Norodom Monineath Sihanouk is the queen mother of Cambodia. She was queen consort of Cambodia from 1952 to 1955 and again from 1993 to 2004, as the wife of King Norodom Sihanouk, she is the widow of King-Father Norodom Sihanouk, whom she married in 1952. Queen Monineath and King Sihanouk parented two children: Norodom Narindrapong, her official, full title is " Samdech Preah Mahaksatrey Norodom Monineath Sihanouk". The Queen is called "Preah Voreakreach Meada Cheat Khmer", her birthday on 18 June is an official public holiday in Cambodia. Norodom Monineath was born on 18 June 1936, in Saigon, French Indochina, she was born Paule-Monique Izzi, is sometimes referred to as Queen Monique. Her father, Jean-François Izzi, was a French banker of Corsican and Italian descent, Director of Crédit Foncier in Saigon, killed in World War II, her mother, Pomme Peang, was from Phnom Penh. She studied at the Primary School Norodom, Sisowath High School, the Lycée René Descartes, she met Norodom Sihanouk in 1951. They married in 1952, a second time in 1955.
She has been described as the close confidant of Sihanouk. In 1955, her husband abdicated, but remained in charge of the rule of the country: in 1960, he became head of state again, but known as premier and with the title prince. Princess Monique, as she was called during this period, was exposed to some criticism from both the Khmer Republic as well as the Khmer Rouge for her life during the reign of Sihanouk in the 1960s; the propaganda of the Khmer Republic was to accuse her of having caused the strained relationship between Sihanouk and his mother, the popular queen mother Sisowath Kossamak. The Khmer Rouge once burned her image in effigy for corruption. Princess Monique served as President of the Cambodian Red Cross in 1967-1970. After the Cambodian coup of 1970, she joined her husband in exile first in Beijing in China and North Korea; as guests of the North Korean leader Kim Il-sung, a palace with 60 rooms was given them as their residence during their stay. In 1973, Norodom Sihanouk allied himself with the Khmer Rouge against Lon Nol.
The royal couple made a visit to Khmer Rouge territory in Cambodia before returning to China. After the fall of Phnom Penh to the Khmer Rouge in April 1975, she returned to the royal palace in Phnom Penh in Cambodia with her husband, appointed nominal head of state by the Khmer Rouge. From 1976 onward, they were both kept in house arrest by the Khmer Rouge, they were subjected to a political re-education program during these years, at least 18 members of the extended royal house were killed. The regime suggested to have them executed, but this was prevented by intervention by China and North Korea. In January 1979, Pol Pot allowed for her and her husband to be evacuated from Cambodia by the Chinese; the original plan was to evacuate only Sihanouk and Monineath, but Pol Pot himself insisted that all members of the royal house should be given a place on the Chinese plane. Norodom Monineath spent the following years with her spouse as state guests of China and North Korea, she is credited to have played some part in the peace negotiations arranged between Sihanouk and Hun Sen by Tong Siv Eng in 1987 and 1988, she is known to have been present during the negotiations.
In 1991, she returned to Cambodia with Sihanouk. On 22 February 1992, she was elevated by the King to the rank of Samdech Preah Cheayea. On 24 September 1993, she was raised to the rank of Samdech Preah Mohèsey Norodom Monineath of Cambodia. On 2 January 1996, the King elevated her to the rank of Samdech Preah Reach Akka Mohèsey Norodom Monineath. Sihanouk suggested to change the constitution to make it possible for her to be a regent and succeed him on the throne, but this did not come about, he chose to abdicate in favor of their son instead. Monineath speaks Khmer and English, she is the Cambodian Red Cross Honorary President. The King Father and the Queen Mother have two sons: Norodom Sihamoni, he is the current King of Cambodia. Norodom Narindrapong has two daughters. President of Honour of the Cambodian Red Cross Society. Co-President of the Funcinpec Party. Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Order of Cambodia. Malaya: Honorary Grand Commander of the Order of the Crown of the Realm Ethiopia: Dame Grand Cross of the Order of the Queen of Sheba.
