Scotland is a country, part of the United Kingdom. Sharing a border with England to the southeast, Scotland is otherwise surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, by the North Sea to the northeast and by the Irish Sea to the south. In addition to the mainland, situated on the northern third of the island of Great Britain, Scotland has over 790 islands, including the Northern Isles and the Hebrides; the Kingdom of Scotland emerged as an independent sovereign state in the Early Middle Ages and continued to exist until 1707. By inheritance in 1603, James VI, King of Scots, became King of England and King of Ireland, thus forming a personal union of the three kingdoms. Scotland subsequently entered into a political union with the Kingdom of England on 1 May 1707 to create the new Kingdom of Great Britain; the union created a new Parliament of Great Britain, which succeeded both the Parliament of Scotland and the Parliament of England. In 1801, the Kingdom of Great Britain and Kingdom of Ireland enacted a political union to create a United Kingdom.
The majority of Ireland subsequently seceded from the UK in 1922. Within Scotland, the monarchy of the United Kingdom has continued to use a variety of styles and other royal symbols of statehood specific to the pre-union Kingdom of Scotland; the legal system within Scotland has remained separate from those of England and Wales and Northern Ireland. The continued existence of legal, educational and other institutions distinct from those in the remainder of the UK have all contributed to the continuation of Scottish culture and national identity since the 1707 union with England; the Scottish Parliament, a unicameral legislature comprising 129 members, was established in 1999 and has authority over those areas of domestic policy which have been devolved by the United Kingdom Parliament. The head of the Scottish Government, the executive of the devolved legislature, is the First Minister of Scotland. Scotland is represented in the UK House of Commons by 59 MPs and in the European Parliament by 6 MEPs.
Scotland is a member of the British–Irish Council, sends five members of the Scottish Parliament to the British–Irish Parliamentary Assembly. Scotland is divided into councils. Glasgow City is the largest subdivision in Scotland in terms of population, with Highland being the largest in terms of area. "Scotland" comes from the Latin name for the Gaels. From the ninth century, the meaning of Scotia shifted to designate Gaelic Scotland and by the eleventh century the name was being used to refer to the core territory of the Kingdom of Alba in what is now east-central Scotland; the use of the words Scots and Scotland to encompass most of what is now Scotland became common in the Late Middle Ages, as the Kingdom of Alba expanded and came to encompass various peoples of diverse origins. Repeated glaciations, which covered the entire land mass of modern Scotland, destroyed any traces of human habitation that may have existed before the Mesolithic period, it is believed the first post-glacial groups of hunter-gatherers arrived in Scotland around 12,800 years ago, as the ice sheet retreated after the last glaciation.
At the time, Scotland was covered in forests, had more bog-land, the main form of transport was by water. These settlers began building the first known permanent houses on Scottish soil around 9,500 years ago, the first villages around 6,000 years ago; the well-preserved village of Skara Brae on the mainland of Orkney dates from this period. Neolithic habitation and ritual sites are common and well preserved in the Northern Isles and Western Isles, where a lack of trees led to most structures being built of local stone. Evidence of sophisticated pre-Christian belief systems is demonstrated by sites such as the Callanish Stones on Lewis and the Maes Howe on Orkney, which were built in the third millennium BCE; the first written reference to Scotland was in 320 BC by Greek sailor Pytheas, who called the northern tip of Britain "Orcas", the source of the name of the Orkney islands. During the first millennium BCE, the society changed to a chiefdom model, as consolidation of settlement led to the concentration of wealth and underground stores of surplus food.
