Francia called the Kingdom of the Franks, or Frankish Empire was the largest post-Roman barbarian kingdom in Western Europe. It was ruled by the Franks during the Early Middle Ages, it is the predecessor of the modern states of Germany. After the Treaty of Verdun in 843, West Francia became the predecessor of France, East Francia became that of Germany. Francia was among the last surviving Germanic kingdoms from the Migration Period era before its partition in 843; the core Frankish territories inside the former Western Roman Empire were close to the Rhine and Maas rivers in the north. After a period where small kingdoms inter-acted with the remaining Gallo-Roman institutions to their south, a single kingdom uniting them was founded by Clovis I, crowned King of the Franks in 496, his dynasty, the Merovingian dynasty, was replaced by the Carolingian dynasty. Under the nearly continuous campaigns of Pepin of Herstal, Charles Martel, Pepin the Short and Louis the Pious—father, grandson, great-grandson and great-great-grandson—the greatest expansion of the Frankish empire was secured by the early 9th century, by this point dubbed as the Carolingian Empire.
During the Merovingian and Carolingian dynasties the Frankish realm was one large kingdom polity subdivided into several smaller kingdoms effectively independent. The geography and number of subkingdoms varied over time, but a basic split between eastern and western domains persisted; the eastern kingdom was called Austrasia, centred on the Rhine and Meuse, expanding eastwards into central Europe. It evolved into the Holy Roman Empire; the western kingdom Neustria was founded in Northern Roman Gaul, as the original kingdom of the Merovingians it came over time to be referred to as Francia, now France, although in other contexts western Europe could still be described as "Frankish". In Germany there are prominent other places named after the Franks such as the region of Franconia, the city of Frankfurt, Frankenstein Castle; the Franks emerged in the 3rd century as a term covering Germanic tribes living on the northern Rhine frontier of the Roman Empire, including the Bructeri, Chamavi and Salians.
While all of them had a tradition of participating in the Roman military, the Salians were allowed to settle within the Roman Empire. In 357, having been living in the civitis of Batavia for some time, Emperor Julian, who forced the Chamavi back out of the empire at the same time, allowed the Salians to settle further away from the border, in Toxandria; some of the early Frankish leaders, such as Flavius Bauto and Arbogast, were committed to the cause of the Romans, but other Frankish rulers, such as Mallobaudes, were active on Roman soil for other reasons. After the fall of Arbogastes, his son Arigius succeeded in establishing a hereditary countship at Trier and after the fall of the usurper Constantine III some Franks supported the usurper Jovinus. Jovinus was dead by 413, but the Romans found it difficult to manage the Franks within their borders; the Frankish king Theudemer was executed by the sword, in c. 422. Around 428, the king Chlodio, whose kingdom may have been in the civitas Tungrorum, launched an attack on Roman territory and extended his realm as far as Camaracum and the Somme.
Though Sidonius Apollinaris relates that Flavius Aetius defeated a wedding party of his people, this period marks the beginning of a situation that would endure for many centuries: the Germanic Franks ruled over an increasing number of Gallo-Roman subjects. The Merovingians, reputed to be relatives of Chlodio, arose from within the Gallo-Roman military, with Childeric and his son Clovis being called "King of the Franks" in the Gallo-Roman military before having any Frankish territorial kingdom. Once Clovis defeated his Roman competitor for power in northern Gaul, Syagrius, he turned to the kings of the Franks to the north and east, as well as other post-Roman kingdoms existing in Gaul: Visigoths and Alemanni; the original core territory of the Frankish kingdom came to be known as Austrasia, while the large Romanised Frankish kingdom in northern Gaul came to be known as Neustria. Chlodio's successors are obscure figures, but what can be certain is that Childeric I his grandson, ruled a Salian kingdom from Tournai as a foederatus of the Romans.
