In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages lasted from the 5th to the 15th century. It began with the fall of the Western Roman Empire and merged into the Renaissance and the Age of Discovery; the Middle Ages is the middle period of the three traditional divisions of Western history: classical antiquity, the medieval period, the modern period. The medieval period is itself subdivided into the Early and Late Middle Ages. Population decline, counterurbanisation, collapse of centralized authority and mass migrations of tribes, which had begun in Late Antiquity, continued in the Early Middle Ages; the large-scale movements of the Migration Period, including various Germanic peoples, formed new kingdoms in what remained of the Western Roman Empire. In the 7th century, North Africa and the Middle East—once part of the Byzantine Empire—came under the rule of the Umayyad Caliphate, an Islamic empire, after conquest by Muhammad's successors. Although there were substantial changes in society and political structures, the break with classical antiquity was not complete.
The still-sizeable Byzantine Empire, Rome's direct continuation, survived in the Eastern Mediterranean and remained a major power. The empire's law code, the Corpus Juris Civilis or "Code of Justinian", was rediscovered in Northern Italy in 1070 and became admired in the Middle Ages. In the West, most kingdoms incorporated the few extant Roman institutions. Monasteries were founded; the Franks, under the Carolingian dynasty established the Carolingian Empire during the 8th and early 9th century. It covered much of Western Europe but succumbed to the pressures of internal civil wars combined with external invasions: Vikings from the north, Magyars from the east, Saracens from the south. During the High Middle Ages, which began after 1000, the population of Europe increased as technological and agricultural innovations allowed trade to flourish and the Medieval Warm Period climate change allowed crop yields to increase. Manorialism, the organisation of peasants into villages that owed rent and labour services to the nobles, feudalism, the political structure whereby knights and lower-status nobles owed military service to their overlords in return for the right to rent from lands and manors, were two of the ways society was organised in the High Middle Ages.
The Crusades, first preached in 1095, were military attempts by Western European Christians to regain control of the Holy Land from Muslims. Kings became the heads of centralised nation-states, reducing crime and violence but making the ideal of a unified Christendom more distant. Intellectual life was marked by scholasticism, a philosophy that emphasised joining faith to reason, by the founding of universities; the theology of Thomas Aquinas, the paintings of Giotto, the poetry of Dante and Chaucer, the travels of Marco Polo, the Gothic architecture of cathedrals such as Chartres are among the outstanding achievements toward the end of this period and into the Late Middle Ages. The Late Middle Ages was marked by difficulties and calamities including famine and war, which diminished the population of Europe. Controversy and the Western Schism within the Catholic Church paralleled the interstate conflict, civil strife, peasant revolts that occurred in the kingdoms. Cultural and technological developments transformed European society, concluding the Late Middle Ages and beginning the early modern period.
The Middle Ages is one of the three major periods in the most enduring scheme for analysing European history: classical civilisation, or Antiquity. The "Middle Ages" first appears in Latin in 1469 as media tempestas or "middle season". In early usage, there were many variants, including medium aevum, or "middle age", first recorded in 1604, media saecula, or "middle ages", first recorded in 1625; the alternative term "medieval" derives from medium aevum. Medieval writers divided history into periods such as the "Six Ages" or the "Four Empires", considered their time to be the last before the end of the world; when referring to their own times, they spoke of them as being "modern". In the 1330s, the humanist and poet Petrarch referred to pre-Christian times as antiqua and to the Christian period as nova. Leonardo Bruni was the first historian to use tripartite periodisation in his History of the Florentine People, with a middle period "between the fall of the Roman Empire and the revival of city life sometime in late eleventh and twelfth centuries".
