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Europe History

The settlement of Europe goes back to the Paleolithic age, traces of prehistoric cultures have been preserved across the continent; the history of Europe begins with Greek culture in the 2nd millennium BC, the Romans conquered the first European empire in the first centuries of our era and spread the foundations of Greco-Roman culture across almost the entire continent. The formation of European culture was continued and intensified through the Christian mission, even beyond the population shifts of the migration of peoples in the 5th century. The Byzantine Empire ensured continuity in the east from the 5th to the 15th century, in the west the Charlemagne empire became the focal point of Christian Europe in the 9th century.

Christian Europe

In the course of the late Middle Ages, the territorial states developed from the early member states. The idea of a European universal state contained in the fiction of the Holy Roman Empire was only finally given up in the 17th century. As early as the 8th century, the Christian West grew into a rival in Islam that was both a threat and a unifying factor (Arab occupation of Spain, crusades, Turkish wars). Since the 15th century, explorations have been undertaken all over the world from Europe, which led to extensive colonial conquests by the seafaring European countries (Spain, Portugal, Netherlands, England, France) and until the 20th century the global domination of Europe justified. In the wake of the Enlightenment, the nation states developed in the 19th century. Check for population of each country in Europe.

In the 20th century two world wars devastated Europe, after 1945 the continent split into two power blocs: the western democracies and the communist eastern bloc; the Cold War confrontation ended at the end of the 1980s with the collapse of the Eastern Bloc, which Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev initiated with his policy of democratic transformation. Since then, the states of Europe have been looking for new forms of cooperation in the political and economic field (enlargement of the EU, expansion of the CSCE to the OSCE).

Europe - prehistory

Man came to Europe for between 1 and 3/ 4 million. years ago, probably from Africa, where the early human type Homo erectus lived from about 1.6 million years ago.

Europe - prehistory

Palaeolithic Age

Hunting for the great game of forests and steppes, forest elephant, mammoth, bison, unruly and rhinoceros formed the basis of existence in older mansion politics. The oldest tools, pebble tools, were found at Vallonnet in France and in Isernia in Italy. Off for approx. 1 / 2 million. Years ago, finds were discovered with handcuffs, and from the same time the oldest human find, the lower jaw from Mauer at Heidelberg. It may have belonged to H. erectus, while some later human remains from Arago in France, Sierra de Atapuerca in Spain, Steinheim and Bilzingsleben in Germany are attributed to pre-Neandertal or archaic Homo sapiens.

In the Middle Palaeolithic, the mosque, 200,000-35,000 years ago lived the Neanderthal man, who, in addition to more developed stone tools, has left behind the oldest known burials in Europe. However, the Neanderthals disappeared 40,000-35,000 years ago, when the modern human type, Homo sapiens sapiens, already widespread in Asia and Africa, immigrated and brought the culture aurignacia to the southern parts of the continent. Thus, younger Palaeolithic began, during which the hunter population developed a finer tool technology and adaptability that allowed the extreme climatic conditions to last during the last ice age. It came, among other things. expressed through a specialization in hunting certain animals such as the mammoth hunters on the river Don and the reindeer hunters in northern Europe. During the younger Palaeolithic, great artistic creativity unfolded, known as Venus statues and cave paintings with depictions of a rich animal world (see Altamira, the Chauvet Cave). Only after the last glacial cold peak under the Hamburg culture from ca. 12,500 BC hunter tribes found their way to the southernmost parts of Scandinavia.

After the end of the last ice age approx. 9300 BC the forest spread over most of Europe. A scattered and few hunter population settled at streams and lakes where there were favorable conditions for hunting, fishing and gathering. In mainland time until approx. 7500 BC settlement also occurred in areas now covered by the sea, for example the entire southern part of the North Sea. Well-preserved finds of cabins, utensils and meal waste are known from the Maglemose culture in Denmark. In Atlantic time, ca. 7000-3900 BC, the settlement was concentrated in many parts of Western and Northern Europe on the coasts, as evidenced by remnants of kitchen meetings in Portugal, Brittany, Scotland and Denmark. In northern Scandinavia, hunting and fishing communities found themselves in spacious houses and depicting the game on the cliff faces.


While much of the continent was still inhabited by hunters, fishermen and collectors, extensive farming and livestock farming took place 7000-4000 BC. gradually from Southeastern to Western Europe and southern Scandinavia. Early peasant culture in Greece and the Balkans is considered to be immigrated from already cultivated areas in Asia Minor. Well-ordered rural communities grew over time to tell 'is' urban high,' as in the Middle East. Already sailing on the Mediterranean must have at that time contributed to the further spread of Neolithic professions, which, however, developed in most places in southern Europe by a gradual conversion.

southern Europe

To Central Europe, agriculture extended from around 5400 BC. with the ribbon-ceramic culture that quickly established villages with timber-built longhouses in a belt from the Paris Basin to Moldova. The very uniform cultural pattern of the band ceramics was approx. 5000-3500 BC replaced by societies with very different structure. In Ukraine, large gated villages existed as in the Balkans; At the foot of the Alps, seafront settlements, pile buildings were constructed, while the buildings in Northern Europe were divided into many small units. Here and in Western Europe the early peasant communities were characterized by special ritual sites, partly monumental tombs in the form of tall, later megalithic tombs., partly large gathering places surrounded by fences and ditches. Megalith tombs were built in western France as early as 4500-4000 BC, in Scandinavia only after 3500 BC The construction of passage graves in the Iberian Peninsula, in Ireland and in southern Scandinavia took place about the same time, 3200-3000 BC Other megalitmonumenter known from the British Isles, from Brittany in the form of avenues of menhirs and from Malta in the form of stone temples. In Britain there are many stone circles; the most famous is Stonehenge, which first got its final shape in the early Bronze Age.