Childeric is chiefly important to history for bequeathing the Franks to his son Clovis, who began an effort to extend his authority over the other Frankish tribes and to expand their territorium south and west into Gaul. Clovis converted to Christianity and put himself on good terms with the powerful Church and with his Gallo-Roman subjects. In a thirty-year reign Clovis defeated the Roman general Syagrius and conquered the Kingdom of Soissons, defeated the Alemanni and established Frankish hegemony over them. Clovis defeated the Visigoths and conquered all of their territory north of the Pyrenees save Septimania, conquered the Bretons and made them vassals of Francia, he conquered most or all of the neighbouring Frankish tribes along the Rhine and incorporated them into his kingdom. He incorporated the various Roman military settlements scattered over Gaul: the Saxons of Bessin, the Britons and the Alans of Armorica and Loire valley or the Taifals of Poitou to name a few prominent ones. By the end of his life, Clovis ruled all of Gaul save the Gothic province of Septimania and the Burgundian kingdom in the southeast.
The Merovingians were a hereditary monarchy. The Frankish kings adhered to th
Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor
Otto I, traditionally known as Otto the Great, was German king from 936 and Holy Roman Emperor from 962 until his death in 973. He was the oldest son of Henry I the Matilda. Otto inherited the Duchy of Saxony and the kingship of the Germans upon his father's death in 936, he continued his father's work of unifying all German tribes into a single kingdom and expanded the king's powers at the expense of the aristocracy. Through strategic marriages and personal appointments, Otto installed members of his family in the kingdom's most important duchies; this reduced the various dukes, co-equals with the king, to royal subjects under his authority. Otto transformed the Roman Catholic Church in Germany to strengthen royal authority and subjected its clergy to his personal control. After putting down a brief civil war among the rebellious duchies, Otto defeated the Magyars at the Battle of Lechfeld in 955, thus ending the Hungarian invasions of Western Europe; the victory against the pagan Magyars earned Otto a reputation as a savior of Christendom and secured his hold over the kingdom.
By 961, Otto had conquered the Kingdom of Italy. The patronage of Otto and his immediate successors facilitated a so-called "Ottonian Renaissance" of arts and architecture. Following the example of Charlemagne's coronation as "Emperor of the Romans" in 800, Otto was crowned Holy Roman Emperor in 962 by Pope John XII in Rome. Otto's years were marked by conflicts with the papacy and struggles to stabilize his rule over Italy. Reigning from Rome, Otto sought to improve relations with the Byzantine Empire, which opposed his claim to emperorship and his realm's further expansion to the south. To resolve this conflict, the Byzantine princess Theophanu married his son Otto II in April 972. Otto returned to Germany in August 972 and died at Memleben in May 973. Otto II succeeded him as Holy Roman Emperor. Otto was born on 23 November 912, the oldest son of the Duke of Saxony, Henry the Fowler and his second wife Matilda, the daughter of Dietrich of Ringelheim, a Saxon count in Westphalia. Henry had married Hatheburg of Merseburg a daughter of a Saxon count, in 906, but this marriage was annulled in 909 after she had given birth to Henry's first son and Otto's half-brother Thankmar.
Otto had four full siblings: Hedwig, Gerberga and Bruno. On 23 December 918, King of East Francia and Duke of Franconia, died. According to the Res gestae saxonicae by the Saxon chronicler Widukind of Corvey, Conrad persuaded his younger brother Eberhard of Franconia, the presumptive heir, to offer the crown of East Francia to Otto's father Henry. Although Conrad and Henry had been at odds with one another since 912, Henry had not opposed the king since 915. Furthermore, Conrad's repeated battles with German dukes, most with Arnulf, Duke of Bavaria, Burchard II, Duke of Swabia, had weakened the position and resources of the Conradines. After several months of hesitation and the other Frankish and Saxon nobles elected Henry as king at the Imperial Diet of Fritzlar in May 919. For the first time, a Saxon instead of a Frank reigned over the kingdom. Burchard II of Swabia soon swore fealty to the new king, but Arnulf of Bavaria did not recognize Henry's position. According to the Annales iuvavenses, Arnulf was elected king by the Bavarians in opposition to Henry, but his "reign" was short-lived.
In 921, Henry forced him into submission. Arnulf had to accept Henry's sovereignty. Otto first gained experience as a military commander when the German kingdom fought against Wendish tribes on its eastern border. While campaigning against the Wends/West Slavs in 929, Otto's illegitimate son William, the future Archbishop of Mainz, was born to a captive Wendish noblewoman. With Henry's dominion over the entire kingdom secured by 929, the king began to prepare his succession over the kingdom. No written evidence for his arrangements is extant, but during this time Otto is first called king in a document of the Abbey of Reichenau. While Henry consolidated power within Germany, he prepared for an alliance with Anglo-Saxon England by finding a bride for Otto. Association with another royal house would give Henry additional legitimacy and strengthen the bonds between the two Saxon kingdoms. To seal the alliance, King Æthelstan of England sent Henry two of his half-sisters, so he could choose the one which best pleased him.
