Nobility is a social class ranked under royalty and found in some societies that have a formal aristocracy. Nobility possesses more acknowledged privileges and higher social status than most other classes in society; the privileges associated with nobility may constitute substantial advantages over or relative to non-nobles, or may be honorary, vary by country and era. As referred to in the Medieval chivalric motto "noblesse oblige", nobles can carry a lifelong duty to uphold various social responsibilities, such as honorable behavior, customary service, or leadership positions. Membership in the nobility, including rights and responsibilities, is hereditary. Membership in the nobility has been granted by a monarch or government, unlike other social classes where membership is determined by wealth, lifestyle, or affiliation. Nonetheless, acquisition of sufficient power, military prowess, or royal favour has enabled commoners to ascend into the nobility. There are a variety of ranks within the noble class.
Legal recognition of nobility has been more common in monarchies, but nobility existed in such regimes as the Dutch Republic, the Republic of Genoa, the Republic of Venice, the Old Swiss Confederacy, remains part of the legal social structure of some non-hereditary regimes, e.g. Channel Islands, San Marino, the Vatican City in Europe. Hereditary titles and styles added to names, as well as honorifics distinguish nobles from non-nobles in conversation and written speech. In many nations most of the nobility have been un-titled, some hereditary titles do not indicate nobility; some countries have had non-hereditary nobility, such as the Empire of Brazil or life peers in the United Kingdom. The term derives from the abstract noun of the adjective nobilis. In ancient Roman society, nobiles originated as an informal designation for the political governing class who had allied interests, including both patricians and plebeian families with an ancestor who had risen to the consulship through his own merit.
In modern usage, "nobility" is applied to the highest social class in pre-modern societies, excepting the ruling dynasty. In the feudal system, the nobility were those who held a fief land or office, under vassalage, i.e. in exchange for allegiance and various military, services to a suzerain, who might be a higher-ranking nobleman or a monarch. It came to be seen as a hereditary caste, sometimes associated with a right to bear a hereditary title and, for example in pre-revolutionary France, enjoying fiscal and other privileges. While noble status conferred significant privileges in most jurisdictions, by the 21st century it had become a honorary dignity in most societies, although a few, residual privileges may still be preserved and some Asian and African cultures continue to attach considerable significance to formal hereditary rank or titles. Nobility is a historical and legal notion, differing from high socio-economic status in that the latter is based on income, possessions or lifestyle.
Being wealthy or influential cannot ipso facto make one noble, nor are all nobles wealthy or influential. Various republics, including former Iron Curtain countries, Greece and Austria have expressly abolished the conferral and use of titles of nobility for their citizens; this is distinct from countries which have not abolished the right to inherit titles, but which do not grant legal recognition or protection to them, such as Germany and Italy, although Germany recognizes their use as part of the legal surname. Still other countries and authorities allow their use, but forbid attachment of any privilege thereto, e.g. Finland and the European Union, while French law protects lawful titles against usurpation. Although many societies have a privileged upper class with substantial wealth and power, the status is not hereditary and does not entail a distinct legal status, nor differentiated forms of address. Not all of the benefits of nobility derived from noble status per se. Privileges were granted or recognised by the monarch in association with possession of a specific title, office or estate.
