Totila, original name Baduila, was the penultimate King of the Ostrogoths, reigning from 541 to 552 AD. A skilled military and political leader, Totila reversed the tide of the Gothic War, recovering by 543 all the territories in Italy that the Eastern Roman Empire had captured from his Kingdom in 540. A relative of Theudis, sword-bearer of Theodoric the Great and king of the Visigoths, Totila was elected king by Ostrogothic nobles in the autumn of 541 after King Witigis had been carried off prisoner to Constantinople. Totila proved himself both as a military and political leader, winning the support of the lower classes by liberating slaves and distributing land to the peasants. After a successful defence at Verona, Totila pursued and defeated a numerically superior army at the Battle of Faventia in 542 AD. Totila followed these victories by capturing Naples. By 543, fighting on land and sea, he had reconqured the bulk of the lost territory. Rome held out, Totila appealed unsuccessfully to the Senate in a letter reminding them of the loyalty of the Romans to his predecessor Theodoric the Great.
In the spring of 544 the Eastern Roman emperor Justinian I sent his general Belisarius to Italy to counterattack, but Totila captured Rome in 546 from Belisarius and depopulated the city after a yearlong siege. When Totila left to fight the Byzantines in Lucania, south of Naples, Belisarius retook Rome and rebuilt its fortifications. After Belisarius retreated to Constantinople in 549, Totila recaptured Rome, going on to complete the reconquest of Italy and Sicily. By the end of 550, Totila had recaptured all but four coastal towns; the following year Justinian sent his general Narses with a force of 35,000 Lombards and Heruli to Italy in a march around the Adriatic to approach Ravenna from the north. In the Battle of Taginae, a decisive engagement during the summer of 552, in the Apennines near present-day Fabriano, the Gothic army was defeated, Totila was mortally wounded. Totila was succeeded by his relative, who died at the Battle of Mons Lactarius. Pockets of resistance, reinforced by Franks and Alemanni who had invaded Italy in 553, continued until 562, when the Byzantines were in control of the whole of the country.
The country was so ravaged by war that any return to normal life proved impossible, only three years after Justinian's death in 565, most of the country was conquered by Alboin of the Lombards, who absorbed the remaining Ostrogothic population. "Totila" was the nom de guerre of a man whose real name was Baduila, as can be seen from the coinage he issued. "Totila" is the name used by the Byzantine historian Procopius, who accompanied the Byzantine general Belisarius during the Gothic War, whose chronicles are the main source of our information for Totila. According to Henry Bradley,'Totila' and'Baduila' are diminutives of'Totabadws'. Born in Treviso, Totila was a relative of king of the Visigoths. Elected king of the Ostrogoths in 541 after the assassination of his uncle Ildibad, having engineered the assassination of Ildibad's short-lived successor, his cousin Eraric, in 541; the official Byzantine position, adopted by Procopius and by the Romanized Goth Jordanes, writing just before the conclusion of the Gothic Wars, was that Totila was a usurper: Jordanes' Getica overlooks the then-recent successes of Totila.
His life's work was the restoration of the Gothic kingdom in Italy, he entered upon the task from the beginning of his reign, collecting together and inspiring the Goths, defeating a poorly led Byzantine attack on the Gothic stronghold of Verona in the winter of 541, scattering the stronger Byzantine army at Faenza in the spring of 542. Having gained another victory in 542, Totila avoided the stoutly-defended Florence, in the Mugello valley. Totila treated his prisoners so well, some served under his banner, he left well-defended Tuscany with his enlarged forces, while three Byzantine generals withdrew from Florence, dividing their forces to Perugia and Rome, cities which Totila would have to take by siege. In the meantime, instead of pursuing the conquest of central Italy, where the Imperial forces were too formidable for his small army, he decided to transfer his operations to the south of the peninsula, he captured Beneventum and received the submission of the provinces of Lucania and Bruttium and Calabria the whole of the Greek south.