Mali: Dame Grand Cross of the National Order of Mali. King
Royal Ploughing Ceremony
The Royal Ploughing Ceremony known as The Ploughing Festival is an ancient royal rite held in many Asian countries to mark the traditional beginning of the rice growing season. The royal ploughing ceremony, called Lehtun Mingala or Mingala Ledaw, was practiced in pre-colonial Burma until 1885 when the monarchy was abolished. In the various versions of Ramayana, the heroine appears from the ploughed earth as a baby when Janaka, the king of Videha ploughs the field in the royal ceremony; this is the earliest historical account of this agricultural ritual Sita#Birth. This tradition is a pan-Greater Indian agricultural ritual Thai painting. In Thailand, the common name of the ceremony is Raek Na Khwan which means the "auspicious beginning of the rice growing season"; the royal ceremony is called Phra Ratcha Phithi Charot Phra Nangkhan Raek Na Khwan which means the "royal ploughing ceremony marking the auspicious beginning of the rice growing season". This Raek Na Khwan ceremony is of Hindu origin.
Thailand observes another Buddhist ceremony called Phuetcha Mongkhon which means "prosperity for plantation". The royal ceremony is called Phra Ratcha Phithi Phuetcha Mongkhon; the official translation of Phuetcha Mongkhon is "Harvest Festival". King Mongkut combined both the Buddhist and Hindu ceremonies into a single royal ceremony called Phra Ratcha Phithi Phuetcha Mongkhon Charot Phra Nangkhan Raek Na Khwan; the Buddhist part is conducted in the Grand Palace first and is followed by the Hindu part held at Sanam Luang, Bangkok. At present, the day on which Phra Ratcha Phithi Phuetcha Mongkhon Charot Phra Nangkhan Raek Na Khwan is held is called Phuetcha Mongkhon Day, it has been a public holiday since 1957. The traditional date of the Burmese royal ploughing ceremony was the beginning of the Buddhist lent in the Burmese month of Waso. In 2009, the ceremony was held on May 11 on May 12 in Cambodia; the date is in May, but varies as it is determined by Hora. In 2013, the ceremony and public holiday was held on 13 May.
In Cambodia, the ceremony is held on a Tuesday or Saturday. In Thailand, the exact date and times for the yearly event are set annually by Brahman priests. Discontinued by the 1920s, this practice was revived beginning in 1960. In the ceremony, two sacred oxen are hitched to a wooden plough and they plough a furrow in some ceremonial ground, while rice seed is sown by court Brahmins. After the ploughing, the oxen are offered plates of food, including rice, green beans, fresh-cut grass and rice whisky. Depending on what the oxen eat, court astrologers and Brahmins make a prediction on whether the coming growing season will be bountiful or not; the ceremony is rooted in Brahman belief, is held to ensure a good harvest. In the case of the Burmese royal ploughing ceremony, it may have Buddhist associations. In traditional accounts of the Buddha's life, Prince Siddhartha, as an infant, performed his first miracle during a royal ploughing ceremony, by meditating underneath a rose apple tree, thus exemplifying his precocious nature.
Burmese chronicles traditionally attribute the start of this rite to the late 500s CE during the Pagan dynasty, when it was performed by the kings Htuntaik and Htunchit, all of whom bear the name'htun' or'plow.' However, this costly ritual was it performed by every monarch. During this ritual, the king plowed a designated field outside the royal palace called the ledawgyi with white oxen that were adorned with golden and silver, followed by princes and ministers, who took turns to ceremonially plow the fields. While the plowing was undertaken, Brahmin priests offered prayers and offerings to the 15 Hindu deities, while a group of nat votaries and votaresses invoked the 37 chief nats; the ploughing ceremony was a ritual to propitiate the rain god, Moe Khaung Kyawzwa in order to ensure a good harvest for the kingdom, a way for the king to present himself as a peasant king to the commoners. In Thailand, the rite dates back to the Sukhothai Kingdom. During John Crawfurd's Siam mission, he noted on 27 April 1822 This was a day of some celebrity in the Siamese calendar, being that on which the kings of Siam, in former times, were wont to hold the plough, like the Emperors of China, wither as a religious ceremony, or as an example of agricultural industry to their subjects.
