Order of Friars Minor
The Order of Friars Minor is a mendicant Catholic religious order, founded in 1209 by Francis of Assisi. The order adheres to the teachings and spiritual disciplines of the founder and of his main associates and followers, such as Clare of Assisi, Anthony of Padua, Elizabeth of Hungary, among many others; the Order of Friars Minor is considered to be the successor to the original Franciscan Order within the Catholic Church, is the largest of the contemporary First Orders within the Franciscan movement. Francis began preaching around 1207 and traveled to Rome to seek approval of his order from Pope Innocent III in 1209; the original Rule of Saint Francis approved by the pope disallowed ownership of property, requiring members of the order to beg for food while preaching. The austerity was meant to emulate the ministry of Jesus Christ. Franciscans preached in the streets, while boarding in church properties; the extreme poverty required of members was relaxed in final revision of the Rule in 1223.
The degree of observance required of members remained a major source of conflict within the order, resulting in numerous secessions. The Order of Friars Minor known as the Observant branch, is one of the three Franciscan First Orders within the Catholic Church, the others being the Capuchins and Conventuals The Order of Friars Minor, in its current form, is the result of an amalgamation of several smaller Franciscan orders,completed in 1897 by Pope Leo XIII; the latter two, the Capuchin and Conventual, remain distinct religious institutes within the Catholic Church, observing the Rule of Saint Francis with different emphases. Franciscans are sometimes referred to as greyfriars because of their habit. In Poland and Lithuania they are known as Bernardines, after Bernardino of Siena, although the term elsewhere refers to Cistercians instead; the "Order of Friars Minor" are called the "Franciscans". This Order is a mendicant religious order of men, their official Latin name is the Ordo Fratrum Minorum.
The modern organization of the Friars Minor comprises three separate family or groups, each considered a religious order in its own right under its own minister General and with particular type of governance. They all live according to a body of regulations known as the Rule of St Francis; these are The Order of Friars Minor, known as the "Observants", most simply called Franciscan friars, official name: "Friars Minor". The Order of Friars Minor Capuchin or Capuchins, official name: "Friars Minor Capuchin"; the Conventual Franciscans or Minorites, official name: "Friars Minor Conventual". The 2013 Annuario Pontificio gave the following figures for the membership of the principal male Franciscan orders:. Order of Friars Minor: 2,212 communities. Clad in a rough garment, and, after the Evangelical precept, without staff or scrip, he began to preach repentance; the mendicant orders had long been exempt from the jurisdiction of the bishop, enjoyed unrestricted freedom to preach and hear confessions in the churches connected with their monasteries.
This had led to endless friction and open quarrels between the two divisions of the clergy. This question was definitively settled by the Council of Trent. Amid numerous dissensions in the 14th century sprang a number of separate congregations of sects. To say nothing of the heretical parties of the Beghards and Fraticelli, some of which developed within the order on both hermit and cenobitic principles; the Clareni or Clarenini, an association of hermits established on the river Clareno in the march of Ancona by Angelo da Clareno after the suppression of the Franciscan Celestines by Boniface VIII. Like several other smaller congregations, it was obliged in 1568 under Pope Pius V to unite with the general body of Observantists; the Minorites of Narbonne originated through the union of a number of houses which followed Olivi after 1308. It was limited to southwestern France and, its members being accused of the heresy of the Beghards, was suppressed by the Inquisition during the controversies under John XXII.
The quasi-Observantist brothers living under the rule of the Conventual ministers, such as the male Colletans led by Boniface de Ceva in his reform attempts principally in France and Germany.
Francesco II Sforza
Francesco II Sforza was Duke of Milan from 1521 until his death. He was the last member of the Sforza family to rule Milan, he was the second son of Beatrice d'Este. When Ludovico was ousted from Milan in the course of the Italian Wars, he brought Francesco with him to the court of the Emperor Maximilian I, who had married a Sforza, Francesco's cousin Bianca Maria. Francesco was assigned to an ecclesiastical career, his father was imprisoned in Loches by Louis XII of France, died in 1508, but when Charles V re-conquered Milan from the French in 1521, Francesco was appointed its duke, the last of the family to hold that title. His sovereignty, remained circumscribed by the military occupation of Milan by Spanish troops, he returned to his state, depleted by twenty years of combat, promoting a cultural and economic recovery. Francesco fought at the Battle of Bicocca, on the side of the emperor, in 1522. In 1526 he switched sides, joining the League of Cognac, together with Francis I of France, Pope Clement VII and the Republic of Florence, was besieged in the Castello Sforzesco.
