Septimania is a historical region in modern-day south of France. It referred to the western part of the Roman province of Gallia Narbonensis that passed to the control of the Visigoths in 462, when Septimania was ceded to their king, Theodoric II. Under the Visigoths it was known as Gallia or Narbonensis. Septimania territory corresponds with the former administrative region of Languedoc-Roussillon that merged into the new administrative region of Occitanie. Septimania passed to the Emirate of Córdoba, expanding from the south during the eighth century before its subsequent conquest by the Franks, who by the end of the ninth century termed it Gothia or the Gothic March. Septimania became a march of the Carolingian Empire and West Francia down to the thirteenth century, though it was culturally and politically autonomous from northern France based central royal government; the region was under the influence of the people from the count territories of Toulouse and ancient County of Barcelona. It was part of the wider cultural and linguistic region comprising the southern third of France known as Occitania.
This area was brought under effective control of the French kings in the early 13th century as a result of the Albigensian Crusade after which it was assigned governors. From the end of the thirteenth century Septimania evolved into the royal province of Languedoc; the name "Septimania" may derive from part of the Roman name of the city of Béziers, Colonia Julia Septimanorum Beaterrae, which in turn alludes to the settlement of veterans of the Roman VII Legion in the city. Another possible derivation of the name is in reference to the seven cities of the territory: Béziers, Agde, Lodève, Nîmes. Septimania extended to a line halfway between the Mediterranean and the Garonne River in the northwest. Under Theodoric II, the Visigoths settled in Aquitaine as foederati of the Western Roman Empire. Sidonius Apollinaris refers to Septimania as "theirs" during the reign of Avitus, but Sidonius is considering Visigothic settlement of and around Toulouse; the Visigoths were holding the Toulousain against the legal claims of the Empire, though they had more than once offered to exchange it for the Auvergne.
In 462 the Empire, controlled by Ricimer in the name of Libius Severus, granted the Visigoths the western half of the province of Gallia Narbonensis to settle. The Visigoths occupied Provence as well and only in 475 did the Visigothic king, cede it to the Empire by a treaty whereby the emperor Julius Nepos recognised the Visigoths' full independence; the Visigoths because they were Arians, met with the opposition of the Catholic Franks in Gaul. The Franks allied with the Armorici, whose land was under constant threat from the Goths south of the Loire, in 507 Clovis I, the Frankish king, invaded the Visigothic kingdom, whose capital lay in Toulouse, with the consent of the leading men of the tribe. Clovis defeated the Goths in the Battle of Vouillé and the child-king Amalaric was carried for safety into Iberia while Gesalec was elected to replace him and rule from Narbonne. Clovis, his son Theuderic I, his Burgundian allies proceeded to conquer most of Visigothic Gaul, including the Rouergue and Toulouse.
The attempt to take Carcassonne, a fortified site guarding the Septimanian coast, was defeated by the Ostrogoths and Septimania thereafter remained in Visigothic hands, though the Burgundians managed to hold Narbonne for a time and drive Gesalec into exile. Border warfare between Gallo-Roman magnates, including bishops, had existed with the Visigoths during the last phase of the Empire and it continued under the Franks; the Ostrogothic king Theodoric the Great reconquered Narbonne from the Burgundians and retained it as the provincial capital. Theudis was appointed regent at Narbonne by Theodoric; when Theodoric died in 526, Amalaric was elected king in his own right and he made his capital in Narbonne. He ceded Provence, which had at some point passed back into Visigothic control, to the Ostrogothic king Athalaric; the Frankish king of Paris, Childebert I, invaded Septimania in 531 and chased Amalaric to Barcelona in response to pleas from his sister, that her husband, had been mistreating her.