Henry selected Eadgyth as Otto's bride and the two were married in 930. Several years shortly before Henry's death, an Imperial Diet at Erfurt formally ratified the king's succession arrangements; some of his estates and treasures were to be distributed among Thankmar and Bruno. But departing from customary Carolingian inheritance, the king designated Otto as the sole heir apparent without a prior formal election by the various dukes. Henry died from the effects of a cerebral stroke on 2 July 936 at his palace, the Kaiserpfalz in Memleben, was buried at Quedlinburg Abbey. At the time of his death, all of the various German tribes were united in a single realm. At the age of 24, Otto assumed his father's position as Duke of Saxony and King of Germany, his coronation was held on 7 August 936 in Charlemagne's former capital of Aachen, where Otto was anointed and crowned by Hildebert, the Archbishop of Mainz. Though he was a Saxon by birth, Otto appeared at the coronation in Frankish dress in an attempt to demonstrate his sovereignty over the Duchy of Lotharingia and his role as true successor to Charlemagne
Augsburg is a city in Swabia, Germany. It is a university town and regional seat of the Regierungsbezirk Schwaben. Augsburg is an urban home to the institutions of the Landkreis Augsburg, it is the third-largest city in Bavaria with a population of 300,000 inhabitants, with 885,000 in its metropolitan area. After Neuss and Trier, Augsburg is Germany's third oldest city, founded in 15 BC by the Romans as Augusta Vindelicorum, named after the Roman emperor Augustus, it was a Free Imperial City from 1276 to 1803 and the home of the patrician Fugger and Welser families that dominated European banking in the 16th century. The city played a leading role in the Reformation as the site of the 1530 Augsburg Confession and 1555 Peace of Augsburg; the Fuggerei, the oldest social housing complex in the world, was founded in 1513 by Jakob Fugger. Augsburg lies on the Singold; the oldest part of the city and the southern quarters are on the northern foothills of a high terrace, which emerged between the steep rim of the hills of Friedberg in the east and the high hills of the west.
In the south extends the Lechfeld, an outwash plain of the post ice age between the rivers Lech and Wertach, where rare primeval landscapes were preserved. The Augsburg city forest and the Lech valley heaths today rank among the most species-rich middle European habitats. On Augsburg borders the nature park Augsburg Western Woods - a large forestland; the city itself is heavily greened. As a result, in 1997 Augsburg was the first German city to win the Europe-wide contest Entente Florale for Europe's greenest and most livable city. Augsburg is surrounded by the counties Landkreis Augsburg in the west and Aichach-Friedberg in the east; the Suburb are Friedberg, Königsbrunn, Neusäß, Diedorf Neighbouring municipalities:Rehling, Kissing, Merching, Gessertshausen The city was founded in 15 BC by Drusus and Tiberius as Augusta Vindelicorum, on the orders of their stepfather Emperor Augustus. The name means "Augusta of the Vindelici"; this garrison camp soon became the capital of the Roman province of Raetia.
Early development was due to a 400-year affiliation with the Roman Empire because of its excellent military and geographic position at the convergence of the Alpine rivers Lech and Wertach, with direct access to most important Alpine passes. Thus, Augsburg was the intersection of many important European east-west and north-south connections, which evolved as major trade routes of the Middle Ages. Around 120 AD Augsburg became the capital of the Roman province Raetia. Augsburg was sacked by the Huns in the 5th century AD, by Charlemagne in the 8th century, by Welf of Bavaria in the 11th century, but arose each time to greater prosperity. Augsburg was granted the status of a Free Imperial City on March 9, 1276 and from until 1803, it was independent of its former overlord, the Prince-Bishop of Augsburg. Frictions between the city-state and the prince-bishops were to remain frequent however after Augsburg became Protestant and curtailed the rights and freedoms of Catholics. With its strategic location at an intersection of trade routes to Italy, the Free Imperial City became a major trading center.
