Marie Henri d'Arbois de Jubainville
Marie Henri d'Arbois de Jubainville was a French historian and philologist. He was born at Nancy. In 1851 he left the École des Chartes with the degree of palaeographic archivist, he was placed in control of the departmental archives of Aube, remained in that position until 1880, when he retired on a pension. He published several volumes of inventorial abstracts, a Répertoire archéologique du département in 1861, he had become attracted to the study of the ancient inhabitants of Gaul. Next he concentrated his efforts on the field of Celtic languages and law, in which he soon became an authority. Appointed in 1882 to the newly founded professorial chair of Celtic at the Collège de France, he began the Cours de littérature celtique in 1908 extended to twelve volumes. For this he himself edited, he was among the first in France to study the most ancient monuments of Irish literature with a solid philological preparation and without prejudice. List of archivists This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed..
"Arbois de Jubainville, Marie Henri d'". Encyclopædia Britannica. 2. Cambridge University Press. P. 337. Works by Marie Henri d'Arbois de Jubainville at Project Gutenberg Works at Open Library
The Ligures were an Indo-European people who appear to have originated in, gave their name to, Liguria, a region of north-western Italy. Elements of the Ligures appear to have migrated to other areas of western Europe, including the Iberian peninsula. Little is known of the Old Ligurian language, the lack of inscriptions does not allow a certain linguistic classification: Pre-Indo-European or an Indo-European language; the problem is related to the lack of inscriptions, to the mysterious origin of the ancient Ligurian people. The linguistic hypotheses are based on toponyms and names of persons; because of the strong Celtic influences on their language and culture, they were known in antiquity as Celto-Ligurians. and it is believed, after a certain point, that Old Ligurian became an Indo-European language with strong Celtic affinities, as well as similarities to Italic languages. Only some proper names have survived, such as the inflectional suffix -asca or -asco "village". According to Plutarch, the Ligurians called themselves Ambrones, which could indicate a relationship with the Ambrones of northern Europe.
Strabo tells that they were of a different race from the Celts, who inhabited the rest of the Alps, though they resembled them in their mode of life. Aeschylus, in a fragment of Prometheus Unbound, represents Hercules as contending with the Ligures on the stony plains, near the mouths of the Rhone, Herodotus speaks of Ligures inhabiting the country above Massilia. Thucydides speaks of the Ligures having expelled the Sicanians, an Iberian tribe, from the banks of the river Sicanus, in Iberia; the Periplus of Pseudo-Scylax describes the Ligyes as living along the Mediterranean coast from Antion as far as the mouth of the Rhone and intermingled with the Iberians from the Rhone to Emporion in Spain. The Ligures seem to have been ready to engage as mercenary troops in the service of others. Ligurian auxiliaries are mentioned in the army of the Carthaginian general Hamilcar I in 480 BC. Greek leaders in Sicily continued to recruit Ligurian mercenary forces from the same quarter as late as the time of Agathocles.
The Ligures fought long and hard against the Romans, but as a result of these hostilities many were displaced from their homeland and assimilated into Roman culture during the 2nd century BC. Roman sources describe the Ligurians as smaller framed than the Gauls, but physically stronger, more ferocious and fiercer as warriors, hence their reputation as mercenary troops. Lucan in his Pharsalia described Ligurian tribes as being long-haired, their hair a shade of auburn:... Ligurian tribes, now shorn, in ancient days First of the long-haired nations, on whose necks Once flowed the auburn locks in pride supreme. People with Ligurian names were living south of Placentia, in Italy, as late as 102 AD. Traditional accounts suggested that the Ligures represented the northern branch of an ethno-linguistic layer older than, different from, the proto-Italic peoples, it was believed that a "Ligurian-Sicanian" culture occupied a wide area of southern Europe, stretching from Liguria to Sicily and Iberia. However, while any such area would be broadly similar to that of the paleo-European "Tyrrhenian culture" hypothesized by modern scholars, there are no known links between the Tyrrenians and Ligurians.
