Foxes are small-to-medium-sized, omnivorous mammals belonging to several genera of the family Canidae. Foxes have a flattened skull, upright triangular ears, a pointed upturned snout, a long bushy tail. Twelve species belong to the monophyletic "true foxes" group of genus Vulpes. Another 25 current or extinct species are always or sometimes called foxes. Foxes live on every continent except Antarctica. By far the most common and widespread species of fox is the red fox with about 47 recognized subspecies; the global distribution of foxes, together with their widespread reputation for cunning, has contributed to their prominence in popular culture and folklore in many societies around the world. The hunting of foxes with packs of hounds, long an established pursuit in Europe in the British Isles, was exported by European settlers to various parts of the New World; the word fox comes from Old English. This in turn derives from Proto-Indo-European *puḱ-, meaning ’thick-haired. Male foxes are known as dogs, tods or reynards, females as vixens, young as cubs, pups, or kits, though the latter name is not to be confused with a distinct species called kit foxes.
Vixen is one of few words in modern English that retains the Middle English southern dialect "v" pronunciation instead of "f". A group of foxes is referred to leash, or earth. Within the Canidae, the results of DNA analysis shows several phylogenetic divisions: The fox-like canids, which include the kit fox, red fox, Cape fox, Arctic fox, fennec fox; the wolf-like canids, including the dog, gray wolf, red wolf, eastern wolf, golden jackal, Ethiopian wolf, black-backed jackal, side-striped jackal and African wild dog. The South American canids, including hoary fox, crab-eating fox and maned wolf. Various monotypic taxa, including the bat-eared fox, gray fox, raccoon dog. Foxes are smaller than some other members of the family Canidae such as wolves and jackals, while they may be larger than some within the family, such as Raccoon dogs. In the largest species, the red fox, males weigh on average between 4.1 and 8.7 kg, while the smallest species, the fennec fox, weighs just 0.7 to 1.6 kg. Fox-like features include a triangular face, pointed ears, an elongated rostrum, a bushy tail.
Foxes are digitigrade, thus, walk on their toes. Unlike most members of the family Canidae, foxes have retractable claws. Fox vibrissae, or whiskers, are black; the whiskers on the muzzle, mystaciae vibrissae, average 100–110 mm long, while the whiskers everywhere else on the head average to be shorter in length. Whiskers are on the forelimbs and average 40 mm long, pointing downward and backward. Other physical characteristics vary according to adaptive significance. Fox species differ in fur color and density. Coat colors range from pearly white to black and white to black flecked with white or grey on the underside. Fennec foxes, for example, have short fur to aid in keeping the body cool. Arctic foxes, on the other hand, have tiny ears and short limbs as well as thick, insulating fur, which aid in keeping the body warm. Red foxes, by contrast, have a typical auburn pelt, the tail ending with white marking. A fox's coat color and texture may vary due to the change in seasons. To get rid of the dense winter coat, foxes moult once a year around April.
Coat color may change as the individual ages. A fox's dentition, like all other canids, is I 3/3, C 1/1, PM 4/4, M 3/2 = 42. Foxes have pronounced carnassial pairs, characteristic of a carnivore; these pairs consist of the upper premolar and the lower first molar, work together to shear tough material like flesh. Foxes' canines are pronounced characteristic of a carnivore, are excellent in gripping prey. In the wild, the typical lifespan of a fox is one to three years, although individuals may live up to ten years. Unlike many canids, foxes are not always pack animals, they live in small family groups, but some are known to be solitary. Foxes are omnivores; the diet of foxes is made up of invertebrates such as insects, small vertebrates such as reptiles and birds, can include eggs and plants. Many species are generalist predators. Most species of fox consume around 1 kg of food every day. Foxes cache excess food, burying it for consumption under leaves, snow, or soil. Foxes tend to use a pouncing technique where they crouch down to camouflage themselves in the terrain using their hind legs, leap up with great force to land on top of their targeted prey.
