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From Hutton Webster's, Early European History (1917); edited for this on-line publication, by ELLOPOS
I. THE LANDS OF THE WEST AND THE RISE OF GREECE TO ABOUT 500 B.C.
» Contents of this Chapter* Physical Europe * Greece and the Aegean * The Aegean Age (to about 1100 B.C.) * The Homeric Age (about 1100-750 B.C.) * Early Greek Religion * Religious Institutions—Oracles and Games * The Greek City-State * The Growth of Sparta (to 500 B.C.) * The Growth of Athens (to 500 B.C.) * Colonial Expansion of Greece (about 750-500 B.C.) * Bonds of Union among the Greeks
EUROPE A PENINSULA OF ASIA
The continent of Asia, projecting its huge bulk southwestward between the seas, gradually narrows into the smaller continent of Europe. The boundary between the two regions is not well defined. Ancient geographers found a convenient dividing line north of the Black Sea in the course of the river Don. Modern map makers usually place the division at the Ural Mountains, the Caspian Sea, and the Caucasus. Each of these boundaries is more or less arbitrary. In a geographical sense Europe is only the largest of the great Asiatic peninsulas.
PHYSICAL FEATURES OF EUROPE
But in physical features the two continents disclose the most striking contrasts. The sea, which washes only the remote edges of Asia, penetrates deeply into Europe and forms an extremely irregular coast line with numerous bays and harbors. The mountains of Europe, seldom very high and provided with easy passes, present no such barriers to intercourse as the mightier ranges of Asia. We miss in Europe the extensive deserts and barren table-lands which form such a feature of Asiatic geography. With the exception of Russia the surface, generally, is distributed into plains, hills, and valleys of moderate size. Instead of a few large rivers, such as are found in Asia, Europe is well supplied with numerous streams that make it possible to travel readily from one district to another.
Cf. The Ancient Greece * The Ancient Rome
Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantium) * Western Medieval Europe * Renaissance in Italy