Augsburg produced large quantities of woven goods and textiles. Augsburg became the base of two banking families that rose to great prominence, the Fuggers and the Welsers; the Fugger family donated the Fuggerei part of the city devoted to housing for needy citizens in 1516, which remains in use today. In 1530, the Augsburg Confession was presented to the Holy Roman Emperor at the Diet of Augsburg. Following the Peace of Augsburg in 1555, after which the rights of religious minorities in imperial cities were to be protected, a mixed Catholic–Protestant city council presided over a majority Protestant population. Religious peace in the city was maintained despite increasing Confessional tensions until the Thirty Years' War. In 1629, Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand II issued the Edict of Restitution, which restored the legal situation of 1552 and again curtailed the rights of the Protestant citizens; the inequality of the Edict of Restitution was rescinded when in April 1632, the Swedish army under Gustavus Adolphus captured Augsburg without resistance.
In 1634, the Swedish army was routed at nearby Nördlingen. By October 1634, Catholic troops had surrounded Augsburg; the Swedish garrison refused to surrender and a siege ensued through the winter of 1634/35 and thousands died from hunger and disease. According to J. N. Hays, "In the period of the Swedish occupation and the Imperial siege the population of the city was reduced from about 70,000 to about 16,000, with typhus and plague playing major roles." In 1686, Emperor Leopold I formed the League of Augsburg, termed by the English as the "Grand Alliance" after England joined in 1689: a European coalition, consisting of Austria, Brandenburg, the Holy Roman Empire, the Palatinate of the Rhine, Savoy, Spain and the United Provinces. It was formed to defend the Palatinate from France; this organization fought against France in the Nine Years War. Augsburg's peak boom years occurred during the 15th and 16th centuries thanks to the bank and metal businesses of the merchant families Fugger and Welser, who held a local near total monopoly on their respective industries.
Augsburg's wealth attracted artists seeking patrons and became a creative centre for famous painters and musicia
Charlemagne or Charles the Great, numbered Charles I, was King of the Franks from 768, King of the Lombards from 774, Holy Roman Emperor from 800. He united much of central Europe during the Early Middle Ages, he was the first recognised emperor to rule from western Europe since the fall of the Western Roman Empire three centuries earlier. The expanded Frankish state that Charlemagne founded is called the Carolingian Empire, he was canonized by Antipope Paschal III. Charlemagne was the eldest son of Pepin the Short and Bertrada of Laon, born before their canonical marriage, he became king in 768 following his father's death as co-ruler with his brother Carloman I. Carloman's sudden death in December 771 under unexplained circumstances left Charlemagne as the sole ruler of the Frankish Kingdom, he continued his father's policy towards the papacy and became its protector, removing the Lombards from power in northern Italy and leading an incursion into Muslim Spain. He campaigned against the Saxons to his east, Christianizing them upon penalty of death and leading to events such as the Massacre of Verden.
He reached the height of his power in 800 when he was crowned "Emperor of the Romans" by Pope Leo III on Christmas Day at Rome's Old St. Peter's Basilica. Charlemagne has been called the "Father of Europe", as he united most of Western Europe for the first time since the classical era of the Roman Empire and united parts of Europe that had never been under Frankish or Roman rule, his rule spurred the Carolingian Renaissance, a period of energetic cultural and intellectual activity within the Western Church. All Holy Roman Emperors considered their kingdoms to be descendants of Charlemagne's empire, as did the French and German monarchies. However, the Eastern Orthodox Church views Charlemagne more controversially, labelling as heterodox his support of the filioque and the Pope's recognition of him as legitimate Roman Emperor rather than Irene of Athens of the Byzantine Empire; these and other machinations led to the eventual split of Rome and Constantinople in the Great Schism of 1054. Charlemagne died in 814, having ruled as emperor for 14 years and as king for 46 years.
He was laid to rest in his imperial capital city of Aachen. He married at least four times and had three legitimate sons, but only his son Louis the Pious survived to succeed him. By the 6th century, the western Germanic tribe of the Franks had been Christianised, due in considerable measure to the Catholic conversion of Clovis I. Francia, ruled by the Merovingians, was the most powerful of the kingdoms that succeeded the Western Roman Empire. Following the Battle of Tertry, the Merovingians declined into powerlessness, for which they have been dubbed the rois fainéants. All government powers were exercised by their chief officer, the mayor of the palace. In 687, Pepin of Herstal, mayor of the palace of Austrasia, ended the strife between various kings and their mayors with his victory at Tertry, he became the sole governor of the entire Frankish kingdom. Pepin was the grandson of two important figures of the Austrasian Kingdom: Saint Arnulf of Metz and Pepin of Landen. Pepin of Herstal was succeeded by his son Charles known as Charles Martel.
