Charybdis was a sea monster in the Greek Mythology, rationalized as a whirlpool and considered a shipping hazard in the Strait of Messina. The sea monster Charybdis was believed to live under a small rock on one side of a narrow channel. Opposite her was another sea monster, that lived inside a much larger rock; the sides of the strait were within an arrow-shot of each other, sailors attempting to avoid one of them would come in reach of the other. To be "between Scylla and Charybdis" therefore means to be presented with two opposite dangers, the task being to find a route that avoids both. Three times a day, Charybdis swallowed a huge amount of water, before belching it back out again, creating large whirlpools capable of dragging a ship underwater. In some variations of the story, Charybdis was a large whirlpool instead of a sea monster; the theoretical size of Charybdis remains unknown, yet in order to consume Greek ships the whirlpool can be estimated to about 23 meters across. Charybdis has been associated with the Strait of Messina, off the coast of Sicily and opposite a rock on the mainland identified with Scylla.
Were Charybdis to be located in the Strait of Messina, it would in fact have the size to accommodate the whirlpool. A whirlpool does exist there, caused by currents meeting, but it is dangerous only to small craft in extreme conditions. A myth makes Charybdis the daughter of Poseidon and Gaia and living as a loyal servant to her father. Charybdis aided her father Poseidon in his feud with her paternal uncle Zeus and, as such, helped him engulf lands and islands in water. Zeus, angry over the land she stole from him and chained her to the sea-bed. Charybdis was cursed by the god into a hideous bladder of a monster, with flippers for arms and legs, an uncontrollable thirst for the sea; as such, she drank the water from the sea thrice a day to quench it. She lingered on a rock with Scylla facing her directly on another rock. Odysseus faced both Charybdis and Scylla while rowing through a narrow channel, he ordered his men to avoid Charybdis, thus forcing them to pass near Scylla, which resulted in the deaths of six of his men.
Stranded on a raft, Odysseus was swept back through the strait and passed near Charybdis. His raft was sucked into her maw, but he survived by clinging to a fig tree growing on a rock over her lair. On the next outflow of water, when his raft was expelled, Odysseus recovered it and paddled away safely; the Argonauts were able to avoid both dangers because Hera ordered the Nereid nymph Thetis, Achilles' mother, to guide them through the perilous passage. Aristotle mentions in his Meteorologica that Aesop once teased a ferryman by telling him a myth concerning Charybdis. With one gulp of the sea, she brought the mountains to view; the third is yet to come and will dry the sea altogether, thus depriving the ferryman of his livelihood. Smith, William. "Scylla" 1. Chisholm, Hugh, ed.. "Scylla and Charybdis". Encyclopædia Britannica. 24. Cambridge University Press. P. 519
Messina is the capital of the Italian Metropolitan City of Messina. It is the third largest city on the island of Sicily, the 13th largest city in Italy, with a population of more than 238,000 inhabitants in the city proper and about 650,000 in the Metropolitan City, it is located near the northeast corner of Sicily, at the Strait of Messina, opposite Villa San Giovanni on the mainland, has close ties with Reggio Calabria. According to Eurostat the FUA of the metropolitan area of Messina has, in 2014, 277,584 inhabitants; the city's main resources are its seaports, cruise tourism and agriculture. The city has been a Roman Catholic Archdiocese and Archimandrite seat since 1548 and is home to a locally important international fair; the city has the University of Messina, founded in 1548 by Ignatius of Loyola. Messina has a light rail system, Tranvia di Messina, opened on 3 April 2003; this line is 7.7 kilometres and links the city's central railway station with the city centre and harbour. The city is home to a significant Greek-speaking minority, rooted in its history and recognised.