Totila's strategy was to move fast and take control of the countryside, leaving the Byzantine forces in control of well-defended cities, the ports. When Belisarius returned to Italy, Procopius relates that "during a space of five years he did not succeed once in setting foot on any part of the land … except where some fortress was, but during this whole period he kept sailing about visiting one port after another." Totila circumvented those cities where a drawn-out siege would have been required, razing the walls of cities that capitulated to him, such as Beneventum. Totila's conquest of Italy was marked not only by celerity but by mercy, Gibbon says "none were deceived, either friends or enemies, who depended on his faith or his clemency." After a successful siege of a resisting city, such as at Perugia, Totila could be merciless, as Procopius recounts. Procopius left a written portrayal of Totila before his troops were drawn up for battle: The armor in which he was clad was abundantly plated with gold and the ample adornments which hung from his cheek plates as well as his helmet and spear were not only purple, but in other respects befitting a king … And he himself, sitting upon a large horse, began to dance under arms skillfully be
The Lombards or Longobards were a Germanic people who ruled most of the Italian Peninsula from 568 to 774. The Lombard historian Paul the Deacon wrote in the Historia Langobardorum that the Lombards descended from a small tribe called the Winnili, who dwelt in southern Scandinavia before migrating to seek new lands. In the 1st century AD, they formed part of the Suebi, in north-western Germany. By the end of the 5th century, they had moved into the area coinciding with modern Austria and Slovakia north of the Danube river, where they subdued the Heruls and fought frequent wars with the Gepids; the Lombard king Audoin defeated the Gepid leader Thurisind in 551 or 552. Following this victory, Alboin decided to lead his people to Italy, which had become depopulated and devastated after the long Gothic War between the Byzantine Empire and the Ostrogothic Kingdom there. In contrast with the Goths and the Vandals, the Lombards left Scandinavia and descended due south through Germany and Slovenia, only leaving Germanic territory a few decades before reaching Italy.
The Lombards would have remained a predominantly Germanic tribe by the time they invaded Italy. The Lombards were joined by numerous Saxons, Gepids, Bulgars and Ostrogoths, their invasion of Italy was unopposed. By late 569 they had conquered all of northern Italy and the principal cities north of the Po River except Pavia, which fell in 572. At the same time, they occupied areas in southern Italy, they established a Lombard Kingdom in north and central Italy named Regnum Italicum, which reached its zenith under the 8th-century ruler Liutprand. In 774, the Kingdom was integrated into his Empire. However, Lombard nobles continued to rule southern parts of the Italian peninsula, well into the 11th century when they were conquered by the Normans and added to their County of Sicily. In this period, the southern part of Italy still under Longobardic domination was known to the foreigners, by the name Langbarðaland, in the Norse runestones, their legacy is apparent in the regional name Lombardy. The fullest account of Lombard origins and practices is the Historia Langobardorum of Paul the Deacon, written in the 8th century.
Paul's chief source for Lombard origins, however, is the 7th-century Origo Gentis Langobardorum. The Origo Gentis Langobardorum tells the story of a small tribe called the Winnili dwelling in southern Scandinavia; the Winnili were split into three groups and one part left their native land to seek foreign fields. The reason for the exodus was overpopulation; the departing people were led by the brothers Ybor and Aio and their mother Gambara and arrived in the lands of Scoringa the Baltic coast or the Bardengau on the banks of the Elbe. Scoringa was ruled by the Vandals and their chieftains, the brothers Ambri and Assi, who granted the Winnili a choice between tribute or war; the Winnili were young and brave and refused to pay tribute, saying "It is better to maintain liberty by arms than to stain it by the payment of tribute." The Vandals prepared for war and consulted Godan, who answered that he would give the victory to those whom he would see first at sunrise. The Winnili were fewer in number and Gambara sought help from Frea, who advised that all Winnili women should tie their hair in front of their faces like beards and march in line with their husbands.
At sunrise, Frea turned her husband's bed so that he was facing east, woke him. So Godan spotted the Winnili first and asked, "Who are these long-beards?," and Frea replied, "My lord, thou hast given them the name, now give them the victory." From that moment onwards, the Winnili were known as the Longbeards. When Paul the Deacon wrote the Historia between 787 and 796 he was a Catholic monk and devoted Christian, he thought the pagan stories of his people "silly" and "laughable". Paul explained. A modern theory suggests that the name "Langobard" comes from a name of Odin. Priester states that when the Winnili changed their name to "Lombards", they changed their old agricultural fertility cult to a cult of Odin, thus creating a conscious tribal tradition. Fröhlich inverts the order of events in Priester and states that with the Odin cult, the Lombards grew their beards in resemblance of the Odin of tradition and their new name reflected this. Bruckner remarks that the name of the Lombards stands in close relation to the worship of Odin, whose many names include "the Long-bearded" or "the Grey-bearded", that the Lombard given name Ansegranus shows that the Lombards had this idea of their chief deity.