In the 19th century, the origins of the Ligures drew renewed attention from scholars. Amédée Thierry, a French historian, linked them to the Iberians, while Karl Müllenhoff, professor of Germanic antiquities at the Universities of Kiel and Berlin, studying the sources of the Ora maritima by Avienus, held that the name'Ligurians' generically referred to various peoples who lived in Western Europe, including the Celts, but thought the "real Ligurians" were a Pre-Indo-European population. Italian geologist and paleontologist Arturo Issel considered Ligurians to be direct descendants of the Cro-Magnon people that lived throughout Gaul from the Mesolithic period. Dominique-François-Louis Roget, Baron de Belloguet, claimed a "Gallic" origin of the Ligurians. During the Iron Age the spoken language, the main divinities and the workmanship of the artifacts unearthed in the area of Liguria were similar to those of Celtic culture in both style and type; those in favor of an Indo-European origin included Henri d'Arbois de Jubainville, a 19th-century French historian, who argued in Les Premiers habitants de l'Europe that the Ligurians were the earliest Indo-European speakers of Western Europe.
Jubainville's "Celto-Ligurian hypothesis", as it became known, was expanded in the second edition of his initial study. It inspired a body of contemporary philological research, as well as some archaeological work; the Celto-Ligurian hypothesis became associated with the Funnelbeaker culture and "expanded to cover much of Central Europe". Julius Pokorny adapted the Celto-Ligurian hypothesis into one linking the Ligures to the Illyrians, citing an array of similar evidence from Eastern Europe. Under this theory the "Ligures-Illyrians" became associated with the prehistoric Urnfield peoples. There are others such as Dominique Garcia, who question whether the Ligures can be considered a distinct ethnic group or culture from the surrounding cultures. List of ancient Ligurian tribes Ancient peoples of Italy Torrean civilization ARSLAN E. A. 2004b, LVI.14 Garlasco, in I Liguri. Un antico popolo europeo tra Alpi e Mediterraneo, Catalo
Geneva is the second-most populous city in Switzerland and the most populous city of Romandy, the French-speaking part of Switzerland. Situated where the Rhône exits Lake Geneva, it is the capital of the Canton of Geneva; the municipality has a population of 200,548, the canton has 495,249 residents. In 2014, the compact agglomération du Grand Genève had 946,000 inhabitants in 212 communities in both Switzerland and France. Within Swiss territory, the commuter area named "Métropole lémanique" contains a population of 1.26 million. This area is spread east from Geneva towards the Riviera area and north-east towards Yverdon-les-Bains, in the neighbouring canton of Vaud. Geneva is a global city, a financial centre, a worldwide centre for diplomacy due to the presence of numerous international organizations, including the headquarters of many agencies of the United Nations and the Red Cross. Geneva hosts the highest number of international organizations in the world, it is where the Geneva Conventions were signed, which chiefly concern the treatment of wartime non-combatants and prisoners of war.
In 2017, Geneva was ranked as the world's fifteenth most important financial centre for competitiveness by the Global Financial Centres Index, fifth in Europe behind London, Zürich and Luxembourg. In 2019 Geneva was ranked among the ten most liveable cities in the world by Mercer together with Zürich and Basel; the city has been referred to as the world's most compact metropolis and the "Peace Capital". In 2017, Geneva was ranked as the seventh most expensive city in the world. Geneva was ranked third in purchasing power in a global cities ranking by UBS in 2018; the city was mentioned in Latin texts, by Caesar, with the spelling Genava from the Celtic *genawa- from the stem *genu-, in the sense of a bending river or estuary. The medieval county of Geneva in Middle Latin was known as pagus major Genevensis or Comitatus Genevensis. After 1400 it became the Genevois province of Savoy; the name takes various forms in modern languages, Geneva in English, French: Genève, German: Genf, Italian: Ginevra, Romansh: Genevra.