Most nobles' wealth derived from one or more estates, large or small, that might include fields, orchards, hunting grounds, etc. It included infrastructure such as castle and mill to which local peasants were allowed some access, although at a price. Nobles were expected to live "nobly", that is, from the proceeds of these possessions. Work involving manual labour or subordination to those of lower rank was either forbidden or frowned upon socially. On the other hand, membership in the nobility was a prerequisite for holding offices of trust in the realm and for career promotion in the military, at court and the higher functions in the government and church. Prior to the French Revolution, European nobles commanded tribute in the form of entitlement to cash rents or usage taxes, labour or a portion of the annual crop yield from commoners or no
A royal family is the immediate family of a king or queen regnant, sometimes his or her extended family. The term imperial family appropriately describes the family of an emperor or empress, the term papal family describes the family of a pope, while the terms baronial family, comital family, ducal family, archducal family, grand ducal family, or princely family are more appropriate to describe the relatives of a reigning baron, duke, grand duke, or prince. However, in common parlance members of any family which reigns by hereditary right are referred to as royalty or "royals." It is customary in some circles to refer to the extended relations of a deposed monarch and his or her descendants as a royal family. A dynasty is sometimes referred to as "the House of...". As of July 2013, there are 26 active sovereign monarchies in the world who rule or reign over 43 countries in all. A royal family includes the spouse of the reigning monarch, surviving spouses of a deceased monarch, the children, brothers and paternal cousins of the reigning monarch, as well as their spouses.
In some cases, royal family membership may extend to great grandchildren and more distant descendants of a monarch. In certain monarchies where voluntary abdication is the norm, such as the Netherlands, a royal family may include one or more former monarchs. In certain instances, such as in Canada, the royal family is defined by who holds the styles Majesty and Royal Highness. There is a distinction between persons of the blood royal and those that marry into the royal family. Under most systems, only persons in the first category are dynasts, that is, potential successors to the throne; this is not always observed. In addition, certain relatives of the monarch possess special privileges and are subject to certain statutes, conventions, or special common law; the precise functions of a royal family vary depending on whether the polity in question is an absolute monarchy, a constitutional monarchy, or somewhere in between. In certain monarchies, such as that found in Saudi Arabia or Kuwait, or in political systems where the monarch exercises executive power, such as in Jordan, it is not uncommon for the members of a royal family to hold important government posts or military commands.
In most constitutional monarchies, members of a royal family perform certain public, social, or ceremonial functions, but refrain from any involvement in electoral politics or the actual governance of the country. The specific composition of royal families varies from country to country, as do the titles and royal and noble styles held by members of the family; the composition of the royal family may be regulated by statute enacted by the legislature, the sovereign's prerogative and common law tradition, or a private house law. Public statutes, constitutional provisions, or conventions may regulate the marriages and personal titles of royal family members; the members of a royal family may not have a surname or dynastic name. In a constitutional monarchy, when the monarch dies, there is always a law or tradition of succession to the throne that either specifies a formula for identifying the precise order of succession among family members in line to the throne or specifies a process by which a family member is chosen to inherit the crown.
In the former case the exact line of hereditary succession among royal individuals may be identified at any given moment during prior reigns whereas in the latter case the next sovereign may be selected only during the reign or shortly after the demise of the preceding monarch. Some monarchies employ a mix of these selection processes, providing for both an identifiable line of succession as well as authority for the monarch, dynasty or other institution to alter the line in specific instances without changing the general law of succession; some countries have abolished royalty altogether, as in post-revolutionary Russia. Whilst mediatization occurred in other countries such as France and Russia, only the certain houses within the former Holy Roman Empire are collectively called the Mediatized Houses. Arenberg ducal family Fürstenberg princely family Ligne princely family Merode princely family Schwarzenberg princely family Thurn und Taxis princely family Media related to Royal families at Wikimedia Commons
Excellency is an honorific style given to certain high-level officers of a sovereign state, officials of an international organization, or members of an aristocracy. Once entitled to the title "Excellency", the holder retains the right to that courtesy throughout their lifetime, although in some cases the title is attached to a particular office, is held only for the duration of that office. People addressed as Excellency are heads of state, heads of government, ambassadors, certain ecclesiastics and others holding equivalent rank, it is sometimes misinterpreted as a title of office in itself, but in fact is an honorific that precedes various titles, both in speech and in writing. In reference to such an official, it takes the form Her Excellency; the abbreviation HE is used instead of His/Her Excellency. In most republican nation states, the head of state is formally addressed as Her Excellency. If a republic has a separate head of government, that official is always addressed as Excellency as well.
