Thursday, May 31, 2007

History of Italy

History of Italy. This is a brief history of the European nation of Italy. This is of course the birthplace of the Roman Empire!

The Encyclopædia Britannica notes, "Country of south-central Europe, occupying a peninsula that juts deep into the Mediterranean Sea. Comprising some of the most varied and scenic landscapes on earth, Italy is often described as a country shaped like a boot. At its broad top stand the Alps, which are among the world's most rugged mountains. Italy's highest points are along Monte Rosa, which peaks in Switzerland, and along Mont Blanc, which peaks in France."

From the site:

Greeks settled in the southern tip of the Italian Peninsula in the eighth and seventh centuries B.C.; Etruscans, Romans, and others inhabited the central and northern mainland. The peninsula subsequently was unified under the Roman Republic. The neighboring islands also came under Roman control by the third century B.C.; by the first century A.D., the Roman Empire effectively dominated the Mediterranean world. After the collapse of the Roman Empire in the West in the fifth century A.D., the peninsula and islands were subjected to a series of invasions, and political unity was lost. Italy became an oft-changing succession of small states, principalities, and kingdoms, which fought among themselves and were subject to ambitions of foreign powers. Popes of Rome ruled central Italy; rivalries between the popes and the Holy Roman Emperors, who claimed Italy as their domain, often made the peninsula a battleground.

The commercial prosperity of northern and central Italian cities, beginning in the 11th century, and the influence of the Renaissance mitigated somewhat the effects of these medieval political rivalries. Although Italy declined after the 16th century, the Renaissance had strengthened the idea of a single Italian nationality. By the early 19th century, a nationalist movement developed and led to the reunification of Italy--except for Rome--in the 1860s. In 1861, Victor Emmanuel II of the House of Savoy was proclaimed King of Italy. Rome was incorporated in 1870. From 1870 until 1922, Italy was a constitutional monarchy with a parliament elected under limited suffrage.

1 comment:

cac16 said...

Hello- I would like to have help to identify the castle in Italy in this photo. This photo was taken by my Grandpa in WWII. Thanks!

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/_cfr7AdWkSIc/TURXmFtv-rI/AAAAAAAAA_8/2LQyE5tid3E/s640/pic54.jpg