This rite has long fallen into disuse, given place to one which, to say the least of it, is of less dignity... A Siamese...who had witnessed it, gave me the following description:—A person is chosen for this occasion to represent the King. This monarch of a day is known by King of the Husbandmen, he stands in the midst of a rice-field, on one foot only, it being incumbent on him to continue in this uneasy attitude during the time that a common peasant takes in ploughing once around him in a circle. Dropping the other foot, until the circle is completed, is looked upon as a most unlucky omen.
A coronation is the act of placement or bestowal of a crown upon a monarch's head. The term also refers not only to the physical crowning but to the whole ceremony wherein the act of crowning occurs, along with the presentation of other items of regalia, marking the formal investiture of a monarch with regal power. Aside from the crowning, a coronation ceremony may comprise many other rituals such as the taking of special vows by the monarch, the investing and presentation of regalia to the monarch, acts of homage by the new ruler's subjects and the performance of other ritual deeds of special significance to the particular nation. Western-style coronations have included anointing the monarch with holy oil, or chrism as it is called; the monarch's consort may be crowned, either with the monarch or as a separate event. Once a vital ritual among the world's monarchies, coronations have changed over time for a variety of socio-political and religious factors. In the past, concepts of royalty and deity were inexorably linked.
In some ancient cultures, rulers were considered to be divine or divine: the Egyptian pharaoh was believed to be the son of Ra, the sun god, while in Japan, the emperor was believed to be a descendant of Amaterasu, the sun goddess. Rome promulgated the practice of emperor worship. Coronations were once a direct visual expression of these alleged connections, but recent centuries have seen the lessening of such beliefs. Coronations are still observed in the United Kingdom and several Asian and African countries. In Europe, most monarchs are required to take a simple oath in the presence of the country's legislature. Besides a coronation, a monarch's accession may be marked in many ways: some nations may retain a religious dimension to their accession rituals while others have adopted simpler inauguration ceremonies, or no ceremony at all; some cultures use bathing or cleansing rites, the drinking of a sacred beverage, or other religious practices to achieve a comparable effect. Such acts symbolise the granting of divine favour to the monarch within the relevant spiritual-religious paradigm of the country.
Coronation in common parlance today may in a broader sense, refer to any formal ceremony in relation to the accession of a monarch, whether or not an actual crown is bestowed, such ceremonies may otherwise be referred to as investitures, inaugurations, or enthronements. The date of the act of ascension, however precedes the date of the ceremony of coronation. For example, the Coronation of Elizabeth II took place on 2 June 1953 sixteen months after her accession to the throne on 6 February 1952 on the death of her father George VI; the coronation ceremonies in medieval Christendom, both Western and Eastern, are influenced by the practice of the Roman Emperors as it developed during Late Antiquity, indirectly influenced by Biblical accounts of kings being crowned and anointed. The European coronation ceremonies best known in the form they have taken in Great Britain, descend from rites created in Byzantium, Visigothic Spain, Carolingian France and the Holy Roman Empire and brought to their apogee during the Medieval era.
In non-Christian states, coronation rites evolved from a variety of sources related to the religious beliefs of that particular nation. Buddhism, for instance, influenced the coronation rituals of Thailand and Bhutan, while Hindu elements played a significant role in Nepalese rites; the ceremonies used in modern Egypt, Malaysia and Iran were shaped by Islam, while Tonga's ritual combines ancient Polynesian influences with more modern Anglican ones. Coronations, in one form or another, have existed since ancient times. Egyptian records show coronation scenes, such as that of Seti I in 1290 BC. Judeo-Christian scriptures testify to particular rites associated with the conferring of kingship, the most detailed accounts of which are found in II Kings 11:12 and II Chronicles 23:11; the corona radiata, the "radiant crown" known best on the Statue of Liberty, worn by the Helios, the Colossus of Rhodes, was worn by Roman emperors as part of the cult of Sol Invictus, part of the imperial cult as it developed during the 3rd century.
The origin of the crown is thus religious, comparable to the significance of a halo, marking the sacral nature of kingship, expressing that either the king is himself divine, or ruling by divine right. The precursor to the crown was the browband called the diadem, worn by the Achaemenid rulers, was adopted by Constantine I, was worn by all subsequent rulers of the Roman Empire. Following the assumption of the diadem by Constantine and Byzantine emperors continued to wear it as the supreme symbol of their authority. Although no specific coronation ceremony was observed at first, one evolved over the following century; the emperor Julian was hoisted upon a shield and crowned with a gold necklace provided by one of his standard-bearers. Emperors were crowned and acclaimed in a similar manner, until the momentous decision was taken to permit the Patriarch of Constantinople to physically place the crown on the emperor's head. Historians debate when this first took place, but the precedent was established by the reign of Leo II, crowned by the Patriarch Acacius in 473.