On May 4, 1534 he married the 12-year-old niece of Charles V, Christina of Denmark, the daughter of Christian II of Denmark and Isabella of Burgundy. The union remained childless, his death in 1535 sparked the Italian War of 1535. His half-brother Giovanni Paolo reclaimed the Duchy of Milan after his death, but died in the same year under mysterious circumstances. Michael Mallett and Christine Shaw, The Italian Wars:1494-1559, Pearson Education Limited, 2012. Charles Oman. A History of the Art of War in the Sixteenth Century. London: Methuen & Co. 1937. Ernst Schulin. Kaiser Karl V: Geschichte eines übergroßen Wirkungsbereiches. Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 1999
The Roman Rite is the most widespread liturgical rite in the Catholic Church, as well as the most popular and widespread Rite in all of Christendom, is one of the Western/Latin rites used in the Western or Latin Church. The Roman Rite became the predominant rite used by the Western Church. Many local variants, not amounting to distinctive Rites, existed in the medieval manuscripts, but have been progressively reduced since the invention of printing, most notably since the reform of liturgical law in the 16th century at the behest of the Council of Trent and more following the Second Vatican Council; the Roman Rite has been adapted over the centuries and the history of its Eucharistic liturgy can be divided into three stages: the Pre-Tridentine Mass, Tridentine Mass and Mass of Paul VI. The Mass of Paul VI is the current form of the Mass in the Catholic Church, first promulgated in the 1969 edition of the Roman Missal, it is considered the ordinary form of the mass, intended for most contexts.
The Tridentine Mass, as promulgated in the 1962 Roman Missal, may be used as an extraordinary form of the Roman Rite, according to norms set in the 2007 papal document Summorum Pontificum. The Roman Rite is noted for its sobriety of expression. In its Tridentine form, it was noted for its formality: the Tridentine Missal minutely prescribed every movement, to the extent of laying down that the priest should put his right arm into the right sleeve of the alb before putting his left arm into the left sleeve. Concentration on the exact moment of change of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ has led, in the Roman Rite, to the consecrated Host and the chalice being shown to the people after the Words of Institution. If, as was once most common, the priest offers Mass while facing ad apsidem, ad orientem if the apse is at the east end of the church, he shows them to the people, who are behind him, by elevating them above his head; as each is shown, a bell is rung and, if incense is used, the host and chalice are incensed.
Sometimes the external bells of the church are rung as well. Other characteristics that distinguish the Roman Rite from the rites of the Eastern Catholic Churches are frequent genuflections, kneeling for long periods, keeping both hands joined together. In his 1912 book on the Roman Mass, Adrian Fortescue wrote: "Essentially the Missal of Pius V is the Gregorian Sacramentary. We find the prayers of our Canon in the treatise de Sacramentis and allusions to it in the 4th century. So our Mass goes back, without essential change, to the age when it first developed out of the oldest liturgy of all, it is still redolent of that liturgy, of the days when Caesar ruled the world and thought he could stamp out the faith of Christ, when our fathers met together before dawn and sang a hymn to Christ as to a God. The final result of our inquiry is that, in spite of unsolved problems, in spite of changes, there is not in Christendom another rite so venerable as ours." In a footnote he added: "The prejudice that imagines that everything Eastern must be old is a mistake.
Eastern rites have been modified too. No Eastern Rite now used is as archaic as the Roman Mass."In the same book, Fortescue acknowledged that the Roman Rite underwent profound changes in the course of its development. His ideas are summarized in the article on the "Liturgy of the Mass" that he wrote for the Catholic Encyclopedia in which he pointed out that the earliest form of the Roman Mass, as witnessed in Justin Martyr's 2nd-century account, is of Eastern type, while the Leonine and Gelasian Sacramentaries, of about the 6th century, "show us what is our present Roman Mass". In the interval, there was what Fortescue called "a radical change", he quoted the theory of A. Baumstark that the Hanc Igitur, Quam oblationem, Supra quæ and Supplices, the list of saints in the Nobis quoque were added to the Roman Canon of the Mass under "a mixed influence of Antioch and Alexandria", that "St. Leo I began to make these changes. During the same time the prayers of the faithful before the Offertory disappeared, the kiss of peace was transferred to after the Consecration, the Epiklesis was omitted or mutilated into our "Supplices" prayer.