The city shares the origin of * genawa "estuary", with the Italian port city of Genoa. Geneva was an Allobrogian border town, fortified against the Helvetii tribe, when the Romans took it in 121 BC, it became Christian under the Late Roman Empire, acquired its first bishop in the 5th century, having been connected to the Bishopric of Vienne in the 4th. In the Middle Ages, Geneva was ruled by a count under the Holy Roman Empire until the late 14th century, when it was granted a charter giving it a high degree of self-governance. Around this time, the House of Savoy came to at least nominally dominate the city. In the 15th century, an oligarchic republican government emerged with the creation of the Grand Council. In the first half of the 16th century, the Protestant Reformation reached the city, causing religious strife, during which Savoy rule was thrown off and Geneva allied itself with the Swiss Confederacy. In 1541, with Protestantism on the rise, John Calvin, the Protestant Reformer and proponent of Calvinism, became the spiritual leader of the city and established the Republic of Geneva.
By the 18th century, Geneva had come under the influence of Catholic France, which cultivated the city as its own. France tended to be at odds with the ordinary townsfolk, which inspired the failed Geneva Revolution of 1782, an attempt to win representation in the government for men of modest means. In 1798, revolutionary France under the Directory annexed Geneva. At the end of the Napoleonic Wars, on 1 June 1814, Geneva was admitted to the Swiss Confederation. In 1907, the separation of Church and State was adopted. Geneva flourished in the 19th and 20th centuries, becoming the seat of many international organizations. Geneva is located at 46°12' North, 6°09' East, at the south-western end of Lake Geneva, where the Rhône flows out, it is surrounded by three mountain chains, each belonging to the Jura: the Jura main range lies north-westward, the Vuache southward, the Salève south-eastward. The city covers an area of 15.93 km2, while the area of the canton is 282 km2, including the two small exclaves of Céligny in Vaud.
The part of the lake, attached to Geneva has an area of 38 km2 and is sometimes referred to as petit lac. The canton has only a 4.5-kilometre-long border with the rest of Switzerland. Of 107.5 km of border, 103 are shared with France, the Département de l'Ain to the north and west and the Département de la Haute-Savoie to the south and east. Of the land in the city, 0.24 km2, or 1.5%, is used for agricultural purposes, while 0.5 km2, or 3.1%, is forested. The rest of the land, 14.63 km2, or 91.8%, is built up, 0.49 km2, or 3.1%, is either rivers or lakes and 0.02 km2, or 0.1%, is wasteland. Of the built up area, industrial buildings made up 3.4%, housing and buildings made up 46.2% and transportation infrastructure 25.8%, while parks, green belts and sports fields made up 15.7%. Of the agricultural land, 0.3% is used for growing crops. Of the water in the municipality, 0.2 % is composed of lakes and 2.9 % streams. The altitude of Geneva is 373.6 metres, corresponds to the altitude of
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
Strabo was a Greek geographer and historian who lived in Asia Minor during the transitional period of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire. Strabo was born to an affluent family from Amaseia in Pontus in around 64 BC, his family had been involved in politics since at least the reign of Mithridates V. Strabo was related to Dorylaeus on his mother's side. Several other family members, including his paternal grandfather had served Mithridates VI during the Mithridatic Wars; as the war drew to a close, Strabo's grandfather had turned several Pontic fortresses over to the Romans. Strabo wrote that "great promises were made in exchange for these services", as Persian culture endured in Amasia after Mithridates and Tigranes were defeated, scholars have speculated about how the family's support for Rome might have affected their position in the local community, whether they might have been granted Roman citizenship as a reward. Strabo's life was characterized by extensive travels, he journeyed to Egypt and Kush, as far west as coastal Tuscany and as far south as Ethiopia in addition to his travels in Asia Minor and the time he spent in Rome.
