Gytheio, the ancient Gythium or Gytheion, is a town and a former municipality in Laconia, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality East Mani, the municipal unit has an area of 197.313 km2. It was the seaport of Sparta, some 40 kilometres north, Gytheio used to be an important port until it was destroyed in 4th century AD, possibly by an earthquake. Today it is the largest and most important town in Mani and it is the seat of the municipality of East Mani. South, Mavrovouni West, Rachi North, Stefania East, Cranae Gytheio is located in the corner of Mani. Further northeast is the delta of the Evrotas River, offshore are several small islands, the most important of these islands is Cranae, which is connected to the mainland by a causeway. Gytheio is only 40 km southeast of Sparti, connected by Greek National Road 39, the town center is situated around the port. Pine trees are situated in the west and rocky mountains in the north and it is thought that Gytheio may have been the center of their purple dye trade because the Laconian Gulf had a plentiful source of murex.
In classical times it was a community of Perioeci, politically dependent on Sparta, in 455 BC, during the First Peloponnesian War, it was burned by the Athenian admiral Tolmides who besieged the city with 50 ships and 4,000 hoplites. It was rebuilt and was most probably, the ground for the Spartan fleet in the Peloponnesian War. In 407 BC during the Peloponnesian War, Alcibiades landed there, in 370 BC, the Thebans under the command of Epaminondas besieged the city successfully for three days after ravaging Laconia. However it was recaptured by the Spartans three days later, in 219 BC, Philip V of Macedon tried to capture the city but without success. Under Nabis, Gythium became a naval arsenal and port. During the Roman-Spartan War, Gythium was captured after a lengthy siege, after the war finished, Gythium was made part of the Union of Free Laconians under Achean protection. Nabis recaptured Gythium three years and the Spartan fleet defeated the Achean fleet outside of Gythium, Gythium was liberated by a Roman fleet under the command of Aulus Atilius Serranus.
The highest officer of the confederacy was the general, who was assisted by a treasurer, in Roman times Gythium remained a major port and it prospered as a member of the Union. As purple dye was popular in Rome, Gythium exported that as well as porphyry, evidence of the ancient Gythium prosperity can be found by the fact that the Romans built an ancient theatre which is well preserved today and is still used occasionally. The ancient theatre, as well as the citys Acropolis discovered by the archeologist Dimitris Skias on 1891, some time in the 4th century AD, Gythium was destroyed
Rheinbach is a town in the Rhein-Sieg-Kreis district, in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It belongs to the district of Cologne. Situated 15 km south-west of Bonn and 35 km south of Cologne, Rheinbach lies at the edge of the Eifel region, around 80 AD, the Eifel Aqueduct, one of the longest aqueducts of the Roman Empire, was running through what is today Rheinbachs town centre. The first written documentation of Rheinbach dates back to 762, when Pepin the Short, King of the Franks, in the Middle Ages, Rheinbach came to prominence because of its witch-hunts. First referred to as a town in 1298, the Archbishop of Cologne purchased Rheinbach, till 1789, Rheinbach was part of the Electorate of Cologne. In 1794, Rheinbach was incorporated into France within the Département de Rhin-et-Moselle before coming under the auspices of Prussia in 1815, around 1947, a considerable number of displaced people from the Sudetenland settled in Rheinbach. Having brought their traditions of glasscraft, Rheinbach became famous for its glass art and today hosts an art museum.
Blazon, The coat of arms from the city of Rheinbach is divided per fess, above is a silver field divided by a black cross. The field below is divided per pale, the dexter side shows an upright blue key in a silver field, the sinister side shows in a red field a silver demi-eagle and tongued blue. History, Since 762 the entire Rheinbach District belonged to the Abbey of Prüm, in the years 1246/7 the steward of Prüm, the Count of Are-Hochstaden, transferred his claims in Rheinbach to his brother Konrad, the Archbishop of Cologne. In 1343 the Archbishop of Cologne acquired all the rights to the city, to show his claim as lord of to Rhienbach the Archbishop of Cologne had a new official seal developed in 1344 from which the coat of arms was derived. The coat of arms was made official in 1915 by Wilhelm II, German Emperor, The black cross with the silver background stands for the archdiocese of Cologne. The Eagle stems from the coat of arms from the Counts of Are-Hochstaden, the unlawful appropriation of the Knights of Rheinbach is therewith completely ignored.
