Provence is a geographical region and historical province of southeastern France, which extends from the left bank of the lower Rhône River to the west to the Italian border to the east, is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the south. It corresponds with the modern administrative région of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, includes the départements of Var, Bouches-du-Rhône, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence and parts of Alpes-Maritimes and Vaucluse; the largest city of the region is Marseille. The Romans made the region the first Roman province beyond the Alps and called it Provincia Romana, which evolved into the present name; until 1481 it was ruled by the Counts of Provence from their capital in Aix-en-Provence became a province of the Kings of France. While it has been part of France for more than five hundred years, it still retains a distinct cultural and linguistic identity in the interior of the region; the coast of Provence has some of the earliest known sites of human habitation in Europe. Primitive stone tools dating back 1 to 1.05 million years BC have been found in the Grotte du Vallonnet near Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, between Monaco and Menton.
More sophisticated tools, worked on both sides of the stone and dating to 600,000 BC, were found in the Cave of Escale at Saint Estėve-Janson, tools from 400,000 BC and some of the first fireplaces in Europe were found at Terra Amata in Nice. Tools dating to the Middle Paleolithic and Upper Paleolithic were discovered in the Observatory Cave, in the Jardin Exotique of Monaco; the Paleolithic period in Provence saw great changes in the climate. Two ice ages came and went, the sea level changed dramatically. At the beginning of the Paleolithic, the sea level in western Provence was 150 meters higher than today. By the end of the Paleolithic, it had dropped to 100 to 150 metres below the sea level today; the cave dwellings of the early inhabitants of Provence were flooded by the rising sea or left far from the sea and swept away by erosion. The changes in the sea level led to one of the most remarkable discoveries of signs of early man in Provence. In 1985, a diver named Henri Cosquer discovered the mouth of a submarine cave 37 metres below the surface of the Calanque de Morgiou near Marseille.
The entrance led to a cave above sea level. Inside, the walls of the Cosquer Cave are decorated with drawings of bison, auks and outlines of human hands, dating to between 27,000 and 19,000 BC; the end of the Paleolithic and beginning of the Neolithic period saw the sea settle at its present level, a warming of the climate and the retreat of the forests. The disappearance of the forests and the deer and other hunted game meant that the inhabitants of Provence had to survive on rabbits and wild sheep. In about 6000 BC, the Castelnovian people, living around Châteauneuf-les-Martigues, were among the first people in Europe to domesticate wild sheep, to cease moving from place to place. Once they settled in one place they were able to develop new industries. Inspired by pottery from the eastern Mediterranean, in about 6000 BC they created the first pottery made in France. Around 6000 BC, a wave of new settlers from the east, the Chasséens, arrived in Provence, they were farmers and warriors, displaced the earlier pastoral people from their lands.
They were followed about 2500 BC by another wave of people farmers, known as the Courronniens, who arrived by sea and settled along the coast of what is now the Bouches-du-Rhône. Traces of these early civilisations can be found in many parts of Provence. A Neolithic site dating to about 6,000 BC was discovered in Marseille near the Saint-Charles railway station, and a dolmen from the Bronze Age can be found near Draguignan. Between the 10th and 4th century BC, the Ligures were found in Provence from Massilia as far as modern Liguria, they were of uncertain origin. Strabo distinctly states they were not of a different race from the Gauls, they did not have their own alphabet, but their language remains in place names in Provence ending in the suffixes -asc, -osc. -inc, -ates, -auni. The ancient geographer Posidonios wrote of them: "Their country is dry; the soil is so rocky. The men compensate for the lack of wheat by hunting... They climb the mountains like goats." They were warlike. Traces of the Ligures remain today in the dolmens and other megaliths found in eastern Provence, in the primitive stone shelters called'Bories' found in the Luberon and Comtat, in the rock carvings in the Valley of Marvels near Mont Bégo in the Alpes-Maritimes, at an altitude of 2,000 meters.