The first Roman incursion into Scotland occurred in 79 AD. After the Roman victory, Roman forts were set along the Gask Ridge close to the Highland line, but by three years after the battle, the Roman armies had withdrawn to the Southern Uplands; the Romans erected Hadrian's Wall in northern England and the Limes Britannicus became the northern border of the Roman Empire. The Roman influence on the southern part of the country was considerable, they introduced Christianity to Scotland. Beginning in the sixth century, the area, now Scotland was divided into three areas: Pictland, a patchwork of small lordships in central Scotland; these societies were based on the family unit and had sharp divisions in wealth, although the vast majority were poor and worked full-time in subsistence agriculture. The Picts kept slaves through the ninth century. Gaelic influence over Pictland and Northumbria was facilitated by the large number of Gaelic-speaking clerics working as missionaries. Operating in the sixth ce
Dumbarton Castle has the longest recorded history of any stronghold in Scotland. It overlooks the Scottish town of Dumbarton, sits on a plug of volcanic basalt known as Dumbarton Rock, 240 feet high. According to the local museum, Dumbarton Rock is a volcanic plug of basalt created 334 million years ago, with the softer exterior of the volcano having weathered away. At least as far back as the Iron Age, this has been the site of a strategically important settlement as evidenced by archaeological finds; the people that came to reside there in the era of Roman Britain were known to have traded with the Romans - though these may or may not have been the Picts that dwelled in Dumbarton in the Bronze Age & early-mid Iron Age. However the first written record about a settlement there was marked in a letter Saint Patrick wrote to King Ceretic of Alt Clut in the late 5th century. David Nash Ford has proposed that Dumbarton was the Cair Brithon listed by Nennius among the 28 cities of Sub-Roman Britain.
From the fifth century until the ninth, the castle was the centre of the independent Brythonic Kingdom of Strathclyde. Alt Clut or Alcluith, the Brythonic name for Dumbarton Rock, became a metonym for kingdom; the king of Dumbarton in about AD 570 was Riderch Hael, who features in Latin works. During his reign Merlin was said to have stayed at Alt Clut; the medieval Scalacronica of Sir Thomas Grey records the legend that "Arthur left Hoël of Brittany his nephew sick at Alcluit in Scotland." Hoël was besieged in the castle by the Scots and Picts. The story first appeared in Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia Regum Britanniae. Amongst lists of three things, in the triads of the Red Book of Hergest, the third "Unrestrained Ravaging" was Aeddan Fradog, coming to the court of Rhydderch the Generous at Alclud, who left neither food nor drink nor beast alive; this battle appears in stories of Myrddin Wyllt, the Merlin of Geoffrey of Monmouth's Vita Merlini conflated with the battle of Arfderydd, located as Arthuret by some authors.
In 756, the first losses of Dumbarton Rock were recorded. A joint force of Picts and Northumbrians captured the fortress after a siege, only to lose it again a few days later. By 870, it was home to a packed British settlement, which served as a fortress and as the capital of Alt Clut. In 871, the Irish-based Viking kings Amlaíb and Ímar laid siege to Dumbarton Rock; the fortress fell in four months. The kings are recorded to have returned to Ireland with 200 ships and a host of British and Pictish captives; these prisoners may have included the ruling family of Alt Clut including the king Arthgal ap Dyfnwal, slain the following year under uncertain circumstances. Following the Viking destruction of the fortress, Dumbarton Rock does not appear on record again until the 13th century, the capital of the restructured Kingdom of Strathclyde appears to have relocated up the Clyde to the vicinity of Partick and Govan. In medieval Scotland, Dumbarton was an important royal castle, it sheltered David II and his young wife, Joan of The Tower after the Scottish defeat at Halidon Hill in 1333.
In 1425 the castle was attacked by James the Fat, youngest son of Murdoch Stewart, Duke of Albany, imprisoned by King James I of Scotland on charges of treason. James the Fat became a rallying point for enemies of the King, raised a rebellion against the crown, he marched on the town of Dumbarton and burned it, but was unable to take the castle, whose defender John Colquhoun held out against James' men. The former supporters of James III under the leadership of John Stewart, 1st Earl of Lennox met up at Dumbarton Castle in October 1489, they had hoped to gain the support of Henry VII of England. James IV defeated them in a battle between the Touch and Menteith hills near Stirling on 11 and 12 October. James IV used Dumbarton as the west coast base for his navy and campaigns to subdue the Western Isles. James was at Dumbarton with the Chancellor of Scotland, Colin Campbell, 1st Earl of Argyll, in November 1489, he had the use of a ship belonging to the Laird of Luss. In the following February a royal ship lost some of her cables.
