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It is continental Europe's westernmost capital city and the only one along the Atlantic coast.

Lisbon lies in the western Iberian Peninsula on the Atlantic Ocean and the River Tagus.

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Roman authors of the first century AD referred to popular legends that the city of Lisbon was founded by the mythical hero Odysseus neither of these folk etymologies has any historical credibility.

Another conjecture based on ancient hydronymy suggests that the name of the settlement derived from the pre-Roman appellation for the Tagus River, Lisso or Lucio.

Lisbon's name was written Ulyssippo in Latin by the geographer Pomponius Mela, a native of Hispania.

It was later referred to as "Olisippo" by Pliny the Elder and by the Greeks as Olissipo (Ὀλισσιπών) or Olissipona (Ὀλισσιπόνα).

Julius Caesar made it a municipium called Felicitas Julia, adding to the name Olissipo.

Ruled by a series of Germanic tribes from the 5th century, it was captured by the Moors in the 8th century.

The city was ruled by an oligarchical council dominated by two families, the Julii and the Cassiae, although regional authority was administered by the Roman Governor of Emerita or directly by Emperor Tiberius.

Among the majority of Latin speakers lived a large minority of Greek traders and slaves.

In 1147, the Crusaders under Afonso Henriques reconquered the city and since then it has been a major political, economic and cultural centre of Portugal.

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