Calvinism is a major branch of Protestantism that follows the theological tradition and forms of Christian practice set down by John Calvin and other Reformation-era theologians. Calvinists broke from the Roman Catholic Church in the 16th century. Calvinists differ from Lutherans on the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist, theories of worship, the use of God's law for believers, among other things; as declared in the Westminster and Second Helvetic confessions, the core doctrines are predestination and election. The term Calvinism can be misleading, because the religious tradition which it denotes has always been diverse, with a wide range of influences rather than a single founder. In the context of the Reformation, Huldrych Zwingli began the Reformed tradition in 1519 in the city of Zürich, his followers were labeled Zwinglians, consistent with the Catholic practice of naming heresy after its founder. Soon, Zwingli was joined by Martin Bucer, Wolfgang Capito, William Farel, Johannes Oecolampadius and other early Reformed thinkers.
The namesake of the movement, French reformer John Calvin, converted to the Reformed tradition from Roman Catholicism only in the late 1520s or early 1530s as it was being developed. The movement was first called referring to John Calvin, by Lutherans who opposed it. Many within the tradition find it either an indescriptive or an inappropriate term and would prefer the word Reformed to be used instead; some Calvinists prefer the term Augustinian-Calvinism since Calvin credited his theology to Augustine of Hippo. The most important Reformed theologians include John Calvin, Huldrych Zwingli, Martin Bucer, William Farel, Heinrich Bullinger, Peter Martyr Vermigli, Theodore Beza, John Knox. In the twentieth century, Abraham Kuyper, Herman Bavinck, B. B. Warfield, J. Gresham Machen, Karl Barth, Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Cornelius Van Til, Gordon Clark, R. C. Sproul were influential. Contemporary Reformed theologians include J. I. Packer, John MacArthur, Timothy J. Keller, David Wells, Michael Horton. Reformed churches may exercise several forms of ecclesiastical polity.
Calvinism is represented by Continental Reformed and Congregationalist traditions. The biggest Reformed association is the World Communion of Reformed Churches with more than 100 million members in 211 member denominations around the world. There are more conservative Reformed federations such as the World Reformed Fellowship and the International Conference of Reformed Churches, as well as independent churches. Calvinism is named after John Calvin, it was first used by a Lutheran theologian in 1552. It was a common practice of the Catholic Church to name; the term first came out of Lutheran circles. Calvin denounced the designation himself: They could attach us no greater insult than this word, Calvinism, it is not hard to guess. Despite its negative connotation, this designation became popular in order to distinguish Calvinists from Lutherans and from newer Protestant branches that emerged later; the vast majority of churches that trace their history back to Calvin do not use it themselves, since the designation "Reformed" is more accepted and preferred in the English-speaking world.
Moreover, these churches claim to be—in accordance with John Calvin's own words—"renewed accordingly with the true order of gospel". Since the Arminian controversy, the Reformed tradition—as a branch of Protestantism distinguished from Lutheranism—divided into two separate groups: Arminians and Calvinists. However, it is now rare to call Arminians a part of the Reformed tradition. While the Reformed theological tradition addresses all of the traditional topics of Christian theology, the word Calvinism is sometimes used to refer to particular Calvinist views on soteriology and predestination, which are summarized in part by the Five Points of Calvinism; some have argued that Calvinism as a whole stresses the sovereignty or rule of God in all things including salvation. First-generation Reformed theologians include Huldrych Zwingli, Martin Bucer, Wolfgang Capito, John Oecolampadius, Guillaume Farel; these reformers came from diverse academic backgrounds, but distinctions within Reformed theology can be detected in their thought the priority of scripture as a source of authority.