If the nation is a monarchy, the customs may vary. For example, in the case of Australia, all ambassadors, high commissioners, state governors and the governor-general and their spouses are entitled to the use of Excellency. Governors of colonies in the British Empire were entitled to be addressed as Excellency and this remains the position for the governors of what are now known as British Overseas Territories. In various international organizations, notably the UN and its agencies, Excellency is used as a generic form of address for all republican heads of state and heads of government, it is granted to the organization's head as well, to those chiefs of UN diplomatic missions, such as Resident Coordinators, who are accredited at the Head of State level, or at the lower Head of Government level. In recent years, some international organizations, such as the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, or the European Union, have designated their Permanent Representatives in third countries as Ambassadors, although they do not represent sovereign entities.
This is now accepted, because these Ambassadors rank after the UN representative in the orders of precedence of representatives of international organizations, the UN coming first as pre-eminent, the UN Resident Coordinators are now commonly but informally referred to in diplomatic circles as ambassadors, although the UN itself does not refer to them in this way. Judges of the International Court of Justice are called Your Excellency. In some monarchies the husbands, wives, or children, of a royal prince or princess, who do not possess a princely title themselves, may be entitled to the style. For example, in Spain spouses or children of a born infante or infanta are addressed as Excellency, if not accorded a higher style. Former members of a royal house or family, who did have a royal title but forfeited it, may be awarded the style afterwards. Examples are former husbands or wives of a royal prince or princess, including Alexandra, Countess of Frederiksborg, following her divorce from Prince Joachim of Denmark.
Count Carl Johan Bernadotte of Wisborg, who lost his succession rights to the Swedish throne and discontinued use of his royal titles in 1946 when he married the commoner Elin Kerstin Margaretha Wijkmark, was accorded the style. In some emirates, only the Emir, heir apparent and prime minister are called His Highness, their children are styled with the lower treatment of His/Her Excellency. In Spain members of the high nobility, holding the dignity of grandee, are addressed as The Most Excellent Lord/Lady. In Denmark, some counts those related by blood or marriage to the monarch, who have entered a morganatic marriage or otherwise left the Royal Family have the right to be styled as Your Excellency, e.g. the Counts of Danneskiold-Samsøe, some of the counts of Rosenborg and the Countess of Frederiksborg. Excellency can attach to a prestigious quality, notably in an order of knighthood. For example, in the Empire of Brazil, it was attached to the highest classes, each time called Grand Cross, of all three imperial orders: Imperial Order of Pedro I, Imperial Order of the Southern Cross and Order of the Rose.
In modern days, Knights Collar and Knights Grand Cross of the Spanish Orders of Chivalry, like the Order of Charles III, Order of Isabella the Catholic, Order of Civil Merit, Order of Alfonso X the Wise, Royal Order of Sports Merit, Civil Order of Health, as well as recipients of the Grand Cross of Military and Aeronautical Merit are addressed as such. Furthermore, Knights Grand Cross of the Order of Saint Gregory the Great and the Order of St. Sylvester of the Holy See, Knights of the Order of the Golden Fleece, Knights Grand Cross of several other orders of high prestige, are addressed as Excellency. By a decree of the Sacred Congregation of Ceremonial of 31 December 1930 the Holy See granted bishops of the Roman Catholic Church the title of Most Reverend Excellency. In the years following the First World War, the ambassadorial title of Excellency given to nuncios, had begun to be used by other Catholic bishops; the adjective Most Reverend was intended to distinguish the religious title from that of Excellency given to civil officials.
The Catholic Monarchs is the joint title used in history for Queen Isabella I of Castile and King Ferdinand II of Aragon. They were both from the House of Trastámara and were second cousins, being both descended from John I of Castile, they married on October 1469, in the city of Valladolid. It is accepted by most scholars that the unification of Spain can be traced back to the marriage of Ferdinand and Isabella; some newer historical opinions propose that under their rule, what became Spain was still a union of two crowns rather than a unitary state, as to a large degree Castile and Aragon remained separate kingdoms, with most of their own separate institutions, for decades to come. The court of Ferdinand and Isabella was on the move, in order to bolster local support for the crown from local feudal lords; the title of "Catholic King and Queen" was bestowed on Ferdinand and Isabella by Pope Alexander VI in 1494, in recognition of their defense of the Catholic faith within their realms. "Catholic monarchs" or "kings" can be used in a generic sense.