In 1494 a row barge was built at Dumbarton for the king using timber from Loch Lomond. In March 1495 James IV was provided with a camp bed for use at sea and a boat carried cannon to Dumbarton. Patrick Hepburn, 1st Earl of Bothwell, was made Captain of the castle on 1 April 1495. A man played on a Gaelic harp, for the King. In 1505 Dumbarton was the King's base for visiting the Western Isles. One ship's mast was made from timber from Drymen. On 5 June James was entertained by a French'quhissilar' playing a recorder and on 8 June James played cards with John Murray and Master Robert Cockburn losing £4-10 shillings, that day attended Evensong in the Parish kirk and College of Dumbarton. In 1505 John Ramsay built. In December 1505 a sword that had belonged to William Wallace was repaired. On 18 May 1515 the James or the Margaret with six other ships brought John Stewart, Regent Albany to Dumbarton; these royal ships were repaired at Dumbarton in July and new docks were made for them. John Drummond of Milnab brought fourteen of their guns to Glasgow.
In September Regent Albany held court at Dumbarton, received Thomas Benolt, the English Clarenceux King of Arms. The Carrick H
James II of Scotland
James II was a member of the House of Stewart who reigned as King of Scotland from 1437 until his death. James was born in Holyrood Abbey, he was the son of King James Joan Beaufort. By his first birthday his twin and only brother, the older twin, had died, thus making James the heir apparent and given the title Duke of Rothesay. On 21 February 1437, James I was assassinated and the six-year-old James succeeded him as James II, he was crowned in Holyrood Abbey by Abbot Patrick on 23 March 1437. In 1449, nineteen-year-old James married fifteen-year-old Mary of Guelders, daughter of the Duke of Gelderland, she bore him seven children. Subsequently, the relations between Flanders and Scotland improved. James's nickname, Fiery Face, referred to a conspicuous vermilion birthmark on his face which appears to have been deemed by contemporaries an outward sign of a fiery temper. James was a politic, singularly successful king, he was popular with the commoners, with whom, like most of the Stewarts, he socialised in times of peace and war.
His legislation has a markedly popular character. He does not appear to have inherited his father's taste for literature, "inherited" by at least two of his sisters, he possessed much of his father's restless energy. However, his murder of the Earl of Douglas leaves a stain on his reign. James I was assassinated on 21 February 1437; the Queen, although hurt, managed to get to her six-year-old son, now king. On 25 March 1437, the six-year-old was formally crowned King of Scots at Holyrood Abbey; the Parliament of Scotland revoked alienations of crown property and prohibited them, without the consent of the Estates, that is, until James II's eighteenth birthday. He lived along with his mother and five of his six sisters at Dunbar Castle until 1439. From 1437 to 1439 the King's first cousin Archibald Douglas, 5th Earl of Douglas, headed the government as lieutenant-general of the realm. After his death, with a general lack of high-status earls in Scotland due to deaths, forfeiture or youth, political power became shared uneasily among William Crichton, 1st Lord Crichton, Lord Chancellor of Scotland, Sir Alexander Livingston of Callendar, who had possession of the young king as the warden of the stronghold of Stirling Castle.