Using their pronounced canine te
An ethnic group or an ethnicity, is a category of people who identify with each other based on similarities such as common ancestry, history, culture or nation. Ethnicity is an inherited status based on the society in which one lives. Membership of an ethnic group tends to be defined by a shared cultural heritage, origin myth, homeland, language or dialect, symbolic systems such as religion and ritual, dressing style, art or physical appearance. Ethnic groups, derived from the same historical founder population continue to speak related languages and share a similar gene pool. By way of language shift, acculturation and religious conversion, it is sometimes possible for individuals or groups to leave one ethnic group and become part of another. Ethnicity is used synonymously with terms such as nation or people. In English, it can have the connotation of something exotic related to cultures of more recent immigrants, who arrived after the dominant population of an area was established; the largest ethnic groups in modern times comprise hundreds of millions of individuals, while the smallest are limited to a few dozen individuals.
Larger ethnic groups may be subdivided into smaller sub-groups known variously as tribes or clans, which over time may become separate ethnic groups themselves due to endogamy or physical isolation from the parent group. Conversely separate ethnicities can merge to form a pan-ethnicity and may merge into one single ethnicity. Whether through division or amalgamation, the formation of a separate ethnic identity is referred to as ethnogenesis; the term ethnic is derived from the Greek word ἔθνος ethnos. The inherited English language term for this concept is folk, used alongside the latinate people since the late Middle English period. In Early Modern English and until the mid-19th century, ethnic was used to mean heathen or pagan, as the Septuagint used ta ethne to translate the Hebrew goyim "the nations, non-Hebrews, non-Jews"; the Greek term in early antiquity could refer to any large group, a host of men, a band of comrades as well as a swarm or flock of animals. In Classical Greek, the term took on a meaning comparable to the concept now expressed by "ethnic group" translated as "nation, people".
In the 19th century, the term came to be used in the sense of "peculiar to a race, people or nation", in a return to the original Greek meaning. The sense of "different cultural groups", in American English "racial, cultural or national minority group" arises in the 1930s to 1940s, serving as a replacement of the term race which had earlier taken this sense but was now becoming deprecated due to its association with ideological racism; the abstract ethnicity had been used for "paganism" in the 18th century, but now came to express the meaning of an "ethnic character". The term ethnic group was first recorded in 1935 and entered the Oxford English Dictionary in 1972. Depending on the context, used, the term nationality may either be used synonymously with ethnicity, or synonymously with citizenship; the process that results in the emergence of an ethnicity is called ethnogenesis, a term in use in ethnological literature since about 1950. Depending on which source of group identity is emphasized to define membership, the following types of groups can be identified: Ethno-linguistic, emphasizing shared language, dialect – example: French Canadians Ethno-national, emphasizing a shared polity or sense of national identity – example: Armenians Ethno-racial, emphasizing shared physical appearance based on genetic origins – example: African Americans Ethno-regional, emphasizing a distinct local sense of belonging stemming from relative geographic isolation – example: South Islanders Ethno-religious, emphasizing shared affiliation with a particular religion, denomination or sect – example: JewsIn many cases – for instance, the sense of Jewish peoplehood – more than one aspect determines membership.
Ethnography begins in classical antiquity. The Greeks at this time did not describe foreign nations but had developed a concept of their own "ethnicity", which they grouped under the name of Hellenes. Herodotus gave a famous account of what defined Greek ethnic identity in his day, enumerating shared descent, shared language shared sanctuaries and sacrifices shared customs. Whether ethnicity qualifies as a cultural universal is to some extent dependent on the exact definition used. According to "Challenges of Measuring an Ethnic World: Science and reality", in Challenges of Measuring an Ethnic World: Science and Reality: Proceedings of the Joint Canada-United States Conference on the Measurement of Ethni
The Cherusci were a Germanic tribe that inhabited parts of the plains and forests of northwestern Germany, in the area near present-day Hanover, during the first centuries BC and AD. Ethnically, Pliny the Elder groups them with their neighbours, the Suebi and Chatti, as well as the Hermunduri, as Hermiones, one of the Germanic groupings said to descend from an ancestor named Mannus, they led an important war against the Roman Empire. Subsequently, they were absorbed into the late classical Germanic tribal groups such as the Saxons, Franks and Allemanni; the etymological origin of the name Cherusci is not known with certainty. According to the dominant opinion in scholarship, the name may derive from the ancient Germanic word *herut; the tribe may have been named after the deer because it had a totemistic significance in Germanic symbolism. A different hypothesis, proposed in the 19th century by Jacob Grimm and others, derives the name from *heru-, a word for "sword". Hans Kuhn has argued that the derivational suffix -sk-, involved in both explanations, is otherwise not common in Germanic.