At the time of their marriage on October 19, 1469, Isabella was eighteen years old and the heiress presumptive to the Crown of Castile, while Ferdinand was seventeen and heir apparent to the Crown of Aragon. They married within a week. From the start, they worked well together. Both knew that the crown of Castile was "the prize, that they were both jointly gambling for it." However, it was a step toward the unification of the lands on the Iberian peninsula, which would become Spain. They were second cousins, so in order to marry they needed a papal dispensation that Pope Paul II, an Italian pope opposed to Aragon's influence on the Mediterranean and to the rise of monarchies strong enough to challenge the Pope, refused to grant, so they falsified a papal bull of their own. Though the bull is known to be false it isn't certain, the material author of the falsification; some experts point at Carrillo de Acuña, Archbishop of Toledo, others point at Antonio Veneris. Pope Paul II would remain a bitter enemy of Spain and the monarch for all his life, is attributed the quote, "May all Spaniards be cursed by God and heretics, the seed of Jews and Moors."Isabella's claims to it were not secure, since her marriage to Ferdinand enraged her half-brother Henry IV of Castile and he withdrew his support for her being his heiress presumptive, codified in the Treaty of the Bulls of Guisando.
Henry instead recognized Joanna of Castile, born during his marriage to Joanna of Portugal, but whose paternity was in doubt, since Henry was rumored to be impotent. When Henry died in 1474, Isabella asserted her claim to the throne, contested by thirteen-year-old Joanna. Joanna sought aid of Afonso V of Portugal, to claim the throne; this dispute between rival claimants led to the War of 1475–1479. Isabella called on the aid of Aragon, with her husband, the heir apparent, his father, Juan II of Aragon providing it. Although Aragon provided support for Isabella's cause, Isabella's supporters had extracted concessions, Isabella was acknowledged as the sole heir to the crown of Castile. Juan II died in 1479, Ferdinand succeeded to the throne in January 1479. In September 1479, Portugal and the Catholic Monarchs of Aragon and Castile resolved major issues between them through the Treaty of Alcáçovas, including the issue of Isabella's rights to the crown of Castile. Through close cooperation, the royal couple were successful in securing political power in the Iberian peninsula.
Ferdinand's father had advised the couple that "neither was powerful without the other." Though their marriage united the two kingdoms, leading to the beginnings of modern Spain, they ruled independently and their kingdoms retained part of their own regional laws and governments for the next centuries. The coat of arms of the Catholic Monarchs is designed with elements to show their cooperation and working in tandem, their joint motto was "Tanto monta, monta tanto". The motto was created by Antonio de Nebrija and was either an allusion to the Gordian knot: Tanto monta, monta tanto, cortar como desatar, or an explanation of the equality of the monarchs: Tanto monta, monta tanto, Isabel como Fernando. "The royal motto they shared'tanto monta', "as much one as the other," came to signify their cooperation."Their emblems or heraldic devices, seen at the bottom of the coat of arms, were el yugo y las flechas, a yoke, a sheaf of arrows. Y and F are the initials of Fernando. A double yoke is worn by a team of oxen.
Isabella's emblem of arrows showed the armed power of the crown, "a warning to Castilians not acknowledging the reach of royal authority or that greatest of royal functions, the right to mete out justice" by force of violence. The iconography is found on various works of art; these badges were used gathered by the fascist, from fasces, Spanish political party Falange, which claimed to represent the inherited glory and the ideals of the Catholic Monarchs. The establishment of System of Royal Councils to oversee discrete regions or areas was Isabella succeeded to the throne of Castile in 1474 when Ferdinand was still heir-apparent to Aragon, with Aragon
France the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean, it is bordered by Belgium and Germany to the northeast and Italy to the east, Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic and Indian oceans; the country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Nice. During the Iron Age, what is now metropolitan France was inhabited by a Celtic people. Rome annexed the area in 51 BC, holding it until the arrival of Germanic Franks in 476, who formed the Kingdom of Francia.