Taking advantage of these events, Livingston placed Queen Joan and her new husband, Sir John Stewart, under "house arrest" at Stirling Castle on 3 August 1439. They were released on 4 September only by making a formal agreement to put James in the custody of the Livingstons, by giving up her dowry for his maintenance, confessing that Livingston had acted through zeal for the king's safety. In 1440, in the King's name, an invitation is said to have been sent to the young, 16-year-old 6th Earl of Douglas and his younger brother, twelve-year-old David, to visit the king at Edinburgh Castle in November 1440. According to legend, they came, were entertained at the royal table, where James, still a little boy, was charmed by them. However, they were treacherously hurried to their doom, which took place by beheading in the castle yard of Edinburgh on 24 November, with the 10-year-old king pleading for their lives. Three days Malcolm Fleming of Cumbernauld, their chief adherent, shared the same fate.
It is the king, being a small child, had nothing to do with this. This infamous incident took the name of "the Black Dinner". In 1449 James II reached adulthood; the Douglases with his cooperation, used his coming of age as a way to throw the Livingstons out of the shared government, as the young king took revenge for the arrest of his mother that had taken place in 1439 and the assassination of his young Douglas cousins in which Livingston was complicit. Douglas and Crichton continued to dominate political power, the king continued to struggle to throw off their rule. Between 1451 and 1455 he struggled to free himself from the power of the Douglases. Attempts to curb the Douglases' power took place in 1451, during the absence of William Douglas, 8th Earl of Douglas from Scotland, culminated with the murder of Douglas at Stirling Castle on 22 February 1452; the main account of Douglas's murder comes from the Auchinleck Chronicle, a near contemporary but fragmentary source. According to its account, the king accused the Earl of forging links with John Macdonald, 11th Earl of Ross, Alexander Lindsay, 4th Earl of Crawford.
This bond, if it existed, created a dangerous axis of power of independently-minded men, forming a major rival to royal authority. When Douglas refused to break the bond with Ross, James broke into a fit of temper and stabbed Douglas 26 times and threw his body out of a window, his court officials joined in the bloodbath, one striking out the Earl's brain with an axe. This murder did not end the power of the Douglases, but rather created a state of intermittent civil war between 1452 and 1455; the main engagements were on the Isle of Arran. James attempted to seize Douglas lands, but his opponents forced him into humiliating climbdowns, whereby he retur
The Italian Wars referred to as the Great Wars of Italy and sometimes as the Habsburg–Valois Wars, were a series of Renaissance conflicts from 1494 to 1559 that involved most of the Italian states as well as France, the Holy Roman Empire, Spain and the Ottoman Empire. An Italic League that ensured peace in the peninsula for 50 years had collapsed in 1492 with the death of Lorenzo De Medici, key figure of the bloc and ruler of Florence. In 1494, Charles VIII of France invaded the Italian Peninsula and occupied the Kingdom of Naples on the ground of a dynastic claim. However, he was forced to leave the occupied territories after a northern Italian alliance won a tactical victory against him at the Battle of Fornovo. In an attempt to avoid the mistakes of his predecessor, Louis XII annexed the Duchy of Milan in the north of Italy and signed an agreement with Ferdinand of Aragon to share the Kingdom of Naples. Ferdinand of Aragon turned on Louis XII and expelled French forces from the South after the battles of Cerignola and Garigliano.
After a series of alliances and betrayals, the Papacy decided to side against French control of Milan and supported Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor and heir of Aragon territories in Italy. Following the battles of Bicocca and Pavia, France lost its control of Milan to the Habsburgs. However, mutinous German Protestant troops of Charles V sacked Rome in 1527: this event was a turning point in the development of the European Wars of Religion and caused Charles V to focus on the growth of Protestantism in the Holy Roman Empire. King Henry II of France took advantage of the situation and tried to establish supremacy in Italy by invading Corsica and Tuscany. However, his conquest of Corsica was reversed by the Genoese admiral Andrea Doria and his troops in Tuscany were defeated at the Battle of Scannagallo by the Florentines and the Imperials. With the abdication of Charles V, Philip II of Spain inherited the Italian possessions; the last significant confrontation, the Battle of St Quentin, was won by Emmanuel Philibert of Savoy for the Spanish and international forces: this led the restoration of the French-occupied Piedmont to the House of Savoy.