Between the 8th and 5th centuries BC, tribes of Celtic peoples coming from Central Europe began moving into Provence. They had weapons made of iron, which allowed them to defeat the local tribes, who were still armed with bronze weapons. One tribe, called the Segobriga, settled near modern-day Marseille; the Caturiges and Cavares settled to the west of the Durance river. Celts and Ligurians spread throughout the area and the Celto-Ligures shared the territory of Provence, each tribe in its own alpine valley or settlement along a river, each with its own king and dynasty, they built hilltop forts and settlements given the Latin name oppida. Today the traces 165 oppida are found in the Var, as many as 285 in the Alp
John I of Aragon
John I, called by posterity the Hunter or the Lover of Elegance, but the Abandoned in his lifetime, was the King of Aragon from 1388 until his death. John was the eldest son of Peter IV and his third wife, the daughter of Peter II of Sicily, he was born in Perpignan, capital of the Rousillon, which at that time was part of the Principality of Catalonia, in the Crown of Aragon. He was a man of character, with a taste for verse, he was a Francophile and married Violant of Bar against the wishes of his father, who had wanted him to marry a princess of Sicily. His last marriage was happy, his wife participated in government, since the king was ill. Once on the throne, John abandoned his father's Anglophile policy and made an alliance with France, he continued Aragon's support for the Pope of Clement VII, in the Western Schism. John made an alliance with Castile, confirmed in 1388 a treaty with Navarre fixing borders between these kingdoms. In 1389-90, the Aragonese battled the troops of the Count of Armagnac, John III, attempting to conquer the lands of the vassal Kingdom of Majorca.
The attack went from Empordà to Girona. The invaders were defeated in 1390 by Aragonese troops commanded by John's brother Martin. During 1388-90, John lost all lands of the Duchies of Athens and Neopatras in Greece. In 1391, John promulgated legislation on Jews in different cities of the Kingdom of Aragon. In 1391, his administration faced a revolt in the vassal kingdom of Sicily, where the population had proclaimed Louis II of Naples as king. John was a protector of culture of Barcelona, he established in 1393 the Consistory of Barcelona, imitating the same office in Toulouse. Aragon had been attempting to subjugate Sardinia since the reign of James II, the Aragonese had conquered most of the island. However, in the 1380s, the remaining independent principality Arborea became a fortress of rebellion and the Aragonese were driven back by Eleanor de Bas-Serra; the Aragonese continued in John's reign to attempt to suppress rebels in Sardinia and regain lost territories. However, during John's reign the whole of Sardinia was lost.
John's reign was characterized by disastrous financial administration. He died during a hunt in forests near Foixà by a fall from his horse, like his namesake and contemporary, John I of Castile. Leaving no sons, he was succeeded by his younger brother Martin. Two daughters, survived to adulthood. From his first marriage on 24 June 1373 to Martha of Armagnac, daughter of Count Jean I of Armagnac: James Joanna, who married on 4 June 1392 at Barcelona to Mathieu, Count of Foix. Together they claimed the throne of Aragon after her father's death. Matthew of Foix was driven back by the new King Martin. Joanna died soon after, childless. John Alfonso Eleanor From his second marriage on 2 February 1380 to Yolande of Bar, daughter of Robert I, Duke of Bar and Marie of Valois: James, Duke of Girona and Count of Cervera Yolande, married on 2 December 1400 to Louis II of Naples Ferdinand, Duke of Girona and Count of Cervera Antonia Eleanor Peter, Duke of Girona and Count of Cervera Joanna Gómez, Maricarmen: "Música y corte a fines del Medioevo: el episodio del Sur", in Historia de la música en España e Hispanoamérica 1.
De los orígenes hasta c. 1470. Madrid-México D. F. Fondo de Cultura Económica, 2009. ISBN 978-84-375-0638-8 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed.. "John I of Aragon". Encyclopædia Britannica. 15. Cambridge University Press. P. 440
Barcelona is a city in Spain. It is the capital and largest city of the autonomous community of Catalonia, as well as the second most populous municipality of Spain. With a population of 1.6 million within city limits, its urban area extends to numerous neighbouring municipalities within the Province of Barcelona and is home to around 4.8 million people, making it the sixth most populous urban area in the European Union after Paris, Madrid, the Ruhr area and Milan. It is one of the largest metropolises on the Mediterranean Sea, located on the coast between the mouths of the rivers Llobregat and Besòs, bounded to the west by the Serra de Collserola mountain range, the tallest peak of, 512 metres high. Founded as a Roman city, in the Middle Ages Barcelona became the capital of the County of Barcelona. After merging with the Kingdom of Aragon, Barcelona continued to be an important city in the Crown of Aragon as an economic and administrative centre of this Crown and the capital of the Principality of Catalonia.