The Treaty of Verdun of 843 partitioned Francia into Middle Francia and West Francia. West Francia which became the Kingdom of France in 987 emerged as a major European power in the Late Middle Ages following its victory in the Hundred Years' War. During the Renaissance, French culture flourished and a global colonial empire was established, which by the 20th century would become the second largest in the world; the 16th century was dominated by religious civil wars between Protestants. France became Europe's dominant cultural and military power in the 17th century under Louis XIV. In the late 18th century, the French Revolution overthrew the absolute monarchy, established one of modern history's earliest republics, saw the drafting of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, which expresses the nation's ideals to this day. In the 19th century, Napoleon established the First French Empire, his subsequent Napoleonic Wars shaped the course of continental Europe. Following the collapse of the Empire, France endured a tumultuous succession of governments culminating with the establishment of the French Third Republic in 1870.
France was a major participant in World War I, from which it emerged victorious, was one of the Allies in World War II, but came under occupation by the Axis powers in 1940. Following liberation in 1944, a Fourth Republic was established and dissolved in the course of the Algerian War; the Fifth Republic, led by Charles de Gaulle, remains today. Algeria and nearly all the other colonies became independent in the 1960s and retained close economic and military connections with France. France has long been a global centre of art and philosophy, it hosts the world's fourth-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is the leading tourist destination, receiving around 83 million foreign visitors annually. France is a developed country with the world's sixth-largest economy by nominal GDP, tenth-largest by purchasing power parity. In terms of aggregate household wealth, it ranks fourth in the world. France performs well in international rankings of education, health care, life expectancy, human development.
France is considered a great power in global affairs, being one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council with the power to veto and an official nuclear-weapon state. It is a leading member state of the European Union and the Eurozone, a member of the Group of 7, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, La Francophonie. Applied to the whole Frankish Empire, the name "France" comes from the Latin "Francia", or "country of the Franks". Modern France is still named today "Francia" in Italian and Spanish, "Frankreich" in German and "Frankrijk" in Dutch, all of which have more or less the same historical meaning. There are various theories as to the origin of the name Frank. Following the precedents of Edward Gibbon and Jacob Grimm, the name of the Franks has been linked with the word frank in English, it has been suggested that the meaning of "free" was adopted because, after the conquest of Gaul, only Franks were free of taxation.
Another theory is that it is derived from the Proto-Germanic word frankon, which translates as javelin or lance as the throwing axe of the Franks was known as a francisca. However, it has been determined that these weapons were named because of their use by the Franks, not the other way around; the oldest traces of human life in what is now France date from 1.8 million years ago. Over the ensuing millennia, Humans were confronted by a harsh and variable climate, marked by several glacial eras. Early hominids led a nomadic hunter-gatherer life. France has a large number of decorated caves from the upper Palaeolithic era, including one of the most famous and best preserved, Lascaux. At the end of the last glacial period, the climate became milder. After strong demographic and agricultural development between the 4th and 3rd millennia, metallurgy appeared at the end of the 3rd millennium working gold and bronze, iron. France has numerous megalithic sites from the Neolithic period, including the exceptiona
The Philippines the Republic of the Philippines, is an archipelagic country in Southeast Asia. Situated in the western Pacific Ocean, it consists of about 7,641 islands that are categorized broadly under three main geographical divisions from north to south: Luzon and Mindanao; the capital city of the Philippines is Manila and the most populous city is Quezon City, both part of Metro Manila. Bounded by the South China Sea on the west, the Philippine Sea on the east and the Celebes Sea on the southwest, the Philippines shares maritime borders with Taiwan to the north, Vietnam to the west, Palau to the east, Malaysia and Indonesia to the south; the Philippines' location on the Pacific Ring of Fire and close to the equator makes the Philippines prone to earthquakes and typhoons, but endows it with abundant natural resources and some of the world's greatest biodiversity. The Philippines has an area of 300,000 km2, according to the Philippines Statistical Authority and the WorldBank and, as of 2015, had a population of at least 100 million.