After 737, Charles declined to call himself king. Charles was succeeded in 741 by his sons Pepin the Short, the father of Charlemagne. In 743, the brothers placed Childeric III on the throne to curb separatism in the periphery, he was the last Merovingian king. Carloman resigned office in 746. Pepin brought the question of the kingship before Pope Zachary, asking whether it was logical for a king to have no royal power; the pope handed down his decision in 749, decreeing that it was better for Pepin to be called king, as he had the powers of high office as Mayor, so as not to confuse the hierarchy. He, ordered him to become the true king. In 750, Pepin was elected by an assembly of the Franks, anointed by the archbishop, raised to the office of king; the Pope ordered him into a monastery. The Merovingian dynasty was thereby replaced by the Carolingian dynasty, named after Charles Martel. In 753, Pope Stephen II fled from Italy to Francia, appealing to Pepin for assistance for the rights of St. Peter.
He was supported in this appeal by Charles' brother. In return, the pope could provide only legitimacy, he did this by again anointing and confirming Pepin, this time adding his young sons Carolus and Carloman to the royal patrimony. They thereby became heirs to the realm that covered most of western Europe. In 754, Pepin accepted the Pope's invitation to visit Italy on behalf of St. Peter's rights, dealing with the Lombards. Under the Carolingians, the Frankish kingdom spread to encompass an area including most of Western Europe. Orman portrays the Treaty of Verdun between the warring grandsons of Charlemagne as the foundation event of an independent France under its first king Charles the Bald; the middle kingdom had broken up by 890 and absorbed into the Western kingdom and the Eastern kingdom and the rest developing into smaller "buffer" nations that exist between Fr
The Tagliamento is a braided river in north-east Italy, flowing from the Alps to the Adriatic Sea at a point between Trieste and Venice. The source is in the Mauria Pass, on the border between the regions of Veneto and Friuli-Venezia Giulia. In the upper section, it flows through the historic Carnia region, in the northern part of the province of Udine. In the middle and lower sections, it first sets the boundary between the provinces of Udine and Pordenone and between the former and the Province of Venice, it flows into the Gulf of Venice between Lignano Sabbiadoro and Bibione. The watershed covers an area of 2,916 square kilometres with a population of 165,000; the watershed lies entirely in Carnia and the other mountain valleys of Friuli. 86.5% of the watershed is in the Province of Udine. The main towns along its banks are San Michele al Tagliamento. In the vicinity of the river are the following towns: Tolmezzo, Gemona del Friuli, San Daniele del Friuli, Casarsa della Delizia, San Vito al Tagliamento, Pinzano al Tagliamento.
The source is at an elevation of 1,195 metres in the Veneto region in the Province of Belluno near the border with the Province of Udine, north-west of Forni di Sopra close to the Mauria Pass. The river's course is in a west to east direction, parallel to the Carnic Alps range; the first tributary of note is the Lumiei, which enters the Tagliamento from the left at a distance of 26 kilometres from the source. The river passes through Pinzano and courses in a southward direction, while spreading across the plain reaching a width of 3 kilometres near Spilimbergo and splitting into a number of branches, its gravelly bed is permeable, it absorbs all its waters, but the river recovers most of the flow downstream of Codroipo and Casarsa, thanks to abundant flows from underground rivers. From here onwards, the river bed distinctly narrows to 180 metres and starts to meander because of the reduced slope. Before ending its course, the river receives the waters of the Varmo; the river flows into the Adriatic Sea between the Lagoons of Marano and Caorle.