Travel throughout the Mediterranean and Near East for scholarly purposes, was popular during this era and was facilitated by the relative peace enjoyed throughout the reign of Augustus. He moved to Rome in 44 BC, stayed there and writing, until at least 31 BC. In 29 BC, on his way to Corinth, he visited the island of Gyaros in the Aegean Sea. Around 25 BC, he sailed up the Nile until reaching Philae, after which point there is little record of his proceedings until AD 17, it is not known when Strabo's Geography was written, though comments within the work itself place the finished version within the reign of Emperor Tiberius. Some place its first drafts around 7 BC, others around AD 17 or 18; the latest passage to which a date can be assigned is his reference to the death in AD 23 of Juba II, king of Maurousia, said to have died "just recently". He worked on the Geography for many years and revised it not always consistently, it is an encyclopaedical chronicle and consists of political, social, geographic description of whole Europe: British Isles, Iberian Peninsula, Germania, The Alps, Greece.
The Geography is the only extant work providing information about both Greek and Roman peoples and countries during the reign of Augustus. On the presumption that "recently" means within a year, Strabo stopped writing that year or the next, when he died, he was influenced by Homer and Aristotle. The first of Strabo's major works, Historical Sketches, written while he was in Rome, is nearly lost. Meant to cover the history of the known world from the conquest of Greece by the Romans, Strabo quotes it himself and other classical authors mention that it existed, although the only surviving document is a fragment of papyrus now in possession of the University of Milan. Strabo studied under several prominent teachers of various specialties throughout his early life at different stops along his Mediterranean travels, his first chapter of education took place in Nysa under the master of rhetoric Aristodemus, who had taught the sons of the same Roman general who had taken over Pontus. Aristodemus was the head of two schools of rhetoric and grammar, one in Nysa and one in Rhodes, the former of the two cities possessing a distinct intellectual curiosity of Homeric literature and the interpretation of epics.
Strabo was an admirer of Homer's poetry a consequence of his time spent in Nysa with Aristodemus. At around the age of 21, Strabo moved to Rome, where he studied philosophy with the Peripatetic Xenarchus, a respected tutor in Augustus's court. Despite Xenarchus's Aristotelian leanings, Strabo gives evidence to have formed his own Stoic inclinations. In Rome, he learned grammar under the rich and famous scholar Tyrannion of Amisus. Although Tyrannion was a Peripatetic, he was more relevantly a respected authority on geography, a fact significant, considering Strabo's future contributions to the field; the final noteworthy mentor to Strabo was Athenodorus Cananites, a philosopher who had spent his life since 44 BC in Rome forging relationships with the Roman elite. Athenodorus endowed to Strabo three important items: his philosophy, his knowledge, his contacts. Unlike the Aristotelian Xenarchus and Tyrannion who preceded him in teaching Strabo, Athenodorus was Stoic in mindset certainly the source of Strabo's diversion from the philosophy of his former mentors.
Moreover, from his own first-hand experience, Athenodorus provided Strabo with information about regions of the empire which he would not otherwise have known. Strabo is most notable for his work Geographica, which presented a descriptive history of people and places from different regions of the world known to his era. Although the Geographica was utilized in its contemporary antiquity, a multitude of copies survived throughout the Byzantine Empire, it first appeared in Western Europe in Rome as a Latin translation issued around 1469. The first Greek edition was published in 1516 in Venice. Isaac Casaubon, classical scholar and editor of Greek texts, provided the first critical edition in 1587. Although Strabo cited the antique Greek astronomers Eratosthenes and Hipparchus, acknowledging their astronomical and mathematical efforts towards geography, he claimed that
Genoa is the capital of the Italian region of Liguria and the sixth-largest city in Italy. In 2015, 594,733 people lived within the city's administrative limits; as of the 2011 Italian census, the Province of Genoa, which in 2015 became the Metropolitan City of Genoa, counted 855,834 resident persons. Over 1.5 million people live in the wider metropolitan area stretching along the Italian Riviera. Located on the Gulf of Genoa in the Ligurian Sea, Genoa has been one of the most important ports on the Mediterranean: it is the busiest in Italy and in the Mediterranean Sea and twelfth-busiest in the European Union. Genoa has been nicknamed la Superba due to its glorious impressive landmarks. Part of the old town of Genoa was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2006 as Genoa: Le Strade Nuove and the system of the Palazzi dei Rolli; the city's rich cultural history in art and cuisine allowed it to become the 2004 European Capital of Culture. It is the birthplace of Christopher Columbus, Andrea Doria, Niccolò Paganini, Giuseppe Mazzini, Renzo Piano and Grimaldo Canella, founder of the House of Grimaldi, among others.