This ritual in
The Khmer script is an abugida script used to write the Khmer language. It is used to write Pali in the Buddhist liturgy of Cambodia and Thailand; the Khmer script was adapted from the Pallava script, which descended from the Brahmi script, used in southern India and South East Asia during the 5th and 6th centuries AD. The oldest dated inscription in Khmer was found at Angkor Borei District in Takéo Province south of Phnom Penh and dates from 611; the modern Khmer script differs somewhat from precedent forms seen on the inscriptions of the ruins of Angkor. The Thai and Lao scripts are descendants of an older form of the Khmer script. Khmer is written from left to right. Words within the same sentence or phrase are run together with no spaces between them. Consonant clusters within a word are "stacked", with the second consonant being written in reduced form under the main consonant. There were 35 consonant characters, but modern Khmer uses only 33; each character represents a consonant sound together with an inherent vowel, either â or ô.
There are some independent vowel characters, but vowel sounds are more represented as dependent vowels, additional marks accompanying a consonant character, indicating what vowel sound is to be pronounced after that consonant. Most dependent vowels have two different pronunciations, depending in most cases on the inherent vowel of the consonant to which they are added. There are a number of diacritics used to indicate further modifications in pronunciation; the script includes its own numerals and punctuation marks. There are 35 Khmer consonant symbols, although modern Khmer only uses 33, two having become obsolete; each consonant has an inherent vowel: â /ɑː/ or ô /ɔː/. A consonant's series determines the pronunciation of the dependent vowel symbols which may be attached to it, in some positions the sound of the inherent vowel is itself pronounced; the two series represented voiceless and voiced consonants respectively. Each consonant, with one exception has a subscript form; these may be called "sub-consonants".
Most subscript consonants resemble the corresponding consonant symbol, but in a smaller and simplified form, although in a few cases there is no obvious resemblance. Most subscript consonants are written directly below other consonants, although subscript r appears to the left, while a few others have ascending elements which appear to the right. Subscripts are used in writing consonant clusters. Clusters in Khmer consist of two consonants, although in the middle of a word there will be three; the first consonant in a cluster is written using the main consonant symbol, with the second attached to it in subscript form. Subscripts were also used to write final consonants; the consonants and their subscript forms are listed in the following table. Usual phonetic values are given using the International Phonetic Alphabet; the sound system is described in detail at Khmer phonology. The spoken name of each consonant letter is its value together with its inherent vowel. Transliterations are given using the UNGEGN system.
The letter bâ appears in somewhat modified form. The letter ញ nhô is written without the lower curve; when it is subscripted to itself, the subscript is a smaller form of the entire letter: ញ្ញ -nhnh-. Note that ដ dâ and ត tâ have the same subscript form. In initial clusters this subscript is always pronounced, but in medial positions it is in some words and in others; the series ដ dâ, ឋ thâ, ឌ dô, ឍ thô, ណ nâ represented retroflex consonants in the Indic parent scripts. The second and fourth of these are rare, occur only for etymological reasons in a few Pali and Sanskrit loanwords; because the sound /n/ is common, grammatically productive, in Mon-Khmer languages, the fifth of this group, ណ, was adapted as an a-series counterpart of ន nô for convenience. The aspirated consonant letters are pronounced with aspiration only before a vowel. There is slight aspiration with k, ch, t and p sounds before certain consonants, but this is regardless of whether they are spelt with a letter that indicates aspiration.
A Khmer word cannot end with more than one consonant sound, so subscript consonants at the end of words are not pronounced, although they may come to be pronounced when the same word begins a compound. In some words, a single medial consonant symbol represents both the final consonant of one syllable and the initial consonant of the next; the letter ប bâ represents only before a vowel. When final or followed by a subscript consonant, it is pronounced (and in the case where it is followed by a subscript consonant, i
France the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean, it is bordered by Belgium and Germany to the northeast and Italy to the east, Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic and Indian oceans; the country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Nice. During the Iron Age, what is now metropolitan France was inhabited by a Celtic people. Rome annexed the area in 51 BC, holding it until the arrival of Germanic Franks in 476, who formed the Kingdom of Francia.
