The Franciscans are a group of related mendicant religious orders within the Catholic Church, founded in 1209 by Saint Francis of Assisi. These orders include the Order of Friars Minor, the Order of Saint Clare, the Third Order of Saint Francis, they adhere to the teachings and spiritual disciplines of the founder and of his main associates and followers, such as Clare of Assisi, Anthony of Padua, Elizabeth of Hungary, among many others. Francis began preaching around 1207 and traveled to Rome to seek approval from Pope Innocent III in 1209 to form a new religious order; the original Rule of Saint Francis approved by the Pope disallowed ownership of property, requiring members of the order to beg for food while preaching. The austerity was meant to emulate the ministry of Jesus Christ. Franciscans preached in the streets, while boarding in church properties. Saint Clare, under Francis's guidance, founded the Poor Clares in 1212, which remains a Second Order of the Franciscans; the extreme poverty required of members was relaxed in the final revision of the Rule in 1223.
The degree of observance required of members remained a major source of conflict within the order, resulting in numerous secessions. The Order of Friars Minor known as the "Observant" branch, is one of the three Franciscan First Orders within the Catholic Church, the others being the "Conventuals" and "Capuchins"; the Order of Friars Minor, in its current form, is the result of an amalgamation of several smaller orders completed in 1897 by Pope Leo XIII. The latter two, the Capuchin and Conventual, remain distinct religious institutes within the Catholic Church, observing the Rule of Saint Francis with different emphases. Conventual Franciscans are sometimes referred to as greyfriars because of their habit. In Poland and Lithuania they are known as Bernardines, after Bernardino of Siena, although the term elsewhere refers to Cistercians instead; the name of the original order, Ordo Fratrum Minorum stems from Francis of Assisi's rejection of extravagance. Francis was the son of a wealthy cloth merchant, but gave up his wealth to pursue his faith more fully.
He had cut all ties that remained with his family, pursued a life living in solidarity with his fellow brothers in Christ. Francis adopted the simple tunic worn by peasants as the religious habit for his order, had others who wished to join him do the same; those who joined him became the original Order of Friars Minor. The modern organization of the Friars Minor comprises three separate families or groups, each considered a religious order in its own right under its own minister General and particular type of governance, they all live according to a body of regulations known as the Rule of St Francis. First OrderThe First Order or the Order of Friars Minor are called the Franciscans; this order is a mendicant religious order of men, some of whom trace their origin to Francis of Assisi. Their official Latin name is the Ordo Fratrum Minorum. St. Francis thus referred to his followers as "Fraticelli", meaning "Little Brothers". Franciscan brothers are informally called the Minorites; the modern organization of the Friars Minor comprises three separate families or groups, each considered a religious order in its own right under its own minister General and particular type of governance.
They all live according to a body of regulations known as the Rule of St Francis. These are The Order of Friars Minor known as the Observants, are most simply called Franciscan friars, official name: Friars Minor; the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin or Capuchins, official name: Friars Minor Capuchin. The Conventual Franciscans or Minorites, official name: Friars Minor Conventual". Second OrderThe Second Order, most called Poor Clares in English-speaking countries, consists of religious sisters; the order is called the Order of St. Clare, but in the thirteenth century, prior to 1263, this order was referred to as "The Poor Ladies", "The Poor Enclosed Nuns", "The Order of San Damiano". Third OrderThe Franciscan third order, known as the Third Order of Saint Francis, has many men and women members, separated into two main branches: The Secular Franciscan Order, OFS known as the Brothers and Sisters of Penance or Third Order of Penance, try to live the ideals of the movement in their daily lives outside of religious institutes.
