Communes of France
The commune is a level of administrative division in the French Republic. French communes are analogous to civil townships and incorporated municipalities in the United States and Canada, Gemeinden in Germany, comuni in Italy or ayuntamiento in Spain; the United Kingdom has no exact equivalent, as communes resemble districts in urban areas, but are closer to parishes in rural areas where districts are much larger. Communes are based on historical geographic communities or villages and are vested with significant powers to manage the populations and land of the geographic area covered; the communes are the fourth-level administrative divisions of France. Communes vary in size and area, from large sprawling cities with millions of inhabitants like Paris, to small hamlets with only a handful of inhabitants. Communes are based on pre-existing villages and facilitate local governance. All communes have names, but not all named geographic areas or groups of people residing together are communes, the difference residing in the lack of administrative powers.
Except for the municipal arrondissements of its largest cities, the communes are the lowest level of administrative division in France and are governed by elected officials with extensive autonomous powers to implement national policy. A commune is city, or other municipality. "Commune" in English has a historical bias, implies an association with socialist political movements or philosophies, collectivist lifestyles, or particular history. There is nothing intrinsically different between commune in French; the French word commune appeared in the 12th century, from Medieval Latin communia, for a large gathering of people sharing a common life. As of January 2015, there were 36,681 communes in France, 36,552 of them in metropolitan France and 129 of them overseas; this is a higher total than that of any other European country, because French communes still reflect the division of France into villages or parishes at the time of the French Revolution. The whole territory of the French Republic is divided into communes.
This is unlike some other countries, such as the United States, where unincorporated areas directly governed by a county or a higher authority can be found. There are only a few exceptions: COM of Saint-Martin, it was a commune inside the Guadeloupe région. The commune structure was abolished when Saint-Martin became an overseas collectivity on 22 February 2007. COM of Wallis and Futuna, which still is divided according to the three traditional chiefdoms. COM of Saint Barthélemy, it was a commune inside the Guadeloupe region. The commune structure was abolished when Saint-Barthélemy became an overseas collectivity on 22 February 2007. Furthermore, two regions without permanent habitation have no communes: TOM of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands Clipperton Island in the Pacific Ocean In metropolitan France, the average area of a commune in 2004 was 14.88 square kilometres. The median area of metropolitan France's communes at the 1999 census was smaller, at 10.73 square kilometres. The median area is a better measure of the area of a typical French commune.
This median area is smaller than that of most European countries. In Italy, the median area of communes is 22 km2. Switzerland and the Länder of Rhineland-Palatinate, Schleswig-Holstein, Thuringia in Germany were the only places in Europe where the communes had a smaller median area than in France; the communes of France's overseas départements such as Réunion and French Guiana are large by French standards. They group into the same commune several villages or towns with sizeable distances among them. In Réunion, demographic expansion and sprawling urbanization have resulted in the administrative splitting of some communes; the median population of metropolitan France's communes at the 1999 census was 380 inhabitants. Again this is a small number, here France stands apart in Europe, with the lowest communes' median population of all the European countries; this small median population of French communes can be compared with Italy, where the median population of communes in 2001 was 2,343 inhabitants, Belgium, or Spain.
The median population given here should not hide the fact that there are pronounced differences in size between French communes. As mentioned in the introduction, a commune can be a city of 2 million inhabitants such as Paris, a town of 10,000 inhabitants, or just a hamlet of 10 inhabitants. What the median population tells us is that the vast majority of the French communes only have a few hundred inhabitants. In metropolitan France just over 50 percent of the 36,683 communes have fewer than 500 inhabitants a
Armenia the Republic of Armenia, is a country in the South Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located in Western Asia on the Armenian Highlands, it is bordered by Turkey to the west, Georgia to the north, the de facto independent Republic of Artsakh and Azerbaijan to the east, Iran and Azerbaijan's exclave of Nakhchivan to the south. Armenia is a multi-party, democratic nation-state with an ancient cultural heritage. Urartu was established in 860 BC and by the 6th century BC it was replaced by the Satrapy of Armenia; the Kingdom of Armenia reached its height under Tigranes the Great in the 1st century BC and became the first state in the world to adopt Christianity as its official religion in the late 3rd or early 4th century AD. The official date of state adoption of Christianity is 301; the ancient Armenian kingdom was split between the Byzantine and Sasanian Empires around the early 5th century. Under the Bagratuni dynasty, the Bagratid Kingdom of Armenia was restored in the 9th century. Declining due to the wars against the Byzantines, the kingdom fell in 1045 and Armenia was soon after invaded by the Seljuk Turks.
