobrzeg, Wrocław. However, the pagan unrest led to the transfer of the capital to Kraków in 1038 by Casimir I the Restorer. In 1109, Prince Bolesław III Wrymouth defeated the King of Germany Henry V at the Battle of Hundsfeld, stopping the Ge
The Baroque is a ornate and extravagant style of architecture, painting and other arts that flourished in Europe from the early 17th until the mid-18th century. It preceded the Rococo and Neoclassical styles, it was encouraged by the Catholic Church as a means to counter the simplicity and austerity of Protestant architecture and music, though Lutheran Baroque art developed in parts of Europe as well. The Baroque style used contrast, exuberant detail, deep colour and surprise to achieve a sense of awe; the style began at the start of the 17th century in Rome spread to France, northern Italy and Portugal to Austria and southern Germany. By the 1730s, it had evolved into an more flamboyant style, called rocaille or Rococo, which appeared in France and central Europe until the mid to late 18th century; the English word baroque comes directly from the French, may have been adapted from the Portuguese term barroco, a flawed pearl. Both words are related to the Spanish term berruca; the term did not describe a style of music or art.
Prior to the 18th century, the French baroque and Portuguese barroco were terms related to jewelry, An example from 1531 uses the term to describe pearls in an inventory of Charles V's treasures. The word appears in a 1694 edition of Le Dictionnaire de l'Académie Française, which describes baroque as "only used for pearls that are imperfectly round." A 1728 Portuguese dictionary describes barroco as relating to a "coarse and uneven pearl."The French term for the artistic style may have had roots in the medieval Latin word baroco, a philosophical term, invented in the 13th century by scholastics to describe a complicated type of syllogism, or logical argument. In the 16th century the philosopher Michel de Montaigne associated the term'baroco' with "Bizarre and uselessly complicated." In the 18th century, the term was used to describe music, was not flattering. In an anonymous satirical review of the première of Jean-Philippe Rameau's Hippolyte et Aricie in October 1733, printed in the Mercure de France in May 1734, the critic wrote that the novelty in this opera was "du barocque", complaining that the music lacked coherent melody, was unsparing with dissonances changed key and meter, speedily ran through every compositional device.
In 1762, Le Dictionnaire de l'Académie Française wrote that the term could be used figuratively to describe something "irregular, bizarre or unequal."Jean-Jacques Rousseau, a musician and composer as well as philosopher, wrote in 1768 in the Encyclopédie: "Baroque music is that in which the harmony is confused, loaded with modulations and dissonances. The singing is harsh and unnatural, the intonation difficult, the movement limited, it appears that term comes from the word'baroco' used by logicians."In 1788, the term was defined by Quatremère de Quincy in the Encyclopédie Méthodique as "an architectural style, adorned and tormented". The terms "style baroque" and "musique baroque" appeared in Le Dictionnaire de l'Académie Française in 1835. By the mid-19th century, art critics and historians had adopted the term as a way to ridicule post-Renaissance art; this was the sense of the word as used in 1855 by the leading art historian Jacob Burkhardt, who wrote that baroque artists "despised and abused detail" because they lacked "respect for tradition."Alternatively, a derivation from the name of the Italian painter Federico Barocci has been suggested.
In 1888, the art historian Heinrich Wölfflin published the first serious academic work on the style, Renaissance und Barock, which described the differences between the painting and architecture of the Renaissance and the Baroque. The Baroque style of architecture was a result of doctrines adopted by the Catholic Church at the Council of Trent in 1545–63, in response to the Protestant Reformation; the first phase of the Counter-Reformation had imposed a severe, academic style on religious architecture, which had appealed to intellectuals but not the mass of churchgoers. The Council of Trent decided instead to appeal to a more popular audience, declared that the arts should communicate religious themes with direct and emotional involvement. Lutheran Baroque art developed as a confessional marker of identity, in response to the Great Iconoclasm of Calvinists. Baroque churches were designed with a large central space, where the worshippers could be close to the altar, with a dome or cupola high overhead, allowing light to illuminate the church below.
