Place:Marseille, Marseille, Bouches-du-Rhône, France

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NameMarseille
Alt namesMarseillessource: Webster's Geographical Dictionary (1984); Webster's Geographical Dictionary (1988) p 733
Marsellasource: NIMA, GEOnet Names Server (1996-1998)
Massaliasource: Columbia Lippincott Gazetteer (1961); GRI Photo Archive, Authority File (1998) p 8378
Massiliasource: Columbia Lippincott Gazetteer (1961); Times Atlas of World History (1989)
TypeInhabited place
Coordinates43.3°N 5.367°E
Located inMarseille, Bouches-du-Rhône, France
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog


the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia


Marseille, (English alt. MarseillesFrenchProvençal Occitan: Marselha in Mistralian norm — Latin: Massilia) is the second-largest city of France and forms the third-largest metropolitan area, with 1,516,340 inhabitants at the 1999 census (Paris and Lyon are larger). Located in the former province of Provence and on the Mediterranean Sea, it is France's largest commercial port. It is considered the Provençal capital, one of the Occitan capitals of Occitania. Marseille is also the capital of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur région, as well as the préfecture (capital) of the Bouches-du-Rhône département.

History

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Marseille was originally founded circa 600 BC as the Greek colony of Massalia and populated by settlers from Phocaea (modern Foça, Turkey). It became the preeminent Greek polis in the Hellenized region of southern Gaul. The city-state sided with the Roman Republic against Carthage during the Second Punic War (218–201 BC), retaining its independence and commercial empire throughout the western Mediterranean even as Rome expanded into Western Europe and North Africa. However, the city lost its independence following the Roman Siege of Massilia in 49 BC, during Caesar's Civil War, in which Massalia sided with the exiled faction at war with Julius Caesar.

Marseille continued to prosper as a Roman city, becoming an early center of Christianity during the Western Roman Empire. The city maintained its position as a premier maritime trading hub even after its capture by the Visigoths in the 5th century AD, although the city went into decline following the sack of 739 AD by the forces of Charles Martel. It became part of the County of Provence during the 10th century, although its renewed prosperity was curtailed by the Black Death of the 14th century and sack of the city by the Crown of Aragon in 1423. The city's fortunes rebounded with the ambitious building projects of René of Anjou, Count of Provence, who strengthened the city's fortifications during the mid-15th century. During the 16th century the city hosted a naval fleet with the combined forces of the Franco-Ottoman alliance, which threatened the ports and navies of Genoa and the Holy Roman Empire.

Marseille lost a significant portion of its population during the Great Plague of Marseille in 1720, but the population had recovered by mid-century. In 1792 the city became a focal point of the French Revolution and was the birthplace of France's national anthem, La Marseillaise. The Industrial Revolution and establishment of the French Empire during the 19th century allowed for further expansion of the city, although it was occupied by the German Wehrmacht in November 1942 and subsequently heavily damaged during World War II. The city has since become a major center for immigrant communities from former French colonies, such as French Algeria.

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