Of the various theories suggested to account for this it seems reasonable to say with Rauschen: "Although the question is by no means decided there is so much in favour of Drews's theory that for the present it must be considered the right one. We must admit that between the years 400 and 500 a great transformation was made in the Roman Canon". In the same article Fortescue went on to speak of the many alterations that the Roman Rite of Mass underwent from the 7th century on, in particular through the infusion of Gallican elements, noticeable chiefly in the variations for the course of the year; this infusion Fortescue called the "last change since Gregory the Great". The Eucharistic Prayer used in the Byzantine Rite is attributed to Saint John Chrysostom, who died in 404 two centuries before Pope Gregory the Great; the East Syrian Eucharistic Prayer of Ad
The Cistercians the Order of Cistercians, are a Catholic religious order of monks and nuns that branched off from the Benedictines and follow the Rule of Saint Benedict. They are known as Bernardines, after the influential St. Bernard of Clairvaux; the term Cistercian, derives from Cistercium, the Latin name for the village of Cîteaux, near Dijon in eastern France. It was in this village that a group of Benedictine monks from the monastery of Molesme founded Cîteaux Abbey in 1098, with the goal of following more the Rule of Saint Benedict; the best known of them were Robert of Molesme, Alberic of Cîteaux and the English monk Stephen Harding, who were the first three abbots. Bernard of Clairvaux entered the monastery in the early 1110s with 30 companions and helped the rapid proliferation of the order. By the end of the 12th century, the order had spread throughout France and into England, Scotland, Spain, Italy and Eastern Europe; the keynote of Cistercian life was a return to literal observance of the Rule of St Benedict.
Rejecting the developments the Benedictines had undergone, the monks tried to replicate monastic life as it had been in Saint Benedict's time. The most striking feature in the reform was the return to manual labour agricultural work in the fields, a special characteristic of Cistercian life; the Cistercians made major contributions to culture and technology in medieval Europe: Cistercian architecture is considered one of the most beautiful styles of medieval architecture. The original emphasis of Cistercian life was on manual labour and self-sufficiency, many abbeys have traditionally supported themselves through activities such as agriculture and brewing ales. Over the centuries, however and academic pursuits came to dominate the life of many monasteries. A reform movement seeking a simpler lifestyle began in 17th-century France at La Trappe Abbey, became known as the Trappists; the Trappists were consolidated in 1892 into a new order called the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance, abbreviated as OCSO.
The Cistercians who did not observe these reforms and remained within the Order of Cistercians and are sometimes called the Cistercians of the Common Observance when distinguishing them from the Trappists. In 1098, a Benedictine abbot, Robert of Molesme, left his monastery in Burgundy with around 20 supporters, who felt that the Cluniac communities had abandoned the rigours and simplicity of the Rule of St. Benedict; the monastery church of Cluny Abbey, the largest in Europe, had become wealthy from rents, feudal rights and pilgrims who passed through Cluniac houses on the Way of St. James; the massive endowments and responsibilities of the Cluniac abbots had drawn them into the affairs of the secular world, their monks had abandoned manual labour to serfs to serve as scholars and "choir monks". On March 21, 1098, Robert's small group acquired a plot of marshland just south of Dijon called Cîteaux, given to them expressly for the purpose of founding their Novum Monasterium. Robert's followers included Alberic, a former hermit from the nearby forest of Colan, Stephen Harding, a member of an Anglo-Saxon noble family, ruined as a result of the Norman conquest of England.
During the first year, the monks set about constructing lodging areas and farming the lands of Cîteaux, making use of a nearby chapel for Mass. In Robert's absence from Molesme, the abbey had gone into decline, Pope Urban II, a former Cluniac monk, ordered him to return; the remaining monks of Cîteaux elected Alberic as their abbot, under whose leadership the abbey would find its grounding. Robert had been the idealist of the order, Alberic was their builder. Upon assuming the role of abbot, Alberic moved the site of the fledgling community near a brook a short distance away from the original site. Alberic discontinued the use of Benedictine black garments in the abbey and clothed the monks in white habits of undyed wool, he returned the community to the original Benedictine ideal of manual work and prayer, dedicated to the ideal of charity and self sustenance. Alberic forged an alliance with the Dukes of Burgundy, working out a deal with Duke Odo I of Burgundy concerning the donation of a vineyard as well as stones with which they built their church.