The same Old Norse root Barth or Barði, meaning "beard", is shared with the Heaðobards mentioned in both Beowulf and in Widsith, where they are in conflict with the Danes. They were a branch of the Langobards. Alternatively some etymological sources suggest an Old High German root, meaning “axe”, while Edward Gibbon puts forth an alternative suggestion which argues that: …Börde still signifies “a fertile plain by the side of a river,” and a district near Magdeburg is still called the lange Börd
Athalaric was the King of the Ostrogoths in Italy between 526 and 534. He was a son of Eutharic and Amalasuntha, the youngest daughter of Theoderic the Great, whom Athalaric succeeded as king in 526; as Athalaric was only ten years old, the regency was assumed by Amalasuntha. His mother attempted to provide for him an education in the Roman tradition, but the Gothic nobles pressured her to allow them to raise him as they saw fit; as a result, Athalaric drank and indulged in vicious excesses, which ruined his constitution. Attribution: This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed.. "Athalaric". Encyclopædia Britannica. 2. Cambridge University Press. P. 825
Theoderic the Great
Theoderic the Great referred to as Theodoric, was king of the Ostrogoths, ruler of Italy, regent of the Visigoths, a patrician of the Roman Empire. As ruler of the combined Gothic realms, Theoderic controlled an empire stretching from the Atlantic Ocean to the Adriatic Sea, he kept good relations between Ostrogoths and Romans, maintained a Roman legal administration and oversaw a flourishing scholarly culture and the largest building program in Italy in 100 years. Theoderic was born in Pannonia in 454 as the son of king Theodemir, a Germanic Amali nobleman, his concubine Ereleuva. From 461 to 471, Theoderic grew up as a hostage in Constantinople, received a privileged education under imperial direction, succeeded his father as leader of the Pannonian Ostrogoths in 473. Settling his people in lower Moesia, Theoderic came into conflict with Thracian Ostrogoths led by Theodoric Strabo, whom he supplanted, uniting the peoples in 484. Emperor Zeno subsequently gave him the title of Patrician, Vir gloriosus, the office of magister militum, appointed him as consul.
Seeking further gains, Theoderic ravaged the provinces of the Eastern Roman Empire threatening Constantinople itself. In 488, Emperor Zeno ordered Theoderic to overthrow the Germanic foederatus and King of Italy, Odoacer. After a victorious four-year war, Theoderic killed Odoacer with his own hands while they shared a meal, settled his 200,000 to 250,000 people in Italy, founded an Ostrogothic Kingdom based in Ravenna. Theoderic extended his hegemony over the Vandal Kingdoms through marriage alliances. In 511, the Visigothic Kingdom was brought under Theoderic's direct control, forming a Gothic empire that extended from the Atlantic Ocean to the Adriatic Sea. Theoderic's achievements began to unravel in his years; the Burgundians and Vandals threw off Ostrogothic hegemony by 523, Theoderic's presumptive heir to both Gothic realms and son-in-law Eutharic died in 522, throwing his succession into doubt. Theoderic's good relations with the Roman Senate deteriorated due to a presumed senatorial conspiracy in 522, and, in 523, Theoderic had the philosopher and court official Boethius and Boethius' father-in-law Symmachus executed on charges of treason related to the alleged plot.