He suggested that the name may therefore be a compound of non-Germanic origin, connected to the hypothesized Nordwestblock. The first historical mention of the Cherusci occurs in Book 6.10 of Julius Caesar's De Bello Gallico, which recounts events of 53 BC. Caesar relates that he crossed the Rhine again to punish the Suebi for sending reinforcements to the Treveri, he mentions. In 12 BC, the Cherusci and other Germanic tribes were subjugated by the Romans, they appear to have been living in the same homeland when Tacitus wrote, 150 years describing them as living east of the Chauci and Chatti. This is interpreted to be an area between the rivers Weser and Elbe; as Rome tried to expand in northern Europe beyond the Rhine, it exploited divisions within the Cherusci, for some time the tribe was considered a Roman ally. At this time, the tribe was split between Segestes. Arminius advocated breaking allegiance to Rome and declaring independence, while Segestes wanted to remain loyal. By about 8 AD, Arminius began planning rebellion.
Segestes warned Publius Quinctilius Varus, the governor of Gaul, that rebellion was being planned, but Varus declined to act until the rebellion had broken out. In 9 AD, in the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest, an army of allied Germanic tribes under the command of Arminius annihilated three Roman legions commanded by Varus; the legions' eagle standards, of great symbolic importance to the Romans, were lost. The numbers of these three legions, Legio XVII, Legio XVIII, Legio XIX, were never used again. After the mutinies of the German legions in 14 AD, Germanicus decided, at the urging of his men, to march into Germany to restore their lost honor. In 15 AD, after a quick raid on the Chatti, they invaded the lands of the Marsi in 14 AD with 12,000 legionnaires, 26 cohorts of auxiliaries, eight cavalry squadrons. According to Tacitus, an area 50 Roman miles wide was laid to waste with fire and sword: "No sex, no age found pity." A legion from the XVII or XVIII, was recovered. He began a campaign against the Cherusci.
He received an appeal to rescue Segestes, besieged by Arminius. Segestes was rescued, along with a group of relatives and dependents, including Thusnelda, Segestes' daughter and the wife of Arminius. Germanicus gave them land in Gaul, he found the site of the Battle of Teutoburg Forest. His men built a funeral mound. A series of battles followed. After major casualties on the Romans, Tiberius forbid further campaigns; this led to the withdrawal of the Roman troops until the collapse of the Roman Empire. After Arminius' death, the Romans left the Cherusci less to their own devices. In 47 AD, the Cherusci asked Rome to send Italicus, the nephew of Arminius, to become king, as civil war had destroyed their nobility, he was well liked, but since he was raised in Rome as a Roman citizen, he soon fell out of favor. Tacitus writes of the Cherusci of his time:Dwelling on one side of the Chauci and Chatti, the Cherusci long cherished, unassailed, an excessive and enervating love of peace; this was more pleasant than safe, for to be peaceful is self-deception among lawless and powerful neighbours.
Where the strong hand decides and justice are terms applied only to the more powerful. The downfall of the Cherusci brought with it that of the Fosi, a neighbouring tribe, which shared in their disasters, though they had been inferior to them in prosperous days. Claudius Ptolemy in his Geography, describes the Χαιρουσκοὶ and Καμαυοὶ as living near each other and near to "Mount Melibocus" and to the Calucones, who lived on both banks of the Elbe; the history of the Cherusci is unknown. In the fourth century AD, they contributed to the formation of the Saxon people. List of Germanic peoples Battle of Arbalo Tacitus and Michael Grant, The Annals of Imperial Rome. New York: Penguin Books, 1989. Caesar, Julius et al; the Battle for
The Germanic peoples are an Indo-European ethnolinguistic group of Northern European origin identified by their use of the Germanic languages. Their history stretches from the 2nd millennium BCE up to the present day. Proto-Germanic peoples are believed to have emerged during the Nordic Bronze Age, which developed out of the Battle Axe culture in southern Scandinavia. During the Iron Age various Germanic tribes began a southward expansion at the expense of Celtic peoples, which led to centuries of sporadic violent conflict with ancient Rome, it is from Roman authors. The decisive victory of Arminius at the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest in 9 CE is believed to have prevented the eventual Romanization of the Germanic peoples, has therefore been considered a turning point in world history. Germanic tribes settled the entire Roman frontier along the Rhine and the Danube, some established close relations with the Romans serving as royal tutors and mercenaries, sometimes rising to the highest offices in the Roman military.
