(c. 1200-1259) English chronicler. He entered St Albans Abbey 1217, and wrote a valuable history of England up to 1259.
In Greek mythology, a prince of Troy whose abduction of Helen, wife of King Menelaus of Sparta, caused the Trojan War. Helen was promised to him by the goddess Aphrodite as a bribe, in his judgment between her beauty and that of two other goddesses, Hera and Athena. Paris killed the Greek hero Achilles by shooting an arrow into his heel, but was himself killed by Philoctetes before the capture of Troy.
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8. The capital and largest city of France; and international center of culture and commerce; Also called: City of Light, French capital, capital of France.
Port and capital of France, on the river Seine; département in the Île de France region; area 105 sq km/40.5 sq mi; It is the core of a highly centralized national administration. Products include metal, leather, and luxury goods and chemicals, glass, and tobacco.
The river Seine is spanned by 32 bridges, the oldest of which is the Pont Neuf 1578. Churches include Notre Dame cathedral built 1163–1250; the Invalides, housing the tomb of Napoleon; the Gothic Sainte-Chapelle; and the 19th-century basilica of Sacré-Coeur, 125 m/410 ft high. Notable buildings include the Palais de Justice, the Hôtel de Ville, and the Luxembourg Palace and Gardens. The former palace of the Louvre (with its glass pyramid entrance by I M Pei 1989) is one of the world's major art galleries; the Musée d'Orsay 1986 has Impressionist and other paintings from the period 1848–1914; the Pompidou Center (Beaubourg) 1977 exhibits modern art.
Other landmarks are the Tuileries Gardens, the Place de la Concorde, the Eiffel Tower, and the Champs-Elysées avenue leading to the Arc de Triomphe. To the west is the Bois de Boulogne and, beyond the river, La Défense business park with the Grande Arche 1989 by Danish architect Johan Otto von Sprekelsen; Montmartre is in the N of the city; to the NE is the cemetery of Pčre Lachaise, and in the northern suburbs the abbey of St Denis containing the royal tombs; the university, founded about 1150, is on the Left Bank. Work began 1990 on the New Bibliotčque Nationale (to open 1997), designed by architect Dominique Perrault. Euro Disney opened 1992.
The Île de la Cité, the largest of the Seine islands and the nucleus of modern Paris, was the capital of the Parisii, a Gaulish people. It was occupied by Julius Caesar 53 BC, and became the Roman Lutetia. In 451 Attila attempted to enter the city but is said to have been halted by the prayer of St Genevičve, who became the city’s patron saint. The Merovingian king Clovis made Paris the capital in about AD 508, and the city became important under the Capetian kings 987–1328. Paris was occupied by the English 1420–36, and was besieged by Henry IV 1590–94.
The Bourbon kings did much to beautify the city. Louis XIV built many magnificent buildings but lost the loyalty of the populace by moving the court to Versailles. The French Revolution began in Paris 1789 with the storming and destruction of the Bastille. Napoleon I, as emperor from 1804, undertook to modernize the city and added new boulevards, bridges, and triumphal arches, as did Napoleon III. Paris was the center of the revolutions of 1789–94, 1830, and 1848. The medieval heart of the city was redesigned by the French administrator Baron Haussmann 1853–70 and the modern layout of boulevards, avenues, and parks established. It was besieged by Prussia 1870–71, and by government troops during the Commune period (local socialist government) March–May 1871.
During World War I it suffered from air raids and bombardment, and in World War II it was occupied by German troops June 1940–Aug 1944. The German commandant, General Cholitz, ignored Hitler's order to defend Paris at all costs to avoid causing large-scale damage to the city. Large-scale architectural projects of note were again undertaken during the presidency of François Mitterrand 1981–95.