Genoa, which forms the southern corner of the Milan-Turin-Genoa industrial triangle of Northwest Italy, is one of the country's major economic centers. The city has hosted massive shipyards and steelworks since the 19th century, its solid financial sector dates back to the Middle Ages; the Bank of Saint George, founded in 1407, is among the oldest in the world and has played an important role in the city's prosperity since the middle of the 15th century. Today a number of leading Italian companies are based in the city, including Fincantieri, Selex ES, Ansaldo Energia, Ansaldo STS, Edoardo Raffinerie Garrone, Piaggio Aerospace, Mediterranean Shipping Company and Costa Cruises; the flag of Genoa is a red cross on a white field. The English Monarch paid an annual tribute to the Doge of Genoa for this privilege." The patron saint of Genoa was Saint Lawrence until at least 958, but the Genoese transferred their allegiance to Saint George at some point during the 11th or 12th century, most with the rising popularity of the military saint during the Crusades.
Genoa had a banner displaying a cross since at latest 1218 as early as 1113. But the cross banner was not associated with the saint. A depiction of this flag is shown in the Genoese annals under the year 1227; the Genoese flag with the red cross was used alongside this "Saint George's flag", from at least 1218, known as the insignia cruxata comunis Janue. The saint's flag was the city's main war flag, but the cross flag was used alongside it in the 1240s; the Saint George's flag remained the main flag of Genoa at least until the 1280s. The flag now known as the "St. George's Cross" seems to have replaced it as Genoa's main flag at some point during the 14th century; the Book of Knowledge of All Kingdoms shows it, inscribed with the word iustiçia, described as: And the lord of this place has as his ensign a white pennant with a red cross. At the top it is inscribed in this manner; the city of Genoa covers an area of 243 square kilometres between the Ligurian Sea and the Apennine Mountains. The city stretches along the coast for about 30 kilometres from the neighbourhood of Voltri to Nervi, for 10 kilometres from the coast to the north along the valleys Polcevera and Bisagno.
The territory of Genoa is popularly divided into 5 main zones: the centre, the west, the east, the Polcevera and the Bisagno Valley. Genoa is adjacent to two popular Ligurian vacation spots: Portofino. In the metropolitan area of Genoa lies Aveto Natural Regional Park. Genoa has a humid subtropical climate in the Köppen climate classification, since only one summer month has less than 40 millimetres of rainfall, preventing it from being classified as oceanic or Mediterranean; the average yearly temperature is around 19 °C during 13 °C at night. In the coldest months: December and February, the average temperature is 12 °C during the day and 6 °C at night. In the warmest months – July and August – the average temperature is 27.5 °C during the day and 21 °C at night. The daily temperature range is limited, with an average range of about 6 °C between high and low temperatures. Genoa sees significant moderation from the sea, in stark contrast to areas behind the Ligurian mountains such as Parma, where summers are hotter and winters are quite cold.