Theoderic died in Ravenna on 30 August 526, was succeeded by his grandson Athalaric, with Theoderic's daughter Amalasuntha serving as regent. The Visigothic Kingdom re-acquired its independence on Theoderic's death. Seeking to restore the glory of ancient Rome, he ruled Italy in its most peaceful and prosperous period since Valentinian I. Memories of his reign made him a hero of German legends, as Dietrich von Bern; the man who would rule under the name of Theoderic was born in AD 454, on the banks of the Neusiedler See near Carnuntum. This was just a year, his Gothic name, reconstructed by linguists as *Þiudareiks, translates into "people-king" or "ruler of the people". The son of King Theodemir and Ereleuva, Theoderic went to Constantinople as a young boy, as a hostage to secure the Ostrogoths' compliance with a treaty Theodemir had concluded with the Byzantine Emperor Leo the Thracian, he was Leo's hostage at the Great Palace of Constantinople from 461 to 471 and was well-educated by Constantinople's best teachers.
Theoderic was treated with favor by Zeno. He settled his people in Epirus in 479 with the help of his relative Sidimund. Theoderic became magister militum in 483, one year he became consul in a ceremony in the presence of Emperor Zeno. Afterwards, he returned to live among the Ostrogoths when he was 31 years old and became their king in 488; the legend that he was illiterate arose from the fact that he used a stamp to affix his approval of laws. At the time, the Ostrogoths were settled in Byzantine territory as foederati of the Romans, but were becoming restless and difficult for Zeno to manage. Not long after Theoderic became king, the two men worked out an arrangement beneficial to both sides; the Ostrogoths needed a place to live, Zeno was having serious problems with Odoacer, the King of Italy who had come to power in 476. Ostensibly a viceroy for Zeno, Odoacer was menacing Byzantine territory and not respecting the rights of Roman citizens in Italy. At Zeno's encouragement, Theoderic invaded Odoacer's kingdom.
In this endeavor he received the support of the Rugian king Frideric, the son of Theoderic's cousin Giso. Theoderic moved with his people towards Italy in the autumn of 488. On the way he was opposed by the Gepids, whom he defeated at Sirmium in August 489. Arriving in Italy, Theoderic won the battles of Isonzo and Verona in 489, he was defeated by Odoacer at Faenza in 490, but regained the upper hand after securing victory in the Battle of the Adda River on August 11, 490. In 493 he took Ravenna. On February 2, 493, Theoderic and Odoacer signed a treaty that assured both parties would rule over Italy. A banquet was organised on 15 March 493. At this banquet, after making a toast, killed Odoacer. Theoderic struck him on the collarbone. Like Odoacer, Theoderic was ostensibly only a viceroy for the emperor in Constantinople. In reality, he was able to avoid imperial supervision, dealings between the empero
John Julius Norwich
John Julius Cooper, 2nd Viscount Norwich, known as John Julius Norwich, was an English popular historian, travel writer and television personality. Norwich was the son of Conservative politician and diplomat Duff Cooper Viscount Norwich, of Lady Diana Manners, a celebrated beauty and society figure. Through his father, he was descended from his mistress Dorothea Jordan, he was educated at Upper Canada College, Canada and the University of Strasbourg. He served in the Royal Navy before taking a degree in French and Russian at Oxford. Joining the British Foreign Service after Oxford, before that Eton, John Julius Cooper served in Yugoslavia and Lebanon and as a member of the British delegation to the Disarmament Conference in Geneva. On his father's death in 1954, he inherited the title of Viscount Norwich, created for his father, Duff Cooper, in 1952; this gave him a right to sit in the House of Lords, though he lost this right with the House of Lords Act 1999. In 1964, Viscount Norwich left the diplomatic service to become a writer.
His subsequent books included histories of Sicily under the Normans, Byzantium, the Mediterranean, the Papacy, amongst others. He served as editor of series such as Great Architecture of the World, The Italian World, The New Shell Guides to Great Britain, The Oxford Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Art and the Duff Cooper Diaries. Viscount Norwich has contributed to Cornucopia, a magazine devoted to the history and culture of Turkey. Viscount Norwich worked extensively in television, he was host of the BBC radio panel game My Word! for four years and a regional contestant on Round Britain Quiz. He has written and presented some 30 television documentaries, including The Fall of Constantinople, Napoleon's Hundred Days, Cortés and Montezuma, The Antiquities of Turkey, The Gates of Asia, Maximilian of Mexico, Toussaint l'Ouverture of Haiti, The Knights of Malta, The Treasure Houses of Britain, The Death of the Prince Imperial in the Zulu War. Norwich worked for various charitable projects, he was the chairman of the Venice in Peril Fund, honorary chairman of the World Monuments Fund, a Vice-President of the National Association of Decorative and Fine Arts Societies.