Founded by Greek colonists in the 8th century BC, Messina was called Zancle, from the Greek ζάγκλον meaning "scythe" because of the shape of its natural harbour. A comune of its Metropolitan City, located at the southern entrance of the Strait of Messina, is to this day called'Scaletta Zanclea'. In the early 5th century BC, Anaxilas of Rhegium renamed it Messene in honour of the Greek city Messene; the city was sacked in 397 BC by the Carthaginians and reconquered by Dionysius I of Syracuse. In 288 BC the Mamertines seized the city by treachery, killing all the men and taking the women as their wives; the city became a base from which they ravaged the countryside, leading to a conflict with the expanding regional empire of Syracuse. Hiero II, tyrant of Syracuse, defeated the Mamertines near Mylae on the Longanus River and besieged Messina. Carthage assisted the Mamertines because of a long-standing conflict with Syracuse over dominance in Sicily; when Hiero attacked a second time in 264 BC, the Mamertines petitioned the Roman Republic for an alliance, hoping for more reliable protection.
Although reluctant to assist lest it encourage other mercenary groups to mutiny, Rome was unwilling to see Carthaginian power spread further over Sicily and encroach on Italy. Rome therefore entered into an alliance with the Mamertines. In 264 BC, Roman troops were deployed to Sicily, the first time a Roman army acted outside the Italian Peninsula. At the end of the First Punic War it was a free city. In Roman times Messina known as Messana, had an important pharos. Messana was the base of Sextus Pompeius, during his war against Octavian. After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the city was successively ruled by Goths from 476 by the Byzantine Empire in 535, by the Arabs in 842, in 1061 by the Norman brothers Robert Guiscard and Roger Guiscard. In 1189 the English King Richard I stopped at Messina en route to the Holy Land for the Third Crusade and occupied the city after a dispute over the dowry of his sister, married to William the Good, King of Sicily. In 1345 Orlando d'Aragona, illegitimate son of Frederick II of Sicily was the strategos of Messina.
Messina may have been the harbour at which the Black Death entered Europe: the plague was brought by Genoese ships coming from Caffa in the Crimea. In 1548 St. Ignatius founded there the first Jesuit college in the world, which gave birth to the Studium Generale; the Christian ships that won the Battle of Lepanto left from Messina: the Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes, who took part in the battle, recovered for some time in the Grand Hospital. The city reached the peak of its splendour in the early 17th century, under Spanish domination: at the time it was one of the ten greatest cities in Europe. In 1674 the city rebelled against the foreign garrison, it managed to remain independent for some time, thanks to the help of the French king Louis XIV, but in 1678, with the Peace of Nijmegen, it was reconquered by the Spaniards and sacked: the university, the senate and all the privileges of autonomy it had enjoyed since the Roman times were abolished. A massive fortress was built by the occupants and Messina decayed steadily.
In 1743, 48,000 died of plague in the city. In 1783, an earthquake devastated much of the city, it took decades to rebuild and rekindle the cultural life of Messina. In 1847 it was one of the first cities in Italy. In 1848 it rebelled against the reigning Bourbons, but was suppressed again. Only in 1860, after the Battle of Milazzo, the Garibaldine troops occupied the city. One of the main figures of the unification of Italy, Giuseppe Mazzini, was elected deputy at Messina in the general elections of 1866. Another earthquake of less intensity damaged the city on 16 November 1894; the city was entirely destroyed by an earthquake and associated tsunami on the morning of 28 December 1908, killing about 100,000 people and destroying most of the ancient architecture. The city was rebuilt in the following year, it incurred further damage from the massive Allied air bombardments of 1943. The city was awarded a Gold Medal for Military Valour and one for Civil Valour in memory of the event and the subsequent effort
Marine life of the Strait of Messina
The hydrology of the Strait of Messina accommodates a variety of populations of marine organisms. The intense currents and characteristic chemistry of the waters of the Strait determine an extraordinary biocoenosis in the Mediterranean Sea with a high abundance and diversity of species. Intense and alternate currents, the low temperature and an abundance of transported nitrogen and phosphorus transported to the surface from deep waters supports both pelagic and coastal benthic populations in a cycle of organic substance. All this, with associated phenomena, determines an ecological rearrangement that simulates Atlantic conditions for species with a prevailing Western distribution. In fact, numerous Atlantic species, for example the laminariae, though present in some other zones of the Mediterranean, succeed in forming true structured submarine forests only in the Strait of Messina and are evidence of the optimal environmental conditions there, it is important to note that the laminariae of low depth, or the deep populations of Laminaria ochroleuca, the associated plant communities are dependent on the physical and biological characteristics of the substrate.