Barcelona has a rich cultural heritage and is today an important cultural centre and a major tourist destination. Renowned are the architectural works of Antoni Gaudí and Lluís Domènech i Montaner, which have been designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites; the headquarters of the Union for the Mediterranean are located in Barcelona. The city is known for hosting the 1992 Summer Olympics as well as world-class conferences and expositions and many international sport tournaments. Barcelona is one of the world's leading tourist, trade fair and cultural centres, its influence in commerce, entertainment, fashion and the arts all contribute to its status as one of the world's major global cities, it is a major cultural and economic centre in southwestern Europe, 24th in the world and a financial centre. In 2008 it was the fourth most economically powerful city by GDP in the European Union and 35th in the world with GDP amounting to €177 billion. In 2012 Barcelona had a GDP of $170 billion. In 2009 the city was ranked one of the world's most successful as a city brand.
In the same year the city was ranked Europe's fourth best city for business and fastest improving European city, with growth improved by 17% per year, the city has been experiencing strong and renewed growth for the past three years. Since 2011 Barcelona has been a leading smart city in Europe. Barcelona is a transport hub, with the Port of Barcelona being one of Europe's principal seaports and busiest European passenger port, an international airport, Barcelona–El Prat Airport, which handles over 50 million passengers per year, an extensive motorway network, a high-speed rail line with a link to France and the rest of Europe; the name Barcelona comes from the ancient Iberian Barkeno, attested in an ancient coin inscription found on the right side of the coin in Iberian script as, in ancient Greek sources as Βαρκινών, Barkinṓn. Some older sources suggest that the city may have been named after the Carthaginian general Hamilcar Barca, supposed to have founded the city in the 3rd century BC, but there is no evidence that Barcelona was a Carthaginian settlement, or that its name in antiquity, had any connection with the Barcid family of Hamilcar.
During the Middle Ages, the city was variously known as Barchinona, Barçalona and Barchenona. Internationally, Barcelona's name is wrongly abbreviated to'Barça'. However, this name refers only to the football club; the common abbreviated form used by locals is Barna. Another common abbreviation is'BCN', the IATA airport code of the Barcelona-El Prat Airport; the city is referred to as the Ciutat Comtal in Catalan, Ciudad Condal in Spanish, owing to its past as the seat of the Count of Barcelona. The origin of the earliest settlement at the site of present-day Barcelona is unclear; the ruins of an early settlement have been found, including different tombs and dwellings dating to earlier than 5000 BC. The founding of Barcelona is the subject of two different legends; the first attributes the founding of the city to the mythological Hercules. The second legend attributes the foundation of the city directly to the historical Carthaginian general, Hamilcar Barca, father of Hannibal, who named the city Barcino after his family in the 3rd century BC, but there is no historical or linguistic evidence that this is true.
In about 15 BC, the Romans redrew the town as a castrum centred on the "Mons Taber", a little hill near the contemporary city hall. Under the Romans, it was a colony with the surname of Faventia, or, in full, Colonia Faventia Julia Augusta Pia Barcino or Colonia Julia Augusta Faventia Paterna Barcino. Pomponius Mela mentions it among the small towns of the district as it was eclipsed by its neighbour Tarraco, but it may be gathered from writers that it grew in wealth and consequence, favoured as it was with a beautiful situation and an excellent harbour, it enjoyed immunity from imperial burdens. The city minted its own coins. Important Roman vestiges are displayed in Plaça del Rei underground, as a part of the Barcelona City History Museum; some remaining fragments of the Roman walls have been incorporated into the cathedral. The cathedral known as the Basilica La Seu, is said to have been founded in 343; the city
North Africa is a region encompassing the northern portion of the African continent. There is no singularly accepted scope for the region, it is sometimes defined as stretching from the Atlantic shores of Morocco in the west, to Egypt's Suez Canal and the Red Sea in the east. Others have limited it to top North-Western countries like Algeria and Tunisia, a region, known by the French during colonial times as "Afrique du Nord" and is known by all Arabs as the Maghreb; the most accepted definition includes Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt, the 6 countries that shape the top North of the African continent. Meanwhile, "North Africa" when used in the term North Africa and the Middle East refers only to the countries of the Maghreb and Libya. Egypt, being part of the Middle East, is considered separately, due to being both North African and Middle Eastern at the same time. North Africa includes a number of Spanish and Portuguese possessions, Plazas de soberanía, Ceuta and Melilla and the Canary Islands and Madeira.
