London has been selected by Roberto Amati in relation to the real history of european integration, then enlisted in the CITY OR CIVITAS category, accompanied by own fact SHEET useful to the comprehension, completed of historical MAPS AND IMAGES or with a direct linking to the related Blog contents dedicated to the entire history of european integration and the future of Europe.

London civitas

London is one of the most ancient sites of the history of European integration, signed in great part by Christianity. The Civitas London was founded in I century AD by the Romans and named Londinium: built on the river Thames, it was the main castra based to start the conquer of British islands and became the capital of the Britannia Prima province connected to the Roman Empire through the Flavia III way going to Reims, while London was the starting point of the Britannia way passing through York civitas up to the northern limes on the Hadrian's Wall.

With the reform of Constantine I (see Christian Empire), London was the capital of the Britannia diocesi but when Romans abandoned the archipelagus in 409 AD, it started the invasion of Anglo-Saxons people that contended the isle to Britons and divided it in many reigns (called Eptarchia): the civitas was part of the Wessex regna ruled by the homonymous dinasty, that founded the England Kingdom in 890 AD joining all the Anglo-Saxons, Danes and Vickings regna within the ancient roman Diocesi area.

Since then, London refounded after the Vikings incursions and devastations became the capital and the largest town of England by the XI century AD and the Westminster Abbey rebuilt by King Edward "the Confessor" was the seat of coronation for all the english kings until today! The London Christian community went under the Canterbury Archibischopric jurisdiction, directly connected with the Roman Catholic church until the reform that established the Anglican Church in XVI century AD by the Queen Elizabeth I, a recover of the Celtic-Breton Church founded in I century AD by Joseph of Arimathea and difended by King Arthur and the Graal Chevaliers of the Round Table (see Avalon). With the conquer of Normans and coronation of William I, it was built the City of London together with the Tower and Westminster Palace: while developed into a true governmental capital, the distinct City of London (founded on the old roman civitas square) received the royal treasury and remained the largest financial and principal commercial centre of Europe (of the world nowadays!), flourishing under its own unique administration of the "Corporation of London".

During the Tudor family reign, London properties passed from the Cathlolic Church possessions to private ownership accelerating trade and business in the city, so that in 1475 AD the Hanseatic League set up there a main trading base in England ("Stalhof or Steelyard"), remained open more than four centuries. The commercial nature of London was enhanced with the woollen cloth trade within Europe, the maritime enterprise reaching beyond the seas of north-west Europe and the commercial routes towards Italy and the Mediterranean sea passing through the Antwerp port. But the reopening of the Netherlands to English shipping in 1565 AD spurred a burst of commercial activities and the Royal Exchange was founded: mercantilism grew up and monopoly traders (such as the East India Company) were founded as trade expanded to the New World and American's colonies. London became the main North Sea port, with migrants arriving from England and abroad, and its population rose to about 225,000 in 1605 AD. Since then, many disasters hit London: the big distruction in the English Civil War, the Great Plague of 1665 AD, the "great fire" the year after which killed a fifth of the population! But things changed in "Gerogian era" and the Imperial Age, thanks to the Industrial Revolution of late XVIII century AD that made London the richest and most populated city in the world, thanks to an unprecedented growth in urbanisation and the building of the urban rail network extended to surrounding counties.

In Modern era, London continued growing in space and population as the capital of the Great Britain Empire and the main finance and bank centre of the world. Many of its famous monuments and city points were built in that period, such as Piccadilly Circus, the Saint Paul's Cathedral, the Mall and the streets had scores of street sellers, in addition to the big stores selling goods. After the Second World War bombings, London was seat of the Summer Olympics Game in 1948 AD that permitted to build the Wembley Stadium and the leading capital of the Commonwealth countries. In the 21st century, have been constructed the Millennium Dome, the London Eye and the Millennium Bridge and London was awarded in 2012 as Summer Olympics seat for the third time! While transportation saw the expantion of London Underground ("the Tube") and the railways networks to the whole metropolitan area (more than 15 millions inhabitants) and the international airports.

Kew Gardens, which has the world's largest collection of living plants, is enlisted in the UNESCO Wordl Heritage together with the Tower of London, the Palace and Abbey of Westminster and the Greenwich Royal Observatory. In London are seated some of the highest-ranked academic institutions in the world: the Imperial College specialized in natural and applied sciences, the London School of Economics in social sciences, and the comprehensive University College London (UCL), almost founded in XIX century AD. Today, London is one of the world's major international cities, with a strong influence on world art, entertainment, fashion, commerce and finance, education, health care, media, science and technology, tourism, transport, and communications. It is and the biggest town and the capital of United Kingdom, sited in the south-east of country within the Greater London region, whose patron is Saint George the Christian martyr who defeated the ancient dragon by holding a cross in the hand that became the flag of the english nazion.

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