Scripture was viewed as a unified whole, which led to a covenantal theology of the sacraments of baptism and the Lord's Supper as visible signs of the covenant of grace. Another Reformed distinctive present in these theologians was their denial of the bodily presence of Christ in the Lord's supper; each of these theologians understood salvation to be by grace alone, affirmed a doctrine of particular election. Martin Luther and his successor Philipp Melanchthon were undoubtedly significant influences on these theologians, to a larger extent Reformed theologians; the doctrine of justification by faith alone was a direct inheritance from Luther. John Calvin, Heinrich Bullinger, Wolfgang Musculus, Peter Martyr Vermigli, Andreas Hyperius belong to the second generation of Reformed theologians. Calvin's Institutes of the Christian Religion was one of the most influential theologies of the era. Toward the middle of the 16th
Further Austria, Outer Austria or Anterior Austria was the collective name for the early possessions of the House of Habsburg in the former Swabian stem duchy of south-western Germany, including territories in the Alsace region west of the Rhine and in Vorarlberg. While the territories of Further Austria west of the Rhine and south of Lake Constance were lost to France and the Swiss Confederacy, those in Swabia and Vorarlberg remained under Habsburg control until the Napoleonic Era. Further Austria comprised the Alsatian County of Ferrette in the Sundgau, including the town of Belfort, the adjacent Breisgau region east of the Rhine, including Freiburg im Breisgau after 1368. Ruled from the Habsburg residence in Ensisheim near Mühlhausen were numerous scattered territories stretching from Upper Swabia to the Allgäu region in the east, the largest being the margravate of Burgau between the cities of Augsburg and Ulm. During the Habsburg Monarchy they were humorously called "tail feathers of the Imperial Eagle".
Some estates in Vorarlberg possessed by the Habsburgs were considered part of Further Austria, though they were temporarily directly administered from Tyrol. The original home territories of the Habsburgs, the Aargau with Habsburg Castle and much of the other original possessions south of the High Rhine and Lake Constance were lost in the 14th century to the expanding Swiss Confederacy after the battles of Morgarten and Sempach; these territories were never considered part of Further Austria – except for the Fricktal region around Rheinfelden and Laufenburg, which remained a Habsburg possession until 1797. From 1406 until 1490 Further Austria together with the Habsburg County of Tyrol was included in the definition of "Upper Austria". From 1469 to 1474 Archduke Sigismund gave large parts in pawn to the Burgundian duke Charles the Bold. At the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648, the Sundgau became part of France. After the Ottoman wars many inhabitants of Further Austria were encouraged to emigrate and settle in the newly acquired Transylvania region, people that were referred as Danube Swabians.
In the 18th century, the Habsburgs acquired a few minor new Swabian territories, such as Tettnang in 1780. In the reorganization of the Holy Roman Empire in the course of the French Revolutionary Wars, much of Further Austria, including the Breisgau, was by the 1801 Treaty of Lunéville granted as compensation to Ercole III d'Este, former duke of Modena and Reggio, who however died two years later, his heir as his son-in-law was Archduke Ferdinand of Austria-Este, the uncle of Emperor Francis II. After the Austrian defeat at the Battle of Austerlitz and the Peace of Pressburg in 1805, Further Austria was dissolved and the former Habsburg territories were assigned to the Grand Duchy of Baden, the Kingdom of Württemberg and the Kingdom of Bavaria, as rewards for their alliance with Napoleonic France. Minor estates passed to the Grand Duchy of Hesse. Fricktal had become a French protectorate in 1799 and part of the Helvetic Republic in 1802, incorporated into the Swiss canton of Aargau the next year.
After the defeat of Napoleon, there was some discussion at the Congress of Vienna of returning part of all of the Vorlande to Austria, but in the end only Vorarlberg returned to Austrian control, as Foreign Minister Klemens von Metternich did not want to offend the rulers of the South German states and hoped that removing Austria from its advanced position on the Rhine would reduce tensions with France. As of 1790 Further Austria was subdivided into ten districts: Breisgau at Freiburg Offenburg: several localities in the present Ortenaukreis, the Imperial city of Offenburg not included Hohenberg, present Ostalbkreis, former county, at Rottenburg am Neckar Nellenburg, former landgraviate, at Stockach Altdorf, today Weingarten Tettnang, former County of Montfort Günzburg, former Margraviate of Burgau Winnweiler in the Palatinate, former County of Falkenstein the former Imperial city of Konstanz Bregenz, present-day Vorarlberg administrated from Tyrol. Politically, the Further Austrian territories were held by the Habsburg Dukes of Austria from 1278 onwards.
