Antonio Stradivari Italian pronunciation:. The Latinized form of his surname, Stradivarius, as well as the colloquial "Strad" are terms used to refer to his instruments, it is estimated. Around 650 instruments survived, including 450 to 512 violins. Antonio Stradivari's birthdate between 1644 and 1649, has been debated amongst historians due to the numerous inconsistencies in the evidence of the latter; the 1668 and 1678 censuses report him growing younger, a fact explained by the probable loss of statistics from 1647–49, when renewed belligerency between France's Modenese and Spain's Milanese proxies led to a flow of refugees that included Stradivari's mother. Stradivari's ancestry consisted of notable citizens of Cremona, dating back to at least the 12th or 13th century; the earliest mention of the family name, or a variation upon it, is in a land grant dating from 1188. The origin of the name itself has several possible explanations, they married on 30 August 1622, had at least three children between 1623 and 1628: Giuseppe Giulia Cesare, Carlo Felice, Giovanni Battista.
The baptismal records of the parish of S. Prospero stop, it is unknown whether they had any children from 1628 to 1644; this gap in the records may be due to the family leaving Cremona in response to war and plague in the city from 1628 to 1630, or the records may have been lost due to clerical reforms imposed by Joseph II of Austria in 1788. The latter explanation is supported by the word Cremonensis on many of Stradivari's labels, which suggests that he was born in the city instead of moving back there to work. Antonio was born in 1644, a fact deducible from violins. However, there are no records or information available on his early childhood, the first evidence of his presence in Cremona is the label of his oldest surviving violin from 1666. Stradivari began an apprenticeship with Nicola Amati between the ages of 12 and 14, although a minor debate surrounds this fact. One of the few pieces of evidence supporting this is the label of his 1666 violin, which reads, Alumnus Nicolai Amati, faciebat anno 1666.
However, Stradivari did not put Amati's name on his labels, unlike many of Amati's other students. Stradivari's early violins bear less resemblance to Amati's than his instruments do. M. Chanot-Chardon, a well-known French luthier, asserted that his father had a label of Stradivari's stating, "Made at the age of thirteen, in the workshop of Nicolò Amati"; this label has never been confirmed. Amati would have been a logical choice for Antonio's parents, as he represented an old family of violin makers in Cremona, was far superior to most other luthiers in Italy; some researchers believe there is a closer educational association between Antonio Stradivari and Francesco Rugeri than has been recognized. Despite the long-held belief that Antonio Stradivari was the pupil of Nicolò Amati, there are important discrepancies between their work; some researchers believe early instruments by Stradivari bear a stronger resemblance to Francesco Rugeri's work than Amati's. Additionally, the utilization of a small dorsal pin or small hole, invariably used not just by Nicolò Amati but all of his recognized pupils—with the exception of Antonio Stradivari, adds further evidence that Stradivari may have learnt his craft apart from Amati.
This pin or hole was fundamental in the graduation of the thickness of the plates and was a technique passed on through generations of pupils of the Amati. This dorsal pin is not found in any of the instruments of the Rugeri family, suggesting Antonio Stradivari may have learnt his craft from Francesco Rugeri, although both being influenced by Amati. W. E. Hill & Sons concede that they fail to find the hand of Stradivari in any of Nicolo Amati's work, although the unmistakable hands of Andrea Guarneri and Francesco Rugeri are evident. An alternative theory is that Stradivari started out as a woodworker: the house he lived in from 1667 to 1680 was owned by Francesco Pescaroli, a woodcarver and inlayer. Stradivari may have been employed to decorate some of Amati's instruments, without being a true apprentice; this theory is supported by some of Stradivari's violins, which have elaborate decorations and purfling. Assuming that Stradivari was a student of Amati, he would have begun his apprenticeship in 1656–58 and produced his first decent instruments in 1660, at the age of 16.