The countries of North Africa share a common ethnic and linguistic identity, unique to this region. Northwest Africa has been inhabited by Berbers since the beginning of recorded history, while the eastern part of North Africa has been home to the Egyptians. Between the A. D. 600s and 1000s, Arabs from the Middle East swept across the region in a wave of Muslim conquest. These peoples, physically quite similar, formed a single population in many areas, as Berbers and Egyptians merged into Arabic and Muslim culture; this process of Arabization and Islamization has defined the cultural landscape of North Africa since. The distinction between North Africa, the Sahel and the rest of the continent is as follows: Nineteenth century European explorers, attracted by the accounts of Ancient geographers or Arab geographers of the classical period, followed the routes by the nomadic people of the vast "empty" space, they documented the names of the stopping places they discovered or rediscovered, described landscapes, took a few climate measurements and gathered rock samples.
A map began to fill in the white blotch. The Sahara and the Sahel entered the geographic corpus by way of naturalist explorers because aridity is the feature that circumscribes the boundaries of the ecumene; the map details included topographical relief and location of watering holes crucial to long crossings. The Arabic word "Sahel" and "Sahara" made its entry into the vocabulary of geography. Latitudinally, the "slopes" of the arid desert, devoid of continuous human habitation, descend in step-like fashion toward the northern and southern edges of the Mediterranean that opens to Europe and the Sahel that opens to "Trab al Sudan." Longitudinally, a uniform grid divides the central desert shrinks back toward the Atlantic Ocean and the Red Sea. The Sahara-Sahel is further divided into a total of twenty sub-areas: central, southern, eastern, etc. In this way, "standard" geography has determined aridity to be the boundary of the ecumene, it identifies settlements based on visible activity without regard for social or political organizations of space in vast, purportedly “empty” areas.
It gives only cursory acknowledgement to what makes Saharan geography, for that matter, world geography unique: mobility and the routes by which it flows. The Sahel or "African Transition Zone" has been affected by many formative epochs in North African history ranging from Ottoman occupation to the Arab-Berber control of the Andalus; as a result, many modern African nation-states that are included in the Sahel evidence cultural similarities and historical overlap with their North African neighbours. In the present day, North Africa is associated with West Asia in the realm of geopolitics to form a Middle East-North Africa region; the Islamic influence in the area is significant and North Africa is a major part of the Muslim world. Some researchers have postulated that North Africa rather than East Africa served as the exit point for the modern humans who first trekked out of the continent in the Out of Africa migration. North Africa has three main geographic features: the Sahara desert in the south, the Atlas Mountains in the west, the Nile River and delta in the east.
The Atlas Mountains extend across much of northern Algeria and Tunisia. These mountains are part of the fold mountain system that runs through much of Southern Europe, they recede to the south and east, becoming a steppe landscape before meeting the Sahara desert, which covers more than 75 percent of the region. The tallest peaks are in the High Atlas range in south-central Morocco, which has many snow-capped peaks. South of the Atlas Mountains is the dry and barren expanse of the Sahara desert, the largest sand desert in the world. In places the desert is cut by irregular watercourses called wadis—streams that flow only after rainfalls but are dry; the Sahara's major landforms include large seas of sand that sometimes form into huge dunes. The Sahara covers the southern part of Algeria and Tunisia, most of Libya. Only two regions of Libya are outside the desert: Tripolitania in the northwest and Cyrenaica in the northeast. Most of Egypt is desert, with the exception of the Nile River and the irrigated land along its banks.
The Nile Valley forms a narrow fertile thread. Sheltered valleys in the Atlas Mountains, the Nile Valley and Delta, the Mediterranean coast are the main sources of fertile farming land. A wide variety of valuable crops including ce
Frederic, Count of Luna
Frederic, Count of Luna, was a contender for the crown of Aragon. Frederic was one of two illegitimate children recognised by King Martin the Younger of Sicily, his mother was the Sicilian noblewoman Tarsia Rizzani. In 1403, Frederic and his illegitimate paternal half-sister Violant were declared wards of the Crown of Aragon by their paternal grandfather, King Martin the Elder of Aragon; the royal councilor Francesc de Casasaja was ordered to bring them to Barcelona and to care for them until the King and his wife, Maria de Luna, decided "how to deal with the said son and daughter". Queen Maria, the children's grandmother, assumed the responsibility for their upbringing and education, their illegitimate status notwithstanding and his half-sister were the only grandchildren of the King and Queen of Aragon. The Queen died in 1406. In 1409, King Martin the Younger died, his father's death, following the deaths of his legitimate half-brothers, left Frederic as the only living male descendant of Martin the Elder, now king of Sicily.