In addition to the Italian name Tagliamento, the river is known by different names in other languages of the region. The Friulan official name for the river is Tiliment. In Venetian, the river is known as Tajamento, in Slovene, in Latin, Tiliaventum or Taliamentum, it was known as Dülmende in German during the Middle Ages
Kingdom of Italy (Holy Roman Empire)
The Kingdom of Italy was one of the constituent kingdoms of the Holy Roman Empire, along with the kingdoms of Germany and Burgundy. It excluded the Republic of Venice and the Papal States, its original capital was Pavia until the 11th century. In 773, the King of the Franks, crossed the Alps to invade the Kingdom of the Lombards, which encompassed all of Italy except the Duchy of Rome and some Byzantine possessions in the south. In June 774, the kingdom collapsed and the Franks became masters of northern Italy; the southern areas remained under Lombard control as the Duchy of Benevento is changed into the rather independent Principality of Benevento. Charlemagne adopted the title "King of the Lombards" and in 800 was crowned "Emperor of the Romans" in Rome. Members of the Carolingian dynasty continued to rule Italy until the deposition of Charles the Fat in 887, after which they once regained the throne in 894–896; until 961, the rule of Italy was continually contested by several aristocratic families from both within and outside the kingdom.
In 961, King Otto I of Germany married to Adelaide, widow of a previous king of Italy, invaded the kingdom and had himself crowned in Pavia on 25 December. He continued on to Rome, where he had himself crowned emperor on 7 February 962; the union of the crowns of Italy and Germany with that of the so-called "Empire of the Romans" proved stable. Burgundy was added to this union in 1032, by the twelfth century the term "Holy Roman Empire" had come into use to describe it. From 961 on, the Emperor of the Romans was also King of Italy and Germany, although emperors sometimes appointed their heirs to rule in Italy and the Italian bishops and noblemen elected a king of their own in opposition to that of Germany; the absenteeism of the Italian monarch led to the rapid disappearance of a central government in the High Middle Ages, but the idea that Italy was a kingdom within the Empire remained and emperors sought to impose their will on the evolving Italian city-states. The resulting wars between Guelphs and Ghibellines, the anti-imperialist and imperialist factions were characteristic of Italian politics in the 12th–14th centuries.
The Lombard League was the most famous example of this situation. The century between the Humiliation of Canossa and the Treaty of Venice of 1177 resulted in the formation of city states independent of the Germanic Emperor. A series of wars in Lombardy from 1423 to 1454 reduced the number of competing states in Italy; the next forty years were peaceful in Italy, but in 1494 the peninsula was invaded by France. After the Imperial Reform of 1495–1512, the Italian kingdom corresponded to the unencircled territories south of the Alps. Juridically the emperor maintained an interest in them as nominal king and overlord, but the "government" of the kingdom consisted of little more than the plenipotentiaries the emperor appointed to represent him and those governors he appointed to rule his own Italian states; the Habsburg rule in several parts of Italy continued in various forms but came to an end with the campaigns of the French Revolutionaries in 1792–1797, when a series of sister republics were set up with local support by Napoleon and united into the Italian Republic under his Presidency.
In 1805 the Republic became a new Kingdom of Italy, in personal union with France. After the Battle of Taginae, in which the Ostrogoth king Totila was killed, the Byzantine general Narses captured Rome and besieged Cumae. Teia, the new Ostrogothic king, gathered the remnants of the Ostrogothic army and marched to relieve the siege, but in October 552 Narses ambushed him at Mons Lactarius in Campania, near Mount Vesuvius and Nuceria Alfaterna; the battle lasted Teia was killed in the fighting. Ostrogothic power in Italy was eliminated, but according to Roman historian Procopius of Caesarea, Narses allowed the Ostrogothic population and their Rugian allies to live peacefully in Italy under Roman sovereignty; the absence of any real authority in Italy after the battle led to an invasion by the Franks and Alemanni, but they too were defeated in the battle of the Volturnus and the peninsula was, for a short time, reintegrated into the empire. The Kings of the Lombards ruled that Germanic people from their invasion of Italy in 567–68 until the Lombardic identity became lost in the ninth and tenth centuries.