His first labels were printed from 1660 to 1665, which indicates that his work had sufficient quality to be offered directly to his patrons. However, he stayed in Amati's workshop until about 1684, using his master's reputation as a launching point for his career. Stradivari married his first wife, Francesca Ferraboschi, on 4 July 1667. Francesca was the young widow of the burgher Giacomo Capra, with. Francesca's brother had shot Giacomo with a crossbow on the Piazza Garibaldi in 1664, he was exiled, though allowed to return to Cremona many years later. After their marriage, Stradivari moved into a house known as the Casa del Pescatore, or the Casa Nuziale, in his wife's parish. A clue to how they would have met lies in the
Belgium the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country in Western Europe. It is bordered by the Netherlands to the north, Germany to the east, Luxembourg to the southeast, France to the southwest, the North Sea to the northwest, it has a population of more than 11.4 million. The capital and largest city is Brussels; the sovereign state is a federal constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system. Its institutional organisation is structured on both regional and linguistic grounds, it is divided into three autonomous regions: Flanders in the north, Wallonia in the south, the Brussels-Capital Region. Brussels is the smallest and most densely populated region, as well as the richest region in terms of GDP per capita. Belgium is home to two main linguistic groups or Communities: the Dutch-speaking Flemish Community, which constitutes about 59 percent of the population, the French-speaking Community, which comprises about 40 percent of all Belgians. A small German-speaking Community, numbering around one percent, exists in the East Cantons.
The Brussels-Capital Region is bilingual, although French is the dominant language. Belgium's linguistic diversity and related political conflicts are reflected in its political history and complex system of governance, made up of six different governments. Belgium was part of an area known as the Low Countries, a somewhat larger region than the current Benelux group of states that included parts of northern France and western Germany, its name is derived after the Roman province of Gallia Belgica. From the end of the Middle Ages until the 17th century, the area of Belgium was a prosperous and cosmopolitan centre of commerce and culture. Between the 16th and early 19th centuries, Belgium served as the battleground between many European powers, earning the moniker the "Battlefield of Europe", a reputation strengthened by both world wars; the country emerged in 1830 following the Belgian Revolution. Belgium participated in the Industrial Revolution and, during the course of the 20th century, possessed a number of colonies in Africa.
The second half of the 20th century was marked by rising tensions between the Dutch-speaking and the French-speaking citizens fueled by differences in language and culture and the unequal economic development of Flanders and Wallonia. This continuing antagonism has led to several far-reaching reforms, resulting in a transition from a unitary to a federal arrangement during the period from 1970 to 1993. Despite the reforms, tensions between the groups have remained, if not increased. Unemployment in Wallonia is more than double that of Flanders. Belgium is one of the six founding countries of the European Union and hosts the official seats of the European Commission, the Council of the European Union, the European Council, as well as a seat of the European Parliament in the country's capital, Brussels. Belgium is a founding member of the Eurozone, NATO, OECD, WTO, a part of the trilateral Benelux Union and the Schengen Area. Brussels hosts several of the EU's official seats as well as the headquarters of many major international organizations such as NATO.
Belgium is a developed country, with an advanced high-income economy. It has high standards of living, quality of life, education, is categorized as "very high" in the Human Development Index, it ranks as one of the safest or most peaceful countries in the world. The name "Belgium" is derived from Gallia Belgica, a Roman province in the northernmost part of Gaul that before Roman invasion in 100 BC, was inhabited by the Belgae, a mix of Celtic and Germanic peoples. A gradual immigration by Germanic Frankish tribes during the 5th century brought the area under the rule of the Merovingian kings. A gradual shift of power during the 8th century led the kingdom of the Franks to evolve into the Carolingian Empire; the Treaty of Verdun in 843 divided the region into Middle and West Francia and therefore into a set of more or less independent fiefdoms which, during the Middle Ages, were vassals either of the King of France or of the Holy Roman Emperor. Many of these fiefdoms were united in the Burgundian Netherlands of the 15th centuries.