As of January 2018, it is the eighth-most populated country in Asia and the 12th most populated country in the world. 10 million additional Filipinos lived overseas, comprising one of the world's largest diasporas. Multiple ethnicities and cultures are found throughout the islands. In prehistoric times, Negritos were some of the archipelago's earliest inhabitants, they were followed by successive waves of Austronesian peoples. Exchanges with Malay, Indian and Chinese nations occurred. Various competing maritime states were established under the rule of datus, rajahs and lakans; the arrival of Ferdinand Magellan, a Portuguese explorer leading a fleet for the Spanish, in Homonhon, Eastern Samar in 1521 marked the beginning of Hispanic colonization. In 1543, Spanish explorer Ruy López de Villalobos named the archipelago Las Islas Filipinas in honor of Philip II of Spain. With the arrival of Miguel López de Legazpi from Mexico City, in 1565, the first Hispanic settlement in the archipelago was established.
The Philippines became part of the Spanish Empire for more than 300 years. This resulted in Catholicism becoming the dominant religion. During this time, Manila became the western hub of the trans-Pacific trade connecting Asia with Acapulco in the Americas using Manila galleons; as the 19th century gave way to the 20th, the Philippine Revolution followed, which spawned the short-lived First Philippine Republic, followed by the bloody Philippine–American War. The war, as well as the ensuing cholera epidemic, resulted in the deaths of thousands of combatants as well as tens of thousands of civilians. Aside from the period of Japanese occupation, the United States retained sovereignty over the islands until after World War II, when the Philippines was recognized as an independent nation. Since the unitary sovereign state has had a tumultuous experience with democracy, which included the overthrow of a dictatorship by a non-violent revolution; the Philippines is a founding member of the United Nations, World Trade Organization, Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, the East Asia Summit.
It hosts the headquarters of the Asian Development Bank. The Philippines is considered to be an emerging market and a newly industrialized country, which has an economy transitioning from being based on agriculture to one based more on services and manufacturing. Along with East Timor, the Philippines is one of Southeast Asia's predominantly Christian nations; the Philippines was named in honor of King Philip II of Spain. Spanish explorer Ruy López de Villalobos, during his expedition in 1542, named the islands of Leyte and Samar Felipinas after the then-Prince of Asturias; the name Las Islas Filipinas would be used to cover all the islands of the archipelago. Before that became commonplace, other names such as Islas del Poniente and Magellan's name for the islands San Lázaro were used by the Spanish to refer to the islands; the official name of the Philippines has changed several times in the course of its history. During the Philippine Revolution, the Malolos Congress proclaimed the establishment of the República Filipina or the Philippine Republic.
From the period of the Spanish–American War and the Philippine–American War until the Commonwealth period, American colonial authorities referred to the country as the Philippine Islands, a translation of the Spanish name. Since the end of World War II, the official name of the country has been the Republic of the Philippines. Philippines has gained currency as the common name since being the name used in Article VI of the 1898 Treaty of Paris, with or without the definite article. Discovery in 2018 of stone tools and fossils of butchered animal remains in Rizal, Kalinga has pushed back evidence of early hominins in the archipelago to as early as 709,000 years. However, the metatarsal of the Callao Man, reliably dated by uranium-series dating to 67,000 years ago remains the oldest human remnant found in the archipelago to date; this distinction belonged to the Tabon Man of Palawan, carbon-dated to around 26,500 years ago. Negritos were among the archipelago's earliest inhabitants, but their first settlement in the Philippines has not been reliably dated.