Meanwhile, Germanic tribes expanded into Eastern Europe, where the Goths subdued the local Iranian nomads and came to dominate the Pontic Steppe launching sea expeditions into the Balkans and Anatolia as far as Cyprus. The westward expansion of the Huns into Europe in the late 4th century CE pushed many Germanic tribes into the Western Roman Empire, their vacated lands were filled by Slavs. Much of these territories were reclaimed in following centuries. Other tribes became known as the Anglo-Saxons. With the collapse of the Western Roman Empire, a series of Germanic kingdoms emerged, of which, Francia gained a dominant position; this kingdom formed the Holy Roman Empire under the leadership of Charlemagne, recognized by Pope Leo III in 800 CE. Meanwhile, North Germanic seafarers referred to as Vikings, embarked on a massive expansion which led to the establishment of the Duchy of Normandy, Kievan Rus' and their settlement of the British Isles and the North Atlantic Ocean as far as North America.
With the North Germanic abandonment of their native religion in the 11th century, nearly all Germanic peoples had been converted to Christianity. In about 222 BCE, the first use of the Latin term "Germani" appears in the Fasti Capitolini inscription de Galleis Insvbribvs et Germ; this may be referring to Gaul or related people. The term Germani shows up again written by Poseidonios, but is a quotation inserted by the author Athenaios who wrote much later. Somewhat the first surviving detailed discussions of Germani and Germania are those of Julius Caesar, whose memoirs are based on first-hand experience. From Caesar's perspective, Germania was a geographical area of land on the east bank of the Rhine opposite Gaul, which Caesar left outside direct Roman control; this word provides the etymological origin of the modern concept of "Germanic" languages and Germany as a geographical abstraction. For some classical authors Germania included regions of Sarmatia, as well as an area under Roman control on the west bank of the Rhine.
Additionally, in the south there were Celtic peoples still living east of the Rhine and north of the Alps. Caesar and others noted differences of culture which could be found on the east of the Rhine, but the theme of all these cultural references was that this was a wild and dangerous region, less civilized than Gaul, a place that required additional military vigilance. Caesar used the term Germani for a specific tribal grouping in northeastern Belgic Gaul, west of the Rhine, the largest part of whom were the Eburones, he made clear. These are the so-called Germani Cisrhenani, whom Caesar believed to be related to the peoples east of the Rhine, descended from immigrants into Gaul. Tacitus suggests that this was the original meaning of the word "Germani" – as the name of a single tribal nation west of the Rhine, ancestral to the Tungri, not the name of a whole race as it came to mean, he suggested that two large Belgic tribes neighbouring Caesar's Germani, the Nervii and the Treveri, liked to call themselves Germanic in his time, in order not to be associated with Gaulish indolence.
Caesar described this group of tribes both as Germani. Gauls are associated with Celtic languages, the term Germani is associated with Germanic languages, but Caesar did not discuss languages in detail; the geographer Ptolemy described the place where these people lived as Germania, which according to his accounts was bordered by the Rhine and Danube Rivers, but he circumscribed into Greater Germania an area which included Jutland and an enormous island known as Scandia. While saying that the Germani had ancestry across the Rhine, Caesar did not describe these tribes as recent immigrants, saying that they had defended themselves some generations earlier from the invading Cimbri and Teutones, it has been claimed, for example by Maurits Gysseling, that the place names of this region show evidence of an early presence of Germanic languages, as early as the 2nd century BCE. The Celtic culture and language were however influential als
Publius Cornelius Tacitus was a senator and a historian of the Roman Empire. The surviving portions of his two major works—the Annals and the Histories—examine the reigns of the emperors Tiberius, Claudius and those who reigned in the Year of the Four Emperors; these two works span the history of the Roman Empire from the death of Augustus, in 14 AD, to the years of the First Jewish–Roman War, in 70 AD. There are substantial lacunae in the surviving texts, including a gap in the Annals, four books long. Tacitus' other writings discuss oratory and the life of his father-in-law, the general responsible for much of the Roman conquest of Britain focusing on his campaign in Britannia. Tacitus is considered to be one of the greatest Roman historians, he lived in what has been called the Silver Age of Latin literature, is known for the brevity and compactness of his Latin prose, as well as for his penetrating insights into the psychology of power politics. Details about his personal life are scarce.