The blue key refers to the Holy Saint Peter, the saint of the Archdiocese of Cologne. This last element has been added at a stage to distinguish the coat of arms from Rheinbach with that of the city of Ahrweiler. Besides the town proper, Rheinbach administratively comprises the surrounding villages, as of 2016, the town council has a Christian Democratic majority with 17 seats, the Social Democrats hold 10 seats, while the Greens, the Independents and the Liberals hold three each. A local hub for education, Rheinbach is the seat of the Hochschule Bonn-Rhein-Sieg, there are three secondary schools in Rheinbach. -Joseph-Gymnasium was historically a girls-only school and is now coeducational. Rheinbach lies in proximity to the Bundesautobahn 61 which connects it with Cologne, the S-Bahn RB23 connects Rheinbach with Bad Münstereifel and Bonn
Gard is a department in southern France in the Occitanie region. The department is named after the River Gardon, and the Occitan name of the river has been replacing the French name of the department in recent decades, see also, History of Gard The Gard area was settled by the Romans in classical times. It was crossed by the Via Domitia, which was constructed in 118 BC, Gard is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution on March 4,1790. It was created from the ancient province of Languedoc, in return, Gard received from Hérault the fishing port of Aigues Mortes which gave the department its own outlet to the Gulf of Lion. Gard is part of the region of Occitanie and is surrounded by the departments of Hérault, Lozère, Bouches-du-Rhône, the highest point in the department is the Mont Aigoual. Serious flooding has occurred in the department in recent years, the President of the General Council is Denis Bouad of the Socialist Party. The incumbent President Nicolas Sarkozy of the Union for a Popular Movement party received 24.
86% of the vote, the inhabitants of Gard are called Gardois. There are important Roman architectural remains in Nîmes, as well as the famous Roman aqueduct, Gard is home to the source of Perrier, a carbonated mineral water sold both in France and internationally on a large scale. The spring and facility are located just south-east of the commune of Vergèze, prefecture website General Council website Welcome to the Gard Welcome to the Gard The Regordane Way or St Gilles Trail Map of the department Guide Gard
Greece, officially the Hellenic Republic, historically known as Hellas, is a country in southeastern Europe, with a population of approximately 11 million as of 2015. Athens is the capital and largest city, followed by Thessaloniki. Greece is strategically located at the crossroads of Europe, situated on the southern tip of the Balkan peninsula, it shares land borders with Albania to the northwest, the Republic of Macedonia and Bulgaria to the north, and Turkey to the northeast. Greece consists of nine regions, Central Greece, the Peloponnese, Epirus, the Aegean Islands, Crete. The Aegean Sea lies to the east of the mainland, the Ionian Sea to the west, the Cretan Sea and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. Greece has the longest coastline on the Mediterranean Basin and the 11th longest coastline in the world at 13,676 km in length, featuring a vast number of islands, eighty percent of Greece is mountainous, with Mount Olympus being the highest peak at 2,918 metres. From the eighth century BC, the Greeks were organised into various independent city-states, known as polis, which spanned the entire Mediterranean region and the Black Sea.
Greece was annexed by Rome in the second century BC, becoming a part of the Roman Empire and its successor. The Greek Orthodox Church shaped modern Greek identity and transmitted Greek traditions to the wider Orthodox World, falling under Ottoman dominion in the mid-15th century, the modern nation state of Greece emerged in 1830 following a war of independence. Greeces rich historical legacy is reflected by its 18 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, among the most in Europe, Greece is a democratic and developed country with an advanced high-income economy, a high quality of life, and a very high standard of living. A founding member of the United Nations, Greece was the member to join the European Communities and has been part of the Eurozone since 2001. Greeces unique cultural heritage, large industry, prominent shipping sector. It is the largest economy in the Balkans, where it is an important regional investor, the names for the nation of Greece and the Greek people differ from the names used in other languages and cultures.