The Franks however, did not try to hold the province and under Amalaric's successor, the centre of gravity of the kingdom crossed the Pyrenees and Theudis made his capital in Barcelona. In the Visigothic kingdom, which became centred on Toledo by the end of the reign of Leovigild, the province of Gallia Narbonensis shortened to just Gallia or Narbonensis and never called Septimania, was both an administrative province of the central royal government and an ecclesiastical province whose metropolitan was the Archbishop of Narbonne; the Goths may have maintained their hold on the Albigeois, but if so it was conquered by the time of Chilperic I. There is archaeological evidence that some enclaves of Visigothic population remained in Frankish Gaul, near the Septimanian border, after 507; the province of Gallia held a unique place in the Visigothic kingdom, as it was the only province outside of Iberia, north of the Pyrenees, bordering a strong foreign nation, in this case the Franks. The kings after Alaric II favoured Narbonne as a capital, but twice were defeated and forced back to Barcelona by the Franks before Theudis moved the capital there permanently.
Sagunto is a town in Eastern Spain, in the modern fertile comarca of Camp de Morvedre in the province of Valencia. It is located c. 30 km north of Valencia, close to the Costa del Azahar on the Mediterranean Sea. It is best known for the remains of the ancient Iberian and Roman city of Saguntum, which played a significant part in the Second Punic War between the Carthaginians and the Romans. During the 5th century BC, the Iberians built a walled settlement on the hill overseeing the plain; the city traded with coastal colonies in the western Mediterranean such as Carthage and, under their influence, minted its own coins. During this period, the city was known as Arse. By 219 BC, Saguntum was a large and commercially prosperous town, which sided with the local colonists and Rome against Carthage, drew Hannibal's first assault, his siege of Saguntum, which triggered the Second Punic War, one of the most important wars of antiquity. After stiff resistance over the course of eight months, related by the Roman historian Livy and in more detail by Silius Italicus, Saguntum was captured in 219 BC by the armies of Hannibal.
Seven years the town was retaken by the Romans. In 214 BC, it became a municipium, was flourished. Hispania was not pacified and Romanised, as the Iberian career of Quintus Sertorius makes clear. Saguntum minted coins under his protection, but continued to house a mint in Roman times; the Romans built a great circus in the lower part of the city and a theatre seating 8,000 spectators. Texts found indicate that the city had about 50,000 inhabitants; this prosperity lasted for most of the empire, is attested by inscriptions and ruins. Under the Arian Visigothic kings, Saguntum received its Catholic patron saint, a bishop named Sacerdos, "the priest", who died peacefully of natural causes about AD 560. In the early 8th century, the Muslim Arabs came and the city became part of the Caliphate of Cordoba and at that time the city reached an era of splendor, with baths, palaces and schools open for its cosmopolitan population; the town was known as Morvedre, a name derived from Latin muri veteres "ancient walls."
However, as Valencia grew, Saguntum declined. In 1098, the city was conquered by El Cid but the Muslims recovered it shortly thereafter; the city had been under the Muslim Arab rule for over 500 years when James I of Aragon conquered it in 1238. During the Peninsular War, a Spanish attempt to raise the French siege of the castle failed in the Battle of Saguntum on 25 October 1811. In the weeks before the battle, the Spanish garrison made a successful defense. Historian Charles Oman stated that the site was converted into a fortress in 1810–1811 by General Joaquín Blake at the suggestion of British officer Charles William Doyle. At that time, much of the intact Roman theater was dismantled to provide stone for restoring the old walls. Saguntum has retained many Valencian Gothic structures. In the late 19th century, a steel-making industry grew up that supported the modern city, which extends in the coastal plain below the citadel hill; the last steel oven closed in April 1984. It is now a tourist attraction.