The members of the Third Order Regular live in religious communities under the traditional religious vows. They grew out of the Secular Franciscan Order; the 2013 Annuario Pontificio gave the following figures for the membership of the principal male Franciscan orders:. Order of Friars Minor: 2,212 communities. A sermon Francis heard in 1209 on Mt 10:9 made such an impression on him that he decided to devote himself wholly to a life of apostolic poverty. Clad in a rough garment, and, after the Evangelical precept, without staff or scrip, he began to preach repentance, he was soon joined by a prominent fellow townsman, Bernard of Quintavalle, who contributed all that he had to the work, by other companions, who are said to have reached the number of eleven within a yea
The Senegal River is a 1,086 km long river in West Africa that forms the border between Senegal and Mauritania. The Senegal's headwaters are the Bafing rivers which both originate in Guinea. From there, the Senegal river flows west and north through Talari Gorges near Galougo and over the Gouina Falls flows more past Kayes, where it receives the Kolimbiné. After flowing together with the Karakoro, it prolongs the former's course along the Mali-Mauritanian border for some tens of kilometers till Bakel where it flows together with the Falémé River, which has its source in Guinea, subsequently runs along a small part of the Guinea-Mali frontier to trace most of the Senegal-Mali border up to Bakel; the Senegal further flows through semi-arid land in the north of Senegal, forming the border with Mauritania and into the Atlantic. In Kaedi it accepts the Gorgol from Mauritania. Flowing through Bogué it reaches Richard Toll where it is joined by the Ferlo coming from inland Senegal's Lac de Guiers, it passes through Rosso and, approaching its mouth, around the Senegalese island on which the city of Saint-Louis is located, to turn south.
It is separated from the Atlantic Ocean by a thin strip of sand called the Langue de Barbarie before it pours into the ocean itself. The river has two large dams along its course, the multi-purpose Manantali Dam in Mali and the Maka-Diama Dam downstream on the Mauritania-Senegal border, near the outlet to the sea, preventing access of salt water upstream. In between Manantali and Maka-Diama is the Félou Hydroelectric Plant, completed in 1927 and uses a weir; the power station was replaced in 2014. In 2013, construction of the Gouina Hydroelectric Plant upstream of Felou at Gouina Falls began; the Senegal River has a drainage basin of 270,000 km2, a mean flow of 680 m3/s and an annual discharge of 21.5 km3. Important tributaries are the Falémé River, Karakoro River, the Gorgol River. Downstream of Kaédi the river divides into two branches; the left branch called. After 200 km the two branches rejoin a few kilometres downstream of Pondor; the long strip of land between the two branches is called the Île á Morfil.
In 1972 Mali and Senegal founded the Organisation pour la mise en valeur du fleuve Sénégal to manage the river basin. Guinea joined in 2005. At the present time, only limited use is made of the river for the transport of goods and passengers; the OMVS have looked at the feasibility of creating a navigable channel 55 m in width between the small town of Ambidédi in Mali and Saint-Louis, a distance of 905 km. It would give landlocked Mali a direct route to the Atlantic Ocean; the aquatic fauna in the Senegal River basin is associated with that of the Gambia River basin, the two are combined under a single ecoregion known as the Senegal-Gambia Catchments. Although the species richness is moderately high, only three species of frogs and one fish are endemic to this ecoregion; the existence of the Senegal River was known to the early Mediterranean civilizations. It or some other river was called Bambotus by Pliny the Nias by Claudius Ptolemy, it was visited by Hanno the Carthaginian around 450 BCE at his navigation from Carthage through the pillars of Herakles to Theon Ochema in the Gulf of Guinea.
There was trade from here to the Mediterranean World, until the destruction of Carthage and its west African trade net in 146 BCE. In the Early Middle Ages, the Senegal River restored contact with the Mediterranean world with the establishment of the Trans-Saharan trade route between Morocco and the Ghana Empire. Arab geographers, like al-Masudi of Baghdad, al-Bakri of Spain and al-Idrisi of Sicily, provided some of the earliest descriptions of the Senegal River. Early Arab geographers believed the upper Senegal River and the upper Niger River were connected to each other, formed a single river flowing from east to west, which they called the "Western Nile", it was believed to be either a western branch of the Egyptian Nile River or drawn from the same source. Arab geographers Abd al-Hassan Ali ibn Omar, Ibn Said al-Maghribi and Abulfeda, label the Senegal as the "Nile of Ghana"; as the Senegal River reached into the heart of the gold-producing Ghana Empire and the Mali Empire, Trans-Saharan traders gave the Senegal its famous nickname as the "River of Gold".