Tripartite periodisation became standard after the 17th-century German historian Christoph Cellarius divided history into three periods: ancient and modern. The most given starting point for the Middle Ages is around 500, with the date of 476 first used by Bruni. Starting dates are sometimes used in the outer parts of Europe. For Europe as a whole, 1500 is considered to be the end of the Middle Ages, but there is no universally agreed upon end date. Depending on the context, events such as the conquest of Constantinople by the Turks in 1453, Christopher Columbus's first voyage to the Americas in 1492, or the Protestant Reformation in 1517 are sometimes used. English historians use the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485 to mark the end of the period. For Spain, dates used are the death of King Ferdinand II in 1516, the death of Queen Isabella I of Castile in 1504, or the conquest of Granada in 1492. Historians from Romance-speaking countries tend to divide the Middle Ages into two parts: an earlier "High" and late
A forge is a type of hearth used for heating metals, or the workplace where such a hearth is located. The forge is used by the smith to heat a piece of metal to a temperature where it becomes easier to shape by forging, or to the point where work hardening no longer occurs; the metal is transported to and from the forge using tongs, which are used to hold the workpiece on the smithy's anvil while the smith works it with a hammer. Sometimes, such as when hardening steel or cooling the work so that it may be handled with bare hands, the workpiece is transported to the slack tub, which cools the workpiece in a large body of water. However, depending on the metal type, it may require a salt brine instead; the slack tub provides water to control the fire in the forge. A forge uses bituminous coal, industrial coke or charcoal as the fuel to heat metal; the designs of these forges have varied over time, but whether the fuel is coal, coke or charcoal the basic design has remained the same. A forge of this type is a hearth or fireplace designed to allow a fire to be controlled such that metal introduced to the fire may be brought to a malleable state or to bring about other metallurgical effects.
The forge fire in this type of forge is controlled in three ways: amount of air, volume of fuel, shape of the fuel/fire. Over thousands of years of forging, these devices have evolved in one form or another as the essential features of this type of forge: Tuyere—a pipe through which air can be forced into the fire Bellows or blower—a means for forcing air into the tuyere Hearth—a place where the burning fuel can be contained over or against the tuyere opening. Traditionally hearths have been constructed of mud brick, fired brick, stone, or constructed of iron. During operation, fuel is ignited. A source of moving air, such as a fan or bellows, introduces additional air into the fire through the tuyere. With additional air, the fire consumes more fuel and burns hotter (and cleaner - smoke can be thought of as escaped potential fuel. A blacksmith balances the air in the fire to suit particular kinds of work; this involves adjusting and maintaining the shape of the fire. In a typical coal forge, a firepot will be centered in a flat hearth.
The tuyere will enter the firepot at the bottom. In operation, the hot core of the fire will be a ball of burning coke above the firepot; the heart of the fire will be surrounded by a layer of hot but not burning coke. Around the unburnt coke will be a transitional layer of coal being transformed into coke by the heat of the fire. Surrounding all is a ring or horseshoe-shaped layer of raw coal kept damp and packed to maintain the shape of the fire's heart and to keep the coal from burning directly so that it "cooks" into coke first. If a larger fire is necessary, the smith increases the air flowing into the fire as well as feeding and deepening the coke heart; the smith can adjust the length and width of the fire in such a forge to accommodate different shapes of work. The major variation from the forge and fire just described is a'back draft' where there is no fire pot, the tuyere enters the hearth horizontally from the back wall. Coke and charcoal may be burned in the same forges that use coal, but since there is no need to convert the raw fuel at the heart of the fire, the fire is handled differently.
Individual smiths and specialized applications have fostered development of a variety of forges of this type, from the coal forge described above, to simpler constructions amounting to a hole in the ground with a pipe leading into it. A gas forge uses propane or natural gas as the fuel. One common, efficient design uses a cylindrical forge chamber and a burner tube mounted at a right angle to the body; the chamber is lined with refractory materials such as a hard castable refractory ceramic or a soft ceramic thermal blanket. The burner mixes fuel and air which are ignited at the tip, which protrudes a short way into the chamber lining; the air pressure, therefore heat, can be increased with a mechanical blower or by taking advantage of the Venturi effect. Gas forges vary in size and construction, from large forges using a big burner with a blower or several atmospheric burners to forges built out of a coffee can utilizing a cheap, simple propane torch. A small forge can be carved out of a single soft firebrick.