The remains of Sagunto Castle may be seen on top of the hill. It preserves much of its walled ramparts, of Moorish origin. A Roman theater restored in late 20th century, it is found on the northern slope of the citadel hill. It was the first official; the Gothic Esglèsia de Santa Maria, in the Plaça Major. The Palau Municipal, or town hall; the early Gothic Esglèsia del Salvador. The narrow streets of the Juderia, on the hillside on the way up to the citadel; the 13th century Santa Ana convent adjacent to the Plaça de Pi. The Sagunto History Museum, located in the house of Mestre Peña, a building in the Jewish quarter dating from the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries; the largest collection is from the Ibero-Roman Period. The famed composer Don Joaquín Rodrigo, who composed Concierto de Aranjuez, among others, was born in Sagunt. Ripollès i Alegre, P. P.. Arse-Saguntum: historia monetaria de la ciudad y su territorio. Fundación Bancaja. ISBN 8484710270. Oman, Charles. A History of the Peninsular War Volume V. 5.
Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania: Stackpole. ISBN 1-85367-225-4. Sagunt, a virtual trip Sagunto: City of Ruins
Caliphate of Córdoba
The Caliphate of Córdoba was a state in Islamic Iberia along with a part of North Africa ruled by the Umayyad dynasty. The state, with the capital in Córdoba, existed from 929 to 1031; the region was dominated by the Umayyad Emirate of Córdoba. The period was characterized by an expansion of trade and culture, saw the construction of masterpieces of al-Andalus architecture. In January 929, Abd ar-Rahman III proclaimed himself Caliph of Córdoba, replacing thus his original title of Emir of Córdoba, he was a member of the Umayyad dynasty, which had held the title of Emir of Córdoba since 756. The caliphate disintegrated during the Fitna of al-Andalus, a civil war between the descendants of the last caliph, Hisham II, the successors of his hayib, Al-Mansur. In 1031, after years of infighting, the caliphate fractured into a number of independent Muslim taifa. Abd ar-Rahman I became Emir of Córdoba in 756 after six years in exile after the Umayyads lost the position of Caliph in Damascus to the Abbasids in 750.
Intent on regaining power, he defeated the area's existing Islamic rulers and united various local fiefdoms into an emirate. Raids increased the emirate's size; the emirate's rulers used the title "emir" or "sultan" until the 10th century. In the early 10th century, Abd ar-Rahman III faced a threatened invasion from North Africa by the Fatimids, a Shiite rival Islamic empire based in Cairo. Since the invading Fatimids claimed the caliphate, Abd ar-Rahman III claimed the title of caliph himself. Prior to Abd ar-Rahman's proclamation as the caliph, the Umayyads recognized the Abbasid Caliph of Baghdad as being the rightful rulers of the Muslim community. After repulsing the Fatimids, he kept the more prestigious title. Although his position as caliph was not accepted outside of al-Andalus and its North African affiliates, internally the Spanish Umayyads considered themselves as closer to Muhammad, thus more legitimate, than the Abbasids; the caliphate enjoyed increased prosperity during the 10th century.
Abd ar-Rahman III united al-Andalus and brought the Christian kingdoms of the north under control by force and through diplomacy. Abd ar-Rahman III stopped the Fatimid advance into Morocco and al-Andalus in order to prevent a future invasion; the plan for a Fatimid invasion was thwarted when Abd ar-Rahman III secured Melilla in 927, Ceuta in 931, Tangier in 951. This period of prosperity was marked by increasing diplomatic relations with Berber tribes in North Africa, Christian kings from the north, with France and Constantinople; the caliphate became profitable during the reign of Abd ar-Rahman III, by increasing the public revenue to 6,245,000 dinars from Abd ar-Rahman II. The profits made during this time were divided into three parts: the payment of the salaries and maintenance of the army, the preservation of public buildings, the needs of the caliph; the death of Abd ar-Rahman III led to the rise of his 46-year-old son, Al-Hakam II, in 961. Al-Hakam II continued his father's policy, dealing humanely with disruptive Christian kings and North African rebels.