What little is known comes from scattered hints throughout his work, the letters of his friend and admirer Pliny the Younger, an inscription found at Mylasa in Caria. Tacitus was born in 57 to an equestrian family. One scholar's suggestion of Sextus has gained no approval. Most of the older aristocratic families failed to survive the proscriptions which took place at the end of the Republic, Tacitus makes it clear that he owed his rank to the Flavian emperors; the claim that he was descended from a freedman is derived from a speech in his writings which asserts that many senators and knights were descended from freedmen, but this is disputed. His father may have been the Cornelius Tacitus who served as procurator of Germania. There is no mention of Tacitus suffering such a condition, but it is possible that this refers to a brother—if Cornelius was indeed his father; the friendship between the younger Pliny and Tacitus leads some scholars to conclude that they were both the offspring of wealthy provincial families.
The province of his birth remains unknown, though various conjectures suggest Gallia Belgica, Gallia Narbonensis or Northern Italy. His marriage to the daughter of Narbonensian senator Gnaeus Julius Agricola implies that he came from Gallia Narbonensis. Tacitus' dedication to Lucius Fabius Justus in the Dialogus may indicate a connection with Spain, his friendship with Pliny suggests origins in northern Italy. No evidence exists, that Pliny's friends from northern Italy knew Tacitus, nor do Pliny's letters hint that the two men had a common background. Pliny Book 9, Letter 23 reports that, when he was asked if he was Italian or provincial, he gave an unclear answer, so was asked if he was Tacitus or Pliny. Since Pliny was from Italy, some infer that Tacitus was from the provinces Gallia Narbonensis, his ancestry, his skill in oratory, his sympathetic depiction of barbarians who resisted Roman rule have led some to suggest that he was a Celt. This belief stems from the fact that the Celts who had occupied Gaul prior to the Roman invasion were famous for their skill in oratory, had been subjugated by Rome.
As a young man, Tacitus studied rhetoric in Rome to prepare for a career in law and politics. In 77 or 78, he married daughter of the famous general Agricola. Little is known of their domestic life, save that Tacitus loved the outdoors, he started his career under Vespasian, but entered political life as a quaestor in 81 or 82 under Titus. He advanced through the cursus honorum, becoming praetor in 88 and a quindecimvir, a member of the priestly college in charge of the Sibylline Books and the Secular games, he gained acclaim as an orator. He served in the provinces from c. 89 to c. 93, either in command of a legion or in a civilian post. He and his property survived Domitian's reign of terror, but the experience left him jaded and ashamed at his own complicity, giving him the hatred of tyranny evident in his works; the Agricola, chs. 44–45, is illustrative: Agricola was spared those years during which Domitian, leaving now no interval or breathing space of time, but, as it were, with one continuous blow, drained the life-blood of the Commonwealth...