The primary advantage of a gas forge is ease of use for a novice. A gas forge is simple to operate compared to coal forges, the fire produced is clean and consistent, they are less versatile, as the fire cannot be reshaped to accommodate large or unusually shaped pieces. It is difficult to heat a small section of a piece. A common misconception is that gas forges cannot produce enough heat to enable forge-welding, but a well designed gas forge is hot enough for any task. A finery forge is a water-powered mill; the anvil serves. Anvils may seem clunky and heavy, but they are a refined tool shaped to suit a blacksmith's needs. Anvils are made of cast or wrought iron with a tool steel face welded on or of a single piece of cast or forged tool steel; some anvils are made of only cast iron, have no tool steel face. These are not real anvils, will not serve a blacksmith as such because they are too soft. A common term for a cast iron anvil is "ASO" or "Anvil Shaped Object"; the purpose of a tool steel face on an anvil is to provide what some call "Rebound" as we
Communes of France
The commune is a level of administrative division in the French Republic. French communes are analogous to civil townships and incorporated municipalities in the United States and Canada, Gemeinden in Germany, comuni in Italy or ayuntamiento in Spain; the United Kingdom has no exact equivalent, as communes resemble districts in urban areas, but are closer to parishes in rural areas where districts are much larger. Communes are based on historical geographic communities or villages and are vested with significant powers to manage the populations and land of the geographic area covered; the communes are the fourth-level administrative divisions of France. Communes vary in size and area, from large sprawling cities with millions of inhabitants like Paris, to small hamlets with only a handful of inhabitants. Communes are based on pre-existing villages and facilitate local governance. All communes have names, but not all named geographic areas or groups of people residing together are communes, the difference residing in the lack of administrative powers.
Except for the municipal arrondissements of its largest cities, the communes are the lowest level of administrative division in France and are governed by elected officials with extensive autonomous powers to implement national policy. A commune is city, or other municipality. "Commune" in English has a historical bias, implies an association with socialist political movements or philosophies, collectivist lifestyles, or particular history. There is nothing intrinsically different between commune in French; the French word commune appeared in the 12th century, from Medieval Latin communia, for a large gathering of people sharing a common life. As of January 2015, there were 36,681 communes in France, 36,552 of them in metropolitan France and 129 of them overseas; this is a higher total than that of any other European country, because French communes still reflect the division of France into villages or parishes at the time of the French Revolution. The whole territory of the French Republic is divided into communes.
This is unlike some other countries, such as the United States, where unincorporated areas directly governed by a county or a higher authority can be found. There are only a few exceptions: COM of Saint-Martin, it was a commune inside the Guadeloupe région. The commune structure was abolished when Saint-Martin became an overseas collectivity on 22 February 2007. COM of Wallis and Futuna, which still is divided according to the three traditional chiefdoms. COM of Saint Barthélemy, it was a commune inside the Guadeloupe region. The commune structure was abolished when Saint-Barthélemy became an overseas collectivity on 22 February 2007. Furthermore, two regions without permanent habitation have no communes: TOM of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands Clipperton Island in the Pacific Ocean In metropolitan France, the average area of a commune in 2004 was 14.88 square kilometres. The median area of metropolitan France's communes at the 1999 census was smaller, at 10.73 square kilometres. The median area is a better measure of the area of a typical French commune.
This median area is smaller than that of most European countries. In Italy, the median area of communes is 22 km2. Switzerland and the Länder of Rhineland-Palatinate, Schleswig-Holstein, Thuringia in Germany were the only places in Europe where the communes had a smaller median area than in France; the communes of France's overseas départements such as Réunion and French Guiana are large by French standards. They group into the same commune several villages or towns with sizeable distances among them. In Réunion, demographic expansion and sprawling urbanization have resulted in the administrative splitting of some communes; the median population of metropolitan France's communes at the 1999 census was 380 inhabitants. Again this is a small number, here France stands apart in Europe, with the lowest communes' median population of all the European countries; this small median population of French communes can be compared with Italy, where the median population of communes in 2001 was 2,343 inhabitants, Belgium, or Spain.