Al-Hakam's reliance on his advisers was greater than his father's because the previous prosperity under Abd ar-Rahman III allowed al-Hakam II to let the caliphate run by itself. This style of rulership suited al-Hakam II since he was more interested in his scholarly and intellectual pursuits than ruling the caliphate; the caliphate was at its intellectual and scholarly peak under al-Hakam II. The death of al-Hakam II in 976 marked the beginning of the end of the caliphate. Before his death, al-Hakam named his only son Hisham II successor. Although the 10-year-old child was ill-equipped to be caliph, Al-Mansur Ibn Abi Aamir, who had sworn an oath of obedience to Hisham II, pronounced him caliph. Almanzor had great influence over Subh, the mother and regent of Hisham II. Almanzor, along with Subh, isolated Hisham in Córdoba while systematically eradicating opposition to his own rule, allowing Berbers from Africa to migrate to al-Andalus to increase his base of support. While Hisham II was caliph, he was a figurehead.
He, his son Abd al-Malik and his brother retained the power nominally held by Caliph Hisham. However, during a raid on the Christian north a revolt tore through Córdoba and Abd al-Rahman never returned; the title of caliph became symbolic, without influence. The death of Abd al-Rahman Sanchuelo in 1009 marked the beginning of the Fitna of al-Andalus, with rivals claiming to be the new caliph, violence sweeping the caliphate, intermittent invasions by the Hammudid dynasty. Beset by factionalism, the caliphate crumbled in 1031 into a number of independent taifas, including the Taifa of Córdoba, Taifa of Seville and Taifa of Zaragoza; the last Córdoban Caliph was Hisham III. Córdoba was the cultural centre of al-Andalus. Mosques, such as the Great Mosque, were the focus of many caliphs' attention; the caliph's palace, Medina Azahara is on the outskirts of the city, where an estimated 10,000 laborers and artisans worked for decades on the palace, constructing the decorated buildings and courtyards filled with fountains and airy domes.
Córdoba was the intellectual centre of al-Andalus, with translations of ancient Greek texts into Arabic and Hebrew. During the reign of al-Hakam II, the royal library possessed an estimated 500,000 volumes. For comparison, the Abbey of Saint Gall in Switzerland contained just over 100 volumes; the university in Córdoba became the most celebrated in the world. It was attended by Christian st
The Ebro is a river on the Iberian Peninsula. It is the second longest river in the Iberian peninsula after the Tagus and the second biggest by discharge volume and by drainage area after the Douro; the Ebro flows through the following cities: Reinosa in Cantabria. The source of the river Ebro is from the Latin words Fontes Iberis, source of the Ebro. Close by is a large artificial lake, Embalse del Ebro, created by the damming of the river; the upper Ebro rushes through rocky gorges in Burgos Province. Flowing eastwards it begins forming a wider river valley of limestone rocks when it reaches Navarre and La Rioja thanks to many tributaries flowing down from the Iberian System on one side, the Navarre mountains and the western Pyrenees, on the other. There, the climate becomes progressively more continental, with more extreme temperatures and drier characteristics, therefore experiencing hot and dry summers which resemble summers seen in arid and semiarid climates. Karst geological processes shaped the landscape of layers of soluble carbonate rock of extensive limestone bedrock formed in an ancient seabed.
Aragonite, a mineral named for Aragon, attests to the fact that carbonates are abundant in the central Ebro Valley. The valley expands and the Ebro's flow becomes slower as its water volume increases, flowing across Aragon. There, larger tributaries flowing from the central Pyrenees and the Iberian System discharge large amounts of water in spring during the thawing season of the mountain snow; as it flows through Zaragoza the Ebro, is a sizeable river. There, the Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar stands next to the Ebro; the soils in most of the valley are poor soils: calcareous, pebbly and sometimes salted with saltwater endorheic lagoons. The semi-arid interior of the Ebro Valley has either drought summers and a semi-desert climate with rainfall between 400 and 600 mm, with a maximum in the fall and spring, it is covered with chaparral vegetation. Summers are hot and winters are cold; the dry summer season has temperatures of more than 35 °C reaching over 40 °C. In winter, the temperatures drop below 0 °C.