Martin the Elder was fond of his grandson, but was aware that his illegitimacy rendered his claim to the thrones of the Crown of Aragon weaker when compared to that of the closest legitimate agnate, Count James II of Urgell. The old king intended to ensure Frederic's accession at least to the throne of Sicily, he thus sought to have Frederic legitimated by the pope, but died from laughter a year after Martin the Younger. The question of succession not being settled yet, an interregnum ensued. In 1412, Frederic's cousin, Ferdinand of Castile, became king according to the Compromise of Caspe; the nobility of Sicily preferred Frederic to Ferdinand, but the proposal to make the former into king of an independent Sicily failed. Frederic was made an admiral; as such, he took part in an expedition to the island of Djerba, commanded by Infante Peter, Count of Alburquerque, in 1425. He accompanied the army of King Alfonso the Magnanimous to Castile in order to liberate the King's brother, Infante Henry, Duke of Villena.
Frederic resumed his claim to the throne in the 1430s, for which he was imprisoned and all his lands, including the County of Luna and the city of Segorb, were confiscated. He died as a prisoner
Martin I of Sicily
Martin I of Sicily, called "The Younger", was King of Sicily from 1390 to 1409. Martin's father was the future King Martin I of Aragon, his grandparents were King Peter IV of Aragon and Eleanor of Sicily. In February, 1392 he married Maria of Sicily, born in 1362/1363. In 1392 he returned with Maria to Sicily with a military force and defeated a group of opposing barons. In 1394 the couple had their only son Peter, crown prince of Sicily, who died in 1400, he was considered feminine by his cohorts and advisors, many of his rumors involved being homosexual. He ruled Sicily jointly with Maria until her death at Lentini on 25 May 1401. At that time, he ruled Sicily alone. After his death in 1409 in Cagliari, his father, by king of Aragon, ruled Sicily as Martin II. After Maria's death Martin I the Younger married at Catania on 21 May 1402 by proxy and on 26 December 1402 in person Blanche of Navarre, heiress of the Evreux family and the future queen of Navarre, by whom he had an only son Martin in 1403, who died in Valencia in 1407.
No offspring of his two marriages survived childhood. But the effort failed, Fadrique was denied the succession by the Pact of Caspe. Fadrique died at Urena in 1438 without issue, he left a bastard daughter by Sicilian-born Agathe de Pesce, named Violante of Aragon, who died c. 1428 and was married twice: firstly in 1405 as his second wife to Enrique Pérez de Guzmán, 2nd Count de Niebla, secondly to his cousin Martín de Guzmán. Martin the Younger led the troops in the conquest of Sardinia in 1409, decisively defeating the ruler of Arborea at the Battle of Sanluri just before his own death. Urso, Carmelina. "Lo strano caso di Agatuccia Pesci e Tarsia Rizzari: Due "nemiche" alla corte di Martino i di Sicilia". Annali della facoltà di Scienze della formazione Università degli studi di Catania. 2016: 19–36. Retrieved 2017-09-29
Eleanor of Sicily
Eleanor of Sicily was Queen of Aragon from 1349 until 1375 as the third wife of King Peter IV. Eleanor was the daughter of Peter II of Sicily and Elisabeth of Carinthia, she was the second of eight children. Eleanor married in Valencia on 27 August 1349 to Peter IV of Aragon, on the condition that he renounce all rights to any Sicilian Crown, he was twice-widowed, had two surviving daughters: Constance and Joanna but no surviving sons. Eleanor became a powerful influence at the Aragonese court, replacing Bernardo de Cabrera as Peter's chief adviser. Eleanor's brother Frederick III the Simple, married Constance of Aragon. Frederick and Constance had a daughter, but no sons. In 1357 Frederick proposed to transfer the duchies of Athens and Neopatria to Eleanor in return for military help from her husband in Sicily, but was refused. Eleanor and Peter had four children: John I of Aragon, succeeded his father and was father himself of Yolande of Aragon, however he had no male issue so the throne passed to his younger brother Martin I of Aragon, succeeded John but had no surviving issue Eleanor, who married John I of Castile and was the mother of Ferdinand I of Aragon.
Alfonso, died youngIn 1373 Eleanor's eldest son John married Martha of Armagnac, a calm and conciliatory woman. Eleanor treated Martha as her own daughter. Upon a royal stay at her home in Empordà, Eleanor made Sibila of Fortia her lady-in-waiting; this led to an eventful future for the girl. In Lérida on 20 April 1375, Eleanor died leaving her husband a widower and her three surviving children, her husband remarried to Sibila, a girl, over thirty years his junior. Most of the family, including Eleanor's children, came into conflict with Sibila