The dome was one of the central symbolic features of baroque architecture illustrating the union between the heavens and the earth, The inside of the cupola was lavishly decorated with paintings of angels and saints, with stucco statuettes of angels, giving the impression to those below of looking up at heaven. Another feature of baroque churches are the quadratura. Quadratura paintings of Atlantes below the cornices appear to be supporting the ceiling of the church. Unlike the painted ceilings of Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel, which combined different scenes, each with its own perspective, to be looked at one at a time, the Baroque ceiling paintings were created so the viewer on the floor of the church would see the entire ceiling in correct perspective, as if the figures were real; the interiors of baroque churches became more and more ornate in the High Baroque, an
Rome is the capital city and a special comune of Italy. Rome serves as the capital of the Lazio region. With 2,872,800 residents in 1,285 km2, it is the country's most populated comune, it is the fourth most populous city in the European Union by population within city limits. It is the centre of the Metropolitan City of Rome, which has a population of 4,355,725 residents, thus making it the most populous metropolitan city in Italy. Rome is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, within Lazio, along the shores of the Tiber; the Vatican City is an independent country inside the city boundaries of Rome, the only existing example of a country within a city: for this reason Rome has been defined as capital of two states. Rome's history spans 28 centuries. While Roman mythology dates the founding of Rome at around 753 BC, the site has been inhabited for much longer, making it one of the oldest continuously occupied sites in Europe; the city's early population originated from a mix of Latins and Sabines.
The city successively became the capital of the Roman Kingdom, the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire, is regarded by some as the first metropolis. It was first called The Eternal City by the Roman poet Tibullus in the 1st century BC, the expression was taken up by Ovid and Livy. Rome is called the "Caput Mundi". After the fall of the Western Empire, which marked the beginning of the Middle Ages, Rome fell under the political control of the Papacy, in the 8th century it became the capital of the Papal States, which lasted until 1870. Beginning with the Renaissance all the popes since Nicholas V pursued over four hundred years a coherent architectural and urban programme aimed at making the city the artistic and cultural centre of the world. In this way, Rome became first one of the major centres of the Italian Renaissance, the birthplace of both the Baroque style and Neoclassicism. Famous artists, painters and architects made Rome the centre of their activity, creating masterpieces throughout the city.
In 1871, Rome became the capital of the Kingdom of Italy, which, in 1946, became the Italian Republic. Rome has the status of a global city. In 2016, Rome ranked as the 14th-most-visited city in the world, 3rd most visited in the European Union, the most popular tourist attraction in Italy, its historic centre is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The famous Vatican Museums are among the world's most visited museums while the Colosseum was the most popular tourist attraction in world with 7.4 million visitors in 2018. Host city for the 1960 Summer Olympics, Rome is the seat of several specialized agencies of the United Nations, such as the Food and Agriculture Organization, the World Food Programme and the International Fund for Agricultural Development; the city hosts the Secretariat of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union for the Mediterranean as well as the headquarters of many international business companies such as Eni, Enel, TIM, Leonardo S.p. A. and national and international banks such as Unicredit and BNL.
Its business district, called EUR, is the base of many companies involved in the oil industry, the pharmaceutical industry, financial services. Rome is an important fashion and design centre thanks to renowned international brands centered in the city. Rome's Cinecittà Studios have been the set of many Academy Award–winning movies. According to the founding myth of the city by the Ancient Romans themselves, the long-held tradition of the origin of the name Roma is believed to have come from the city's founder and first king, Romulus. However, it is a possibility that the name Romulus was derived from Rome itself; as early as the 4th century, there have been alternative theories proposed on the origin of the name Roma. Several hypotheses have been advanced focusing on its linguistic roots which however remain uncertain: from Rumon or Rumen, archaic name of the Tiber, which in turn has the same root as the Greek verb ῥέω and the Latin verb ruo, which both mean "flow". There is archaeological evidence of human occupation of the Rome area from 14,000 years ago, but the dense layer of much younger debris obscures Palaeolithic and Neolithic sites.
Evidence of stone tools and stone weapons attest to about 10,000 years of human presence. Several excavations support the view that Rome grew from pastoral settlements on the Palatine Hill built above the area of the future Roman Forum. Between the end of the bronze age and the beginning of the Iron age, each hill between the sea and the Capitol was topped by a village. However, none of them had yet an urban quality. Nowadays, there is a wide consensus that the city developed through the aggregation of several villages around the largest one, placed above the Palatine; this aggregation was facilitated by the increase of agricultural productivity above the subsistence level, which allowed the establishment of secondary and tertiary activities. These in turn boosted the development of trade with the Greek colonies of southern Italy; these developments, which according to archaeological ev