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Dublin prospered as a trade centre, despite an attempt by King Robert I of Scotland to capture the city in 1317.It remained a relatively small walled medieval town during the 14th century and was under constant threat from the surrounding native clans.Founded as a Viking settlement, the Kingdom of Dublin became Ireland's principal city following the Norman invasion.The city expanded rapidly from the 17th century and was briefly the second largest city in the British Empire before the Acts of Union in 1800.

In Modern Irish the name is Duibhlinn, and Irish rhymes from Dublin County show that in Dublin Leinster Irish it was pronounced Duílinn /d̪ˠi:lʲiɲ/.There are other towns of the same name, such as Àth Cliath in East Ayrshire, Scotland, which is Anglicised as Hurlford.The area of Dublin Bay has been inhabited by humans since prehistoric times, but the writings of Ptolemy (the Greco-Roman astronomer and cartographer) in about AD 140 provide possibly the earliest reference to a settlement there.Following the partition of Ireland in 1922, Dublin became the capital of the Irish Free State, later renamed Ireland.

As of 2010, Dublin was listed by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network (Ga WC) as a global city, with a ranking of "Alpha-", which places it amongst the top thirty cities in the world.

The Dubhlinn lay where the Castle Garden is now located, opposite the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin Castle.