In 1559, the Treaty of Cateau-Cambresis was signed. The political map of Italy was affected by the end of the wars: Naples and Milan had been confirmed to remain under Spanish control. In a jousting tournament held to celebrate the peace treaty, Henry II of France was killed by a lance: the instability that followed his death led to the French Wars of Religion. Following the Wars in Lombardy between Venice and Milan, which ended in 1454, Northern Italy had been at peace during the reigns of Cosimo de' Medici and Lorenzo de' Medici in Florence, with the notable exception of the War of Ferrara in 1482–1484. Charles VIII of France improved relations with other European rulers in the run up to the First Italian War by negotiating a series of treaties: in 1493, France negotiated the Treaty of Senlis with the Holy Roman Empire. Ludovico Sforza of Milan, seeking an ally against the Republic of Venice, encouraged Charles VIII of France to invade Italy, using the Angevin claim to the throne of Naples as a pretext.
When Ferdinand I of Naples died in 1494, Charles VIII invaded the peninsula with a French Army of twenty-five thousand men hoping to use Naples as a base for a crusade against the Ottoman Turks. For several months, French forces moved through Italy unopposed, since the condottieri armies of the Italian city-states were unable to resist them. Charles VIII made triumphant entries into Pisa on November 8, 1494, Florence on November 17, 1494, Rome on December 31, 1494. Upon reaching the city of Monte San Giovanni in the Kingdom of Naples, Charles VIII sent envoys to the town and the castle located there to seek a surrender of the Neapolitan garrison; the garrison mutilated the envoys and sent the bodies back to the French lines. This enraged the French army so that they reduced the castle in the town with blistering artillery fire on February 9, 1495 and stormed the fort, killing everyone inside; this event was called the sack of Naples. News of the French Army's sack of Naples provoked a reaction among the city-states of Northern Italy and the League of Venice was formed on March 31, 1495.
The League was formed to resist French aggression. The League was established on 31 March after negotiations by Venice, Milan and the Holy Roman Empire. On the League consisted of the Holy Roman Empire, the Duchy of Milan, the Papal States, the Republic of Florence, the Duchy of Mantua and the Republic of Venice; this coalition cut Charles' army off from returning to France. After establishing a pro-French government in Naples, Charles started to march north on his return to France. However, in the small town of Fornovo he met the League army; the Battle of Fornovo was fought on July 6, 1495, after an hour the League's army was forced back across the Taro river while the French continued marching to Asti, leaving their carriages and provisions behind. Francesco Guicciardini wrote that both parties strove to present themselves as the victors in that battle, but the eventual consensus was for a French victory, because the French repelled their enemies across the river and succeeded in moving forward, the
Spain the Kingdom of Spain, is a country located in Europe. Its continental European territory is situated on the Iberian Peninsula, its territory includes two archipelagoes: the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa, the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea. The African enclaves of Ceuta, Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera make Spain the only European country to have a physical border with an African country. Several small islands in the Alboran Sea are part of Spanish territory; the country's mainland is bordered to the south and east by the Mediterranean Sea except for a small land boundary with Gibraltar. With an area of 505,990 km2, Spain is the largest country in Southern Europe, the second largest country in Western Europe and the European Union, the fourth largest country in the European continent. By population, Spain is the fifth in the European Union. Spain's capital and largest city is Madrid. Modern humans first arrived in the Iberian Peninsula around 35,000 years ago. Iberian cultures along with ancient Phoenician, Greek and Carthaginian settlements developed on the peninsula until it came under Roman rule around 200 BCE, after which the region was named Hispania, based on the earlier Phoenician name Spn or Spania.