Annually, the average 2.9 of nights recorded temperatures of ≤0 °C. The coldest temperature recorded was −8 °C on the night of February 2012. Average annual number of days with temperatures of ≥30 °C is about 8, average four days in July and August. Average annual temperature of the sea is 17.5 °C, from 13 °C in the period January–March to 25 °C in August. In the period from June to October, the average sea temperature exceeds
Italy the Italian Republic, is a country in Southern Europe. Located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, Italy shares open land borders with France, Austria and the enclaved microstates San Marino and Vatican City. Italy covers an area of 301,340 km2 and has a temperate seasonal and Mediterranean climate. With around 61 million inhabitants, it is the fourth-most populous EU member state and the most populous country in Southern Europe. Due to its central geographic location in Southern Europe and the Mediterranean, Italy has been home to a myriad of peoples and cultures. In addition to the various ancient peoples dispersed throughout modern-day Italy, the most famous of which being the Indo-European Italics who gave the peninsula its name, beginning from the classical era and Carthaginians founded colonies in insular Italy and Genoa, Greeks established settlements in the so-called Magna Graecia, while Etruscans and Celts inhabited central and northern Italy respectively; the Italic tribe known as the Latins formed the Roman Kingdom in the 8th century BC, which became a republic with a government of the Senate and the People.
The Roman Republic conquered and assimilated its neighbours on the peninsula, in some cases through the establishment of federations, the Republic expanded and conquered parts of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. By the first century BC, the Roman Empire emerged as the dominant power in the Mediterranean Basin and became the leading cultural and religious centre of Western civilisation, inaugurating the Pax Romana, a period of more than 200 years during which Italy's technology, economy and literature flourished. Italy remained the metropole of the Roman Empire; the legacy of the Roman Empire endured its fall and can be observed in the global distribution of culture, governments and the Latin script. During the Early Middle Ages, Italy endured sociopolitical collapse and barbarian invasions, but by the 11th century, numerous rival city-states and maritime republics in the northern and central regions of Italy, rose to great prosperity through shipping and banking, laying the groundwork for modern capitalism.
These independent statelets served as Europe's main trading hubs with Asia and the Near East enjoying a greater degree of democracy than the larger feudal monarchies that were consolidating throughout Europe. The Renaissance began in Italy and spread to the rest of Europe, bringing a renewed interest in humanism, science and art. Italian culture flourished, producing famous scholars and polymaths such as Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael and Machiavelli. During the Middle Ages, Italian explorers such as Marco Polo, Christopher Columbus, Amerigo Vespucci, John Cabot and Giovanni da Verrazzano discovered new routes to the Far East and the New World, helping to usher in the European Age of Discovery. Italy's commercial and political power waned with the opening of trade routes that bypassed the Mediterranean. Centuries of infighting between the Italian city-states, such as the Italian Wars of the 15th and 16th centuries, left the region fragmented, it was subsequently conquered and further divided by European powers such as France and Austria.
By the mid-19th century, rising Italian nationalism and calls for independence from foreign control led to a period of revolutionary political upheaval. After centuries of foreign domination and political division, Italy was entirely unified in 1871, establishing the Kingdom of Italy as a great power. From the late 19th century to the early 20th century, Italy industrialised, namely in the north, acquired a colonial empire, while the south remained impoverished and excluded from industrialisation, fuelling a large and influential diaspora. Despite being one of the main victors in World War I, Italy entered a period of economic crisis and social turmoil, leading to the rise of a fascist dictatorship in 1922. Participation in World War II on the Axis side ended in military defeat, economic destruction and the Italian Civil War. Following the liberation of Italy and the rise of the resistance, the country abolished the monarchy, reinstated democracy, enjoyed a prolonged economic boom and, despite periods of sociopolitical turmoil became a developed country.
Today, Italy is considered to be one of the world's most culturally and economically advanced countries, with the sixth-largest worldwide national wealth. Its advanced economy ranks eighth-largest in the world and third in the Eurozone by nominal GDP. Italy owns the third-largest central bank gold reserve, it has a high level of human development, it stands among the top countries for life expectancy. The country plays a prominent role in regional and global economic, military and diplomatic affairs. Italy is a founding and leading member of the European Union and a member of numerous international institutions, including the UN, NATO, the OECD, the OSCE, the WTO, the G7, the G20, the Union for the Mediterranean, the Council of Europe, Uniting for Consensus, the Schengen Area and many more; as a reflection