In order to complete their life-cycle, these organisms demand a solid substrate colonized by coralline algae, in the absence of which colonization cannot take place. The Strait of Messina, bordered between the two basins of the Mediterranean, the West and the East, is an important point for migration of the species that are found in each. In this area planktonic and benthic communities from both or the Atlantic Ocean merge. Benthic species of importance are Pilumnus inermis considered to be Atlantic. Other species are Ophiactis balli, the crustaceans Parthenope expansa and Portunus pelagicus and the giant barnacle, Pachylasma giganteum. Great biological and ecological importance is ascribed to the cited Laminariales of the Strait Sacchoryza polyschides and Laminaria ochroleuca, of Albunea carabus and to the conspicuous Pinna nobilis, the calcareous presence of red algae and immense prairies of Posidonia oceanica which covers wide areas and has a wide vertical distribution. Of extreme importance because they are found only in small areas elsewhere in the Mediterranean are Phyllariopsis brevipes, Phyllariopsis purpurascens, Desmarestia dresnayi, Desmarestia ligulata, Desmarestia ramose and Cryptopleura species.
From the faunistic point of view the Strait of Messina is considered a "Paradise of the Zoologist" for the enormous biodiversity that characterizes it. The species of benthic invertebrates are those which arise greater interest since they are enriched by a great variety of forms and colours due to the abundance of Cnidaria. A clear example is the "forest" of red Paramuricea clavata. These, adding to the substrate, create an ideal benthic environment to accommodate numerous other species. Another peculiarity of the Strait of Messina is the presence of a varied and numerous bathypelagic fauna that, transported to the surface by the upwelling current from the South, can be captured still alive in the points of greater turbulence, or found stranded along the coasts after adverse weather conditions. Examples are Argyropelecus hemigymnus and Myctophum punctatum; the Strait of Messina is an important migratory route of the Mediterranean Sea. The best known and important, from an economic point of view, are the great pelagic fish -, the Tuna, the Albacore, the Atlantic bonito, the Mediterranean Spearfish and the Swordfish.
The fish of the Strait are captured with boats called feluche or small engine powered fishing boats called passerelle. These pelagic fish are assets unique to this part of the Mediterranean Sea. Only in the Strait, using various techniques, it is possible to capture Tuna throughout the year and in all age classes as the population moves between the Tyrrhenian and the Ionian Seas; the Strait of Messina is an established route for the migration of Cetacea, it is the most important in the Mediterranean Sea in terms of whale species diversity. Worthy of note, besides the several species of Dolphins are the Fin Whales and the Sperm Whales which migrate through the Strait to their breeding area the Aeolian Islands. Sharks migrate through the Strait of Messina, including the Great White Shark and the Bluntnose Sixgill Shark; the abundant presence of marine fauna in the Straits, though noted by much earlier zoologists, was first publicised by the Italian scientist Anastasio Cocco. Following this, in the second half of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century scientists from all Europe began to visit Messina for their studies.
Many of these came from the German universities. The German coast has a far less diverse fauna than the Mediterranean, it is relatively sunless. It was a German zoologist August David Krohn who first defined the Strait of Messina as the "Paradise of the Zoologist". Research intensified in 1872 when Anton Dohrn established the Stazione Zoologica at Naples, seven days travel afar from Berlin and two by boat to Messina; the research was in taxonomy, invertebrate anatomy and biogeography, but soon involved more fundamental subje
The volt is the derived unit for electric potential, electric potential difference, electromotive force. It is named after the Italian physicist Alessandro Volta. One volt is defined as the difference in electric potential between two points of a conducting wire when an electric current of one ampere dissipates one watt of power between those points, it is equal to the potential difference between two parallel, infinite planes spaced 1 meter apart that create an electric field of 1 newton per coulomb. Additionally, it is the potential difference between two points that will impart one joule of energy per coulomb of charge that passes through it, it can be expressed in terms of SI base units as V = potential energy charge = J C = kg ⋅ m 2 A ⋅ s 3. It can be expressed as amperes times ohms, watts per ampere, or joules per coulomb, equivalent to electronvolts per elementary charge: V = A ⋅ Ω = W A = J C = eV e; the "conventional" volt, V90, defined in 1987 by the 18th General Conference on Weights and Measures and in use from 1990, is implemented using the Josephson effect for exact frequency-to-voltage conversion, combined with the caesium frequency standard.