In some areas the vegetation depends on moisture produced by condensation fog. It is a continental Mediterranean climate with extreme temperatures. There are many ground frosts on clear nights, sporadic snowfalls; the biomes are diverse in these Mediterranean climate zones: Mediterranean forests and scrub. Hinterlands are distinctive on account of extensive sclerophyll shrublands known as maquis, or garrigues; the dominant species are Quercus ilex. These trees form monospecific communities or communities integrated with Pinus, Mediterranean buckthorns, Chamaerops humilis, Pistacia, Thymus, so on; the hinterland climate becomes progressively more continental and drier, therefore there is an end from extreme temperatures accompanied by slow-growing dwarf juniper species to unvegetated desert steppes as in "llanos de Belchite" or "Calanda desert". The mountain vegetation is coniferous forests that are drought adapted, trees in the genus Quercus with different drought tolerance in the wetter highlands.
Halophiles extremophile characteristic communities are frequent in endorheic areas such as lagoons and creeks, which are Tamarix covered and include endemic species of bryophytes, plumbaginacea, Carex, asteraceaes, etc. Their presence is related to the marine origin of the Ebro valley and the extensive marine deposits in the same area. After reaching Catalonia, the Ebro Valley narrows, the river becomes constrained by mountain ranges, making wide bends. Massive dams have been built in this area, such as the dams at Riba-roja and Flix. In the final section of its course the river bends flows through spectacular gorges; the massive calcareous cliffs of the Serra de Cardó range constrain the river during this last stretch, separating the Ebro Valley from the Mediterranean coastal area. After passing the gorges, the Ebro bends again eastwards near Tortosa before discharging in a delta on the Mediterranean Sea close to Amposta in the province of Tarragona; the Ebro Delta, in the Province of Tarragona, Catalonia, is at 340 km2 one of the largest wetland areas in the western Mediterranean region.
The delta has expanded on soils washed downriver—the historical rate of growth of the delta is demonstrated by the town of Amposta. A seaport in the 4th century, it is now well inland from the current rivermouth; the rounded form of the delta attests to the balance between sediment deposition by the Ebro and removal of this material by wave erosion. The modern delta is in intensive agricultural use for rice and vegetables; the Ebro delta has numerous beaches and salt pans that provide habitat for over 300 species of birds. In 1983 Spain designated a large part of the delta as the Ebro Delta Natural Park to protect its natural resources. A network of canals and irrigation ditches constructed by both agricultural and conservation groups are helping to maintain the ecologic and economic resources of the Ebro
Jaén is a city in south-central Spain. The name is most derived from the Roman name Villa Gaiena, which the Arabs called Jayyān, it is the capital of the province of Jaén, is located in the autonomous community of Andalusia. The inhabitants of the city are known as Jiennenses, its population is about one-sixth of the population of the province. Jaén has had a great increase in cultural tourism, having received 604,523 tourists along the year 2015, 10% more than in 2014; the city is known as the World Capital of Olive Oil, because it is the biggest producer of the oil, known by locals as liquid gold. The layout of Jaén is determined by its position in the hills of the Santa Catalina mountains, with steep, narrow streets, in the historical central city district; the city of Jaén is the industrial centre for the province. Industrial establishments in the city include chemical works, distilleries, cookie factories, textile factories, as well as agricultural and olive oil processing machinery industry.
The motto of the city is: "Muy Noble y muy Leal Ciudad de Jaén, Guarda y Defendimiento de los Reynos de Castilla", "Very Noble and Loyal City of Jaén, Guard and Defense of the Kingdoms of Castile," a title, given to the city by King Enrique II of Castile to the city of Jaén, due to the privileges that the city had, to the role that the city was playing in the defense of the kingdom of Castile against the Moors. Jaén has a hot-summer mediterranean climate with hot summers but cool winters for such a southerly parallel on the Iberian peninsula. Jaén has a July high of 33.7 °C, with a high average low of 21.4 °C with a mean temperature of 27.6 °C. This is just shy of the daily mean of Seville that has the hottest daily summer mean during summers in Western Europe with 28.2 °C. Saint Catherine's Castle sits on the top of a hill overlooking the city. There had existed a fortress of Arabic origin, of which some remains still exist; the current construction is of Christian origin, raised after the conquest of the city by Ferdinand III of Castile, called the Saint, in 1246.