An Armenian principality and a kingdom Cilician Armenia was located on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea between the 11th and 14th centuries. Between the 16th and 19th centuries, the traditional Armenian homeland composed of Eastern Armenia and Western Armenia came under the rule of the Ottoman and Iranian empires ruled by either of the two over the centuries. By the 19th century, Eastern Armenia had been conquered by the Russian Empire, while most of the western parts of the traditional Armenian homeland remained under Ottoman rule. During World War I, Armenians living in their ancestral lands in the Ottoman Empire were systematically exterminated in the Armenian Genocide. In 1918, following the Russian Revolution, all non-Russian countries declared their independence after the Russian Empire ceased to exist, leading to the establishment of the First Republic of Armenia. By 1920, the state was incorporated into the Transcaucasian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic, in 1922 became a founding member of the Soviet Union.
In 1936, the Transcaucasian state was dissolved, transforming its constituent states, including the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic, into full Union republics. The modern Republic of Armenia became independent in 1991 during the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Armenia recognises the Armenian Apostolic Church, the world's oldest national church, as the country's primary religious establishment; the unique Armenian alphabet was invented by Mesrop Mashtots in 405 AD. Armenia is a member of the Eurasian Economic Union, the Council of Europe and the Collective Security Treaty Organization. Armenia supports the de facto independent Artsakh, proclaimed in 1991; the original native Armenian name for the country was Հայք, however it is rarely used. The contemporary name Հայաստան became popular in the Middle Ages by addition of the Persian suffix -stan.. However the origins of the name Hayastan trace back to much earlier dates and were first attested in circa 5th century in the works of Agathangelos, Faustus of Byzantium, Ghazar Parpetsi and Sebeos.
The name has traditionally been derived from Hayk, the legendary patriarch of the Armenians and a great-great-grandson of Noah, according to the 5th-century AD author Moses of Chorene, defeated the Babylonian king Bel in 2492 BC and established his nation in the Ararat region. The further origin of the name is uncertain, it is further postulated that the name Hay comes from one of the two confederated, Hittite vassal states—the Ḫayaša-Azzi. The exonym Armenia is attested in the Old Persian Behistun Inscription as Armina; the Ancient Greek terms Ἀρμενία and Ἀρμένιοι are first mentioned by Hecataeus of Miletus. Xenophon, a Greek general serving in some of the Persian expeditions, describes many aspects of Armenian village life and hospitality in around 401 BC, he relates that the people spoke a language that to his ear sounded like the language of the Persians. According to the histories of both Moses of Chorene and Michael Chamchian, Armenia derives from the name of Aram, a lineal descendant of Hayk.
The Table of Nations lists Aram as the son of Shem, to whom the Book of Jubilees attests, "And for Aram there came forth the fourth portion, all the land of Mesopotamia between the Tigris and the Euphrates to the north of the Chaldees to the border of the mountains of Asshur and the land of'Arara." Jubilees 8:21 apportions the Mountains of Ararat to Shem, which Jubilees 9:5 expounds to be apportioned to Aram. The historian Flavius Josephus states in his Antiquities of the Jews, "Aram had the Aramites, which the Greeks called Syrians. Of the four sons of Aram, Uz founded Trachonitis and Damascus: this country lies between Palestine and Celesyria. Ul founded Armenia. Armenia lies in the highlands surrounding the mountains of Ararat. There is evidence of an early civilisation in Armenia in the Bronze Age and earlier, dating to about 4000 BC. Archaeological surveys in 2010 and 2011 at the Areni-1 cave complex have resulted in the discovery of the world's earliest known leather shoe and wine-producing facility.
