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Situated upon a towering crag of rock in Scotland, Edinburgh and the surrounding areas have been settled from as early as 3300 BC. The city is most likely Celtic in origin, contradicting a popular folk myth stating that it was named for a King Edwin of Northumbria. The first recorded mentions of the city date back to the late 6th century AD in the heroic poems of the Gododdin, a sect of Brittonic people. The massive outcropping of volcanic rock protected the early city from most invaders, and it wasn't until 950 AD that the last vestiges of the Gododdin were overtaken and the city fell to the Scots. The city would remain under Scottish jurisdiction from this time on.
In 1492, King James IV moved the royal court to Edinburgh and made it the official capital of Scotland. Edinburgh flourished economically and culturally from this time and throughout the Renaissance. In 1639 religious disputes between a sect of Presbyterians and the Anglican Church and a later occupation of the city by Oliver Cromwell led to fundamental changes for both Edinburgh and Scotland. In 1707 the Act of Union was passed, combining Scotland and England into the larger Kingdom of Great Britain and dissolving the Scottish Parliament in the process. The people of Edinburgh rioted at the decision.
Following the controversial joining of the two states, the people of Edinburgh worked to preserve their national identity and culture, their efforts blossoming into the period known as the Scottish Enlightenment later in the century. Easily the most influential and successful time in the city, Edinburgh became a beacon for the multitude of famous Scots gracing Europe, great men and women such as Walter Scott, Robert Burns, and Adam Smith. Edinburgh also earned its nickname the "Athens of the North" during the Enlightenment.
Edinburgh began to fall behind during the Industrial Revolution; while it did begin to modernize, it was soon eclipsed by the faster growing Scottish city of Glasgow. It wasn't until much later in 1992 when Edinburgh hosted the European Union Treaty Summit that it once again moved to the forefront of importance in the country. In 1999 the Scottish Parliament was finally reinstated, and in more recent years there are signs that the Scots are considering giving full sovereignty to the Parliament as well. Regardless of whether Scotland will achieve independence in the coming years or not, the recreation of the governing body in Edinburgh has revitalized the city and given power and importance to the capital for the first time in nearly 300 years.