Jaén Cathedral is one of the most important Renaissance-style cathedrals. Construction began in 1570 and was completed in 1802, it is dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin, it was built to shelter the relic of the Holy Face, or Veil of Veronica, lodged at the major chapel and exposed to the public every Friday. Due to the length of time in its construction, different artistic styles can be appreciated, the most prominent being Renaissance, he is the greatest exponent of the Andalusian Renaissance. It aspires to be listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Arab Baths, the most significant remnants of the Moorish era of Andalusia, are the largest Arab baths preserved in Spain, they can be visited under Villardompardo's Palace. Other important monuments are the Museum of Arts and Popular Customs, the International Museum of Naïf Art, San Andrés's Chapel, the Provincial Museum of Jaén, Saint Ildefonso's church, etc; the University of Jaén consists of 18,000 students and 27 degree courses. This university is present in the city, in the Campus "Las Lagunillas", in Úbeda and Linares with some of the degree courses.
It is a modern university, founded in 1993, has large foreign student population. The University has signed international exchanges with The United States of America, several American countries and a great Erasmus experience within more than 15 European countries; the language spoken in Jaén is the official language of Spanish. The variety of Spanish spoken in this province displays some of the characteristics of Andalusian speech, such as dropping of final -s in plural formation: gafa for gafas in the word "glasses", or dropping of /d/ in intervocalic position in regular participles of verbs: e.g. acabao for acabado. Some of these variants can be consulted in the Diccionario de Vocabulario Andaluz compiled by the local lexicographer Alcalá Venceslada, reprinted by the University of Jaén some years ago; this dictionary compiles some other variants of Andalusian present in other parts of the autonomous community. There are different expressions typical of the area, namely the interjection "¡ea!" which has no particular exact meaning or "¡lavística!"
/la'vistika/, believed to be a contraction of the expression "la Vírgen de Tíscar", a popular virgin of the province, although there are no exact data to confirm the origin of the last expression, widespread among speakers of the province. Jaén has 26 service lines that connect the various neighbourhoods of the capital, being able to use the metro card consortium. Buses are characterised by their yellow colour. Jaen has frequent connections to Granada, Malaga and other Spanish cities from its central bus station, placed in the city centre. Jaen Bus Station has been declared "Bien de Interes Cultural" due to its modern representative arquitecture; the tram system in Jaén opened in 2011 and within two weeks was stopped. The tranvía has yet to resume services. Jaén is served by terminal of the Madrid -- Jaén high speed railway line. Jaen is connected to Cordoba and Sevilla by train. Jaén does not have an airport; the closest airports to the city are Málaga Airport. Feria de San Lucas: On 18 O
Syria the Syrian Arab Republic, is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon to the southwest, the Mediterranean Sea to the west, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, Israel to the southwest. A country of fertile plains, high mountains, deserts, Syria is home to diverse ethnic and religious groups, including Syrian Arabs, Armenians, Kurds, Circassians and Turks. Religious groups include Sunnis, Alawites, Isma'ilis, Shiites, Salafis and Jews. Sunni make up the largest religious group in Syria. Syria is a unitary republic consisting of 14 governorates and is the only country that politically espouses Ba'athism, it is a member of one international organization other than the United Nations, the Non-Aligned Movement. In English, the name "Syria" was synonymous with the Levant, while the modern state encompasses the sites of several ancient kingdoms and empires, including the Eblan civilization of the 3rd millennium BC. Aleppo and the capital city Damascus are among the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world.