According to the story of Hayk, the legendary founder of Armenia, around 2107 BC Hayk fought against Belus, the Babylonian God of War, at Çavuştepe along the Engil river to establish the first Armenian state. This event coinc
Sister cities or twin towns are a form of legal or social agreement between towns, counties, prefectures, regions and countries in geographically and politically distinct areas to promote cultural and commercial ties. The modern concept of town twinning, conceived after the Second World War in 1947, was intended to foster friendship and understanding among different cultures and between former foes as an act of peace and reconciliation, to encourage trade and tourism. By the 2000s, town twinning became used to form strategic international business links among member cities. In the United Kingdom, the term "twin towns" is most used. In mainland Europe, the most used terms are "twin towns", "partnership towns", "partner towns", "friendship towns"; the European Commission uses the term "twinned towns" and refers to the process as "town twinning". Spain uses the term "ciudades hermanadas", which means "sister cities". Germany and the Czech Republic use Partnerstadt / miasto partnerskie / partnerské město, which translate as "partner town or city".
France uses ville jumelée, Italy has gemellaggio and comune gemellato. In the Netherlands, the term is stedenband. In Greece, the word αδελφοποίηση has been adopted. In Iceland, the terms vinabæir and vinaborgir are used. In the former Soviet Bloc, "twin towns" and "twin cities" are used, along with города-побратимы; the Americas, South Asia, Australasia use the term "sister cities" or "twin cities". In China, the term is 友好城市. Sometimes, other government bodies enter into a twinning relationship, such as the agreement between the provinces of Hainan in China and Jeju-do in South Korea; the douzelage is a town twinning association with one town from each of the member states of the European Union. Despite the term being used interchangeably, with the term "friendship city", this may mean a relationship with a more limited scope in comparison to a sister city relationship, friendship city relationships are mayor-to-mayor agreements. In recent years, the term "city diplomacy" has gained increased usage and acceptance as a strand of paradiplomacy and public diplomacy.
It is formally used in the workings of the United Cities and Local Governments and the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group and recognised by the USC Center on Public Diplomacy. A March 2014 debate in the British House of Lords acknowledged the evolution of town twinning into city diplomacy around trade and tourism, but in culture and post-conflict reconciliation; the importance of cities developing "their own foreign economic policies on trade, foreign investment and attracting foreign talent" has been highlighted by the World Economic Forum. The earliest known town twinning in Europe was between Paderborn, Le Mans, France, in 836. Starting in 1905, Keighley in West Yorkshire, had a twinning arrangement with French communities Suresnes and Puteaux; the first recorded modern twinning agreement was between Keighley and Poix-du-Nord in Nord, France, in 1920 following the end of the First World War. This was referred to as an adoption of the French town; the practice was continued after the Second World War as a way to promote mutual understanding and cross-border projects of mutual benefit.
For example, Coventry twinned with Stalingrad and with Dresden as an act of peace and reconciliation, all three cities having been bombed during the war. The City of Bath formed an "Alkmaar Adoption committee" in March 1945, when the Dutch city was still occupied by the German Army in the final months of the war, children from each city took part in exchanges in 1945 and 1946. In 1947, Bristol Corporation sent five'leading citizens' on a goodwill mission to Hanover. Reading in 1947 was the first British town to form links with a former "enemy" city – Düsseldorf; the link still exists. Since 9 April 1956 Rome and Paris have been and reciprocally twinned with each other, following the motto: "Only Paris is worthy of Rome; the support scheme was established in 1989. In 2003 an annual budget of about €12 million was allocated to about 1,300 projects; the Council of European Municipalities and Regions works with the Commission to promote modern, high quality twinning initiatives and exchanges that involve all sections of the community.
It has launched a website dedicated to town twinning. As of 1995, the European Union had more than 7,000 bilateral relationships involving 10,000 European municipalities French and German. Public art has been used to celebrate twin town links, for instance in the form of seven mural paintings in the centre of the town of Sutton, Greater London; the five main paintings show a number of the main features of the London Borough of Sutton and its four twin towns, along with the heraldic shield of each above the other images. Each painting features a plant as a visual representation of its town's environmental awareness. In the case of Sutton this is in a separate smaller painting showing a beech tree, intended as a symbol of prosperity and from whi
Mogilev is a city in eastern Belarus, about 76 kilometres from the border with Russia's Smolensk Oblast and 105 km from the border with Russia's Bryansk Oblast. As of 2011, its population was 360,918, up from an estimated 106,000 in 1956, it is the third largest city in Belarus. The city is mentioned in historical sources since 1267. From the 14th century it was part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, since the Union of Lublin, part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, where it became known as Mohylew. In 16th-17th century the city flourished as one of the main nodes of the east-west and north-south trading routes. In 1577 Polish-Lithuanian King Stefan Batory granted it city rights under Magdeburg law. In 1654, the townsmen negotiated a treaty of surrender to the Russians peacefully, if the Jews were to be expelled and their property divided up among Mogilev's inhabitants. Tsar Aleksei Mikhailovitch agreed. However, instead of expelling the Jews, the Russian troops massacred them after they had led them to the outskirts of the town.