The Trans-Saharan stories about the "River of Gold" reached the ears of Sub-Alpine European merchants that frequented the ports of Morocco and the lure proved irresistible. Arab historians report at least three separate Arab maritime expeditions - the last one organized by a group of eight mughrarin of Lisbon - that tried to sail down the Atlantic coast in an effort find the mouth of the Senegal. Drawing from Classical legend and Arab sources, the "River of Gold" found its way into European maps in the 14th century. In the Hereford Mappa Mundi, there is a river labelled "Nilus Fluvius" drawn parallel to the coast of Africa, albeit without communication with Atlantic, it depicts some giant ants digging up gold dust from its sands, with the note "Hic grandes formice auream serican arenas" ("Here great ants gua
Morocco the Kingdom of Morocco, is a country located in the Maghreb region of North West Africa with an area of 710,850 km2. Its capital is the largest city Casablanca, it overlooks the Mediterranean Sea to the Atlantic Ocean to the west. Morocco claims the areas of Ceuta, Melilla and Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera, all of them under Spanish jurisdiction. Since the foundation of the first Moroccan state by Idris I in 788 AD, the country has been ruled by a series of independent dynasties, reaching its zenith under the Almoravid and Almohad dynasties, spanning parts of Iberia and northwestern Africa; the Marinid and Saadi dynasties continued the struggle against foreign domination, allowing Morocco to remain the only northwest African country to avoid Ottoman occupation. The Alaouite dynasty, which rules to this day, seized power in 1631. In 1912, Morocco was divided into French and Spanish protectorates, with an international zone in Tangier, it regained its independence in 1956, has since remained comparatively stable and prosperous by regional standards.
Morocco claims the non-self-governing territory of Western Sahara Spanish Sahara, as its Southern Provinces. After Spain agreed to decolonise the territory to Morocco and Mauritania in 1975, a guerrilla war arose with local forces. Mauritania relinquished its claim in 1979, the war lasted until a cease-fire in 1991. Morocco occupies two thirds of the territory, peace processes have thus far failed to break the political deadlock; the unitary sovereign state of Morocco is a constitutional monarchy with an elected parliament. The King of Morocco holds vast executive and legislative powers over the military, foreign policy and religious affairs. Executive power is exercised by the government, while legislative power is vested in both the government and the two chambers of parliament, the Assembly of Representatives and the Assembly of Councillors; the king can issue decrees called dahirs. He can dissolve the parliament after consulting the Prime Minister and the president of the constitutional court.
Morocco's predominant religion is Islam, its official languages are Arabic and Berber. E; the Moroccan dialect of Arabic, referred to as Darija, French are widely spoken. Moroccan culture is a blend of Berber, Sephardi Jews, West African and European influences. Morocco is a member of the Union for the Mediterranean and the African Union, it has the fifth largest economy of Africa. The full Arabic name al-Mamlakah al-Maghribiyyah translates to "Kingdom of the West". For historical references, medieval Arab historians and geographers sometimes referred to Morocco as al-Maghrib al-Aqṣá to distinguish it from neighbouring historical regions called al-Maghrib al-Awsaṭ and al-Maghrib al-Adná; the basis of Morocco's English name is Marrakesh, its capital under the Almoravid dynasty and Almohad Caliphate. The origin of the name Marrakesh is disputed, but is most from the Berber words amur akush or "Land of God"; the modern Berber name for Marrakesh is Mṛṛakc. In Turkish, Morocco is known as a name derived from its ancient capital of Fes.
However, this was not the case in other parts of the Islamic world: until the middle of the 20th century, the common name of Morocco in Egyptian and Middle Eastern Arabic literature was Marrakesh. The English name Morocco is an anglicisation of the Spanish "Marruecos", from which derives the Tuscan "Morrocco", the origin of the Italian "Marocco"; the area of present-day Morocco has been inhabited since Paleolithic times, sometime between 190,000 and 90,000 BC. A recent publication may demonstrate an earlier habitation period, as Homo sapiens fossils discovered in the late 2000s near the Atlantic coast in Jebel Irhoud were dated to 315,000 years before present. During the Upper Paleolithic, the Maghreb was more fertile than it is today, resembling a savanna more than today's arid landscape. Twenty-two thousand years ago, the Aterian was succeeded by the Iberomaurusian culture, which shared similarities with Iberian cultures. Skeletal similarities have been suggested between the Iberomaurusian "Mechta-Afalou" burials and European Cro-Magnon remains.