In the Islamic era, Damascus was the seat of the Umayyad Caliphate and a provincial capital of the Mamluk Sultanate in Egypt. The modern Syrian state was established in mid-20th century after centuries of Ottoman and a brief period French mandate, represented the largest Arab state to emerge from the Ottoman-ruled Syrian provinces, it gained de-jure independence as a parliamentary republic on 24 October 1945, when Republic of Syria became a founding member of the United Nations, an act which ended the former French Mandate – although French troops did not leave the country until April 1946. The post-independence period was tumultuous, a large number of military coups and coup attempts shook the country in the period 1949–71. In 1958, Syria entered a brief union with Egypt called the United Arab Republic, terminated by the 1961 Syrian coup d'état; the republic was renamed into the Arab Republic of Syria in late 1961 after December 1 constitutional referendum, was unstable until the 1963 Ba'athist coup d'état, since which the Ba'ath Party has maintained its power.
Syria was under Emergency Law from 1963 to 2011 suspending most constitutional protections for citizens. Bashar al-Assad has been president since 2000 and was preceded by his father Hafez al-Assad, in office from 1971 to 2000. Since March 2011, Syria has been embroiled in an armed conflict, with a number of countries in the region and beyond involved militarily or otherwise; as a result, a number of self-proclaimed political entities have emerged on Syrian territory, including the Syrian opposition, Tahrir al-Sham and Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. Syria is ranked last on the Global Peace Index, making it the most violent country in the world due to the war, although life continues for most of its citizens as of December 2017; the war caused more than 470,000 deaths, 7.6 million internally displaced people and over 5 million refugees, making population assessment difficult in recent years. Several sources indicate that the name Syria is derived from the 8th century BC Luwian term "Sura/i", the derivative ancient Greek name: Σύριοι, Sýrioi, or Σύροι, Sýroi, both of which derived from Aššūrāyu in northern Mesopotamia.
However, from the Seleucid Empire, this term was applied to The Levant, from this point the Greeks applied the term without distinction between the Assyrians of Mesopotamia and Arameans of the Levant. Mainstream modern academic opinion favours the argument that the Greek word is related to the cognate Ἀσσυρία, Assyria derived from the Akkadian Aššur; the Greek name appears to correspond to Phoenician ʾšr "Assur", ʾšrym "Assyrians", recorded in the 8th century BC Çineköy inscription. The area designated by the word has changed over time. Classically, Syria lies at the eastern end of the Mediterranean, between Arabia to the south and Asia Minor to the north, stretching inland to include parts of Iraq, having an uncertain border to the northeast that Pliny the Elder describes as including, from west to east, Commagene and Adiabene. By Pliny's time, this larger Syria had been divided into a number of provinces under the Roman Empire: Judaea renamed Palaestina in AD 135 in the extreme southwest.
Since 10,000 BC, Syria was one of the centers of Neolithic culture where agriculture and cattle breeding appeared for the first time in the world. The following Neolithic period is represented by rectangular houses of Mureybet culture. At the time of the pre-pottery Neolithic, people used vessels made of stone and burnt lime. Finds of obsidian tools from Anatolia are evidences of early trade relations. Cities of Hamoukar and Emar played an important role during Bronze Age. Archaeologists have demonstrated that civilization in Syria was one of the most ancient on earth preceded by only those of Mesopotamia; the earliest recorded in
Charlemagne or Charles the Great, numbered Charles I, was King of the Franks from 768, King of the Lombards from 774, Holy Roman Emperor from 800. He united much of central Europe during the Early Middle Ages, he was the first recognised emperor to rule from western Europe since the fall of the Western Roman Empire three centuries earlier. The expanded Frankish state that Charlemagne founded is called the Carolingian Empire, he was canonized by Antipope Paschal III. Charlemagne was the eldest son of Pepin the Short and Bertrada of Laon, born before their canonical marriage, he became king in 768 following his father's death as co-ruler with his brother Carloman I. Carloman's sudden death in December 771 under unexplained circumstances left Charlemagne as the sole ruler of the Frankish Kingdom, he continued his father's policy towards the papacy and became its protector, removing the Lombards from power in northern Italy and leading an incursion into Muslim Spain. He campaigned against the Saxons to his east, Christianizing them upon penalty of death and leading to events such as the Massacre of Verden.