The city was set on fire during the Great Northern War. After the First Partition of Poland Mogilev became part of the Russian Empire and became the centre of the Mogilev Governorate. In the years 1915–1917, during World War I, the Stavka, the headquarters of the Russian Imperial Army was based in the city and the Tsar, Nicholas II, spent long periods there as Commander-in-Chief. Following the Russian Revolution, in 1918, the city was occupied by Germany and placed under their short-lived Belarusian People's Republic. In 1919 it was captured by the forces of Soviet Russia and incorporated into the Byelorussian SSR. Up to World War II and the Holocaust, like many other cities in Europe, Mogilev had a significant Jewish population: according to the Russian census of 1897, out of the total population of 41,100, 21,500 were Jews. During the Operation Barbarossa, the city was conquered by Wehrmacht forces on 26 July 1941 and remained under German occupation until 28 June 1944. Mogilev became the official residence of High SS and police leader Erich von dem Bach.
During that period, the Jews of Mogilev were ghettoized and systematically murdered by Ordnungspolizei and SS personnel. Heinrich Himmler witnessed the executions of 279 Jews on 23 October 1941; that month a number of mentally disabled patients were poisoned with car exhaust fumes as an experiment. Initial plans for establishing a death camp in Mogilev were abandoned in favour of Maly Trostenets. In 1944, the utterly devastated city was reconquered by the Red Army and returned to Soviet domination. Mogilev was the site of a labour camp for German POW soldiers. Since Belarus gained its independence in 1991 Mogilev has remained one of its principal cities. Mohilev was the episcopal see of the Latin Catholic Archdiocese of Mohilev until its 1991 merger into the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Minsk-Mohilev, it remains the see of the Eparchy of Mogilev and Mstsislaw in the Belarusian Exarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church. After World War II a huge metallurgy centre with several major steel mills was built.
Several major factories of cranes, tractors and a chemical plant were established. By the 1950s, tanning was its principal industry, it was a major trading centre for cereal, salt, fish and flint: the city has been home to a major inland port on the Dnieper river since and a airport since. Since the fall of the Soviet Union and the establishment of Belarus as an independent country, Mogilev has become one of that country's main economic and industrial centres; the town's most notable landmark is the late 17th-century town hall, named the Ratuša, built during the times of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The grand tower of the town hall sustained serious damage during the Great Northern War and the Great Patriotic War, it was demolished in 1957 and rebuilt in its pre-war form in 2008. Another important landmark of Mogilev is the six-pillared St. Stanisław's Cathedral, built in the Baroque style between 1738 and 1752 and distinguished by its frescoes; the convent of St. Nicholas preserves its magnificent cathedral of 1668, as well as the original iconostasis, bell tower and gates.
It is under consideration to become a UNESCO World Heritage site. Minor landmarks include the archiepiscopal palace and memorial arch, both dating from the 1780s, the enormous theater in a blend of the Neo-Renaissance and Russian Revival styles. At Polykovichi, an urban part of Mogilev, there is a 350 metre tall guyed TV mast, one of the tallest structures in Belarus. Mogilev has a warm-summer humid continental climate. Matest M. Agrest and mathematician Modest Altschuler, orchestra conductor Abe Anellis, microbiologist Irving Berlin, American composer Petr Elfimov, musician Alyona Lanskaya, singer Joseph Lookstein, Rabbi Leonid Isaakovich Mandelshtam, physicist Andrey Melnikov and recipient of Hero of the Soviet Union award Stanisław Julian Ostroróg, Polish count, Crimean War veteran, noted Victorian Photographic portraitist, naturalised British subject David Pinski, Yiddish playwright Lev Polugaevsky, International Grandmaster of chess Leo Rogin and Writer Otto Schmidt, mathematician, geophysicist, academician Issai Schur, mathematician Spiridon Sobol, Belarusian enlightener and printer, in 1631 he publis
Bat Yam is a city located on Israel's Mediterranean Sea coast, on the central coastal strip, just south of Tel Aviv. Part of the Gush Dan metropolitan area in Tel Aviv District, the city had a population of 128,655 in 2017. Bat Yam was established in 1926 as Bayit VeGan. During the 1929 Palestine riots, the town was attacked by Palestinian fighters from Jaffa and was evacuated by British Authorities.. In 1930, it was re-settled. In 1936, it was granted local council status. In 1937 it was renamed Bat Yam. By 1945, 2,000 Jews were living in Bat Yam. According to the Jewish National Fund, in 1947 it had a population of 4,000. Following the United Nations vote in favour of a partition plan on November 29, 1947 and the subsequent civil war, inhabitants of both Bat Yam and Jaffa reported violent incidents, including sniping. On May 13, 1948, Jaffa surrendered to Jewish forces. In the years following Israel's creation, Bat Yam grew due to mass immigration and gained city status in 1958. A small Hasidic enclave of Bobover Hasidim, known as Kiryat Bobov, was established in 1959.