The Treaty of Verdun of 843 partitioned Francia into Middle Francia and West Francia. West Francia which became the Kingdom of France in 987 emerged as a major European power in the Late Middle Ages following its victory in the Hundred Years' War. During the Renaissance, French culture flourished and a global colonial empire was established, which by the 20th century would become the second largest in the world; the 16th century was dominated by religious civil wars between Protestants. France became Europe's dominant cultural and military power in the 17th century under Louis XIV. In the late 18th century, the French Revolution overthrew the absolute monarchy, established one of modern history's earliest republics, saw the drafting of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, which expresses the nation's ideals to this day. In the 19th century, Napoleon established the First French Empire, his subsequent Napoleonic Wars shaped the course of continental Europe. Following the collapse of the Empire, France endured a tumultuous succession of governments culminating with the establishment of the French Third Republic in 1870.
France was a major participant in World War I, from which it emerged victorious, was one of the Allies in World War II, but came under occupation by the Axis powers in 1940. Following liberation in 1944, a Fourth Republic was established and dissolved in the course of the Algerian War; the Fifth Republic, led by Charles de Gaulle, remains today. Algeria and nearly all the other colonies became independent in the 1960s and retained close economic and military connections with France. France has long been a global centre of art and philosophy, it hosts the world's fourth-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is the leading tourist destination, receiving around 83 million foreign visitors annually. France is a developed country with the world's sixth-largest economy by nominal GDP, tenth-largest by purchasing power parity. In terms of aggregate household wealth, it ranks fourth in the world. France performs well in international rankings of education, health care, life expectancy, human development.
France is considered a great power in global affairs, being one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council with the power to veto and an official nuclear-weapon state. It is a leading member state of the European Union and the Eurozone, a member of the Group of 7, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, La Francophonie. Applied to the whole Frankish Empire, the name "France" comes from the Latin "Francia", or "country of the Franks". Modern France is still named today "Francia" in Italian and Spanish, "Frankreich" in German and "Frankrijk" in Dutch, all of which have more or less the same historical meaning. There are various theories as to the origin of the name Frank. Following the precedents of Edward Gibbon and Jacob Grimm, the name of the Franks has been linked with the word frank in English, it has been suggested that the meaning of "free" was adopted because, after the conquest of Gaul, only Franks were free of taxation.
Another theory is that it is derived from the Proto-Germanic word frankon, which translates as javelin or lance as the throwing axe of the Franks was known as a francisca. However, it has been determined that these weapons were named because of their use by the Franks, not the other way around; the oldest traces of human life in what is now France date from 1.8 million years ago. Over the ensuing millennia, Humans were confronted by a harsh and variable climate, marked by several glacial eras. Early hominids led a nomadic hunter-gatherer life. France has a large number of decorated caves from the upper Palaeolithic era, including one of the most famous and best preserved, Lascaux. At the end of the last glacial period, the climate became milder. After strong demographic and agricultural development between the 4th and 3rd millennia, metallurgy appeared at the end of the 3rd millennium working gold and bronze, iron. France has numerous megalithic sites from the Neolithic period, including the exceptiona
Theravāda is the most ancient branch of extant Buddhism today and the one that preserved their version of the teachings of Gautama Buddha in the Pāli Canon. The Pāli Canon is the only complete Buddhist canon which survives in a classical Indian language, Pāli, which serves as both sacred language and lingua franca of Theravāda Buddhism. For more than a millennium, Theravāda has focused on preserving the dhamma as preserved in its texts and it tends to be conservative with regard to matters of doctrine and monastic discipline. Since the 19th century, meditation practice has been re-introduced and has become popular with a lay audience, both in traditional Theravada countries and in the west; as a distinct school of early Buddhism, Theravāda Buddhism developed in Sri Lanka and subsequently spread to the rest of Southeast Asia. It is the dominant form of religion in Cambodia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Thailand and is practiced by minority groups in India, China and Vietnam. In addition, the diaspora of all of these groups as well as converts around the world practice Theravāda Buddhism.