Emperor Charles V extended the personal union of the Seventeen Provinces in the 1540s, making it far more than a personal union by the Pragmatic Sanction of 1549 and increased his influence over the Prince-Bishopric of Liège. The Eighty Years' War divided the Low Countries into the northern United Provinces and the Southern Netherlands; the latter were ruled successively by the Spanish and the Austrian Habsburgs and comprised most of modern Belgium. This was the theatre of most Franco-Spanish and Franco-Austrian wars during the 17th and 18th centuries. Following the campaigns of 1794 in the French Revolutionary Wars, the Low Countries—including territories that were never nominally under Habsburg rule, such as the Prince-Bishopric of Liège—were annexed by the French First Republic, ending Austrian rule in the region; the reunification of the Low Countries as the United Kingdom of the Netherlands occurred at the dissolution of the First French Empire in 1815, after the defeat of Napo
England is a country, part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to Scotland to the north-northwest; the Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea lies to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south; the country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight. The area now called England was first inhabited by modern humans during the Upper Palaeolithic period, but takes its name from the Angles, a Germanic tribe deriving its name from the Anglia peninsula, who settled during the 5th and 6th centuries. England became a unified state in the 10th century, since the Age of Discovery, which began during the 15th century, has had a significant cultural and legal impact on the wider world; the English language, the Anglican Church, English law – the basis for the common law legal systems of many other countries around the world – developed in England, the country's parliamentary system of government has been adopted by other nations.
The Industrial Revolution began in 18th-century England, transforming its society into the world's first industrialised nation. England's terrain is chiefly low hills and plains in central and southern England. However, there is upland and mountainous terrain in the west; the capital is London, which has the largest metropolitan area in both the United Kingdom and the European Union. England's population of over 55 million comprises 84% of the population of the United Kingdom concentrated around London, the South East, conurbations in the Midlands, the North West, the North East, Yorkshire, which each developed as major industrial regions during the 19th century; the Kingdom of England – which after 1535 included Wales – ceased being a separate sovereign state on 1 May 1707, when the Acts of Union put into effect the terms agreed in the Treaty of Union the previous year, resulting in a political union with the Kingdom of Scotland to create the Kingdom of Great Britain. In 1801, Great Britain was united with the Kingdom of Ireland to become the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
In 1922 the Irish Free State seceded from the United Kingdom, leading to the latter being renamed the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The name "England" is derived from the Old English name Englaland, which means "land of the Angles"; the Angles were one of the Germanic tribes that settled in Great Britain during the Early Middle Ages. The Angles came from the Anglia peninsula in the Bay of Kiel area of the Baltic Sea; the earliest recorded use of the term, as "Engla londe", is in the late-ninth-century translation into Old English of Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People. The term was used in a different sense to the modern one, meaning "the land inhabited by the English", it included English people in what is now south-east Scotland but was part of the English kingdom of Northumbria; the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle recorded that the Domesday Book of 1086 covered the whole of England, meaning the English kingdom, but a few years the Chronicle stated that King Malcolm III went "out of Scotlande into Lothian in Englaland", thus using it in the more ancient sense.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, its modern spelling was first used in 1538. The earliest attested reference to the Angles occurs in the 1st-century work by Tacitus, Germania, in which the Latin word Anglii is used; the etymology of the tribal name itself is disputed by scholars. How and why a term derived from the name of a tribe, less significant than others, such as the Saxons, came to be used for the entire country and its people is not known, but it seems this is related to the custom of calling the Germanic people in Britain Angli Saxones or English Saxons to distinguish them from continental Saxons of Old Saxony between the Weser and Eider rivers in Northern Germany. In Scottish Gaelic, another language which developed on the island of Great Britain, the Saxon tribe gave their name to the word for England. An alternative name for England is Albion; the name Albion referred to the entire island of Great Britain. The nominally earliest record of the name appears in the Aristotelian Corpus the 4th-century BC De Mundo: "Beyond the Pillars of Hercules is the ocean that flows round the earth.