The city gained a sizeable community of Jews from Turkey. Bat Yam again experienced a period of rapid growth in the early 1980s to the late 1990s with the mass immigration of Jews from the former Soviet Union and Ethiopia. There is a small Arab community in Bat Yam, both Muslim and Christian, many of whom relocated from Jaffa; the vast majority of Israelis of Vietnamese origin live in Bat Yam. Bat Yam is expected to lose its status as an independent municipality and become a part of neighboring Tel Aviv; the Israeli Interior Ministry aims to incorporate the city into Tel Aviv in 2023. In the early 2000s, following financial scandals under the leadership of Yehoshua Sagi, the city was on the brink of bankruptcy. In 2003 a new mayor, Shlomo Lahiani, was elected and the city began to rejuvenate. Large investments were made in education and the appearance of the city.. In the 2008 municipal elections, Shlomo Lahiani was re-elected mayor of Bat Yam with 86% of the vote. In 2014, Lahiani pleaded guilty to three counts of breach of public trust after being charged with bribery and income tax fraud.
In 2008 the Bat-Yam International Biennale of Landscape Urbanism, devoted to re-examining urban spaces through art and architecture, was held in Bat Yam. In 2010 the second Biennale, "Timing" took place, which featured site-specific installations from designers and architects from around the world; the city has two shopping malls, Kanyon Bat Yam, which opened in 1993, Kanyon Bat Yamon. The location of Bat Yam on the Mediterranean makes it popular with beach-goers. Bat Yam has a 3.2 km long promenade along the ocean lined with restaurants. The city has six beaches, one of, protected by a breakwater; the Museum of Bat Yam exhibits contemporary art. Other museums include the Ben Ari Museum and Ryback Museum that houses the work of Issachar Ber Ryback. There is a museum in the memory of the Yiddish writer Sholem Asch, who lived his last years in Bat Yam, a small Holocaust museum. Bat Yam-Yoseftal Railway Station and Bat Yam-Komemiyut Railway Station opened in 2011 as part of the new Tel Aviv – Rishon LeZion West line.
Bat Yam will be the terminus for the red line of the Tel Aviv Light Rail. The city's major football club, Maccabi Ironi Bat Yam plays in Liga Leumit, the third level of Israeli football; the club was formed by a 2004 merger of Maccabi Bat Yam. Bat Yam's Al Gal beach is regarded to be one of the best surfing spots in the region, having consistent surf conditions during the summer months. Bat Yam is twinned with: Sholem Asch, Yiddish writer Michael Barkai, Commander of the Israeli Navy Henryk Hechtkopf, illustrator Elana Eden, actress Meir Dagan, Director of the Mossad Rita Katz, terrorism analyst Shlomo Lahiani, mayor of Bat Yam David D'Or, singer and songwriter Achinoam Nini, singer Matt Haimovitz, US cellist Itzik Zohar, soccer player Peter Roth, pop singer and composer Miri Ben-Ari, hip hop violinist Vered "Vardush" Buskila, Olympic sailor Shay Abutbul, soccer player Tomer Chencinski, Israeli–Canadian soccer player Yohai Aharoni, soccer player Gal Shish, soccer player Moshe Biton, soccer player Sharon Farber, composer Official website Surfing in Bat-Yam
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
A Roman villa was a country house built for the upper class in the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire, similar in form to the hacienda estates in the colonies of the Spanish Empire. Pliny the Elder distinguished two kinds of villas: the villa urbana, a country seat that could be reached from Rome for a night or two; the villa rustica centered on the villa itself only seasonally occupied. Under the Empire a concentration of Imperial villas grew up near the Bay of Naples on the Isle of Capri, at Monte Circeo on the coast and at Antium. Wealthy Romans escaped the summer heat in the hills around Rome around Frascati. Cicero possessed no fewer than seven villas, the oldest of them, which he inherited, near Arpinum in Latium. Pliny the Younger had three or four, of which the example near Laurentium is the best known from his descriptions; the Empire contained many kinds of villas, not all of them lavishly appointed with mosaic floors and frescoes. In the provinces, any country house with some decorative features in the Roman style may be called a "villa" by modern scholars.