The Iberomaurusian was succeeded by the Beaker culture in Morocco. Mitochondrial DNA studies have discovered the Saami of Scandinavia; this supports theories that the Franco-Cantabrian refuge area of southwestern Europe was the source of late-glacial expansions of hunter-gatherers who repopulated northern Europe after the last ice age. Northwest Africa and Morocco were drawn into the wider emerging Mediterranean world by the Phoenicians, who established trading colonies and settlements in the early Classical period. Substantial Phoenician settlements were at Chellah and Mogador. Mogador was a Phoenician colony as early as the early 6th century BC. Morocco became a realm of the Northwest African civilisation of ancie
A friar is a brother member of one of the mendicant orders founded in the twelfth or thirteenth century. The most significant orders of friars are the Dominicans, Franciscans and Carmelites. Friars are different from monks in that they are called to live the evangelical counsels in service to society, rather than through cloistered asceticism and devotion. Whereas monks live in a self-sufficient community, friars work among laypeople and are supported by donations or other charitable support. A monk or nun makes their commits to a particular community in a particular place. Friars commit to a community spread across a wider geographical area known as a province, so they will move around, spending time in different houses of the community within their province; the English term Friar is derived from the Norman French word frere, from the Latin frater, used in the Latin New Testament to refer to members of the Christian community. "Fray" is sometimes used in Spain and former Spanish colonies such as the Philippines or the American Southwest as a title, such as in Fray Juan de Torquemada.
In the Roman Catholic Church, there are two classes of orders known as friars, or mendicant orders: the four "great orders" and the so-called "lesser orders". The four great orders were mentioned by the Second Council of Lyons: The Carmelites, founded c. 1155. They are known as the "White Light Friars" because of the white halo which covers their brown skin, they received papal approval from Honorius III in 1226 and by Innocent IV in 1247. The Carmelites were founded as a purely contemplative order, but became mendicants in 1245. There are two types of Carmelites, those of the Ancient Observance and those of the Discalced Carmelites, founded by St. Teresa of Avila in the 16th century; the Franciscans, founded in 1209. They are known as the "Friars Minor"; the Franciscans were founded by St. Francis of Assisi and received oral papal approval by Innocent III in 1209 and formal papal confirmation by Honorius III in 1223. Today the Friars Minor is composed of three branches: the Order of Friars Minor, Order of Friars Minor Capuchin and the Order of Friars Minor Conventual wearing grey or black habits.
The Dominicans, founded c. 1216. They are known as the "Friar Preachers", or the "Black Friars", from the black mantle worn over their white habit; the Dominicans were founded by St. Dominic and received papal approval from Honorius III in 1216 as the "Ordo Praedicatorum" under the Rule of St. Augustine, they became a mendicant order in 1221. The Augustinians, founded in 1244 and enlarged in 1256, they are known as the "Hermits of St. Augustine", or the "Austin Friars", their rule is based on the writings of Augustine of Hippo. The Augustinians were assembled from various groups of hermits as a mendicant order by Pope Innocent IV in 1244. Additional groups were added by Alexander IV in 1256; some of the lesser orders are: the Trinitarians, established in 1198 the Mercedarians, established in 1218 the Servites, established in 1240 the Minims, established in 1474 the Third Order Regular of St. Francis, a branch of the Third Order of St. Francis, part of the Franciscan Order established in 1447 the Discalced Carmelites, established in 1568 the Order of Augustinian Recollects, established in 1598 through the Chapter of Toledo the Discalced Trinitarians, established in 1599 the Order of Penance, established in 1781 Orders of friars exist in other Christian traditions, including the Order of Lutheran Franciscans, the Order of Ecumenical Franciscans and the Order of Lesser Sisters and Brothers.
In the Anglican Communion there are a number of mendicant groups such as the Anglican Friars Preachers, the Society of Saint Francis and the Order of St Francis. Several high schools, as well as Providence College, use friars as their school mascot; the Major League Baseball team San Diego Padres have the Swinging Friar. The University of Michigan's oldest a cappella group is a male octet known as The Friars; the University of Pennsylvania has a senior honor society known as Friars. In the order of the Knights of Malta, the short form Fra is used when addressing members who have taken vows. Bhikkhu Brother Dervish Priesthood Sadhu
Prester John was a legendary Christian patriarch and king, popular in European chronicles and tradition from the 7th through the 19th centuries. He was said to rule over a Nestorian Christian nation lost amid the Muslims and pagans of the Orient, in which the Patriarch of the Saint Thomas Christians resided; the accounts are varied collections of medieval popular fantasy, depicting Prester John as a descendant of the Three Magi, ruling a kingdom full of riches and strange creatures. At first, Prester John was imagined to reside in India. After the coming of the Mongols to the Western world, accounts placed the king in Central Asia, Portuguese explorers convinced themselves that they had found him in Ethiopia. Though its immediate genesis is unclear, the legend of Prester John drew from earlier accounts of the Orient and of Westerners' travels there. Influential were the stories of Saint Thomas the Apostle's proselytizing in India, recorded in the 3rd-century work known as the Acts of Thomas.