For the Josephson constant, KJ = 2e/h, the "conventional" value KJ-90 is used: K J-90 = 0.4835979 GHz μ V. This standard is realized using a series-connected array of several thousand or tens of thousands of junctions, excited by microwave signals between 10 and 80 GHz. Empirically, several experiments have shown that the method is independent of device design, measurement setup, etc. and no correction terms are required in a practical implementation. In the water-flow analogy, sometimes used to explain electric circuits by comparing them with water-filled pipes, voltage is likened to difference in water pressure. Current is proportional to the amount of water flowing at that pressure. A resistor would be a reduced diameter somewhere in the piping and a capacitor/inductor could be likened to a "U" shaped pipe where a higher water level on one side could store energy temporarily; the relationship between voltage and current is defined by Ohm's law. Ohm's Law is analogous to the Hagen–Poiseuille equation, as both are linear models relating flux and potential in their respective systems.
The voltage produced by each electrochemical cell in a battery is determined by the chemistry of that cell. See Galvanic cell § Cell voltage. Cells can be combined in series for multiples of that voltage, or additional circuitry added to adjust the voltage to a different level. Mechanical generators can be constructed to any voltage in a range of feasibility. Nominal voltages of familiar sources: Nerve cell resting potential: ~75 mV Single-cell, rechargeable NiMH or NiCd battery: 1.2 V Single-cell, non-rechargeable: alkaline battery: 1.5 V. Some antique vehicles use 6.3 volts. Electric vehicle battery: 400 V when charged Household mains electricity AC: 100 V in Japan 120 V in North America, 230 V in Europe, Asia and Australia Rapid transit third rail: 600–750 V High-speed train overhead power lines: 25 kV at 50 Hz, but see the List of railway electrification systems and 25 kV at 60 Hz for exceptions. High-voltage electric power transmission lines: 110 kV and up Lightning: Varies often around 100 MV.
In 1800, as the result of a professional disagreement over the galvanic response advocated by Luigi Galvani, Alessandro Volta developed the so-called voltaic pile, a forerunner of the battery, which produced a steady electric current. Volta had determined that the most effective pair of dissimilar metals to produce electricity was zinc and silver. In 1861, Latimer Clark and Sir Charles Bright coined the name "volt" for the unit of resistance. By 1873, the British Association for the Advancement of Science had defined the volt and farad. In 1881, the International Electrical Congress, now the International Electrotechnical Commission, approved the volt as the unit for electromotive force, they made the volt equal to 108 cgs units of voltage
Villa San Giovanni
Villa San Giovanni is a town and comune in the province of Reggio Calabria, southern Italy. In 2010 its population was 13,747, it is the main terminal of access to Sicily. On 25 April 2005 the President of the Republic had conferred upon it the title of "city", it is located on the coast of Strait of Messina, facing the city of Messina across the narrow strait and its port is the main ferry terminal for Sicily. Punta Pezzo, located in the municipality of Villa, represents the point of greatest proximity between the Calabrian shore and the Sicilian side: this has made the city the ideal place for crossing the Strait. Punta Pezzo contains a notable lighthouse. There are many neighborhoods: Acciarello, Cannitello and Piale. On 28 December 1908 a powerful earthquake in the Strait of Messina killed 698 people in Villa San Giovanni 10% of the population; the last decades of the sixteenth century saw the rise in the small coastal villages, such as Cannitello and Pezzo, inhabited by sailors and fishermen.