It was not long before our hands dragged Helvidius to prison, before we gazed on the dying looks of Mauricus and Rusticus, before we were steeped in Senecio's innocent blood. Nero turned his eyes away, did not gaze upon the atrocities which he ordered. From his seat in the Senate, he became suffect consul in 97 during the reign of Nerva, being the first of his family to do so. During his tenure, he reached the height of his fame as an orator when he delivered the funeral oration for the famous veteran soldier Lucius Verginius Rufus. In the following year, he wrote and published the Agricola and Germania, foreshadowing the literary endeav
The Germania, written by the Roman historian Publius Cornelius Tacitus around 98 AD and entitled On the Origin and Situation of the Germans, was a historical and ethnographic work on the Germanic tribes outside the Roman Empire. The Germania begins with a description of the lands and customs of the Germanic people. Tacitus says that physically, the Germanic peoples appear to be a distinct nation, not an admixture of their neighbors, since nobody would desire to migrate to a climate as horrid as that of Germania, they are divided into three large branches, the Ingaevones, the Irminones, the Istaevones, deriving their ancestry from three sons of Mannus, son of Tuisto, their common forefather. In chapter 4, he mentions that they all have common physical characteristics, blue eyes, reddish hair, large bodies, vigorous at the first onset but not tolerant of exhausting labour, tolerant of hunger and cold, but not of heat or thirst. In chapter 7, Tacitus describes their government and leadership as somewhat merit-based and egalitarian, with leadership by example rather than authority, punishments are carried out by the priests.
He mentions that the opinions of women are given respect. In chapter 11, Tacitus describes a form of folk assembly rather similar to the public Things recorded in Germanic sources: in these public deliberations, the final decision rests with the men of the tribe as a whole. Tacitus further discusses the role of women in chapters 7 and 8, mentioning that they accompany the men to battle and offer encouragement, he says that the men are highly motivated to fight for the women because of an extreme fear of losing them to captivity. Tacitus says that the Germans are content with one wife, except for a few political marriages and explicitly compares this practice favorably to other barbarian cultures since monogamy was a shared value between Roman and Germanic cultures, he records that adultery is rare, that an adulterous woman is shunned afterward by the community regardless of her beauty. In chapter 45, Tacitus mentions that the tribe to the north of the Germans, the Sitones, "resemble in all respects but one - woman is the ruling sex."The latter chapters of the books describe the various Germanic tribes, their relative locations, some of their characteristics.
Many of the tribes named correspond with other historical records and traditions, while the fate of others is less clear. Ethnography had a long and distinguished heritage in classical literature, the Germania fits squarely within the tradition established by authors from Herodotus to Julius Caesar. Tacitus himself had written a similar—albeit shorter—essay on the lands and tribes of Britannia in his Agricola; the work can appear moralizing at points implicitly comparing the values of Germanic tribes and those of his Roman contemporaries, although a direct comparison between Rome and Germania is not explicitly presented in the text. In writing the work, Tacitus might have wanted to stress the dangers that the Germanic tribes posed to the Empire. Tacitus' descriptions of the Germanic character are at times favorable in contrast to the opinions of the Romans of his day, he holds the strict monogamy and chastity of Germanic marriage customs worthy of the highest praise, in contrast to what he saw as the vice and immorality rampant in Roman society of his day, he admires their open hospitality, their simplicity, their bravery in battle.
All of these traits were highlighted because of their similarity to idealized Roman virtues. One should not, think that Tacitus' portrayal of Germanic customs is favorable; the ethnonym Germani as used by Tacitus does not coincide with the modern linguistic definition of Germanic peoples as any people speaking a Germanic language, the details of the classification Germani have been debated in scholarship, e.g. the possibility that the Batavians may therefore have been Celtic-speaking. Tacitus shows no lack of precision in stating that the Nervii are not Germanic as they claim to be, he notes in chapter 43 that a certain tribe called the Cotini speaks a Gallic tongue, the Osi speak a Pannonian dialect. Tacitus himself had never travelled in the Germanic lands. Ronald Syme supposed that Tacitus copied the lost Bella Germaniae of Pliny the Elder, since the Germania is in some places outdated: in its description of the Danubian tribes, says Syme, "they are loyal clients of the Empire... Which is peculiar.
The defection of these peoples in the year 89 during Domitian's war against the Dacians modified the whole frontier policy of the Empire.". While Pliny may have been the primary source, scholars have identified others. All copies of Germania were lost during the Middle Ages and the work was for
History of Europe
The history of Europe covers the peoples inhabiting Europe from prehistory to the present. During the Neolithic era and the time of the Indo-European migrations Europe saw human inflows from east and southeast and subsequent important cultural and material exchange; the period known as classical antiquity began with the emergence of the city-states of ancient Greece. The Roman Empire came to dominate the Mediterranean Basin and Northwest Europe; the fall of the Roman Empire in AD 476 traditionally marks the start of the Middle Ages. Beginning in the 14th century a Renaissance of knowledge challenged traditional doctrines in science and theology; the Protestant Reformation set up Protestant churches in Germany and England. After 1800, the Industrial Revolution brought prosperity to Western Europe; the main powers set up colonies in most of the Americas and Africa, parts of Asia. In the 20th century, World War I and World War II resulted in massive numbers of deaths; the Cold War dominated European geo-politics from 1947 to 1989.