Some were pleasure houses such as those — like Hadrian's Villa at Tivoli— that were sited in the cool hills within easy reach of Rome or — like the Villa of the Papyri at Herculaneum— on picturesque sites overlooking the Bay of Naples. Some villas were more like the country houses of England or Poland, the visible seat of power of a local magnate, such as the famous palace rediscovered at Fishbourne in Sussex. Suburban villas on the edge of cities occurred, such as the Middle and Late Republican villas that encroached on the Campus Martius, at that time on the edge of Rome, which can be seen outside the city walls of Pompeii; these early suburban villas, such as the one at Rome's Auditorium site or at Grottarossa in Rome, demonstrate the antiquity and heritage of the villa suburbana in Central Italy. It is possible that these early, suburban villas were in fact the seats of power of regional strongmen or heads of important families. A third type of villa provided the organizational center of the large holdings called latifundia, which produced and exported agricultural produce.
By the 4th century, villa could connote an agricultural holding: Jerome translated in the Gospel of Mark chorion, describing the olive grove of Gethsemane, with villa, without an inference that there were any dwellings there at all. By the first century BC, the "classic" villa took many architectural forms, with many examples employing atrium or peristyle, for enclosed spaces open to light and air. Upper class, wealthy Roman citizens in the countryside around Rome and throughout the Empire lived in villa complexes, the accommodation for rural farms; the villa-complex consisted of three parts. The pars urbana where his family lived; this would be similar to the wealthy-person's in the city walls. The pars rustica where the chef and slaves of the villa lived; this was the living quarters for the farm's animals. There would be other rooms here that might be used as store rooms, a hospital and a prison; the villa fructuaria would be the storage rooms. These would be. Storage rooms here would have been used for oil, grain and any other produce of the villa.
Other rooms in the villa might include an office, a temple for worship, several bedrooms, a dining room and a kitchen. Villas were furnished with plumbed bathing facilities and many would have had an under-floor central heating known as the hypocaust. A villa might be quite palatial, such as the villas of the imperial period, built on seaside slopes overlooking the Gulf of Naples at Baiae. Smaller in the countryside non-commercial villas operated as self-supporting units, with associated farms, olive groves, vineyards. Roman writers refer with satisfaction to the self-sufficiency of their villas, where they drank their own wine and pressed their own oil, a used literary topos. An ideal Roman citizen was the independent farmer tilling his own land, the agricultural writers wanted to give their readers a chance to link themselves with their ancestors through this image of self-sufficient villas; the truth was not too far from the image, while the profit-oriented latifundia, large slave-run villas grew enough of all the basic foodstuffs to provide for their own consumption.
The late Roman Republic witnessed an explosion of villa construction in Italy in the years following the dictatorship of Sulla. In Etruria, the villa at Settefinestre has been interpreted as being the centre of one of the latifundia that were involved in large-scale agricultural production. At Settefinestre and elsewhere, the central housing of such villas was not richly appointed. Other villas in the hinterland of Rome are interpreted in light of the agrarian treatises written by the elder Cato and Varro, all of whom sought to define the suitable lifestyle of conservative Romans, at least in idealistic terms. Large villas dominated the rural economy of the Po Valley and Sicily, operated in Gaul. Villas were centers of a variety of economic activity such as mining, pottery factories, or horse raising such as those found in northwestern Gaul. Villas specializing in the s