There are several opposing theories regarding the origins of ancient Filipinos. F. Landa Jocano theorizes. Wilhelm Solheim's Island Origin Theory postulates that the peopling of the archipelago transpired via trade networks originating in the Sundaland area around
The Western world known as the West, refers to various nations depending on the context, most including at least part of Europe and the Americas, with the status of Latin America in dispute. There are many accepted definitions, all interrelated; the Western world is known as the Occident, in contrast to the Orient, or Eastern world. Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome are considered to be the birthplaces of Western civilization: the former due to its impact on philosophy, democracy and art, building designs and proportions, architecture. Western civilization is founded upon Christianity, in turn shaped by Hellenistic philosophy and Roman culture; the ancient Hellenes had been affected by ancient Near East civilizations, including Judaism and Early Christianity. In the modern era, Western culture has been influenced by the Renaissance, the Ages of Discovery and Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolutions. Through extensive imperialism and Christianization by Western powers in the 15th to 20th centuries, much of the rest of the world has been influenced by Western culture.
The concept of the Western part of the earth has its roots in the theological and emphatical division between the Western Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches. West was literal, opposing Catholic Europe with the cultures and civilizations of Orthodox Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, Southeast Asia and the remote Far East, which early-modern Europeans saw as the East. By the mid-20th century. Worldwide export of Western culture went through the new mass media: film and television and recorded music, while the development and growth of international transport and telecommunication played a decisive role in modern globalization. In modern usage, Western world sometimes refers to Europe and to areas whose populations originate from Europe, through the Age of Discovery. Western culture was influenced by many older great civilizations of the ancient Near East, such as Phoenicia, Ancient Israel, Minoan Crete, Sumer and Ancient Egypt, it originated in its vicinity.
Over time, their associated empires grew first to the east and west to include the rest of Mediterranean and Black Sea coastal areas and absorbing. They expanded to the north of the Mediterranean Sea to include Western and Southeastern Europe. Christianization of Ireland, Christianization of Bulgaria, Christianization of Kievan Rus', Christianization of Scandinavia and Christianization of Lithuania brought the rest of present-day European territory into Western civilization. Historians, such as Carroll Quigley in "The Evolution of Civilizations", contend that Western civilization was born around AD 500, after the total collapse of the Western Roman Empire, leaving a vacuum for new ideas to flourish that were impossible in Classical societies. In either view, between the fall of the Western Roman Empire and the Renaissance, the West experienced a period of first, considerable decline, readaptation and considerable renewed material and political development; this whole period of a millennium is known as the Middle Ages, its early part forming the "Dark Ages", designations that were created during the Renaissance and reflect the perspective on history, the self-image, of the latter period.
The knowledge of the ancient Western world was preserved during this period due to the survival of the Eastern Roman Empire and the introduction of the Catholic Church. Since the Renaissance, the West evolved beyond the influence of the ancient Greeks and Romans and the Islamic world, due to the successful Second Agricultural, Commercial and Industrial revolutions peaked with the 18th century's Age of enlightenment, through the Age of exploration's expansion of peoples of Western and Central European empires the globe-spanning colonial empires of 18th and 19th centuries. Numerous times, this expansion was accompanied by Catholic missionaries, who attempted to proselytize Christianity. There is debate among some as to. Whether Russia should be categorized as "East" or "West" has been "an ongoing discussion" for centuries; the term "Western culture" is used broadly to refer to a heritage of social norms, ethical values, traditional customs, religious beliefs, political systems, specific artifacts and technologies.
Western culture may imply: a Biblical Christian cultural influence in spiritual thinking and either ethic or moral traditions, around the Post-Classical Era and after. European cultural influences concerning artistic, folkloric and oral traditions, whose themes have been further developed by Romanticism. A Graeco-Roman Classical and Renaissance cultural influence, concerning artistic, philosophic and legal themes and traditions, the cultural social effec