Further inland, at the current center of the Villa, there was a village called Fossa. Came Piale and Acciarello; the coastal repopulation accelerated the eighteenth century progressive decline of Fiumara di Muro, until the administrative reform implemented in 1806 by Giuseppe Bonaparte definitively abolished the feudal system and the Lordship of Fiumara disappeared. On 8 January 1676 he fought a naval battle between the Dutch and the French fleet in the waters of the Strait in front of Punta Pezzo, with a victorious outcome for the French; the cannons found at Pezzo in 1902 date back to this battle. In 1743, there was an unfortunate incident involving the small village of Fossa. In March of that year, a Genoese ship loaded with wheat from Patras had brought the plague to Messina; the Health Council of the city of Reggio Calabria had ordered all boats not to approach the port of Messina and instituted guard duty on the coast to enforce the ordinance. The Health Council of Messina denied the epidemic, so as not to interrupt the trade with the continent.
Throughout the month of April, confusing news of the Messina situation arrived in Naples, so the government did not take the necessary steps, while the epidemic grew enormously in that city. In the situation of isolation in which Messina found itself, many sailors and masters began to smuggle in food and basic necessities from the Calabrian side of the Strait and the resorts of Ganzirri and Torre Faro in Messina; this led to the arrival on the continent of infected products. Among these smugglers were the brothers Paul Lombardo di Fossa, originating from Fiumara, it is said that on the night of 10 June, the Sicilians, not having quite enough money to pay them, gave them a coat and Paul Lombardo accepted it and put it on: the coat was infected and soon the two brothers died because of the disease, in the days following, their closest relatives. In any case, the epidemic came to Fossa. Hearing the news, the two mayors of Reggio and Giuseppe Antonio Melissari wanted to investigate the matter; the plague was ascertained by these two specialists, but did not stop the illegal smuggling with Sicily, in reality practiced by many local boats: the plague began to spread enormously on the shores of Calabria.
The governor Ferri and the two mayors considered Fossa the scapegoat source of the epidemic and ordered an expedition against the small town. According to reports from Luigi's Prayer, on the morning of June 23, 3,200 armed men departed from Reggio, of whom 200 were Swiss mercenaries and the remainder citizens of Reggio, under the leadership of Diego Ferri; the residents of Blackwater tried to resist, but they had to yield. All the inhabitants, including old men and children, were forced to strip naked and to be washed with oil and vinegar; the Reggio were given their clothes and personal property and forced to march naked up to Punta Pezzo. The armed men returned to Reggio and the next day with artillery burned the entire village, with houses, boats and quantities of oil and wine set on fire the Church of Maria SS.ma delle Grazie di Pezzo where it was believed that the plague had taken refuge. The Fossa people remained in miserable conditions at the beach of Pezzo for several days, without receiving any help.
Ferri ordered Carlo Ruffo, Duke of Bagnara and Lord of Fiumara di Muro to provide for them, as the Fossa people were still part of the Fiumanese feud. But the Duke did not care about them: he first denied the plague, pretended to be irritated by the act performed by the Reggio against his employees dumped these charges on the University of Fiumara, promising reimbursement of expenses, but it was only sent a few beans and an ox insufficient for all the inhabitants. Only the captain of a boat, carrying onions from Tropea took pity on them and offered his poor load. Between Blackwater and the neighboring towns about eighty people died from the plague. Reggini people thought they had thus preserved the city from the disease, but in early July, the disease came to Reggio, whe
In Greek mythology, Scylla was a monster that lived on one side of a narrow channel of water, opposite her counterpart Charybdis. The two sides of the strait were within an arrow's range of each other—so close that sailors attempting to avoid Charybdis would pass dangerously close to Scylla and vice versa. Scylla made her first appearance in Homer's Odyssey, where Odysseus and his crew encounter her and Charybdis on their travels. Myth gave her an origin story as a beautiful nymph who gets turned into a monster; the strait where Scylla dwelled has been associated with the Strait of Messina between Italy and Sicily, for example, as in Book Three of Virgil's Aeneid. The idiom "between Scylla and Charybdis" has come to mean being forced to choose between two dangerous situations; the parentage of Scylla varies according to author. Homer, Apollodorus, a scholiast on Plato, all name Crataeis as the mother of Scylla. Neither Homer nor Ovid mentions a father, but Apollodorus says that the father was either Trienus or Phorcus the Plato scholiast following Apollodorus, gives the father as Tyrrhenus or Phorcus, while Eustathius on Homer, Odyssey 12.85, gives the father as Triton.