In it are two large islands called Britannia. But modern scholarly consensus ascribes De Mundo not to Aristotle but to Pseudo-Aristotle, i.e. it was written in the Graeco-Roman period or afterwards. The word Albion or insula Albionum has two possible origins, it either derives from a cognate of the Latin albus meaning white, a reference to the white cliffs of Dover or from the phrase the "island of the Albiones" in the now lost Massaliote Periplus, attested through Avienus' Ora Maritima to which the former served as a source. Albion is now applied to England in a more poetic capacity. Another romantic name for England is Loegria, related to the Welsh word for England and made popular by its use in Arthurian legend; the earliest known evidence of human presence in the area now known as England was that of Homo antecessor, dating to approximate
Colston Hall is a concert hall and Grade II listed building on Colston Street, England. It is owned by Bristol City Council and named after the philanthropist, slave trader and member of parliament Edward Colston, who founded a school at this location in the early 18th century. Since 2011, management of the hall is undertaken by Bristol Music Trust; the hall first opened as a concert venue in 1867, became a popular place for classical music and theatre. In the mid-20th century, wrestling matches were in strong demand, while in the late 1960s it developed into one of the most important rock music venues in Britain; the hall has been redeveloped several times, was gutted by two fires in 1898 and 1945, though the original Bristol Byzantine foyer has survived. A major refurbishment, adding an extra wing, opened in 2009 and redevelopment of the cellars is planned by 2019; the hall's official capacity is 2,075, with an additional 350 in "The Lantern", built as part of the 2009 redevelopments. As well as the main entertainment areas, there are a number of a restaurant.
After upcoming renovations Colston Hall will open with a new name. The change reflects concerns over the association of Colston with the slave trade; the new name is yet to be decided, but as part of fundraising plans it is hoped to be in recognition of a commercial partner. There has been a building around the location of Colston Hall since the Middle Ages. During the 13th century, a Carmelite friary called. In the Tudor period, it was replaced by a mansion called the Great House; the Great House was built by John Young. John Young, the descendant of a merchant family and courtier to Henry VIII, Queen Elizabeth I stayed here when visiting Bristol in 1574. In the 17th century, a sugar house was established here by the merchant venturer Edward Colston to refine sugar, brought in from the Caribbean to Bristol Harbour; the sugar refinery included thirteen cottages for workers in its grounds which extended towards the current sites of the Red Lodge Museum. In 1708, Colston established the Colston Boys' School in this building.
It was managed by the Society of Merchant Venturers. Colston adhered to a strict moral and religious code, enforced in the school. After his death in 1721, the school continued at the Great Hall until 1857, when it moved to Stapleton; the site was acquired by the Colston Hall Company in 1861. They demolished the old school building; the venue opened on 20 September 1867. The architects were local firm Wood, working in the Bristol Byzantine style; the basement was used as a bonded warehouse handling the cargoes from the docks. The original hall included a coffered barrel-vaulted ceiling, was modelled after St George's Hall, Liverpool; the foyer building with the grand staircase and smaller hall were opened in 1873. A meeting calling for Women's suffrage was held at the hall in November 1880. On 1 September 1898, a fire broke out in the neighbouring Clark's clothing factory, which spread to the hall, while it was in use for the Trades Union Congress; the auditorium suffered extensive damage, with only the walls remaining, the pipe organ was destroyed.
The foyer was the only surviving part of the building. The hall was rebuilt and re-opened in 1901, it was in use throughout World War I. The Bristol Corporation, which became Bristol City Council, bought the building for £65,000 in 1919; the second hall was closed for remodelling in 1935, as it was difficult for all of the audience to see the orchestra performing. It re-opened the following December. Though much of Bristol was bombed during the Battle of Britain, the Colston Hall survived most of World War II. On 5 February 1945, a discarded cigarette started a large fire that burned down the hall for a second time; the organ was destroyed, the main auditorium was reduced to pieces of charred wood and hot metal. The hall was rebuilt, reopened in 1951 to mark the Festival of Britain, it was constructed by William Cowlin. It included improvements in a modern heating and ventilation system; the organ was rebuilt by Harrison & Harrison and housed in a grille behind the stage out of view of most of the audience.
It has 5,372 pipes, ranging from 1 inch to 32 feet. Acts from the US began to appear at the hall, having been restricted by the Musicians' Union for the previous 20 years. In 1966, the building was Grade II listed by English Heritage; the first computerised booking system was installed in February 1983. In 1990, the hall closed as part of a £500,000 modernisation programme to rewire the building and improve the technical facilities, as well as redecorating the backstage area. In 1999, removable seats were installed in the front of the stalls, in response to rock concerts where fans at the front wanted to move around as well as increasing capacity; the official capacity of the hall is now 2,075. From 2007 to 2009, the Colston Hall underwent extensive refurbishment with the construction of a new foyer alongside the present building, topped by a wind turbine; as part of the redevelopment, the old bar area became a performance space called "The Lantern". The venue can accommodate a standing audience of 350, has additional performance spaces, meeting rooms, restaurants.