This text inculcated in Westerners an image of "India" as a place of exotic wonders and offered the earliest description of Saint Thomas establishing a Christian sect there, motifs that loomed large over accounts of Prester John. Distorted reports of the Church of the East's movements in Asia informed the legend as well; this church called the Nestorian church and centered in Persia, had gained a wide following in the Eastern nations and engaged the Western imagination as an assemblage both exotic and familiarly Christian. Inspiring were the Nestorians' missionary successes among the Mongols and Turks of Central Asia. By the 12th century, the Kerait rulers were still following a custom of bearing Christian names, which may have fueled the legend. Additionally, the tradition may have drawn from the shadowy early Christian figure John the Presbyter of Syria, whose existence is first inferred by the ecclesiastical historian and bishop Eusebius of Caesarea based on his reading of earlier church fathers.
This man, said in one document to be the author of two of the Epistles of John, was supposed to have been the teacher of the martyr bishop Papias, who had in turn taught Eusebius' own teacher Irenaeus. However, little links this figure active in the late 1st century, to the Prester John legend beyond the name; the title "Prester" is an adaptation of the Late Latin word "presbyter" meaning "elder" and used as a title of priests holding a high office. The accounts of Prester John borrowed from literary texts concerning the East, including the great body of ancient and medieval geographical and travel literature. Details were lifted from literary and pseudohistorical accounts, such as the tale of Sinbad the Sailor; the Alexander romance, a fabulous account of Alexander the Great's conquests, was influential in this regard. The Prester John legend as such began in the early 12th century with reports of visits of an Archbishop of India to Constantinople, of a Patriarch of India to Rome at the time of Pope Callixtus II.
These visits from the Saint Thomas Christians of India, cannot be confirmed, evidence of both being secondhand reports. What is certain is that German chronicler Otto of Freising reported in his Chronicon of 1145 that the previous year he had met Hugh, bishop of Jabala in Syria, at the court of Pope Eugene III in Viterbo. Hugh was an emissary of Prince Raymond of Antioch, sent to seek Western aid against the Saracens after the Siege of Edessa. Hugh told Otto, in the presence of the pope, that Prester John, a Nestorian Christian who served in the dual position of priest and king, had regained the city of Ecbatana from the brother monarchs of Medes and Persia, the Samiardi, in a great battle "not many years ago". Afterwards Prester John set out for Jerusalem to rescue the Holy Land, but the swollen waters of the Tigris compelled him to return to his own country, his fabulous wealth was demonstrated by his emerald scepter. Robert Silverberg connects this account with historical events of 1141, when the Kara-Khitan Khanate under Yelü Dashi defeated the Seljuk Turks near Samarkand.
The Seljuks were the most powerful force in the Muslim world. The Kara-Khitan at the time were Buddhists – not Christian – and there is no reason to suppose Yelü Dashi was called Prester John, but several vassals of the Kara-Khitan practiced Nestorian Christianity, which may have contributed to the legend. It is possible that the Europeans, who were unfamiliar with Buddhism, assumed that if the leader was not Muslim, he must be Christian; the defeat inspired a notion of deliverance from the East. It is possible Otto recorded Hugh's confused report to prevent complacency in the Crusade's European backers – according to his account, no help could be expected from a powerful Eastern king. No more of the tale is recorded until about 1165 when copies of what was a forged Letter of Prester John started spreading throughout Europe. An epistolary wonder tale with parallels sugge
The Niger River is the principal river of West Africa, extending about 4,180 km. Its drainage basin is 2,117,700 km2 in area, its source is in the Guinea Highlands in southeastern Guinea. It runs in a crescent through Mali, Niger, on the border with Benin and through Nigeria, discharging through a massive delta, known as the Niger Delta or the Oil Rivers, into the Gulf of Guinea in the Atlantic Ocean; the Niger is the third-longest river in Africa, exceeded only by the Congo River. Its main tributary is the Benue River; the Niger has different names in the different languages of the region: Manding: Jeliba or Joliba "great river" Igbo: Orimiri or Orimili "great water" Tuareg: Egerew n-Igerewen "river of rivers" Songhay: Isa "the river" Ijaw: Toru Beni "the river water" Zarma: Isa Beeri "great river" Hausa: Kwara Yoruba: Oya Fula: Maayo JaalibaThe earliest use of the name "Niger" for the river is by Leo Africanus in his Della descrittione dell’Africa et delle cose notabili che iui sono published in Italian in 1550.