Contemporary expressions include Buddhist modernism, the Vipassana movement and the Thai Forest Tradition. The name Theravāda comes from the ancestral Sthāvirīya, one of the early Buddhist schools, from which the Theravadins claim descent; the Sthavira nikāya arose during the first schism in the Buddhist sangha, due to their desire to tighten monastic discipline by adding new Vinaya rules, against the wishes of the majority Mahāsāṃghika group who disagreed with this. According to its own accounts, the Theravāda school is fundamentally derived from the Vibhajjavāda "doctrine of analysis" grouping, a division of the Sthāvirīya. According to Damien Keown, there is no historical evidence that the Theravāda school arose until around two centuries after the Great Schism which occurred at the Third Council. Theravadin accounts of its own origins mention that it received the teachings that were agreed upon during the putative Third Buddhist council under the patronage of the Indian Emperor Ashoka around 250 BCE.
These teachings were known as the Vibhajjavāda. Emperor Ashoka is supposed to have assisted in purifying the sangha by expelling monks who failed to agree to the terms of Third Council; the elder monk Moggaliputta-Tissa was at the head of the Third council and compiled the Kathavatthu, a refutation of various opposing views, an important work in the Theravada Abhidhamma. The Vibhajjavādins in turn is said to have split into four groups: the Mahīśāsaka, Kāśyapīya, Dharmaguptaka in the north, the Tāmraparṇīya in South India; the Tambapaṇṇiya, were established in Sri Lanka but active in Andhra and other parts of South India and across South-East Asia. Inscriptional evidence of this school has been found in Nagarjunakonda. According to Buddhist scholar A. K. Warder, the Theravāda. Spread south from Avanti into Maharashtra and Andhra and down to the Chola country, as well as Sri Lanka. For some time they maintained themselves in Avanti as well as in their new territories, but they tended to regroup themselves in the south, the Great Vihara in Anuradhapura, the ancient capital of Sri Lanka, becoming the main centre of their tradition, Kanchi a secondary center and the northern regions relinquished to other schools.
The Theravāda is said to be descended from the Tāmraparṇīya sect, which means "the Sri Lankan lineage". Missionaries sent abroad from India are said to have included Ashoka's son Mahinda and his daughter Sanghamitta, they were the mythical founders of Buddhism in Sri Lanka, a story which scholars suggest helps to legitimize Theravāda's claims of being the oldest and most authentic school. According to the Mahavamsa chronicle their arrival in Sri Lanka is said to have been during the reign of Devanampiya Tissa of Anuradhapura who converted to Buddhism and helped build the first Buddhist stupas. According to S. D. Bandaranayake: The rapid spread of Buddhism and the emergence of an extensive organization of the sangha are linked with the secular authority of the central state... There are no known artistic or architectural remains from this epoch except for the cave dwellings of the monks, reflecting the growth and spread of the new religion; the most distinctive features of this phase and the only contemporary historical material, are the numerous Brahmi inscriptions associated with these caves.
They record gifts to the sangha by householders and chiefs rather than by kings. The Buddhist religion itself does not seem to have established undisputed authority until the reigns of Dutthagamani and Vattagamani... The first records of Buddha images come from the reign of king Vasabha, after the 3rd century AD the historical record shows a growth of the worship of Buddha images as well as Bodhisattvas. In the 7th century, the Chinese pilgrim monks Xuanzang and Yijing refer to the Buddhist schools in Sri Lanka as Shàngzuòbù, corresponding to the Sanskrit Sthavira nikāya and Pali Thera Nikāya. Yijing writes, "In Sri Lanka the Sthavira school alone flourishes; the school has been using the name Theravāda for itself in a written form since at least the 4th century, about one thousand years after the Buddha's death, when the term appears in the Dīpavaṁsa. Between the reigns of Sena I and Mahinda IV, the city of Anuradhapura saw a "colossal building effort" by various kings during a long period of peace and prosperity, the great part o
The Czech Republic known by its short-form name, Czechia, is a landlocked country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west, Austria to the south, Slovakia to the east and Poland to the northeast. The Czech Republic covers an area of 78,866 square kilometres with a temperate continental climate and oceanic climate, it is a unitary parliamentary republic, with 10.6 million inhabitants. Other major cities are Brno, Ostrava and Pilsen; the Czech Republic is a member of the European Union, NATO, the OECD, the United Nations, the OSCE, the Council of Europe. It is a developed country with an advanced, high income export-oriented social market economy based in services and innovation; the UNDP ranks the country 14th in inequality-adjusted human development. The Czech Republic is a welfare state with a "continental" European social model, a universal health care system, tuition-free university education and is ranked 14th in the Human Capital Index, it ranks as the 6th safest or most peaceful country and is one of the most non-religious countries in the world, while achieving strong performance in democratic governance.