In 2011, management of Colston Hall transferred from Bristol City Council to
Cremona is a city and comune in northern Italy, situated in Lombardy, on the left bank of the Po River in the middle of the Pianura Padana. It is the capital of the province of Cremona and the seat of the local city and province governments; the city of Cremona is noted for its musical history and traditions, including some of the earliest and most renowned luthiers, such as Giuseppe Guarneri, Antonio Stradivari, Francesco Rugeri, Vincenzo Rugeri, several members of the Amati family. Cremona is first mentioned in history as a settlement of the Cenomani, a Gallic tribe that arrived in the Po valley around 400 BC. However, the name Cremona most dates back to earlier settlers and puzzled the ancients, who gave many fanciful interpretations. In 218 BC the Romans established on that spot their first military outpost north of the Po river, kept the old name. Cremona and nearby Placentia, were founded in the same year, as bases for penetration into what became the Roman Province of Gallia Cisalpina.
Cremona grew into one of the largest towns in northern Italy, as it was on the main road connecting Genoa to Aquileia, the Via Postumia. It supplied troops to Julius Caesar and benefited from his rule, but supported Marcus Iunius Brutus and the Senate in their conflict with Augustus, having won, in 40 BC confiscated Cremona's land and redistributed it to his men; the famous poet Virgil, who went to school in Cremona, had to forfeit his ancestral farm, but regained it. The city's prosperity continued to increase until 69 AD, when it was sacked and destroyed in the Second Battle of Bedriacum by the troops of Vespasian under command of Marcus Antonius Primus, fighting to install him as Emperor against his rival Vitellius. Cremona was rebuilt with the help of the new emperor Vespasian, but it seems to have failed to regain its former prosperity as it disappeared from history until the 6th century, when it resurfaced as a military outpost of the Eastern Roman Empire during the Gothic War; when the Lombards invaded much of Italy in the second half of the 6th century AD, Cremona remained a Byzantine stronghold as part of the Exarchate of Ravenna.
The city expanded towards the north-west, with the creation of a great trenched camp outside the walls. In 603, it was again destroyed, its territory was divided between the two duchies of Bergamo. However, in 615 queen Theodelinda, a devout Roman Catholic intent on converting her people, had Cremona rebuilt and re-installed a bishop there. Control of the city fell to its bishop, who became a Holy Roman Empire vassal after Charlemagne's conquest of Italy. In this way, Cremona increased its power and its prosperity and some of its bishops had important roles between the 10th and 11th centuries. Bishop Liutprand of Cremona was a member of the Imperial court under the Saxony dynasty and Olderic gained strong privileges for his city from emperor Otto III, its economy was boosted by the creation of a river port out of the former Byzantine fortress. However, the two bishops Ubaldo created discord with the city's people. Emperor Conrad II settled the quarrel by entering in Cremona in 1037 together with the young Pope Benedict IX.
Under Henry IV, Cremona refused to pay the oppressive taxes requested by the bishop. According to a legend, the great gonfaloniere Giovanni Baldesio of Cremona faced the emperor himself in a duel; as Henry was knocked from his horse, the city was saved the annual payment of the 3 kg golden ball, for that year, was instead given to Berta, Giovanni's girlfriend, as her dowry. The first historical news about a free Cremona is from 1093, as it entered into an anti-Empire alliance led by Mathilde of Canossa, together with Lodi and Piacenza; the conflict ended with the defeat of Henry IV and his famous humiliation of Canossa to Pope Urban II in 1098. Cremona gained the area around the nearby city of Crema, as its territory. After that time, the new commune warred against nearby cities to enlarge its territory. In 1107 Cremona conquered Tortona, but four years its army was defeated near Bressanoro; as in many northern Italian cities, the people were divided into two opposing parties, the Guelphs, who were stronger in the new city, the Ghibellines, who had their base in the old city.