Upon the 1379 Treaty of Neuberg, they together with Carinthia, Styria and Tyrol fell to the Leopoldian line: Leopold III, until 1386 William, son, 1386–1406Further divided into Inner Austria proper and Upper Austria, ruled by: Frederick IV, younger brother of William, 1406-1439 Frederick V, nephew of William, ruler of Inner Austria, 1439-1446 Sigismund, son of Frederick IV, 1446–1490In 1490 all Habsburg possessions were re-unified under the rule of Frederick V, Holy Roman Emperor since 1452. Upon the death of Emperor Ferdinand I of Habsburg in 1564, Further Austria and Tyrol was inherited by his second son: Ferdinand II, 1564–1595 Matthias, 1595–1619, Holy Roman Emperor from 1612, with his younger brother Maximilian III as regent, 1612–1618In 1619 the Habsburg hereditary lands were re-unified under the rule of Emperor Ferdinand II, he gave Further Austria to his younger brother: Leopold V, 1623–1632 Ferdinand Charles, son, 1632–1662 under the tutelage of his mother Claudia de' Medici, 1632–1646 Sigismund Francis, brother 1662-1665In 1665 the Habsburg lands were re-unified under the rule of Emperor Leopold I.
Becker, Irmgard Christa, ed. Vorderösterreich, Nur die Schwanzfeder des Kaiseradlers? Die Habsburger im deutsc
Strasbourg is the capital and largest city of the Grand Est region of France and is the official seat of the European Parliament. Located at the border with Germany in the historic region of Alsace, it is the capital of the Bas-Rhin department. In 2016, the city proper had 279,284 inhabitants and both the Eurométropole de Strasbourg and the Arrondissement of Strasbourg had 491,409 inhabitants. Strasbourg's metropolitan area had a population of 785,839 in 2015, making it the ninth largest metro area in France and home to 13% of the Grand Est region's inhabitants; the transnational Eurodistrict Strasbourg-Ortenau had a population of 915,000 inhabitants in 2014. Strasbourg is one of the de facto capitals of the European Union, as it is the seat of several European institutions, such as the Council of Europe and the Eurocorps, as well as the European Parliament and the European Ombudsman of the European Union; the city is the seat of the Central Commission for Navigation on the Rhine and the International Institute of Human Rights.
Strasbourg's historic city centre, the Grande Île, was classified a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1988, the first time such an honour was placed on an entire city centre. Strasbourg is immersed in Franco-German culture and although violently disputed throughout history, has been a cultural bridge between France and Germany for centuries through the University of Strasbourg the second largest in France, the coexistence of Catholic and Protestant culture, it is home to the largest Islamic place of worship in France, the Strasbourg Grand Mosque. Economically, Strasbourg is an important centre of manufacturing and engineering, as well as a hub of road and river transportation; the port of Strasbourg is the second largest on the Rhine after Germany. Before the 5th century, the city was known as Argantorati, a Celtic Gaulish name Latinized first as Argentorate, as Argentoratum; that Gaulish name is a compound of -rati, the Gaulish word for fortified enclosures, cognate to the Old Irish ráth, arganto-, the Gaulish word for silver, but any precious metal gold, suggesting either a fortified enclosure located by a river gold mining site, or hoarding gold mined in the nearby rivers.
After the 5th century, the city became known by a different name Gallicized as Strasbourg. That name is of Germanic origin and means "Town of roads"; the modern Stras- is cognate to the German Straße and English street, all of which are derived from Latin strata, while -bourg is cognate to the German Burg and English borough, all of which are derived from Proto-Germanic *burgz. Gregory of Tours was the first to mention the name change: in the tenth book of his History of the Franks written shortly after 590 he said that Egidius, Bishop of Reims, accused of plotting against King Childebert II of Austrasia in favor of his uncle King Chilperic I of Neustria, was tried by a synod of Austrasian bishops in Metz in November 590, found guilty and removed from the priesthood taken "ad Argentoratensem urbem, quam nunc Strateburgum vocant", where he was exiled. Strasbourg is situated at the eastern border of France with Germany; this border is formed by the Rhine, which forms the eastern border of the modern city, facing across the river to the German town Kehl.
