Europe, Classical antiquity

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Summary

Europe ( or ) is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally divided from Asia by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting the Black and Aegean Seas. "Europe" (pp. 68–9); "Asia" (pp. 90–1): "A commonly accepted division between Asia and Europe ... is formed by the Ural Mountains, Ural River, Caspian Sea, Caucasus Mountains, and the Black Sea with its outlets, the Bosporus and Dardanelles."

Details

Ancient Greece had a profound influence on Western civilisation. Western democratic and individualistic culture are often attributed to Ancient Greece.National Geographic, 76. The Greeks invented the polis, or city-state, which played a fundamental role in their concept of identity.National Geographic, 82. These Greek political ideals were rediscovered in the late 18th century by European philosophers and idealists. Greece also generated many cultural contributions: in philosophy, humanism and rationalism under Aristotle, Socrates and Plato; in history with Herodotus and Thucydides; in dramatic and narrative verse, starting with the epic poems of Homer; in medicine with Hippocrates and Galen; and in science with Pythagoras, Euclid and Archimedes.

Another major influence came on Europe that would impact Western civilisation from the Roman Empire which left its mark on law, politics, language, engineering, architecture, government and many more aspects in western civilisation.National Geographic, 76–77. During the pax romana, the Roman Empire expanded to encompass the entire Mediterranean Basin and much of Europe.

Stoicism influenced Roman emperors such as Hadrian, Antoninus Pius, and Marcus Aurelius, who all spent time on the Empire's northern border fighting Germanic, Pictish and Scottish tribes.National Geographic, 123. Christianity was eventually legitimised by Constantine I after three centuries of imperial persecution.

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External Links

  • WikipediaCouncil of EuropeEuropean UnionThe Columbia Gazetteer of the World Online"Introducing Europe"

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