The Czech Republic includes the historical territories of Bohemia and Czech Silesia. The Czech state was formed in the late 9th century as the Duchy of Bohemia under the Great Moravian Empire. After the fall of the Empire in 907, the centre of power transferred from Moravia to Bohemia under the Přemyslid dynasty. In 1002, the duchy was formally recognized as an Imperial State of the Holy Roman Empire along with the Kingdom of Germany, the Kingdom of Burgundy, the Kingdom of Italy, numerous other territories, becoming the Kingdom of Bohemia in 1198 and reaching its greatest territorial extent in the 14th century. Beside Bohemia itself, the King of Bohemia ruled the lands of the Bohemian Crown, holding a vote in the election of the Holy Roman Emperor. In the Hussite Wars of the 15th century driven by the Protestant Bohemian Reformation, the kingdom faced economic embargoes and defeated five consecutive crusades proclaimed by the leaders of the Catholic Church. Following the Battle of Mohács in 1526, the whole Crown of Bohemia was integrated into the Habsburg Monarchy alongside the Archduchy of Austria and the Kingdom of Hungary.
The Protestant Bohemian Revolt against the Catholic Habsburgs led to the Thirty Years' War. After the Battle of the White Mountain, the Habsburgs consolidated their rule, eradicated Protestantism and reimposed Catholicism, adopted a policy of gradual Germanization; this contributed to the anti-Habsburg sentiment. A long history of resentment of the Catholic Church followed and still continues. With the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806, the Bohemian Kingdom became part of the German Confederation 1815-1866 as part of Austrian Empire and the Czech language experienced a revival as a consequence of widespread romantic nationalism. In the 19th century, the Czech lands became the industrial powerhouse of the monarchy and were subsequently the core of the Republic of Czechoslovakia, formed in 1918 following the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire after World War I. Czechoslovakia remained the only democracy in this part of Europe in the interwar period. However, the Czech part of Czechoslovakia was occupied by Germany in World War II, while the Slovak region became the Slovak Republic.
Most of the three millions of the German-speaking minority were expelled following the war. The Communist Party of Czechoslovakia won the 1946 elections and after the 1948 coup d'état, Czechoslovakia became a one-party communist state under Soviet influence. In 1968, increasing dissatisfaction with the regime culminated in a reform movement known as the Prague Spring, which ended in a Soviet-led invasion. Czechoslovakia remained occupied until the 1989 Velvet Revolution, when the communist regime collapsed and market economy was reintroduced. On 1 January 1993, Czechoslovakia peacefully dissolved, with its constituent states becoming the independent states of the Czech Republic and Slovakia; the Czech Republic joined NATO in 1999 and the EU in 2004. The traditional English name "Bohemia" derives from Latin "Boiohaemum", which means "home of the Boii"; the current English name comes from the Polish ethnonym associated with the area, which comes from the Czech word Čech. The name comes from the Slavic tribe and, according to legend, their leader Čech, who brought them to Bohemia, to settle on Říp Mountain.
The etymology of the word Čech can be traced back to the Proto-Slavic root *čel-, meaning "member of the people. The country has been traditionally divided into three lands, namely Bohemia in the west, Moravia in the east, Czech Silesia in the northeast. Known as the lands of the Bohemian Crown since the 14th century, a number of other names for the country have been used, including Czech/Bohemian lands, Bohemian Crown and the lands of the Crown of Saint Wenceslas; when the country regained its independence after the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian empire in 1918, the new name of Czechoslovakia was coined to reflect the union of the Czech and Slovak nations within the one country. After Czechoslovakia dissolved in 1992, the Czech part lac