Overview of Italy - Italy is a country located in southern...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Italy is a country located in southern Europe. Italy occupies a boot-shaped peninsula that extends into the Mediterranean sea from southern Europe. The country also includes two large islands, Sicily and Sardinia. The History Italy has had a long and colorful history. For much of its history, Italy has been divided into many small and often warring city states. This occurred after the break up of the Roman Empire when much of Europe became feudal. In 476, Odoacer defeated the last emperor of ancient Rome, Romulus Augustulus. Odoacer ruled for 13 years after gaining control. He was then attacked and defeated by Theodoric, the king of a Germanic tribe named the Ostrogoths. Both kings, Theodoric and Odoacer ruled jointly until Theodoric murdered Odoacer. Theodoric continued to rule Italy with a government comprised mostly of Italians and an army composed of Ostrogoths. During his rule, he brought peace to the country but after his death in 526, the kingdom began to grow weak. In 553, Justinian, the Byzantine emperor who ruled the eastern part of the Roman Empire, defeated the Ostrogoths and expelled them. For a time, the Old Roman Empire was united again. Byzantine rule in Italy collapsed as increased attacks from Germanic tribes weakened the empire. Byzantine rule collapsed in 572 when the Lombards invaded. In the 400's and 500's the popes increased their influence in both religious and political matters in Italy and elsewhere. The popes were usually the ones who made attempts to protect Italy from foreign invasion or to soften foreign rule. The popes for almost 200 years had opposed attempts by the Lombards, who controlled most of Italy, to take over Rome. The popes defeated the Lombards with the aid of two Frankish kings, Charlemagne and Pepin the Short. The papal states were created out of land won for the popes by Pepin. From the 10th century on, Italian cities began to grow rapidly and became increasingly independent of one another. They flourished because of their access to the Mediterranean trade routes and almost had a complete monopoly on all spice and silks coming into Europe. They became centers of political life, foreign trade and banking. At this time, the church grew in power also. The Italian popes became increasingly more involved in the European political scene. Many of these city states became extremely wealthy and powerful and resisted the attempts of noblemen and emperors to control them. During the 1300's, one of the greatest eras in human history occurred, The Renaissance. The Renaissance occurred primarily in Italy in the various city states. Many great artists and philosophers lived during this period and enhanced Italy's prestige. The kingdom of Italy was formed in 1861.
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Image of page 2
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 11/19/2009 for the course ENG 102 taught by Professor Wilis during the Fall '08 term at Academy of Art University.

Page1 / 5

Overview of Italy - Italy is a country located in southern...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 2. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online