He reached the height of his power in 800 when he was crowned "Emperor of the Romans" by Pope Leo III on Christmas Day at Rome's Old St. Peter's Basilica. Charlemagne has been called the "Father of Europe", as he united most of Western Europe for the first time since the classical era of the Roman Empire and united parts of Europe that had never been under Frankish or Roman rule, his rule spurred the Carolingian Renaissance, a period of energetic cultural and intellectual activity within the Western Church. All Holy Roman Emperors considered their kingdoms to be descendants of Charlemagne's empire, as did the French and German monarchies. However, the Eastern Orthodox Church views Charlemagne more controversially, labelling as heterodox his support of the filioque and the Pope's recognition of him as legitimate Roman Emperor rather than Irene of Athens of the Byzantine Empire; these and other machinations led to the eventual split of Rome and Constantinople in the Great Schism of 1054. Charlemagne died in 814, having ruled as emperor for 14 years and as king for 46 years.
He was laid to rest in his imperial capital city of Aachen. He married at least four times and had three legitimate sons, but only his son Louis the Pious survived to succeed him. By the 6th century, the western Germanic tribe of the Franks had been Christianised, due in considerable measure to the Catholic conversion of Clovis I. Francia, ruled by the Merovingians, was the most powerful of the kingdoms that succeeded the Western Roman Empire. Following the Battle of Tertry, the Merovingians declined into powerlessness, for which they have been dubbed the rois fainéants. All government powers were exercised by their chief officer, the mayor of the palace. In 687, Pepin of Herstal, mayor of the palace of Austrasia, ended the strife between various kings and their mayors with his victory at Tertry, he became the sole governor of the entire Frankish kingdom. Pepin was the grandson of two important figures of the Austrasian Kingdom: Saint Arnulf of Metz and Pepin of Landen. Pepin of Herstal was succeeded by his son Charles known as Charles Martel.
After 737, Charles declined to call himself king. Charles was succeeded in 741 by his sons Pepin the Short, the father of Charlemagne. In 743, the brothers placed Childeric III on the throne to curb separatism in the periphery, he was the last Merovingian king. Carloman resigned office in 746. Pepin brought the question of the kingship before Pope Zachary, asking whether it was logical for a king to have no royal power; the pope handed down his decision in 749, decreeing that it was better for Pepin to be called king, as he had the powers of high office as Mayor, so as not to confuse the hierarchy. He, ordered him to become the true king. In 750, Pepin was elected by an assembly of the Franks, anointed by the archbishop, raised to the office of king; the Pope ordered him into a monastery. The Merovingian dynasty was thereby replaced by the Carolingian dynasty, named after Charles Martel. In 753, Pope Stephen II fled from Italy to Francia, appealing to Pepin for assistance for the rights of St. Peter.
He was supported in this appeal by Charles' brother. In return, the pope could provide only legitimacy, he did this by again anointing and confirming Pepin, this time adding his young sons Carolus and Carloman to the royal patrimony. They thereby became heirs to the realm that covered most of western Europe. In 754, Pepin accepted the Pope's invitation to visit Italy on behalf of St. Peter's rights, dealing with the Lombards. Under the Carolingians, the Frankish kingdom spread to encompass an area including most of Western Europe. Orman portrays the Treaty of Verdun between the warring grandsons of Charlemagne as the foundation event of an independent France under its first king Charles the Bald; the middle kingdom had broken up by 890 and absorbed into the Western kingdom and the Eastern kingdom and the rest developing into smaller "buffer" nations that exist between Fr