The name may come from Berber phrase ger-n-ger meaning "river of rivers". As Timbuktu was the southern end of the principal Trans-Saharan trade route to the western Mediterranean, it was the source of most European knowledge of the region. Medieval European maps applied the name Niger to the middle reaches of the river, in modern Mali, but Quorra to the lower reaches in modern Nigeria, as these were not recognized at the time as being the same river; when European colonial powers began to send ships along the west coast of Africa in the 16th and 17th centuries, the Senegal River was postulated to be the seaward end of the Niger. The Niger Delta, pouring into the Atlantic through mangrove swamps and thousands of distributaries along more than 160 kilometres, was thought to be no more than coastal wetlands, it was only with the 18th-century visits of Mungo Park, who travelled down the Niger River and visited the great Sahelian empires of his day, that Europeans identified the course of the Niger and extended the name to its entire course.
The modern nations of Nigeria and Niger take their names from the river, marking contesting national claims by colonial powers of the "Upper", "Lower" and "Middle" Niger river basin during the Scramble for Africa at the end of the 19th century. The Niger River is a "clear" river, carrying only a tenth as much sediment as the Nile because the Niger's headwaters lie in ancient rocks that provide little silt. Like the Nile, the Niger floods yearly. An unusual feature of the river is the Inner Niger Delta, which forms where its gradient decreases; the result is a region of braided streams and lakes the size of Belgium. The river loses nearly two-thirds of its potential flow in the Inner Delta between Ségou and Timbuktu to seepage and evaporation. All the water from the Bani River, which flows into the Delta at Mopti, does not compensate for the'losses'; the average'loss' is estimated at 31 km3/year, but varies between years. The river is joined by various tributaries, but loses more water to evaporation.
The quantity of water entering Nigeria measured in Yola was estimated at 25 km3/year before the 1980s and at 13.5 km3/year during the 1980s. The most important tributary of the Niger in Nigeria is the Benue River which merges with the river at Lokoja in Nigeria; the total volume of tributaries in Nigeria is six times higher than the inflow into Nigeria, with a flow near the mouth of the river standing at 177.0 km3/year before the 1980s and 147.3 km3/year during the 1980s. The Niger takes one of the most unusual routes of any major river, a boomerang shape that baffled geographers for two centuries, its source is just 240 km inland from the Atlantic Ocean, but the river runs directly away from the sea into the Sahara Desert takes a sharp right turn near the ancient city of Timbuktu and heads southeast to the Gulf of Guinea. This strange geography came about because the Niger River is two ancient rivers joined together; the upper Niger, from the source west of Timbuktu to the bend in the current river near Timbuktu, once emptied into a now dry lake to the east northeast of Timbuktu, while the lower Niger started to the south of Timbuktu and flowed south into the Gulf of Guinea.
Over time upstream erosion by the lower Niger resulted in stream capture of the upper Niger by the lower Niger. The northern part of the river, known as the Niger bend, is an important area because it is the major river and source of water in that part of the Sahara desert; this made it the focal point of trade across the western Sahara, the centre of the Sahelian kingdoms of Mali and Gao. The surrounding Niger River Basin is one of the distinct physiographic sections of the Sudan province, which in turn is part of the larger African massive physiographic division; the origin of the river's name remains unclear. What is clear is that "Niger" was an appellation applied in the Mediterranean world from at least the Classical era, when knowledge of the area by Europeans was better than fable. A careful study of Classical writings on the interior of the Sahara begins with Ptolemy, who mentions two rivers in the desert: the "Gir" and farther south, the "Nigir"; the first has been since identified as the Wadi Ghir on the north western edge of the Tuat, along the borders of modern Morocco and Algeria.
