Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Carte de l'Europe


Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally divided from Asia to its east by the water divide of the Ural Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian Sea, and by the Caucasus Mountains, the Kuma-Manych Depression, and the Black Sea to the southeast. Europe is washed upon to the north by the Arctic Ocean and other bodies of water, to the west by the Atlantic Ocean, to the south by the Mediterranean Sea, and to the southeast by the Black Sea and the waterways connecting it to the Mediterranean. Yet the borders for Europe—a concept dating back to classical antiquity—are somewhat arbitrary, as the term continent can refer to a cultural and political distinction or a physiographic one.
Europe is the world's second-smallest continent by surface area, covering about 10,180,000 square kilometres (3,930,000 sq mi) or 2% of the Earth's surface and about 6.8% of its land area. Of Europe's approximately 50 states, Russia is the largest by both area and population, while the Vatican City is the smallest. Europe is the third most populous continent after Asia and Africa, with a population of 731 million or about 11% of the world's population; however, according to the United Nations (medium estimate), Europe's share may fall to about 7% in 2050.
Europe, in particular Ancient Greece, is often considered to be the birthplace of Western culture. It played a predominant role in global affairs from the 16th century onwards, especially after the beginning of colonialism. Between the 17th and 20th centuries, European nations controlled at various times the Americas, most of Africa, Oceania, and large portions of Asia. Both World Wars were ignited in Central Europe, greatly contributing to a decline in European dominance in world affairs by the mid-20th century as the United States and Soviet Union took prominence. During the Cold War Europe was divided along the Iron Curtain between NATO in the West and the Warsaw Pact in the East. European integration led to the formation of the Council of Europe and the European Union in Western Europe, both of which have been expanding eastward since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.

The use of the term "Europe" has developed gradually throughout history. In antiquity, the Greeks divided the world into three continents, Europe, Asia and Libya , with the River Nile and the complex system of waterways between the Aegean Sea and the Sea of Azov providing the boundaries. Flavius Josephus and the Book of Jubilees described the continents as the lands given by Noah to his three sons; Europe was defined as between the Pillars of Hercules at Cadiz, separating it from Africa, and the River Don, separating it from Asia. This division – as much cultural as geographical – was used until the Late Middle Ages, when it was challenged by the Age of Discovery. The problem of redefining Europe was finally resolved in 1730 when, instead of waterways, the Swedish geographer and cartographer von Strahlenberg proposed the Ural Mountains as the most significant eastern boundary, a suggestion that found favour in Russia and throughout Europe.
Europe is now generally defined by geographers as the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, with its boundaries marked by large bodies of water to the north, west and south; Europe's limits to the far east are usually taken to be the Urals, the Ural River, and the Caspian Sea; to the southeast, the Caucasus Mountains, the Black Sea and the waterways connecting the Black Sea to the Mediterranean Sea. Sometimes, the word 'Europe' is used in a geopolitically-limiting way to refer only to the European Union or, even more exclusively, a culturally-defined core. On the other hand, the Council of Europe has 47 member countries, and only 27 member states are in the EU. In addition, people living in insular areas such as Ireland, the United Kingdom, the North Atlantic and Mediterranean islands and also in Scandinavia may routinely refer to "continental" or "mainland" Europe simply as Europe or "the Continent".

In ancient Greek mythology, Europa was a Phoenician princess whom Zeus abducted after assuming the form of a dazzling white bull. He took her to the island of Crete where she gave birth to Minos, Rhadamanthus and Sarpedon. For Homer, Europe was a mythological queen of Crete, not a geographical designation. Later, Europa stood for central-north Greece, and by 500 BC its meaning had been extended to the lands to the north.
The name "Europe" is of uncertain etymology. One theory suggests that it is derived from the Greek roots meaning broad and eye (op-, opt-), hence Eurṓpē, "wide-gazing", "broad of aspect" Athena or boōpis . Broad has been an epithet of Earth itself in the reconstructed Proto-Indo-European religion. Another theory suggests that it is actually based on a Semitic word such as the Akkadian erebu meaning "to go down, set" , cognate to Phoenician 'ereb "evening; west" and Arabic Maghreb, Hebrew ma'ariv . However, M. L. West states that "phonologically, the match between Europa's name and any form of the Semitic word is very poor".
Most major world languages use words derived from "Europa" to refer to the continent. Chinese, for example, uses the word Ōuzhōu (歐洲), which is an abbreviation of the transliterated name Ōuluóbā zhōu (歐羅巴洲); however, in some Turkic languages the name Frengistan (land of the Franks) is used casually in referring to much of Europe, besides official names such as Avrupa or Evropa.