After 568, the Lombard kings sometimes styled themselves Kings of Italy. Upon the Lombard defeat at the 774 Siege of Pavia, the kingdom came under the Frankish domination of Charlemagne; the Iron Crown of Lombardy was used for the coronation of the Lombard kings, the kings of Italy thereafter, for centuries. The primary sources for the Lombard kings before the Frankish conquest are the anonymous 7th-century Origo Gentis Langobardorum and the 8th-century Historia Langobardorum of Paul the Deacon; the earliest kings listed in the Origo are certainly legendary. They purportedly reigned during the Migration Period; the actual control of the sovereigns of both the major areas that constitute the kingdom – Langobardia Major in the centre-north and Langobardia Minor in the centre-south, was not constant during the two centuries of life of the kingdom. An initial phase of strong autonomy of
Rome is the capital city and a special comune of Italy. Rome serves as the capital of the Lazio region. With 2,872,800 residents in 1,285 km2, it is the country's most populated comune, it is the fourth most populous city in the European Union by population within city limits. It is the centre of the Metropolitan City of Rome, which has a population of 4,355,725 residents, thus making it the most populous metropolitan city in Italy. Rome is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, within Lazio, along the shores of the Tiber; the Vatican City is an independent country inside the city boundaries of Rome, the only existing example of a country within a city: for this reason Rome has been defined as capital of two states. Rome's history spans 28 centuries. While Roman mythology dates the founding of Rome at around 753 BC, the site has been inhabited for much longer, making it one of the oldest continuously occupied sites in Europe; the city's early population originated from a mix of Latins and Sabines.
The city successively became the capital of the Roman Kingdom, the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire, is regarded by some as the first metropolis. It was first called The Eternal City by the Roman poet Tibullus in the 1st century BC, the expression was taken up by Ovid and Livy. Rome is called the "Caput Mundi". After the fall of the Western Empire, which marked the beginning of the Middle Ages, Rome fell under the political control of the Papacy, in the 8th century it became the capital of the Papal States, which lasted until 1870. Beginning with the Renaissance all the popes since Nicholas V pursued over four hundred years a coherent architectural and urban programme aimed at making the city the artistic and cultural centre of the world. In this way, Rome became first one of the major centres of the Italian Renaissance, the birthplace of both the Baroque style and Neoclassicism. Famous artists, painters and architects made Rome the centre of their activity, creating masterpieces throughout the city.
In 1871, Rome became the capital of the Kingdom of Italy, which, in 1946, became the Italian Republic. Rome has the status of a global city. In 2016, Rome ranked as the 14th-most-visited city in the world, 3rd most visited in the European Union, the most popular tourist attraction in Italy, its historic centre is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The famous Vatican Museums are among the world's most visited museums while the Colosseum was the most popular tourist attraction in world with 7.4 million visitors in 2018. Host city for the 1960 Summer Olympics, Rome is the seat of several specialized agencies of the United Nations, such as the Food and Agriculture Organization, the World Food Programme and the International Fund for Agricultural Development; the city hosts the Secretariat of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union for the Mediterranean as well as the headquarters of many international business companies such as Eni, Enel, TIM, Leonardo S.p. A. and national and international banks such as Unicredit and BNL.
Its business district, called EUR, is the base of many companies involved in the oil industry, the pharmaceutical industry, financial services. Rome is an important fashion and design centre thanks to renowned international brands centered in the city. Rome's Cinecittà Studios have been the set of many Academy Award–winning movies. According to the founding myth of the city by the Ancient Romans themselves, the long-held tradition of the origin of the name Roma is believed to have come from the city's founder and first king, Romulus. However, it is a possibility that the name Romulus was derived from Rome itself; as early as the 4th century, there have been alternative theories proposed on the origin of the name Roma. Several hypotheses have been advanced focusing on its linguistic roots which however remain uncertain: from Rumon or Rumen, archaic name of the Tiber, which in turn has the same root as the Greek verb ῥέω and the Latin verb ruo, which both mean "flow". There is archaeological evidence of human occupation of the Rome area from 14,000 years ago, but the dense layer of much younger debris obscures Palaeolithic and Neolithic sites.
Evidence of stone tools and stone weapons attest to about 10,000 years of human presence. Several excavations support the view that Rome grew from pastoral settlements on the Palatine Hill built above the area of the future Roman Forum. Between the end of the bronze age and the beginning of the Iron age, each hill between the sea and the Capitol was topped by a village. However, none of them had yet an urban quality. Nowadays, there is a wide consensus that the city developed through the aggregation of several villages around the largest one, placed above the Palatine; this aggregation was facilitated by the increase of agricultural productivity above the subsistence level, which allowed the establishment of secondary and tertiary activities. These in turn boosted the development of trade with the Greek colonies of southern Italy; these developments, which according to archaeological ev