The historic core of Strasbourg however lies on the Grande Île in the river Ill, which here flows parallel to, 4 kilometres from, the Rhine. The natural courses of the two rivers join some distance downstream of Strasbourg, although several artificial waterways now connect them within the city; the city lies in the Upper Rhine Plain, at between 132 metres and 151 metres above sea level, with the upland areas of the Vosges Mountains some 20 km to the west and the Black Forest 25 km to the east. This section of the Rhine valley is a major axis of north–south travel, with river traffic on the Rhine itself, major roads and railways paralleling it on both banks; the city is some 397 kilometres east of Paris. The mouth of the Rhine lies 450 kilometres to the north, or 650 kilometres as the river flows, whilst the head of navigation in Basel is some 100 kilometres to the south, or 150 kilometres by river. In spite of its position far inland, Strasbourg's climate is classified as oceanic, but a "semicontinental" climate with some degree of maritime influence in relation to the mild patterns of Western and Southern France.
The city has warm sunny summers and cool, overcast winters. Precipitation is elevated from mid-spring to the end of summer, but remains constant throughout the year, totaling 631.4 mm annually. On average, snow falls 30 days per year; the highest temperature recorded was 38.5 °C in August 2003, during the 2003 European heat wave. The lowest temperature eve
Strasbourg Cathedral or the Cathedral of Our Lady of Strasbourg known as Strasbourg Minster, is a Catholic cathedral in Strasbourg, France. Although considerable parts of it are still in Romanesque architecture, it is considered to be among the finest examples of high, or late, Gothic architecture. Erwin von Steinbach is credited for major contributions from 1277 to his death in 1318. At 142 metres, it was the world's tallest building from 1647 to 1874, when it was surpassed by St. Nikolai's Church, Hamburg. Today it is the sixth-tallest church in the world and the highest extant structure built in the Middle Ages. Described by Victor Hugo as a "gigantic and delicate marvel", by Goethe as a "sublimely towering, wide-spreading tree of God", the cathedral is visible far across the plains of Alsace and can be seen from as far off as the Vosges Mountains or the Black Forest on the other side of the Rhine. Sandstone from the Vosges used in construction gives the cathedral its characteristic pink hue.
The construction, maintenance, of the cathedral is supervised by the "Foundation of Our Lady" since 1224. Archaeological excavations below and around the cathedral have been conducted in 1896–1897, 1907, 1923–1924, 1947–1948, between 1966 and 1972 and again between 2012 and 2014; the site of the current cathedral was used for several successive religious buildings, starting from the Argentoratum period, when a Roman sanctuary occupied the site up to the building, there today. It is known that a cathedral was erected by the bishop Saint Arbogast of the Strasbourg diocese at the end of the seventh century, on the base of a temple dedicated to the Virgin Mary, but nothing remains of it today. Strasbourg's previous cathedral, of which remains dating back to the late 4th century or early 5th century were unearthed in 1948 and 1956, was situated at the site of the current Église Saint-Étienne. In the eighth century, the first cathedral was replaced by a more important building that would be completed under the reign of Charlemagne.
Bishop Remigius von Straßburg wished to be buried in the crypt, according to his will dated 778. It was in this building that the Oaths of Strasbourg were pronounced in 842. Excavations revealed that this Carolingian cathedral had three apses. A poem described this cathedral as decorated with precious stones by the bishop Ratho; the basilica caught fire on multiple occasions, in 873, 1002, 1007. In 1015, bishop Werner von Habsburg laid the first stone of a new cathedral on the ruins of the Carolingian basilica, he constructed a cathedral in the Romanesque style of architecture. That cathedral burned to the ground in 1176 because at that time the naves were covered with a wooden framework. After that disaster, bishop Heinrich von Hasenburg decided to construct a new cathedral, to be more beautiful than that of Basel, just being finished. Construction of the new cathedral began on the foundations of the preceding structure, did not end until centuries later. Werner's cathedral's crypt, which had not burned, was expanded westwards.