For many years he was a member of the Executive Committee of the National Trust, served on the Board of English National Opera. Viscount Norwich was a patron of SHARE Community, which provides vocational training to disabled people. Viscount Norwich began to compile 24-page anthologies for friends in 1970 producing around 2,000 copies a year and expanding to the United States in the mid-1980s. Several anthologies have been published and certain single issues fetch high prices in secondhand bookstores. Christmas Crackers were compiled from whatever attracted Norwich: letters and diaries and gravestones and poems, boastful Who's Who entries, indexes from biographies, word games such as palindromes and mnemonics in untranslated Greek, Latin, German or whatever language they were sourced from, as well as such oddities as a review from the American outdoors magazine Field and Stream concerning the re-publication of Lady Chatterley's Lover. Viscount Norwich's first wife was Anne Frances May Clifford, daughter of the Hon.
Sir Bede Clifford. After their divorce, Lord Norwich married his second wife, the Hon. Mary Philipps, daughter of The 1st Baron Sherfield. Viscount Norwich was the father of Allegra Huston, born of his affair with the American ballet dancer Enrica Soma while she was married to the American film director John Huston. Norwich lived for much of his life, or was based in, a large detached Victorian house in Warwick Avenue, in the heart of Little Venice, Maida Vale close to the Regent's Canal. Viscount Norwich died age 88 on June 1, 2018. 1929–1952: Mr John Julius Cooper 1952–1954: The Honourable John Julius Cooper 1954–2018: The Right Honourable The Viscount NorwichViscount Norwich was appointed to the Royal Victorian Order as a Commander in 1992 by the Queen after curating a Victoria and Albert Museum exhibition entitled Sovereign, which marked the 40th anniversary of the Queen's accession. Mount Athos, Hutchinson, 1966 The Normans in the South, 1016–1130, Longman, 1967. Published by Harper & Row with the title The Other Conquest Sahara, Longman, 1968 The Kingdom in the Sun, Longman, 1970 Great Architecture of the World, Littlehampton Book Services Ltd, 1975 ISBN 978-0855330675 Venice: The Rise to Empire, Allen Lane, 1977 ISBN 0713907428 Venice: The Greatness and Fall, Allen Lane, 1981 ISBN 0713914092 A History of Venice, Knopf, 1982 / Penguin, 1983 ISBN 0-679-72197-5, single-volume combined edition Britain's Heritage, HaperCollins, 1983 ISBN 978-0246118400 The Italian World: History and the Genius of a People, Thames & Hudson, 1983, ISBN 978-0500250884 Hashish, Quartet Books, 1984, ISBN 0-7043-2450-4 The Architecture of Southern England, Macmillan, 1985, ISBN 978-0-333-22037-5 Fifty Years of Glyndebourne, Cape, 1985, ISBN 0-224-02310-1 A Taste for Travel, Macmillan, 1985, ISBN 0-333-38434-2 Byzantium: The Early Centuries, Viking, 1988, ISBN 0-670-80251-4 Venice: a Traveller's Companion, Constable, 1990, ISBN 0-09-467550-3 Oxford Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Art Oxford, 1990 The Normans in the South and The Kingdom in the Sun, on Norman S
King of Italy
King of Italy was the title given to the ruler of the Kingdom of Italy after the fall of the Western Roman Empire. The first to take the title was Odoacer, a "barbarian" military leader, in the late 5th century, followed by the Ostrogothic kings up to the mid-6th century. With the Frankish conquest of Italy in the 8th century, the Carolingians assumed the title, maintained by subsequent Holy Roman Emperors throughout the Middle Ages; the last Emperor to claim the title was Charles V in the 16th century. During this period, the holders of the title were crowned with the Iron Crown of Lombardy. A Kingdom of Italy was restored from 1805 to 1814 with Napoleon as its only king, centered in Northern Italy, it was not until the Italian unification in the 1860s that a Kingdom of Italy covering the entire peninsula was restored. From 1861 the House of Savoy held the title of King of Italy until the last king, Umberto II, was exiled in 1946 when Italy became a republic. After the deposition of the last Western Emperor in 476, Heruli leader Odoacer was appointed Dux Italiae by the reigning Byzantine Emperor Zeno.