The median population given here should not hide the fact that there are pronounced differences in size between French communes. As mentioned in the introduction, a commune can be a city of 2 million inhabitants such as Paris, a town of 10,000 inhabitants, or just a hamlet of 10 inhabitants. What the median population tells us is that the vast majority of the French communes only have a few hundred inhabitants. In metropolitan France just over 50 percent of the 36,683 communes have fewer than 500 inhabitants a
The Vosges are a range of low mountains in eastern France, near its border with Germany. Together with the Palatine Forest to the north on the German side of the border, they form a single geomorphological unit and low mountain range of around 8,000 km2 in area, it runs in a north-northeast direction from the Burgundian Gate to the Börrstadt Basin, forms the western boundary of the Upper Rhine Plain. The Grand Ballon is the highest peak at 1,424 m, followed by the Storkenkopf, the Hohneck. Geographically, the Vosges Mountains are wholly in France, far above the Col de Saverne separating them from the Palatinate Forest in Germany; the latter area logically continues the same Vosges geologic structure but traditionally receives this different name for historical and political reasons. From 1871 to 1918 the Vosges marked for the most part the border between Germany and France, due to the Franco-Prussian War; the elongated massif is divided south to north into three sections: The Higher Vosges or High Vosges, extending in the southern part of the range from Belfort to the river valley of the Bruche.
The rounded summits of the Hautes Vosges are called ballons in French "balloons". The sandstone Vosges or Middle Vosges, between the Permian Basin of Saint-Die including the Devonian-Dinantian volcanic massif of Schirmeck-Moyenmoutier and the Col de Saverne The Lower Vosges or Low Vosges, a sandstone plateau ranging from 1,000 feet to 1,850 feet high, between the Col de Saverne and the source of the Lauter. In addition, the term "Central Vosges" is used to designate the various lines of summits those above 1,000 m in elevation; the French department of Vosges is named after the range. From a geological point of view, a graben at the beginning of the Paleogene period caused the formation of Alsace and the uplift of the plates of the Vosges, in eastern France, those in the Black Forest, in Germany. From a scientific view, the Vosges Mountains are not mountains as such, but rather the western edge of the unfinished Alsatian graben, stretching continuously as part of the larger Tertiary formations.
Erosive glacial action was the primary catalyst for development of the representative highland massif feature. The Vosges in their southern and central parts are called the Hautes Vosges; these consist of a large Carboniferous mountain eroded just before the Permian Period with gneiss, porphyritic masses or other volcanic intrusions. In the north and west, there are places less eroded by glaciers, here Vosges Triassic and Permian red sandstone remains are found in large beds; the grès vosgien are embedded sometimes up to more than 500 m in thickness. The Lower Vosges in the north are dislocated plates of various sandstones, ranging from 300 to 600 m high; the Vosges is similar to the corresponding range of the Black Forest on the other side of the Rhine: both lie within the same degrees of latitude, have similar geological formations, are characterized by forests on their lower slopes, above which are open pastures and rounded summits of a rather uniform altitude. Both areas exhibit steeper slopes towards the Rhine River and a more gradual descent on the other side.