Copper production began in Eastern Europe and the Balkans already approx. 4500 BC, and the time until this metal was replaced by bronze, an alloy of copper and tin, is called copper age. Grave at Varna in Bulgaria from approx. 4000 BC contains a wealth of copper weapons and gold jewelery. Metal-rich areas in Europe came under the control of an armed elite, which allowed to build castles such as Dimini in Greece and Los Millares in Spain.

After 3000 BC most of Northern, Central and Eastern Europe came under the influence of societies characterized by individual burials, armed with battle axes and great mobility, which is emphasized by carriage finds and the use of domestic horses north of the Black Sea. For many of these communities, the term lace ceramic cultures is used, which refers to lace ornaments on a standardized beverage service. A similar phenomenon occurred ca. 2500-2000 BC in Western and Central Europe with the bell-cup culture, which in many places marked the breakthrough for the use of metals.

Bronze Age

The lace potters were Neolithic peasants and cattle breeders, who must have led a more independent life than the people of the Aegean area, where palaces like Troy emerged simultaneously in the early Bronze Age. The development here led to approx. 2000 BC for the creation of a palace culture on the basis of an economy that included the cultivation of wine and olives as well as trade, shipping and conquests. In Central Europe, the Bronze Age began about. 2000 BC with the appearance of an elite marked by princely burials within the Aunjetitz culture, which were at the same time as the Wessex culture in southern England. Significant quantities of metal were imported in the Nordic countries, and a rich Bronze Age culture was developed, especially from approx. 1500 BC Its art and symbolic language, which is known from the carvings and picture stones in the Kivikgrave in Sweden, with the production of tanks and ships, have parallels in the excavation tombs in Mycenae in Greece. 1200-1100 BC the palaces in the Aegean and Asia Minor were run over by strangers. At the same time, with the Urnemarks cultures in Central Europe, a new social pattern emerged, the burial custom changed to burning, and new types of swords were used, while the knowledge of iron-making spread.

The Iron Age

The iron was put into service in Greece approx. 1000 BC From approx. 800 the Greek maritime trade began to expand, and in the construction of colonies in Italy from the mid-700th. the Greeks made trade contact with the iron-producing Etruscans. From approx. 600 were connected to shooters and thrakers on the Black Sea. With the Hallstatt culture in the Alpine region and eastern Central Europe, approx. 700 a military elite, accumulating considerable wealth behind solid city walls. From the same area are known pine tombs with rich equipment which includes carts, metal vessels, imported Greek luxury goods and wine. In Eastern Europe, the Hallstatt period was characterized by the erection of strongholds, and fortified cities emerged such as Biskupin in Poland.

While the Mediterranean area for the last 500 years BC entered the light of history, the prehistoric Iron Age continued in the rest of Europe. During the La Tène period from 500 BC Celtic culture made its mark on much of Europe from Ireland to the Black Sea. In a core area between the Loire River and the Middle Danube, a civilization grew with large fortified cities, oppida, where production and trade were highly developed and included coinage. The art of the Celts united many alien features (see Gundestrup kettle). A particular Celtic style was preserved in Ireland and Scotland until well into the Christian era.

After the birth of Christ, most of Europe was under the influence of the Romans, whose weapons and merchandise were spread beyond the Roman border, glued, not least to the Germanic tribes of Northern Europe. When the Romans lost dominion after the division of the kingdom in 395, the wars and armies of the Peoples set in and culminated with the attacks of the females until 453. While the migrations continued with invaders and Saxons invading Britain until approx. 500, new kingdom formation took place in Central and Southern Europe; the most significant of these was the Merovingian Empire from 481. The time after the fall of the Roman Empire ca. 400 are considered medieval in most of Europe; however, the Iron Age in Northern Europe lasted through the Germanic Iron Age (400-750) and the Viking Age (750-1050).The slaves, who were on the rise in Eastern Europe and the Balkans 500-800, constituted the last large prehistoric peoples group in Europe. Like the Scandinavians, they became Christianized late, in some areas only after 1200.

The adaptation to the various natural conditions and business opportunities led to the formation of a mosaic of diverse cultures in Europe through prehistoric times. Still, it is characteristic that the innovations that occurred from the ancient Stone Age to historical times in technology, food production and community structure, broke through at great pace over large areas. In the Mediterranean and south-eastern Europe, the origins of many cultural changes are seen, but the time lag relative to the rest of Europe is clear.

Countries in Europe
  1. European Union
  2. Aland
  3. Albania
  4. Andorra
  5. Austria
  6. Belarus
  7. Belgium
  8. Bosnia and Herzegovina
  9. Bulgaria
  10. Croatia
  11. Czech Republic
  12. Denmark
  13. Estonia
  14. Faroe Islands
  15. Finland
  16. France
  17. Germany
  18. Greece
  19. Hungary
  20. Iceland
  21. Ireland
  22. Italy
  23. Kosovo
  24. Latvia
  25. Liechtenstein
  26. Lithuania
  27. Luxembourg
  28. Malta
  29. Moldova
  30. Monaco
  31. Montenegro
  32. Netherlands
  33. Northern Macedonia
  34. Norway
  35. Poland
  36. Portugal
  37. Romania
  38. Russia
  39. San Marino
  40. Serbia
  41. Slovakia
  42. Slovenia
  43. Spain
  44. Sweden
  45. Switzerland
  46. Ukraine
  47. United Kingdom
  48. Vatican City

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