Carte de la Mer Mediterranee

The Mediterranean Sea

The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean surrounded by the Mediterranean region and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Anatolia and Europe, on the south by Africa, and on the east by the Levant. The sea is technically a part of the Atlantic Ocean, although it is usually identified as a completely separate body of water. The name Mediterranean is derived from the Latin mediterraneanus, meaning "inland" or "in the middle of the earth" (from medius, "middle" and terra, "earth"). It covers an approximate area of 2.5 million km² (965,000 sq mi), but its connection to the Atlantic (the Strait of Gibraltar) is only 14 km (9 mi) wide. In oceanography, it is sometimes called the Eurafrican Mediterranean Sea or the European Mediterranean Sea to distinguish it from mediterranean seas elsewhere.
The Mediterranean Sea has an average depth of 1,500 metres (4,920 ft) and the deepest recorded point is 5,267 meters (about 3.27 miles) in the Calypso Deep in the Ionian Sea.
It was an important route for merchants and travelers of ancient times that allowed for trade and cultural exchange between emergent peoples of the region — the Mesopotamian, Egyptian, Phoenician, Carthaginian, Greek, Illyrian, Levantine, Roman, Moorish, Slavic and Turkish cultures. The history of the Mediterranean region is crucial to understanding the origins and development of many modern societies. "For the three quarters of the globe, the Mediterranean Sea is similarly the uniting element and the center of World History."

The term Mediterranean derives from the Latin word mediterraneus, meaning "in the middle of earth" (medius, "middle" + terra, "land, earth"). This is either due to the sea being surrounded by land or that it was at the center of the known world.
The Mediterranean Sea has been known by a number of alternative names throughout human history. For example the Romans commonly called it Mare Nostrum (Latin, "Our Sea"). Occasionally it was known as Mare Internum by . Other examples of alternative names include Mesogeios (Μεσόγειος), meaning "inland, interior" (from μεσο, "middle" + γαιος, "land, earth") in Greek.
Biblically, it has been called the "Hinder Sea", due to its location on the west coast of the Holy Land, and therefore behind a person facing the east, as referenced in the Old Testament, and sometimes translated as "Western Sea", (Deut. 11:24; Joel 2:20), and also the "Sea of the Philistines" , due to the peoples occupying a large portion of its shores near the Israelites. However, primarily it was known as the "Great Sea" , or simply "The Sea" .

As a sea around which some of the most ancient human civilizations were arranged, it has had a major influence on the history and ways of life of these cultures. It provided a way of trade, colonization and war, and was the basis of life for numerous communities throughout the ages.
The combination of similarly-shared climate, geology and access to a common sea has led to numerous historical and cultural connections between the ancient and modern societies around the Mediterranean.

The Mediterranean Sea is connected to the Atlantic Ocean by the Strait of Gibraltar on the west and to the Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea, by the Dardanelles and the Bosporus respectively, on the east. The Sea of Marmara is often considered a part of the Mediterranean Sea, whereas the Black Sea is generally not. The 163 km (101 mi) long man-made Suez Canal in the southeast connects the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea.
Large islands in the Mediterranean include Cyprus, Crete, Euboea, Rhodes, Lesbos, Chios, Kefalonia, Corfu, Naxos and Andros in the eastern Mediterranean; Sardinia, Corsica, Sicily, Cres, Krk, Brač, Hvar, Pag, Korčula and Malta in the central Mediterranean; and Ibiza, Majorca and Minorca (the Balearic Islands) in the western Mediterranean.
The climate is a typical Mediterranean climate with hot, dry summers and mild, rainy winters. Crops of the region include olives, grapes, oranges, tangerines, and cork.

Plan de Trieste dans l'Istrie


Trieste is a city and seaport in north eastern Italy. It is situated towards the end of a narrow strip of land lying between the Adriatic Sea and Italy's border with Slovenia, which lies almost immediately south, east and north of the city. Trieste is located at the head of the Gulf of Trieste and throughout history it has been influenced by its location at the crossroads of Germanic, Latin and Slavic cultures. In 2007 it had a population of 208,614 and it is the capital of the autonomous region Friuli-Venezia Giulia and Trieste province.
Trieste was part of the Habsburg Monarchy from 1382 until 1918. In the 19th century it was the most important port of one of the Great Powers of Europe. As a prosperous seaport in the Mediterranean region Trieste became the fourth largest city of the Austro-Hungarian Empire . In the fin-de-siecle period, it emerged as an important hub for literature and music. However, the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and Trieste's annexation to Italy after World War I led to a decline of its economic and cultural importance.
Today, Trieste is a border town. The population is an ethnic mix of the neighbouring regions. The dominant local Venetian dialect of Trieste is called Triestine . This dialect and the official Italian language are spoken in the city centre, while Slovene is spoken in several of the immediate suburbs. The Venetian and the Slovene languages are considered autochthonous of the area. There are also small numbers of Serbian, Croatian, German, Hungarian speakers.
The economy depends on the port and on trade with its neighbouring regions. Throughout the Cold War Trieste was a peripheral city, but it is rebuilding some of its former influence.

