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The English word 'wall' is derived from the Latin, 'vallus' meaning 'a stake' or 'post' and designated the wood-stake and earth palisade which formed the outer edge of a fortification. The palisades were in use early on and are mentioned by Homer in the 8th century BCE and later by the historian Polybius. The oldest walls... [continue reading]
A City is defined as a populated urban center of commerce and administration with a system of laws and, usually, regulated means of sanitation (the word derives from the Latin civitas). The first cities sprang up in the region known as Mesopotamia between 4300 and 3100 BCE. The city of Ur was first settled in 4000 BCE and walled cities, for defence, were common... [continue reading]
Built in the seventh century BCE, the ancient city of Byzantium proved to be a valuable city for both the Greeks and Romans. Because it lay on the European side of the Strait of Bosporus, the Emperor Constantine understood its strategic importance and upon reuniting the empire in 324 CE built his new capital there -- Constantinople. Foundation... [continue reading]