The church was consecrated and dedicated to the Virgin Mary on November 16, 1106, by the Bishop of Chalon sur Saône. On January 26, 1108, Alberic died and was soon succeeded by Stephen Harding, the man responsible for carrying the order into its crucial phase; the order was fortunate that Stephen was an abbot of extraordinary gifts, he framed the original version of the Cistercian "Constitution" or regulations: the Carta Caritatis. Although this was revised on several occasions to meet contemporary needs, from the outset it emphasised a simple life of work, love and self-denial; the Cistercians regarded themselves as regular Benedictines, albeit the "perfect", reformed ones, but they soon came to distinguish themselves from the monks of unreformed Benedictin
Francesco I Sforza
Francesco I Sforza was an Italian condottiero, the founder of the Sforza dynasty in Milan and was the fourth Duke of Milan from 1450 until his death. He was the brother of Alessandro, whom he fought alongside. Francesco Sforza was born in San Miniato, one of the seven illegitimate sons of the condottiero Muzio Sforza and Lucia da Torsano, he spent his childhood in Tricarico, the marquisate of which he was granted in 1412 by King Ladislaus of Naples. In 1418, he married a Calabrese noblewoman. From 1419, he fought alongside his father, soon gaining fame for being able to bend metal bars with his bare hands, he proved himself to be an expert tactician and skilled field commander. After the death of his father during the War of L'Aquila, he participated in the Braccio da Montone's final defeat in that campaign. After some successes, he fell in disgrace and was sent to the castle of Mortara as a prisoner de facto, he regained his status after leading an expedition against Lucca. In 1431, after a period during which he fought again for the Papal States, he led the Milanese army against Venice.
Despite these moves, the wary Filippo Maria never ceased to be distrustful of Sforza. The allegiance of mercenary leaders was dependent, of course, on pay. In 1436-39, he served variously both Venice. In 1440, his fiefs in the Kingdom of Naples were occupied by King Alfonso I, and, to recover the situation, Sforza reconciled himself with Filippo Visconti. On 25 October 1441, in Cremona, he could marry Bianca Maria; the following year, he allied with René of Anjou, pretender to the throne of Naples, marched against southern Italy. After some initial setbacks, he defeated the Neapolitan commander Niccolò Piccinino, who had invaded his possessions in Romagna and Marche, through the help of Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta and the Venetians, could return to Milan. Sforza found himself warring against Francesco Piccinino and the alliance of Visconti, Eugene IV, Malatesta, who had murdered Polissena. With the help of Venice, Sforza was again victorious and, in exchange for abandoning the Venetians, received the title of capitano generale of the Duchy of Milan's armies.
After the duke died without a male heir in 1447, fighting broke out to restore the so-called Ambrosian Republic. The name Ambrosian Republic takes its name from the patron saint of Milan. Agnese del Maino, his wife's mother, convinced the condottiero, he received the seigniory of other cities of the duchy, including Lodi, started to plan the conquest of the ephemeral republic, allying with William VIII of Montferrat and Venice. In 1450, after years of famine, riots raged in the streets of Milan and the city's senate decided to entrust to him the duchy. Sforza entered the city as Duke on 26 February, it was the first time. While the other Italian states recognized Sforza as the legitimate Duke of Milan, he was never able to obtain official investiture from the Holy Roman Emperor; that did not come to the Sforza Dukes until 1494, when Emperor Maximilian formally invested Francesco's son, Ludovico, as Duke of Milan. Under his rule, Sforza modernised the duchy, he created an efficient system of taxation that generated enormous revenues for the government, his court became a center of Renaissance learning and culture, the people of Milan grew to love him.
In Milan, he founded the Ospedale Maggiore, restored the Palazzo dell'Arengo, had the Naviglio d'Adda, a channel connecting with the Adda River, built. During Sforza's reign, Florence was under the command of Cosimo de' Medici and the two rulers became close friends; this friendship manifested in first the Peace of Lodi and the Italian League, a multi-polar defensive alliance of Italian states that succeeded in stabilising all of Italy for its duration. After the peace, Sforza renounced part of the conquests in eastern Lombardy obtained by his condottieri Bartolomeo Colleoni, Ludovico Gonzaga, Roberto Sanseverino after 1451; as King Alfonso of Naples was among the signatories of the treaty, Sforza abandoned his long support of the Angevin pretenders to Naples. He aimed to conquer Genoa an Angevin possession. Sforza occupied Genoa and Savona in 1464. Sforza was the first European ruler to follow a foreign policy based on the concept of the balance of power, the first native Italian ruler to conduct extensive diplomacy outside the peninsula to counter the power of threatening states such as France.