After two centuries of war against the nearby major power, the Republic of Venice (which occupied it briefly from 1369 to 1372), the burghers of Trieste petitioned Leopold III of Habsburg, Duke of Austria to become part of his domains. The agreement of cessation was signed in October 1382, in St. Bartholomew's church in the village of Šiška , today one of the city quarters of Ljubljana. The citizens, however, maintained a certain degree of autonomy up until the 17th century.
Trieste became an important port and trade hub. In 1719, it was made a free port within the Habsburg Empire by Emperor Charles VI, and remained a free port until 1 July 1891. The reign of his successor, Maria Theresa of Austria, marked the beginning of a flourishing era for the city.
Trieste was occupied by French troops three times during the Napoleonic Wars, in 1797, 1805 and in 1809. Between 1809 and 1813, it was annexed to the Illyrian Provinces, interrupting its status of free port and losing its autonomy. The municipal autonomy was not restored after the return of the city to the Austrian Empire in 1813. Following the Napoleonic Wars, Trieste continued to prosper as the Imperial Free City of Trieste , a status that granted economic freedom, but limited its political self-government. The city's role as main Austrian trading port and shipbuilding centre was later emphasized with the foundation of the merchant shipping line Austrian Lloyd in 1836, whose headquarters stood at the corner of the Piazza Grande and Sanità. By 1913 Austrian Lloyd had a fleet of 62 ships comprising a total of 236,000 tons. With the introduction of the constitutionalism in the Austrian Empire in 1860, the municipal autonomy of the city was restored, with Trieste became capital of the Austrian Littoral region.

The particular Friulian dialect, called Tergestino, spoken until the beginning of the 19th century, was gradually overcome by the Triestine and other languages, including standard Italian, Slovene, and German. While Triestine was spoken by the largest part of the population, German was the language of the Austrian bureaucracy and Slovene was predominant in the surrounding villages. From the last decades of the 19th century, Slovene language speakers grew steadily, reaching 25% of the overall population of Trieste in 1911 . A small number of the population spoke Croatian , and the city also counted several other smaller ethnic communities, namely Czechs, Serbs and Greeks, which mostly assimilated either to the Italian or Slovene-speaking community. The city also had a relatively large and prosperous Jewish community, numbering around 6,000 people at the eve of World War One.
The modern Austro-Hungarian Navy used Trieste's shipbuilding facilities for construction and as a base. The construction of the first major trunk railway in the Empire, the Vienna-Trieste Austrian Southern Railway, was completed in 1857, a valuable asset for trade and the supply of coal.
At the beginning of the 20th century, Trieste was a buzzing cosmopolitan city frequented by artists such as James Joyce, Italo Svevo, Sigmund Freud, Dragotin Kette, Ivan Cankar and Umberto Saba. The city was part of the so-called Austrian Riviera and a very real part of Mitteleuropa.

Together with Trento, Trieste was a main focus of the irredentist movement, which aimed for the annexation to Italy of all the lands they claimed were inhabited by an Italian speaking population. After the end of World War I, the Austro-Hungarian Empire dissolved, and many of its border areas, including the Austrian Littoral, were disputed among its successor states. On November 3, 1918, Trieste was occupied by the Italian Army, but was officially annexed to the Kingdom of Italy only with the Treaty of Rapallo in 1920. The region was reorganized under a new administrative unit, known as the Julian March .
The annexation, however, brought a loss of importance for the city, with the new state border depriving it of its former hinterland. The Slovene ethnic group suffered persecution by rising Italian Fascism. The period of violent persecution of Slovenes began on April 13, 1920, when a group of Italian Fascists burnt the Narodni dom , the community hall of Trieste's Slovenes. After the emergence of the Fascist regime in 1922, a policy of Italianization began: public use of Slovene language was prohibited, all Slovene associations were dissolved, names and surnames of Slavic and German origin were Italianized. Several thousand Slovenes from Trieste, especially intellectuals, emigrated to the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and to South America, where many became prominent in their field. Among the notable Slovene emigés from Trieste were the writers Vladimir Bartol and Josip Ribičič, the legal theorist Boris Furlan, and the architect Viktor Sulčič.
In the late 1920s, Yugoslav irredentism started to appear, and the Slovene militant anti-fascist organization TIGR carried out several bomb attacks in the city centre. In 1930 and 1941, two trials against hundreds of Slovene activists were held in Trieste by the Special Tribunal for the Security of the State.
Despite the decline of the city's economic importance, the demise of its traditional multicultural and pluri-linguistic character, and emigration of many Slovene and German speakers, the overall population continued to grow. The Fascist Regime built several new infrastructures and public buildings, including the almost 70 m high Victory Lighthouse , which became one of the city's landmarks. The University of Trieste was also established in this period.
A further blow for the city came with the promulgation of the Fascist racial laws in 1938, when the city's well-integrated Jewish population was banned from all public activity.

Carte des Ville et Citadelle d'Ancone