The earliest evidence of the presence of human ancestors in the southern Balkans, dated to 270,000 BC, is to be found in the Petralona cave, all three stages of the stone age are represented in Greece, for example in the Franchthi Cave. Neolithic settlements in Greece, dating from the 7th millennium BC, are the oldest in Europe by several centuries and these civilizations possessed writing, the Minoans writing in an undeciphered script known as Linear A, and the Mycenaeans in Linear B, an early form of Greek. The Mycenaeans gradually absorbed the Minoans, but collapsed violently around 1200 BC and this ushered in a period known as the Greek Dark Ages, from which written records are absent. The end of the Dark Ages is traditionally dated to 776 BC, the Iliad and the Odyssey, the foundational texts of Western literature, are believed to have been composed by Homer in the 7th or 8th centuries BC. With the end of the Dark Ages, there emerged various kingdoms and city-states across the Greek peninsula, in 508 BC, Cleisthenes instituted the worlds first democratic system of government in Athens
Departments of France
In the administrative divisions of France, the department is one of the three levels of government below the national level, between the administrative regions and the commune. There are 96 departments in metropolitan France and 5 overseas departments, each department is administered by an elected body called a departmental council. From 1800 to April 2015, they were called general councils, the departments were created in 1791 as a rational replacement of Ancien Régime provinces with a view to strengthen national unity, the title department is used to mean a part of a larger whole. Almost all of them were named after geographical features rather than after historical or cultural territories which could have their own loyalties. The earliest known suggestion of it is from 1764 in the writings of dArgenson and they have inspired similar divisions in many countries, some of them former French colonies. Most French departments are assigned a number, the Official Geographical Code. Some overseas departments have a three-digit number, the number is used, for example, in the postal code, and was until recently used for all vehicle registration plates.
For example, inhabitants of Loiret might refer to their department as the 45 and this reform project has since been abandoned. The first French territorial departments were proposed in 1665 by Marc-René dArgenson to serve as administrative areas purely for the Ponts et Chaussées infrastructure administration, before the French Revolution, France gained territory gradually through the annexation of a mosaic of independent entities. By the close of the Ancien Régime, it was organised into provinces, during the period of the Revolution, these were dissolved, partly in order to weaken old loyalties. Their boundaries served two purposes, Boundaries were chosen to break up Frances historical regions in an attempt to erase cultural differences, Boundaries were set so that every settlement in the country was within a days ride of the capital of the department. This was a security measure, intended to keep the national territory under close control. This measure was directly inspired by the Great Terror, during which the government had lost control of rural areas far from any centre of government.
The old nomenclature was carefully avoided in naming the new departments, most were named after an areas principal river or other physical features. Even Paris was in the department of Seine, the number of departments, initially 83, was increased to 130 by 1809 with the territorial gains of the Republic and of the First French Empire. Following Napoleons defeats in 1814-1815, the Congress of Vienna returned France to its pre-war size, in 1860, France acquired the County of Nice and Savoy, which led to the creation of three new departments. Two were added from the new Savoyard territory, while the department of Alpes-Maritimes was created from Nice, the 89 departments were given numbers based on their alphabetical order. The department of Bas-Rhin and parts of Meurthe, Moselle and Haut-Rhin were ceded to the German Empire in 1871, following Frances defeat in the Franco-Prussian War
Regions of France
France is divided into 18 administrative regions, including 13 metropolitan regions and 5 overseas regions. The current legal concept of region was adopted in 1982, the term région was officially created by the Law of Decentralisation, which gave regions their legal status. The first direct elections for representatives took place on 16 March 1986. In 2016, the number of regions was reduced from 27 to 18 through amalgamation, in 2014, the French parliament passed a law reducing the number of metropolitan regions from 22 to 13 with effect from 1 January 2016. However, the region of Upper and Lower Normandy is simply called Normandy. Permanent names were to be proposed by the new regional councils by 1 July 2016, the legislation defining the new regions allowed the Centre region to officially change its name to Centre-Val de Loire with effect from January 2015. Two regions, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes and Bourgogne-Franche-Comté, opted to retain their interim names, between 1982 and 2015, there were 22 regions in Metropolitan France.
Before 2011, there were four regions, in 2011 Mayotte became the fifth. Regions lack separate legislative authority and therefore cannot write their own statutory law and they levy their own taxes and, in return, receive a decreasing part of their budget from the central government, which gives them a portion of the taxes it levies. They have considerable budgets managed by a council made up of representatives voted into office in regional elections. A regions primary responsibility is to build and furnish high schools, in March 2004, the French central government unveiled a controversial plan to transfer regulation of certain categories of non-teaching school staff to the regional authorities. Critics of this plan contended that tax revenue was insufficient to pay for the costs. In addition, regions have considerable power over infrastructural spending, e. g. education, public transit and research. This has meant that the heads of regions such as Île-de-France or Rhône-Alpes can be high-profile positions.