Sforza's policies succeeded in keeping foreign powers from dominating Italian politics for the rest of the century. Sforza suffered from gout. In 1462, rumours spread that he was dead and a riot exploded in Milan, he however survived for four more years dying in March 1466. He was succeeded as duke by Galeazzo Maria Sforza. Francesco's successor Ludovico commissioned Leonardo da Vinci to design an equestrian statue as part of
Juan Caramuel y Lobkowitz
Juan Caramuel y Lobkowitz was a Spanish Catholic scholastic philosopher, ecclesiastic and writer. He is believed to be a great-grandson of Jan Popel z Lobkowicz, he was a precocious child, early delving into serious problems in mathematics and publishing astronomical tables at the age of ten. After receiving a superficial education at college, where his unusual ability brought rapid advancement, this prodigy turned his attention to the Asiatic languages Chinese, he was received into the Cistercian Order at the monastery of La Espina, in the diocese of Palencia, after ordination entered upon a varied and brilliant career. His sermons attracted the favorable attention of the Infante Ferdinand, Governor of the Low Countries, while he was attached to the monastery of Dunes in Flanders, in 1638 he was honored with the degree of Doctor of Theology by the University of Leuven; when he was obliged to leave the Electorate of the Palatinate, Philip IV of Spain made him his envoy to the court of Emperor Ferdinand III.
He was in turn Abbot of Melrose, Abbot-Superior of the Benedictines of Vienna, Grand-Vicar to the Archbishop of Prague. In 1648, when the Swedes attacked Prague, he armed and led a band of ecclesiastics who did yeoman service in the defence of the city, his bravery on this occasion merited for him a collar of gold from the emperor. Soon after he became Bishop of Satrianum Campagna, at his death was Bishop of Vigevano. Caramuel was in active epistolary relations with the most famous scholars of the time: the philosophers René Descartes and Pierre Gassendi, his books are more numerous than his titles and his varied achievements. He loved to defend novel theories, in Theologia moralis ad prima atque clarissima principia reducta tried to solve theological problems by mathematical rules, he was a leading exponent of probabilism and his permissive moral opinions were criticized in Pascal's Provincial Letters and gained for him from Alphonsus Liguori the title of "Prince of the Laxists". His mathematical work centred on combinatorics and he was one of the early writers on probability, republishing Huygens's work on dice with helpful explanations.
Caramuel's Mathesis biceps presents some original contributions to the field of mathematics: he proposed a new method of approximation for trisecting an angle and proposed a form of logarithm that prefigure cologarithms, although he was not understood by his contemporaries. Caramuel was the first mathematician who made a reasoned study on non-decimal counts, thus making a significant contribution to the development of the binary numeral system; the Cardinal was responsible for the design of the facade of the Vigevano Cathedral. Philippus Prudens, Antwerp, 1639. Respuesta al Manifiesto del Reyno de Portugal, Antwerp, 1641. Rationalis et realis philosophia, Leuven, 1642. Theologia moralis fundamentalis, praeterintentionalis, sacramentalis, regularis, militaris, Frankfurt, 1652–1653. Theologia rationalis, Frankfurt, 1654–1655. Theologia moralis fundamentalis, editio secunda, Rome, 1656. Primus calamus ob oculos ponens metametricam, quae variis currentium, adscendentium, nec-non circumvolantium versuum ductibus, aut aeri incisos, aut buxo insculptos, aut plumbo infusos, multiformes labyrinthos exponat, Rome, 1663.
Mathesis biceps, vetus et nova, Campagna - Lyons, 1670. Arquitectura civil recta y oblicua... Vigevano, C. Corrado, 1678. Leptotatos, latine subtilissimus, Vigevano 1681 (Spanish translation: Leptotatos Metalogica, Pamplona: Eunsa, 2008 J. Franklin, The Science of Conjecture: Evidence and Probability Before Pascal, Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001, 88-94. J. Fleming, Defending Probabilism: The Moral Theology of Juan Caramuel, Washington DC: Georgetown University Press, 2006. O'Neil, Leo. Juan Caramuel y Lobkowitz, article from the Catholic Encyclopedia This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Herbermann, Charles, ed.. "Juan Caramuel y Lobkowitz". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton. Yanez Neira, Romereo, de Pascual, Juan Caramuel y Lobkowitz, in: Cistercium 262, p. 248-266. List of Roman Catholic scientist-clerics Lobkowicz Proceedings of the Caramuel Conference, Prague 2006 Caramuel page on the site Scholasticon by Jacob Schmutz The Galileo Project O'Connor, John J..