The parties were so irreconcilable that the former built a second Communal Palace, the still existing Palazzo Cittanova. When Frederick Barbarossa descended into Italy to assert his authority, Cremona sided with him in order to gain his support against Crema, which had rebelled with the help of Milan; the subsequent victory and its loyal imperial stance earned Cremona the right to create a mint for its own coinage in 1154. In 1162, Imperial and Cremonese forces destroyed it. However, in 1167 the city joined the Lombard League, its troops were part of the army. However, the Lombard League did not survive this victory for long. In 1213, at Castelleone, the Cremonese defeated the League of Milan, Crema, Novara and Brescia. In 1232, Cremona allied itself with Emperor Frederick II, again trying to reassert the Empire's authority over Northern Italy. In the Battle of Cortenuova, the Cremonese were on the winning side. Thereafter Frederick held his court in the city. In the Battle of Parma, the Ghibellines suffered a heavy defeat and up to two thousand Cremonese were made prisoners.
Martin Pierre Marsick
Martin Pierre Joseph Marsick, was a Belgian violin player and teacher. His violin was made by Antonio Stradivari in 1705 and has since become known as the Ex Marsick Stradivarius, it was the instrument of David Oistrakh from 1966-74. Marsick's nephew, Armand Marsick, the son of his brother Louis François, was a major violinist of the 20th century. In 1854, seven-year-old Marsick was admitted to the Royal Conservatory of Music in Liège, to study violin with Désiré Heynberg. Graduating with the gold medal in 1864, he continued his studies in Brussels with Hubert Léonard and became the pupil of Joseph Massart at the Paris Conservatory in 1868. In 1871, Marsick joined the newly established Société Nationale de Musique in Paris and founded a string quartet. Between 1875 and 1895, he performed in concerts in collaboration with the leading conductors in Paris - Charles Lamoureux, Jules Pasdeloup, Édouard Colonne, while touring the rest of Europe and the United States, he played additionally with Joseph Joachim and in a trio with the cellist Anatoliy Brandukov and the pianist Vladimir von Pachmann.
From 1892 until 1900, he was a professor at the Paris Conservatory, where his students included Carl Flesch, Jacques Thibaud, George Enescu. In 1900, he deserted his wife Berthe Marsick née Mollot and his pupils and fled abroad with a married woman. Although the woman rejoined her husband and Marsick returned to Paris in 1903, his professional career never recovered from the scandal and he died in poverty. Marsick published a series of finger exercises entitled Eureka in 1906 and his La Grammaire du violon appeared in 1924. Besides these, he composed the septet Souvenir de Naples for strings and clarinet. StageLe Puits, Lyric Drama. Capriccioso in A minorAirs de Ballet de Françoise de Rimini de Ambroise Thomas, 2 Transcriptions for violin and piano Adagio et Capriccio Pastorale, HabaneraRêverie No. 2 for violin and piano or string quartet, Op. 15 Songe for violin and piano, Op. 16 Tarentelle for violin and piano, Op. 19 Nocturne for violin and piano, Op. 20 Poème d'été for violin and piano, Op. 24 Captivante Exaltation Attente Valse triompheFleurs des cimes for violin and piano, Op. 25 Valencia for violin and piano, Op. 26 Les Hespérides for violin and piano, Op. 27 Petites fleurs musicales de l'âme for violin and piano Petite romance expressive for violin and piano, Op. 32 Souvenir de Naples for 2 violins, cello, double bass and clarinet, Op. 33 Piano Quartet for violin, viola and piano, Op. 43 Au pays du soleil, Poème for violin and pianoPedigogicalEureka!, Mécanisme nouveau pour "se mettre en doigts" en quelques minutes, Op. 34 La Grammaire du violon Sample entry from the Biographical Dictionary of Violinists at the Wayback Machine Free scores by Martin Pierre Marsick at the International Music Score Library Project
Bristol is a city and county in South West England with a population of 459,300. The wider district has the 10th-largest population in England; the urban area population of 724,000 is the 8th-largest in the UK. The city borders North Somerset and South Gloucestershire, with the cities of Bath and Gloucester to the south-east and north-east, respectively. South Wales lies across the Severn estuary. Iron Age hill forts and Roman villas were built near the confluence of the rivers Frome and Avon, around the beginning of the 11th century the settlement was known as Brycgstow. Bristol received a royal charter in 1155 and was divided between Gloucestershire and Somerset until 1373, when it became a county of itself. From the 13th to the 18th century, Bristol was among the top three English cities after London in tax receipts. Bristol was surpassed by the rapid rise of Birmingham and Liverpool in the Industrial Revolution. Bristol was a starting place for early voyages of exploration to the New World.