During the Neolithic era and the time of the Indo-European migrations Europe saw massive migrations from east and southeast which brought agriculture, new technologies, the Indo-European languages through the areas of the Balkan peninsula and the Black sea region. Some of the best-known civilizations of the late prehistoric Europe were the Minoan and the Mycenaean, which flourished during the Bronze Age until they collapsed in a short period of time around 1200 BC; the period known as classical antiquity began with the emergence of the city-states of Ancient Greece. After checking the Persian advance in Europe through the Greco-Persian Wars in the 5th century BC, Greek influence reached its zenith under the expansive empire of Alexander the Great, spreading throughout Asia and other parts of Europe; the Thracians and their kingdoms and culture were long present in Southeast Europe. In 500 BC, Rome was a small city-state on the Italian peninsula. By 200 BC, Rome had conquered Italy, over the following two centuries it conquered Greece and Hispania, the North African coast, much of the Middle East and Britannia.
By 300 AD the Roman Empire was divided into the Eastern empires. During the 4th and 5th centuries, the Germanic peoples of Northern Europe, pressed by the Huns, grew in strength, repeated attacks led to the Fall of the Western Roman Empire. AD 476 traditionally marks the start of the Middle Ages. In Western Europe, Germanic peoples became more powerful in the remnants of the former Western Roman Empire and established kingdoms and empires of their own. Of all of the Germanic peoples, the Franks would rise to a position of hegemony over Western Europe, the Frankish Empire reaching its peak under Charlemagne around 800; this empire was divided into several parts. The British Isles were the site of several large-scale migrations; the Byzantine Empire – the eastern part of the Roman Empire, with its capital Constantinople, survived for the next 1000 years as the most dominant empire in Southeast Europe. The powerful and long lived. Both empires were major powers in that part of Europe for centuries, both creating important cultural, political and religious legacy through the Middle Ages to this day.
The Viking Age, a period of migrations of Scandinavian peoples, occurred from the late 8th century to the middle 11th century. The Normans, descendants of the Vikings who settled in Northern France, had a significant impact on many parts of Europe, from the Norman conquest of England to Sicily; the Rus' people founded Kievan Rus'. After 1000 the Crusades were a series of religiously motivated military expeditions intended to bring the Levant back under Christian rule; the Crusaders opened trade routes which enabled the merchant republics of Genoa and Venice to become major economic powers. The Reconquista, a related movement, worked to reconquer Iberia for Christendom. Eastern Europe in the High Middle Ages was dominated by the fall of the Mongol Empire. Led by Genghis Khan, the Mongols were a group of steppe nomads who established a decentralized empire which, at its height, extended from China in the east to the Black and Baltic Seas in Europe; as Mongol power waned towards the Late Middle Ages, the Grand Duchy of Moscow rose to become the strongest of the numerous Russian principalities and republics and would grow into the Tsardom of Russia in 1547.
The Late Middle Ages represented a period of upheaval in Europe. The epidemic known as the Black Death and an associated famine caused demographic catastrophe in Europe as the population plummeted. Dynastic struggles and wars of conquest kept many of the states of Europe at war for much of the period. In Scandinavia, the Kalmar Union dominated the political landscape, while England fought with Scotland in the Wars of Scottish Independence and with France in the Hundred Years' War. In Central Europe, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth became a large territorial empire, while the Holy Roman Empire, an elective monarchy, came to be dominated for centuries by the House of Habsburg. Russia continued to expand eastward into former Mongol lands. In the Balkans, the Islamic Ottoman Empire overran Byzantine lands, culminating in the Fall of Constantinople in 1453, which historians mark as the end of the Middle Ages. Ottoman armies pressed into Central Europe, besieging