"Omaggio a Juan Caramuel Y Lobkowitz. Un genio scientifico in epoca barocca". Il Covile. 2012
Italy the Italian Republic, is a country in Southern Europe. Located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, Italy shares open land borders with France, Austria and the enclaved microstates San Marino and Vatican City. Italy covers an area of 301,340 km2 and has a temperate seasonal and Mediterranean climate. With around 61 million inhabitants, it is the fourth-most populous EU member state and the most populous country in Southern Europe. Due to its central geographic location in Southern Europe and the Mediterranean, Italy has been home to a myriad of peoples and cultures. In addition to the various ancient peoples dispersed throughout modern-day Italy, the most famous of which being the Indo-European Italics who gave the peninsula its name, beginning from the classical era and Carthaginians founded colonies in insular Italy and Genoa, Greeks established settlements in the so-called Magna Graecia, while Etruscans and Celts inhabited central and northern Italy respectively; the Italic tribe known as the Latins formed the Roman Kingdom in the 8th century BC, which became a republic with a government of the Senate and the People.
The Roman Republic conquered and assimilated its neighbours on the peninsula, in some cases through the establishment of federations, the Republic expanded and conquered parts of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. By the first century BC, the Roman Empire emerged as the dominant power in the Mediterranean Basin and became the leading cultural and religious centre of Western civilisation, inaugurating the Pax Romana, a period of more than 200 years during which Italy's technology, economy and literature flourished. Italy remained the metropole of the Roman Empire; the legacy of the Roman Empire endured its fall and can be observed in the global distribution of culture, governments and the Latin script. During the Early Middle Ages, Italy endured sociopolitical collapse and barbarian invasions, but by the 11th century, numerous rival city-states and maritime republics in the northern and central regions of Italy, rose to great prosperity through shipping and banking, laying the groundwork for modern capitalism.
These independent statelets served as Europe's main trading hubs with Asia and the Near East enjoying a greater degree of democracy than the larger feudal monarchies that were consolidating throughout Europe. The Renaissance began in Italy and spread to the rest of Europe, bringing a renewed interest in humanism, science and art. Italian culture flourished, producing famous scholars and polymaths such as Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael and Machiavelli. During the Middle Ages, Italian explorers such as Marco Polo, Christopher Columbus, Amerigo Vespucci, John Cabot and Giovanni da Verrazzano discovered new routes to the Far East and the New World, helping to usher in the European Age of Discovery. Italy's commercial and political power waned with the opening of trade routes that bypassed the Mediterranean. Centuries of infighting between the Italian city-states, such as the Italian Wars of the 15th and 16th centuries, left the region fragmented, it was subsequently conquered and further divided by European powers such as France and Austria.
By the mid-19th century, rising Italian nationalism and calls for independence from foreign control led to a period of revolutionary political upheaval. After centuries of foreign domination and political division, Italy was entirely unified in 1871, establishing the Kingdom of Italy as a great power. From the late 19th century to the early 20th century, Italy industrialised, namely in the north, acquired a colonial empire, while the south remained impoverished and excluded from industrialisation, fuelling a large and influential diaspora. Despite being one of the main victors in World War I, Italy entered a period of economic crisis and social turmoil, leading to the rise of a fascist dictatorship in 1922. Participation in World War II on the Axis side ended in military defeat, economic destruction and the Italian Civil War. Following the liberation of Italy and the rise of the resistance, the country abolished the monarchy, reinstated democracy, enjoyed a prolonged economic boom and, despite periods of sociopolitical turmoil became a developed country.
Today, Italy is considered to be one of the world's most culturally and economically advanced countries, with the sixth-largest worldwide national wealth. Its advanced economy ranks eighth-largest in the world and third in the Eurozone by nominal GDP. Italy owns the third-largest central bank gold reserve, it has a high level of human development, it stands among the top countries for life expectancy. The country plays a prominent role in regional and global economic, military and diplomatic affairs. Italy is a founding and leading member of the European Union and a member of numerous international institutions, including the UN, NATO, the OECD, the OSCE, the WTO, the G7, the G20, the Union for the Mediterranean, the Council of Europe, Uniting for Consensus, the Schengen Area and many more; as a reflection