The construction began with the choir and the north transept in a Romanesque style, reminiscent of and inspired by the Imperial Cathedrals in its monumentality and height. But in 1225, a team coming from Chartres revolutionized the construction by suggesting a Gothic architecture style; the parts of the nave, begun in Romanesque style were torn down and in order to find money to finish the nave, the Chapter resorted to Indulgences in 1253. The money was kept by the Œuvre Notre-Dame, which hired architects and stone workers; the influence of the Chartres masters was felt in the sculptures and statues: the "Pillar of Angels", a representation of the Last Judgment on a pillar in the southern transept, facing the Astronomical clock, owes to their expressive style. Like the city of Strasbourg, the cathedral connects German and French cultural influences, while the eastern structures, e.g. the choir and south portal, still have Romanesque features, with more emphasis placed on walls than on windows.
Above all, the famous west front, decorated with thousands of figures, is a masterpiece of the Gothic era. The tower is one of the first to rely on craftsmanship, with the final appearance being one with a high degree of linearity captured in stone. While previous façades were drawn prior to construction, Strasbourg has one of the earliest façades whose construction is inconceivable without prior drawing. Strasbourg and Cologne Cathedral together represent some of the earliest uses of architectural drawing; the work of Professor Robert O. Bork of the University of Iowa suggests that the design of the Strasbourg façade, while seeming random in its complexity, can be constructed using a series of rotated octagons; the north tower, completed in 1439, was the world's tallest building from 1647 until 1874. The planned south tower was never built and as a result, with its characteristic asymmetrical form, the cathedral is now the premier landmark of Alsace. One can see 30 kilometers from the observation level, which provides a view of the Rhine banks from the Vosges all the way to the Black Forest.
The octagonal tower as it can be seen is the combined work of architects Ulrich Ensingen and Johannes Hültz of Cologne. Ensingen worked on the cathedral from 1399 to 1419, Hültz from 1
Duchy of Alsace
The Duchy of Alsace was a large political subdivision of the Frankish Empire during the last century and a half of Merovingian rule. It corresponded to the territory of Alsace and was carved out of southern Austrasia in the last decade of the reign of Dagobert I to stabilise the southern reaches of Austrasia against Alemannia and Burgundy. By the late Middle Ages, the region was considered part of Swabia; the term "Alsace" derives from the Germanic ali-land-sat-ja, meaning "one who sits in another land." Alsace was Alemanni territory, but not so much as Alemannia proper, east of the Rhine: it was, the "other" land in which some Alemanni had settled. In the late Roman Empire, a district of Alsace had been established in the region. Under Chlothar II, Alsace and Alemannia were granted the Pactus Alamannorum. In 596, Childebert II bequeathed Alsace to his son Theuderic II, raised there; this attached it to Burgundy, but in 610 Theudebert II, Theuderic's brother of Austrasia, forced Alsace' cession to him only to lose it two years to Burgundy again.
In 623, when Chlothar II granted Austrasia to Dagobert, he excluded Alsace, the Vosges, the Ardennes, but was shortly after forced to concede it to Dagobert by the Austrasian nobility. Sometime between 629 and 631 Dagobert granted it as a dukedom to Gundoin, a Frank from the Austrasian heartland of the Meuse valley, a move which tied Alsace more to the Austrasian court. Gundoin's duchy comprised both sides of the Vosges, the Burgundian Gate, the Transjura; the creation of a duchy of Alsace corresponded with the creation of counties in the region. Thitherto counties had not been found in most of Austrasia, but by the eighth century they were common in the south; the counts of Alsace were known in contemporary Latin texts by the title grafio, which may have indicated a different office from that of the traditional comes, used in the more Romanised parts of Gaul. Under Gundoin's successors, the famous Etichonids, the counties — and Alsace was divided into a Nordgau and Sundgau — were brought under direct ducal control.
From the beginning, Gundoin had used monasteries and monastic foundation as tools in spreading his authority and in developing his regional economy by employing the industry of monks for secular benefit. Alsace was first spoken of as a ducatus in the 730s, though the correspondence of Alsace with the territory of the early duces can be inferred quite easily; the term ducatus alsacensi, "Duchy of Alsace," only came into use under Louis the Pious, though there exists disputed evidence of its use as early as 735–737. Following the suppression of the Alemanni in 742–746 by Carloman, son of Charles Martel, the duchy of Alsace was dissolved in 742 when a successor for the deceased Duke Liutfrid was not named. While some historians have suggested an antipathy between the Etichonids and the Arnulfings to explain the dissolution of their power in Alsace, the Etichonids were allies with the Charles Martel as early as the 720s, when he campaigned against the Alemanni, who were a constant thorn in the side of their Alsatian cousins.