On a ship out of Bristol in 1497 John Cabot, a Venetian, became the first European since the Vikings to land on mainland North America. In 1499 William Weston, a Bristol merchant, was the first Englishman to lead an exploration to North America. At the height of the Bristol slave trade, from 1700 to 1807, more than 2,000 slave ships carried an estimated 500,000 people from Africa to slavery in the Americas; the Port of Bristol has since moved from Bristol Harbour in the city centre to the Severn Estuary at Avonmouth and Royal Portbury Dock. Bristol's modern economy is built on the creative media and aerospace industries, the city-centre docks have been redeveloped as centres of heritage and culture; the city has the largest circulating community currency in the UK—the Bristol pound, pegged to the Pound sterling. The city has two universities, the University of Bristol and the University of the West of England, a variety of artistic and sporting organisations and venues including the Royal West of England Academy, the Arnolfini, Spike Island, Ashton Gate and the Memorial Stadium.
It is connected to London and other major UK cities by road and rail, to the world by sea and air: road, by the M5 and M4. One of the UK's most popular tourist destinations, Bristol was selected in 2009 as one of the world's top ten cities by international travel publishers Dorling Kindersley in their Eyewitness series of travel guides; the Sunday Times named it as the best city in Britain in which to live in 2014 and 2017, Bristol won the EU's European Green Capital Award in 2015. The most ancient recorded name for Bristol is the archaic Welsh Caer Odor, consistent with modern understanding that early Bristol developed between the River Frome and Avon Gorge, it is most stated that the Saxon name Bricstow was a simple calque of the existing Celtic name, with Bric a literal translation of Odor, the common Saxon suffix Stow replacing Caer. Alternative etymologies are supported by numerous orthographic variations in medieval documents, with Samuel Seyer enumerating 47 alternative forms; the Old English form Brycgstow is used to derive the meaning place at the bridge.
Utilizing another form, Rev. Dr. Shaw derived the name from the Celtic words bras, or braos and tuile; the poet Thomas Chatterton popularised a derivation from Brictricstow linking the town to Brictric, a leading landholder in the area. It appears that the form Bricstow prevailed until 1204, the Bristolian'L' is what changed the name to Bristol. Archaeological finds, including flint tools believed to be between 300,000 and 126,000 years old made with the Levallois technique, indicate the presence of Neanderthals in the Shirehampton and St Annes areas of Bristol during the Middle Palaeolithic. Iron Age hill forts near the city are at Leigh Woods and Clifton Down, on the side of the Avon Gorge, on Kings Weston Hill near Henbury. A Roman settlement, existed at what is now Sea Mills. Isolated Roman villas and small forts and settlements were scattered throughout the area. Bristol was founded by 1000. By 1067 Brycgstow was a well-fortified burh, that year the townsmen beat off a raiding party from Ireland led by three of Harold Godwinson's sons.
Under Norman rule, the town had one of the strongest castles in southern England. Bristol was the place of exile for Diarmait Mac Murchada, the Irish king of Leinster, after being overthrown; the Bristol merchants subsequently played a prominent role in funding Richard Strongbow de Clare and the Norman invasion of Ireland. The port developed in the 11th century around the confluence of the Rivers Frome and Avon, adjacent to Bristol Bridge just outside the town walls. By the 12th century Bristol was an important port, handling much of England's trade with Ireland, including slaves. There was an important Jewish community in Bristol from the late 12th century through to the late 13th century when all Jews were expelled from England; the stone bridge built in 1247 was replaced by the current bridge during the 1760s. The town incorporated neighbouring suburbs and became a county in 1373, the first town in England to be given this status. During this period, Bristol became manufacturing centre. By the 14th centur