The Germanic foederati, the Scirians and the Heruli, as well as a large segment of the Italic Roman army, proclaimed Odoacer Rex Italiae. In 493, the Ostrogothic king Theoderic the Great killed Odoacer, set up a new dynasty of kings of Italy. Ostrogothic rule ended when Italy was reconquered by the Byzantine Empire in 552. In 568, the Lombards entered the peninsula and ventured to recreate a barbarian kingdom in opposition to the Empire, establishing their authority over much of Italy, except the Exarchate of Ravenna and the duchies of Rome, Venetia and the southernmost portions. In the 8th century, estrangement between the Italians and the Byzantines allowed the Lombards to capture the remaining Roman enclaves in northern Italy. However, in 774, they were defeated by the Franks under Charlemagne, who deposed their king and took up the title "king of the Lombards". After the death of Charles the Fat in 887, Italy fell into instability and a number of kings attempted to establish themselves as independent Italian monarchs.
During this period, known as the Feudal Anarchy, the title Rex Italicorum was introduced. After the breakup of the Frankish empire, Otto I added Italy to the Holy Roman Empire and continued the use of the title Rex Italicorum; the last to use this title was Henry II. Subsequent emperors used the title "King of Italy" until Charles V. At first they were crowned in Pavia Milan, Charles was crowned in Bologna. In 1805, Napoleon I was crowned with the Iron Crown of Lombardy at the Milan Cathedral; the next year, Holy Roman Emperor Francis II abdicated his imperial title. From the deposition of Napoleon I until the Italian Unification, there was no Italian monarch claiming the overarching title; the Risorgimento established a dynasty, the House of Savoy, over the whole peninsula, uniting the kingdoms of Sardinia and the Two Sicilies to form the modern Kingdom of Italy. The monarchy was superseded by the Italian Republic, after a constitutional referendum was held on 2 June 1946, after World War II; the Italian monarchy formally ended on 12 June of that year, Umberto II left the country.
Odoacer vassal of the Eastern Roman Empire. Theoderic the Great Athalaric Theodahad Witiges Ildibad Eraric Totila Teia Alboin Cleph Rule of the dukes Authari Agilulf Adaloald Arioald Rothari Rodoald Aripert I Perctarit and Godepert Grimoald Perctarit, restored from exile Alahis, rebel Cunincpert Liutpert Raginpert Aripert II Ansprand Liutprand Hildeprand Ratchis Aistulf Desiderius Charlemagne Pippin Bernard Louis I Lothair I Louis II Charles II the Bald Carloman Charles the Fat After 887, Italy fell into instability, with many rulers claiming the kingship simultaneously: Berengar I vassal of the German King Arnulf of Carinthia, reduced to Friuli 889-894, deposed by Arnulf in 896. Guy of Spoleto opponent of Berengar, was deposed by Arnulf. Lambert of Spoleto subking of his father Guy before 894, reduced to Spoleto 894–895. Arnulf of Carinthia Ratold In 896, Arnulf and Ratold lost control of Italy, divided between Berengar and Lambert: Berengar I seized Lambert's portion upon the latter's death in 898.
Lambert of Italy Louis III of Provence opposed Berengar 900-902 and 905. Rudolph II of Burgundy defeated Berengar but fled Italy in 926. Hugh of Arles elected by Berengar's partisans in 925, resigned to Provence after 945. Lothair II Berengar II of Ivrea jointly with his son:Adalbert of Italy In 951 Otto I of Germany invaded Italy and was crowned with the Iron Crown of Lombardy. In 952, Berengar and Adalbert remained Kings until being deposed by Otto. Roger II used the title King of Sicily and Italy until at least 1135. Although his realm included the southern Italian mainland, he never exerted any control over the official Kingdom of Italy, none of his successors claimed the title King of Italy. Charles V was the last emperor to use the title; the Peace of Westphalia, in 1648, formally end
Naples is the regional capital of Campania and the third-largest municipality in Italy after Rome and Milan. In 2017, around 967,069 people lived within the city's administrative limits while its province-level municipality has a population of 3,115,320 residents, its continuously built-up metropolitan area is the second or third largest metropolitan area in Italy and one of the most densely populated cities in Europe. First settled by Greeks in the second millennium BC, Naples is one of the oldest continuously inhabited urban areas in the world. In the ninth century BC, a colony known as Parthenope or Παρθενόπη was established on the Island of Megaride refounded as Neápolis in the sixth century BC; the city was an important part of Magna Graecia, played a major role in the merging of Greek and Roman society and a significant cultural centre under the Romans. It served as the capital of the Duchy of Naples of the Kingdom of Naples and of the Two Sicilies until the unification of Italy in 1861.