Number of regions controlled by each coalition since 1986, Overseas region is a recent designation, given to the overseas departments that have similar powers to those of the regions of metropolitan France. Radio France Internationale in English Overseas regions Ministère de lOutre-Mer some explanations about the past and current developments of DOMs and TOMs
Italy, officially the Italian Republic, is a unitary parliamentary republic in Europe. Located in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea, Italy shares open land borders with France, Austria, San Marino, Italy covers an area of 301,338 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate and Mediterranean climate. Due to its shape, it is referred to in Italy as lo Stivale. With 61 million inhabitants, it is the fourth most populous EU member state, the Italic tribe known as the Latins formed the Roman Kingdom, which eventually became a republic that conquered and assimilated other nearby civilisations. The legacy of the Roman Empire is widespread and can be observed in the distribution of civilian law, republican governments, Christianity. The Renaissance began in Italy and spread to the rest of Europe, bringing a renewed interest in humanism, exploration, Italian culture flourished at this time, producing famous scholars and polymaths such as Leonardo da Vinci, Galileo and Machiavelli. The weakened sovereigns soon fell victim to conquest by European powers such as France and Austria.
Despite being one of the victors in World War I, Italy entered a period of economic crisis and social turmoil. The subsequent participation in World War II on the Axis side ended in defeat, economic destruction. Today, Italy has the third largest economy in the Eurozone and it has a very high level of human development and is ranked sixth in the world for life expectancy. The country plays a prominent role in regional and global economic, military and diplomatic affairs, as a reflection of its cultural wealth, Italy is home to 51 World Heritage Sites, the most in the world, and is the fifth most visited country. The assumptions on the etymology of the name Italia are very numerous, according to one of the more common explanations, the term Italia, from Latin, was borrowed through Greek from the Oscan Víteliú, meaning land of young cattle. The bull was a symbol of the southern Italic tribes and was often depicted goring the Roman wolf as a defiant symbol of free Italy during the Social War. Greek historian Dionysius of Halicarnassus states this account together with the legend that Italy was named after Italus, mentioned by Aristotle and Thucydides.
The name Italia originally applied only to a part of what is now Southern Italy – according to Antiochus of Syracuse, but by his time Oenotria and Italy had become synonymous, and the name applied to most of Lucania as well. The Greeks gradually came to apply the name Italia to a larger region, excavations throughout Italy revealed a Neanderthal presence dating back to the Palaeolithic period, some 200,000 years ago, modern Humans arrived about 40,000 years ago. Other ancient Italian peoples of undetermined language families but of possible origins include the Rhaetian people and Cammuni. Also the Phoenicians established colonies on the coasts of Sardinia and Sicily, the Roman legacy has deeply influenced the Western civilisation, shaping most of the modern world
France, officially the French Republic, is a country with territory in western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The European, or metropolitan, area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, Overseas France include French Guiana on the South American continent and several island territories in the Atlantic and Indian oceans. France spans 643,801 square kilometres and had a population of almost 67 million people as of January 2017. It is a unitary republic with the capital in Paris. Other major urban centres include Marseille, Lille, Toulouse, during the Iron Age, what is now metropolitan France was inhabited by the Gauls, a Celtic people. The area was annexed in 51 BC by Rome, which held Gaul until 486, France emerged as a major European power in the Late Middle Ages, with its victory in the Hundred Years War strengthening state-building and political centralisation. During the Renaissance, French culture flourished and a colonial empire was established.
The 16th century was dominated by civil wars between Catholics and Protestants. France became Europes dominant cultural and military power under Louis XIV, in the 19th century Napoleon took power and established the First French Empire, whose subsequent Napoleonic Wars shaped the course of continental Europe. Following the collapse of the Empire, France endured a succession of governments culminating with the establishment of the French Third Republic in 1870. Following liberation in 1944, a Fourth Republic was established and dissolved in the course of the Algerian War, the Fifth Republic, led by Charles de Gaulle, was formed in 1958 and remains to this day. Algeria and nearly all the colonies became independent in the 1960s with minimal controversy and typically retained close economic. France has long been a centre of art, science. It hosts Europes fourth-largest number of cultural UNESCO World Heritage Sites and receives around 83 million foreign tourists annually, France is a developed country with the worlds sixth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest by purchasing power parity.