This occurs because both the Vosges and the Black Forest were formed by isostatic uplift, in a response to the opening of the Rhine Graben. The Rhine Graben is a major extensional basin; when such basins form, the thinning of the crust causes uplift adjacent to the basin. The amount of uplift decreases with distance from the basin, causing the highest range of peaks to be adjacent to the basin, the lower mountains to stretch away from the basin; the highest points are in the Hautes Vosges: the Grand Ballon, in ancient times called Ballon de Guebwiller or Ballon de Murbach, rises to 1,424 m. The Col de Saales, between the Higher and Central Vosges, reaches nearly 579 m, both lower and narrower than the Higher Vosges, with Mont Donon at 1,008 m being the highest point of this Nordic section; the highest mountains and peaks of the Vosges are: Grand Ballon 1,424 m Storkenkopf 1,366 m Hohneck 1,363 m Kastelberg 1,350 m Klintzkopf 1,330 m Rothenbachkopf 1,316 m Lauchenkopf 1,314 m Batteriekopf 1,311 m Haut de Falimont 1,306 m Gazon du Faing 1,306 m Rainkopf 1,305 m Gazon du Faîte 1,303 m Ringbuhl 1,302 m Soultzereneck 1,302 m Le Tanet 1,292 m Petit Ballon 1,272 m Ballon d'Alsace 1,247 m Brézouard 1,229 m Ballon de Servance 1,216 m Drumont 1,200 m Planche des Belles Filles 1,148 m Molkenrain 1,123 m Champ du Feu 1,099 m Baerenkopf 1,074 m Rocher de Mutzig 1,010 m Donon 1,009 m Taennchel 992 m Climont 965 m Hartmannswillerkopf 956 m Chatte Pendue 902 m Ungersberg 901 m Tête du Coq
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
Vosges and Jura coal mining basins
The Vosges and Jura coal mining basins are an area of France located between two mountain ranges, shaped by four centuries of coal extraction from the 16th Century to the 20th Century. It includes four coal basins in three geographic locations. Villé valley coal basinLalaye concession, Erlenbach concession, Saint-Hippolyte concession, Sainte-Croix-aux-Mines concession, exploited. Stephanian-Under-Vosgian coal basinRonchamp and Eboulet concessions, exploited by Ronchamp coal mines, Mourière concession, Lomont concession, Saint-Germain concession, unexploited. Keuperian coal basinSaulnot concession, exploited, Gémonval concession, Gouhenans concession, exploited, Le Vernoy concession, Athesans concession, exploited, Vy-lès-Lure concession, exploited, Mélecey concession, exploited. Grozon concession, Jura coal basinEuropean Gas Limited concession, unexploited. Coal mine Arthur de Buyer, Coal mine Sainte Marie, two sonde towers and a geoelogic view of Gémonval
César-François Cassini de Thury
César-François Cassini de Thury called Cassini III or Cassini de Thury, was a French astronomer and cartographer. Cassini de Thury was born in Thury-sous-Clermont, in the Oise department, the second son of Jacques Cassini and Suzanne Françoise Charpentier de Charmois, he was a grandson of Giovanni Domenico Cassini, would become the father of Jean-Dominique Cassini, Comte de Cassini. In 1739, he became a member of the French Academy of Sciences as a supernumerary adjunct astronomer, in 1741 as an adjunct astronomer, in 1745 as a full member astronomer. In January, 1751 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society, he succeeded to his father's official position in 1756 and continued the hereditary surveying operations. In 1744, he began the construction of a great topographical map of France, one of the landmarks in the history of cartography. Completed by his son Jean-Dominique, Cassini IV and published by the Académie des Sciences from 1744 to 1793, its 180 plates are known as the Cassini map.
The post of director of the Paris observatory was created for his benefit in 1771 when the establishment ceased to be a dependency of the French Academy of Sciences. His chief works are: La méridienne de l’Observatoire Royal de Paris, a correction of the Paris meridian. César-François Cassini de Thury died of smallpox in Paris on 4 September 1784, La méridienne de l’Observatoire Royal de Paris Description géométrique de la terre Description géométrique de la France César-François Cassini de Thury. Relation d'un voyage en Allemagne. Paris: Imprimerie Royale. Cassini projection This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed.. "Cassini". Encyclopædia Britannica. Cambridge University Press. List of online works available on Gallica Cassini map online on EHESS site cartocassini site, gathers old maps and allows for various manipulations, notably finding all Cassini maps in Gallica Cassini map in Géoportail Cassini map superimposed over Google Maps' map of France - David Rumsey Paris Observatory digital library