This would have been as far as Ptolemy would have had consistent records. The Ni-Ger was speculation, although the name stu
Spain the Kingdom of Spain, is a country located in Europe. Its continental European territory is situated on the Iberian Peninsula, its territory includes two archipelagoes: the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa, the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea. The African enclaves of Ceuta, Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera make Spain the only European country to have a physical border with an African country. Several small islands in the Alboran Sea are part of Spanish territory; the country's mainland is bordered to the south and east by the Mediterranean Sea except for a small land boundary with Gibraltar. With an area of 505,990 km2, Spain is the largest country in Southern Europe, the second largest country in Western Europe and the European Union, the fourth largest country in the European continent. By population, Spain is the fifth in the European Union. Spain's capital and largest city is Madrid. Modern humans first arrived in the Iberian Peninsula around 35,000 years ago. Iberian cultures along with ancient Phoenician, Greek and Carthaginian settlements developed on the peninsula until it came under Roman rule around 200 BCE, after which the region was named Hispania, based on the earlier Phoenician name Spn or Spania.
At the end of the Western Roman Empire the Germanic tribal confederations migrated from Central Europe, invaded the Iberian peninsula and established independent realms in its western provinces, including the Suebi and Vandals. The Visigoths would forcibly integrate all remaining independent territories in the peninsula, including Byzantine provinces, into the Kingdom of Toledo, which more or less unified politically and all the former Roman provinces or successor kingdoms of what was documented as Hispania. In the early eighth century the Visigothic Kingdom fell to the Moors of the Umayyad Islamic Caliphate, who arrived to rule most of the peninsula in the year 726, leaving only a handful of small Christian realms in the north and lasting up to seven centuries in the Kingdom of Granada; this led to many wars during a long reconquering period across the Iberian Peninsula, which led to the creation of the Kingdom of Leon, Kingdom of Castile, Kingdom of Aragon and Kingdom of Navarre as the main Christian kingdoms to face the invasion.
Following the Moorish conquest, Europeans began a gradual process of retaking the region known as the Reconquista, which by the late 15th century culminated in the emergence of Spain as a unified country under the Catholic Monarchs. Until Aragon had been an independent kingdom, which had expanded toward the eastern Mediterranean, incorporating Sicily and Naples, had competed with Genoa and Venice. In the early modern period, Spain became the world's first global empire and the most powerful country in the world, leaving a large cultural and linguistic legacy that includes more than 570 million Hispanophones, making Spanish the world's second-most spoken native language, after Mandarin Chinese. During the Golden Age there were many advancements in the arts, with world-famous painters such as Diego Velázquez; the most famous Spanish literary work, Don Quixote, was published during the Golden Age. Spain hosts the world's third-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Spain is a secular parliamentary democracy and a parliamentary monarchy, with King Felipe VI as head of state.
It is a major developed country and a high income country, with the world's fourteenth largest economy by nominal GDP and sixteenth largest by purchasing power parity. It is a member of the United Nations, the European Union, the Eurozone, the Council of Europe, the Organization of Ibero-American States, the Union for the Mediterranean, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the Schengen Area, the World Trade Organization and many other international organisations. While not an official member, Spain has a "Permanent Invitation" to the G20 summits, participating in every summit, which makes Spain a de facto member of the group; the origins of the Roman name Hispania, from which the modern name España was derived, are uncertain due to inadequate evidence, although it is documented that the Phoenicians and Carthaginians referred to the region as Spania, therefore the most accepted etymology is a Semitic-Phoenician one.
Down the centuries there have been a number of accounts and hypotheses: The Renaissance scholar Antonio de Nebrija proposed that the word Hispania evolved from the Iberian word Hispalis, meaning "city of the western world". Jesús Luis Cunchillos argues that the root of the term span is the Phoenician word spy, meaning "to forge metals". Therefore, i-spn-ya would mean "the land where metals are forged", it may be a derivation of the Phoenician I-Shpania, meaning "island of rabbits", "land of rabbits" or "edge", a reference to Spain's location at the end of the Mediterranean. The word in question means "Hyrax" due to Phoenicians confusing the two animals. Hispania may derive from the poetic use of the term Hesperia, reflecting the Greek perception of Italy as a "western land" or "land of the setting sun" (Hesperia