At the end of the Western Roman Empire the Germanic tribal confederations migrated from Central Europe, invaded the Iberian peninsula and established independent realms in its western provinces, including the Suebi and Vandals. The Visigoths would forcibly integrate all remaining independent territories in the peninsula, including Byzantine provinces, into the Kingdom of Toledo, which more or less unified politically and all the former Roman provinces or successor kingdoms of what was documented as Hispania. In the early eighth century the Visigothic Kingdom fell to the Moors of the Umayyad Islamic Caliphate, who arrived to rule most of the peninsula in the year 726, leaving only a handful of small Christian realms in the north and lasting up to seven centuries in the Kingdom of Granada; this led to many wars during a long reconquering period across the Iberian Peninsula, which led to the creation of the Kingdom of Leon, Kingdom of Castile, Kingdom of Aragon and Kingdom of Navarre as the main Christian kingdoms to face the invasion.
Following the Moorish conquest, Europeans began a gradual process of retaking the region known as the Reconquista, which by the late 15th century culminated in the emergence of Spain as a unified country under the Catholic Monarchs. Until Aragon had been an independent kingdom, which had expanded toward the eastern Mediterranean, incorporating Sicily and Naples, had competed with Genoa and Venice. In the early modern period, Spain became the world's first global empire and the most powerful country in the world, leaving a large cultural and linguistic legacy that includes more than 570 million Hispanophones, making Spanish the world's second-most spoken native language, after Mandarin Chinese. During the Golden Age there were many advancements in the arts, with world-famous painters such as Diego Velázquez; the most famous Spanish literary work, Don Quixote, was published during the Golden Age. Spain hosts the world's third-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Spain is a secular parliamentary democracy and a parliamentary monarchy, with King Felipe VI as head of state.
It is a major developed country and a high income country, with the world's fourteenth largest economy by nominal GDP and sixteenth largest by purchasing power parity. It is a member of the United Nations, the European Union, the Eurozone, the Council of Europe, the Organization of Ibero-American States, the Union for the Mediterranean, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the Schengen Area, the World Trade Organization and many other international organisations. While not an official member, Spain has a "Permanent Invitation" to the G20 summits, participating in every summit, which makes Spain a de facto member of the group; the origins of the Roman name Hispania, from which the modern name España was derived, are uncertain due to inadequate evidence, although it is documented that the Phoenicians and Carthaginians referred to the region as Spania, therefore the most accepted etymology is a Semitic-Phoenician one.
Down the centuries there have been a number of accounts and hypotheses: The Renaissance scholar Antonio de Nebrija proposed that the word Hispania evolved from the Iberian word Hispalis, meaning "city of the western world". Jesús Luis Cunchillos argues that the root of the term span is the Phoenician word spy, meaning "to forge metals". Therefore, i-spn-ya would mean "the land where metals are forged", it may be a derivation of the Phoenician I-Shpania, meaning "island of rabbits", "land of rabbits" or "edge", a reference to Spain's location at the end of the Mediterranean. The word in question means "Hyrax" due to Phoenicians confusing the two animals. Hispania may derive from the poetic use of the term Hesperia, reflecting the Greek perception of Italy as a "western land" or "land of the setting sun" (Hesperia
Stirling is a city in central Scotland, 26 miles north-east of Glasgow and 37 miles north-west of the Scottish capital, Edinburgh. The market town, surrounded by rich farmland, grew up connecting the royal citadel, the medieval old town with its merchants and tradesmen, the bridge and the port. Located on the River Forth, Stirling is the administrative centre for the Stirling council area, is traditionally the county town of Stirlingshire. Proverbially it is the strategically important "Gateway to the Highlands", it has been said that "Stirling, like a huge brooch clasps Highlands and Lowlands together". "he who holds Stirling, holds Scotland" is quoted. Stirling's key position as the lowest bridging point of the River Forth before it broadens towards the Firth of Forth, made it a focal point for travel north or south; when Stirling was temporarily under Anglo-Saxon sway, according to a 9th-century legend, it was attacked by Danish invaders. The sound of a wolf roused a sentry, who alerted his garrison, which forced a Viking retreat.