Other authors have Hecate as Scylla's mother. The Hesiodic Megalai Ehoiai gives Hecate and Phoebus Apollo as the parents of Scylla, while Acusilaus says that Scylla's parents were Hecate and Phorkys. Trying to reconcile these conflicting accounts, Apollonius of Rhodes says that Crataeis was another name for Hecate, that she and Phorcys were the parents of Scylla. Semos of Delos says that Crataeis was the daughter of Hecate and Triton, mother of Scylla by Deimos. Stesichorus names Lamia as the mother of Scylla the Lamia, the daughter of Poseidon, while according to Hyginus, Scylla was the offspring of Typhon and Echidna. According to John Tzetzes and Servius' commentary on the Aeneid, Scylla was a beautiful naiad, claimed by Poseidon, but the jealous Amphitrite turned her into a monster by poisoning the water of the spring where Scylla would bathe. A similar story is found in Hyginus, according to whom Scylla was loved by Glaucus, but Glaucus himself was loved by the goddess sorceress Circe. While Scylla was bathing in the sea, the jealous Circe poured a baleful potion into the sea water which caused Scylla to transform into a frightful monster with four eyes and six long snaky necks equipped with grisly heads, each of which contained three rows of sharp shark's teeth.
Her body consisted of 12 tentacle-like legs and a cat's tail, while six dog's heads ringed her waist. In this form, she attacked the ships of passing sailors, seizing one of the crew with each of her heads. In a late Greek myth, recorded in Eustathius' commentary on Homer and John Tzetzes, Heracles encountered Scylla during a journey to Sicily and slew her, her father, the sea-god Phorcys applied flaming torches to her body and restored her to life. In Homer's Odyssey XII, Odysseus is advised by Circe to sail closer to Scylla, for Charybdis could drown his whole ship: "Hug Scylla's crag—sail on past her—top speed! Better by far to lose six men and keep your ship than lose your entire crew." She tells Odysseus to ask Scylla's mother, the river nymph Crataeis, to prevent Scylla from pouncing more than once. Odysseus navigates the strait, but when he and his crew are momentarily distracted by Charybdis, Scylla snatches six sailors off the deck and devours them alive. According to Ovid, the fisherman-turned-sea god Glaucus falls in love with the beautiful Scylla, but she is repulsed by his piscine form and flees to a promontory where he cannot follow.
When Glaucus goes to Circe to request a love potion that will win Scylla's affections, the enchantress herself becomes enamored with him. Meeting with no success, Circe becomes hatefully jealous of her rival and therefore prepares a vial of poison and pours it into the sea pool where Scylla bathed, transforming her into a thing of terror to herself; the story was adapted into a five-act tragic opera, Scylla et Glaucus, by the French composer Jean-Marie Leclair. In John Keats' loose retelling of Ovid's version of the myth of Scylla and Glaucus in Book 3 of Endymion, the evil Circe does not transform Scylla into a monster but murders the beautiful nymph. Glaucus takes her corpse to a crystal palace at the bottom of the ocean where lie the bodies of all lovers who have died at sea. After a thousand years, she is reunited with Glaucus. At the Carolingian abbey of Corvey in Westphalia, a unique ninth-century wall painting depicts, among other things, Odysseus' fight with Scylla, an illustration not noted elsewhere in medieval arts.
In the Renaissance and after, it was the story of Glaucus and Scylla that caught the imagination of painters across Europe. In Agostino Carracci's 1597 fresco cycle of The Loves of the Gods in the Farnese Gallery, the two are shown embracing, a conjunction, not sanctioned by the myth. More orthodox versions show the maiden scrambling away from the amorous arms of the god, as in the oil on copper painting of Fillipo Lauri and the oil on canvas by Salvator Rosa in the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Caen. Other painters picture them divided by their respective elements of land and water, as in the paintings of the Flemish Bartholomäus Spranger, now in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna; some add the detail of Cupid aiming at the sea-god with his bow, as in the painting of Laurent de la Hyre in the J. Paul Getty Museum and that of Jacques Dumont le Romain at the Musée des beaux-arts de Troyes. Two cupids can be seen flutt
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