Some have interpreted the tripartite web of support between Alsatian monasteries, the Etichonid dukes and counts, Theuderic IV as evidence of an attempt to stay outside of Arnulfing control. In 722, Martel first defeated the Alemanni and in 744 some rebellious Alemans invaded Alsace, implying that it was considered loyal to Martel's successors and Pepin the Short. Liutfrid himself may have died fighting on behalf of the Carolingians against the Alemanni. In any case, the peaceful dissolution of the duchy in Alsace mirrored the similar efforts of the Carolings elsewhere, while it was part of a larger effort —, notably violent in Alemannia and Aquitaine — to replace dukes, who had the power to command armies, with counts, who were royal officers responsible to and representative of royal power. Alsace remained a distinct unit after 742. With the rise in influence of Hugh of Tours, a conscious ancestor of the Etichonid dukes, Louis the Pious first made reference to the ducatus alsicensi in 816, though it was still a ducatus without a dux.
In 829, Louis's youngest son, was made duke of Alsace and Rhaetia, but in 831 his share of the empire was expanded and was made into a kingdom. By the Treaty of Verdun it was made part of the kingdom of Middle Francia under Lothair I, to the displeasure of Louis the German, who would have liked to see it attached to Alemanni in his East Francia. Upon Lothair's death in 855, Alsace became a part of Lotharingia in the threefold division of Middle Francia. Lothair II, because of his kinship with the still-powerful Etichonids, had firm support in Alsace throughout his tumultuous reign. In 867, he created the first Duke of Alsace in over a century when he granted the ducatum Elisatium to his illegitimate son Hugh, who had an ancient Etichonid name. In 869, Lothair granted protection of his kingdom to Louis the German before his death on a trip to Rome; when Louis fell ill that year, now king of all West Francia, tried to annex Alsace and made Hugh swear allegiance to him, but Louis recovered and by the Treaty of Meerssen Alsace was attached to East Francia at long last.
There is little evidence for an Alsatian dukedom after that, though some have interpreted references to an
Luc Marie Daniel Ravel, C. R. S. V. is a French Roman Catholic bishop. He was the bishop of the Diocese of the French Armed Forces since his nomination by Pope Benedict XVI at 7 October 2009 and until 2017, he was consecrated at the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris at 29 November 2009. He was appointed archbishop of Strasbourg by Pope Francis on 18 February 2017. Ravel was born in a family from Martinique and Réunion's origin, from the paternal side, from Haute-Var, from his mother's side, he was the fourth child in a family of three girls and four boys. He studied to become an engineer at the IFP School, he went to study Philosophy and Theology at the Saint-Pierre de Champagne Abbey in Ardèche and at the University of Poitiers. He did his solemne profession at the Regular Canons of St. Augustine at 7 December 1985, he was ordained a priest at 25 June 1988, he was afterwards a prior at the Church of Saint-Charles de Porrentruy, in Jura, Switzerland, at Montbron, at the Deanery Tardoire and Bandiat, in Charente.
He rejoined afterwards the Champagne Abbey, where he was master of the novices, from 1996 to 2007, subprior, since 2003. He started the movement Notre-Dame de l`Écoute, for celibate people, he was nominated bishop of the French Armed Forces by Pope Benedict XVI at 7 October 2009. His consecration took place at the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris at 29 November 2009, by cardinal André Vingt-Trois, he became a member of the Doctrinal Commission of the Bishops' Conference of France in 2011. Ravel created controversy when he called abortion a "weapon of mass destruction" and called for the return of the abortion debate in French society at the Armed Forces monthly magazine in February 2015; the French Defence Minister asked the magazine to stop displaying their logo at the cover as a way of distancing themselves from their content. Ravel was appointed archbishop of the French city of Strasbourg, the historic capital of Alsace, on 18 February 2017. Luc Ravel at the Bishops' Conference of France Website
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