In terms of household wealth, it ranks fourth in the world. France performs well in international rankings of education, health care, life expectancy, France remains a great power in the world, being one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council with the power to veto and an official nuclear-weapon state. It is a member state of the European Union and the Eurozone. It is a member of the Group of 7, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, originally applied to the whole Frankish Empire, the name France comes from the Latin Francia, or country of the Franks
Philip IV of France
Philip IV, called the Fair or the Iron King, was King of France from 1285 until his death. By virtue of his marriage with Joan I of Navarre, he was Philip I, Philip relied on skillful civil servants, such as Guillaume de Nogaret and Enguerrand de Marigny, to govern the kingdom rather than on his barons. Philip and his advisors were instrumental in the transformation of France from a country to a centralized state. Philip, who sought an uncontested monarchy, compelled his vassals by wars and his ambitions made him highly influential in European affairs. His goal was to place his relatives on foreign thrones, princes from his house ruled in Naples and Hungary. He tried and failed to make relative the Holy Roman Emperor. He began the advance of France eastward by taking control of scattered fiefs. To further strengthen the monarchy, he tried to control the French clergy and this conflict led to the transfer of the papal court to the enclave of Avignon in 1309. In 1306, Philip the Fair expelled the Jews from France and, in 1307, Friday 13th, Philip was in debt to both groups and saw them as a state within the state.
His final year saw a scandal amongst the family, known as the Tour de Nesle Affair. His three sons were kings of France, Louis X, Philip V, and Charles IV. A member of the House of Capet, Philip was born in the fortress of Fontainebleau to the future Philip III. He was the second of four born to the couple. His father was the heir apparent of France at that time, in August 1270, when Philip was two years old, his grandfather died while on Crusade, his father became king, and his elder brother Louis became heir apparent. Only five months later, in January 1271, Philips mother died after falling from a horse, a few months later, one of Philips younger brothers, died. Philips father was crowned king at Rhiems on 15 August 1271. Six days later, he married again, Philips step-mother was Marie, in May 1276, Philips elder brother Louis died, and the eight year old Philip became crown prince. It was suspected that Louis had been poisoned, and that his stepmother, one reason for these rumours was the fact that the queen gave birth to her own eldest son in the same month as the death of the crown prince
San Miniato is a town and comune in the province of Pisa, in the region of Tuscany, Italy. San Miniato sits at a strategic location atop three small hills where it dominates the lower Arno valley between the valleys of Egola and Elsa. It used to carry the additional sobriquet al Tedesco to distinguish it from the convent of San Miniato al Monte in Florence, in medieval times, San Miniato was on the via Francigena, which was the main connecting route between northern Europe and Rome. It sits at the intersection of the Florence-Pisa and the Lucca-Siena roads, over the centuries San Miniato was therefore exposed to a constant flow of friendly and hostile armies, traders in all manner of goods and services, and other travelers from near and far. Archaeological evidence indicates that the site of the city and surrounding area has settled since at least the paleolithic era. It would have well known to the Etruscans, and certainly to the Romans. The first mention in documents is of a small village organized around a chapel dedicated to San Miniato built by the Lombards in 783.
By the end of the 10th century San Miniato boasted a sizeable population enclosed behind a moat, in 1116, the new imperial vicar for Tuscany, established himself at San Miniato, supplanting Florence as the centre of government. The site came to be known as al Tedesco, since the imperial vicars, mostly German, the first walls, with defensive towers, were thrown up in the 12th century during the time that Italy was dominated by Frederick Barbarossa. Under his grandson, Frederick II, the town was fortified with expanded walls and other defensive works, including the Rocca. During the latter years of the 13th century and the entire 14th century, initially Ghibelline, it had become a Guelph city by 1291, allied with Florence and, in 1307, fought with other members of the Guelph league against the Ghibelline Arezzo. It was still part of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany when the Duchy was absorbed into the newly formed Kingdom of Italy in 1860, the city is enclosed within a well-preserved medieval precinct.
Main landmarks include, The Tower of Frederick, built by Frederick II in the 13th century on the summit of the hill at an elevation of 192 metres, here was imprisoned Fredericks chanchellor Pier delle Vigne until his death. During World War II it was destroyed by the German Army to prevent the Allies from using it as a gun sighting tower, the Duomo, dedicated to both SantAssunta and Santo Genesio or Saint Genesius of Rome. It was originally a Romanesque building, but it has been remodelled several times and exhibits Gothic, the façade incorporates a number of colorful majolica bowls. The interior has Latin cross plan with a nave with two side aisles. The cathedrals campanile, a fortification annexed in is called the Matilde Tower, the Diocesan Museum, next to the cathedral. This museum-gallery contains works by Filippo Lippi, Jacopo Chimenti, Neri di Bicci, Fra Bartolomeo, Frederico Cardi, palazzo dei Vicari, built by Emperor Otto IV during the 12th century, the palazzo incorporates one of the oldest known crenellated turrets