Between 1925 and 1936, Naples was expanded and upgraded by Benito Mussolini's government but subsequently sustained severe damage from Allied bombing during World War II, which led to extensive post-1945 reconstruction work. Naples has experienced significant economic growth in recent decades, helped by the construction of the Centro Direzionale business district and an advanced transportation network, which includes the Alta Velocità high-speed rail link to Rome and Salerno and an expanded subway network. Naples is the third-largest urban economy in Italy, after Rome; the Port of Naples is one of the most important in Europe and home of the Allied Joint Force Command Naples, the NATO body that oversees North Africa, the Sahel and Middle East. Naples' historic city centre is the largest in Europe and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with a wide range of culturally and significant sites nearby, including the Palace of Caserta and the Roman ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Naples is known for its natural beauties such as Posillipo, Phlegraean Fields and Vesuvius.
Neapolitan cuisine is synonymous with pizza – which originated in the city – but it includes many lesser-known dishes. The best-known sports team in Naples is the Serie A club S. S. C. Napoli, two-time Italian champions who play at the San Paolo Stadium in the southwest of the city, in the Fuorigrotta quarter. Naples has been inhabited since the Neolithic period; the earliest Greek settlements were established in the Naples area in the second millennium BC. Sailors from the Greek island of Rhodes established a small commercial port called Parthenope on the island of Megaride in the ninth century BC. By the eighth century BC, the settlement had expanded to include Monte Echia. In the sixth century BC the new urban zone of Neápolis was founded on the plain becoming one of the foremost cities of Magna Graecia; the city grew due to the influence of the powerful Greek city-state of Syracuse, became an ally of the Roman Republic against Carthage. During the Samnite Wars, the city, now a bustling centre of trade, was captured by the Samnites.
During the Punic Wars, the strong walls surrounding Neápolis repelled the invading forces of the Carthaginian general Hannibal. Naples was respected by the Romans as a paragon of Hellenistic culture. During the Roman era, the people of Naples maintained their Greek language and customs, while the city was expanded with elegant Roman villas and public baths. Landmarks such as the Temple of Dioscures were built, many emperors chose to holiday in the city, including Claudius and Tiberius. Virgil, the author of Rome's national epic, the Aeneid, received part of his education in the city, resided in its environs, it was during this period. Januarius, who would become Naples' patron saint, was martyred there in the fourth century AD; the last emperor of the Western Roman Empire, Romulus Augustulus, was exiled to Naples by the Germanic king Odoacer in the fifth century AD. Following the decline of the Western Roman Empire, Naples was captured by the Ostrogoths, a Germanic people, incorporated into the Ostrogothic Kingdom.
However, Belisarius of the Byzantine Empire recaptured Naples in 536, after entering the city via an aqueduct. In 543, during the Gothic Wars, Totila took the city for the Ostrogoths, but the Byzantines seized control of the area following the Battle of Mons Lactarius on the slopes of Vesuvius. Naples was expected to keep in contact with the Exarchate of Ravenna, the centre of Byzantine power on the Italian Peninsula. After the exarchate fell, a Duchy of Naples was created. Although Naples' Greco-Roman culture endured, it switched allegiance from Constantinople to Rome under Duke Stephen II, putting it under papal suzerainty by 763; the years between 818 and 832 were tumultuous in regard to Naples' relations with the Byzantine Emperor, with numerous local pretenders feuding for possession of the ducal throne. Theoctistus was appointed without imperial approval. However, the disgruntled general populace chased him from the city, instead elected Stephen III, a man who minted coins with his own initials, r