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London, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Reference work entry

Introduction

London is the capital city of the United Kingdom, located on the River Thames in the southeast of the country. Although there is evidence of settlements along the Thames long before the Roman occupation of Britain under Emperor Claudius, it was during the first century AD that Londinium was established as a hub of trade and commerce. It is now one of the world’s most important commercial, financial and political centres as well as a major tourist destination.

History

By 60 AD the city was a major trading centre and by the year 200 had a population of 45,000 making it one of the largest provincial cities in the Western Empire. After the demise of the Roman Empire London’s documented history is scarce until the Saxon settlements in the early fifth century AD when London re-emerged as an important trading centre. The first St Paul’s Cathedral was built in 604 and after a brief lapse into paganism the city was Christian from 656, helping to restore links with the continent...

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© Springer Nature Limited 2019

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