This led to the wolf being adopted as a symbol of the town. The area is today known as Wolfcraig. Today the wolf appears with a goshawk on the council's coat of arms along with the chosen motto: "Steadfast as the Rock". Once the capital of Scotland, Stirling is visually dominated by Stirling Castle. Stirling has a medieval parish church, the Church of the Holy Rude, where, on 29 July 1567, the infant James VI was anointed King of Scots by the Bishop of Orkney with the service concluding after a sermon by John Knox; the poet King grew up in Stirling. He was also crowned King of England and Ireland on 25 July 1603, bringing closer the countries of the United Kingdom. Modern Stirling is a centre for local government, higher education, tourism and industry; the mid-2012 census estimate for the population of the city is 36,440. One of the principal royal strongholds of the Kingdom of Scotland, Stirling was created a royal burgh by King David I in 1130. In 2002, as part of Queen Elizabeth's Golden Jubilee, Stirling was granted city status.
The origin of the name Stirling is uncertain, but folk etymology suggests that it originates in either a Scots or Gaelic term meaning the place of battle, struggle or strife. Other sources suggest that it originates in a Brythonic name meaning "dwelling place of Melyn", with the first element being connected to Middle Welsh ystre-, "a dwelling"; the name may have been a hydronym, connected to Brittonic *lïnn, "lake, pool". It is supposed that Stirling is the fortress of Iuddeu or Urbs Giudi where Oswiu of Northumbria was besieged by Penda of Mercia in 655, as recorded in Bede and contemporary annals. A stone cist, found in Coneypark Nursery in 1879, is Stirling's oldest catalogued artefact. Bones from the cist were radiocarbon dated and found to be over four millennia old, originating within the date range 2152 to 2021 BC. Nicknamed Torbrex Tam, the man, whose bones were discovered by workmen, died while still in his twenties. Other Bronze Age finds near the city come from the area around Cambusbarron.
It had been thought that the Randolphfield standing stones were more than 3000 years old but recent radiocarbon dating suggests they may date from the time of Bruce. The earliest known structures on Gillies Hill were built by Iron Age people over 2000 years ago. Two structures are known: what is called Wallstale Dun on the southern end of Touchadam Craig, Gillies Hill fort on the northwest end of the craig. South of the city, the King's Park prehistoric carvings can still be found. Whether the ancient Maeatae or Manaw Gododdin tribes settled in Stirling is not clear; the castle rock has been strategically significant since at least the Roman occupation of Britain, due to its defensible crag and tail hill: the bedrock on which Stirling Castle was built. However, if the Romans were on the current castle site they didn't leave more than a coin or two. Stirling enjoys a unique position on the border between the Lowlands and Highlands, its other notable geographic feature is its proximity to the lowest site of subjugation of the River Forth.
Control of the bridge brought military advantage in times of unrest and. Unsurprisingly excise men were installed in a covered booth in the centre of the bridge to collect tax from any entering the royal burgh with goods. Stirling remained the river's lowest reliable crossing point until the construction of the Alloa Swing Bridge between Throsk and Alloa in 1885; the city has two Latin mottoes, which appeared on the earliest burgh seal of which an impression of 1296 is on record. The first alludes to the story as recorded by Boece who relates that in 855 Scotland was invaded by two Northumbrian princes and Ella, they united their forces with the Cumbrian Britons. Having secured Stirling castle, they built the first stone bridge over the ForthOn the top they raised a crucifix with the inscription: "Anglos, a Scotis separat, crux ista remotis. Bellenden translated this loosely as "I am free marche, as passengers may ken, To Scottis, to Britonis, to Inglismen." It may be the stone cross was a tripoint for the three kingdom's marches.
"Angles and Scots here demarked, By this cross kept apart. Brits and Sco
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