Strabo was a Greek geographer and historian who lived in Asia Minor during the transitional period of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire. Strabo was born to an affluent family from Amaseia in Pontus in around 64 BC, his family had been involved in politics since at least the reign of Mithridates V. Strabo was related to Dorylaeus on his mother's side. Several other family members, including his paternal grandfather had served Mithridates VI during the Mithridatic Wars; as the war drew to a close, Strabo's grandfather had turned several Pontic fortresses over to the Romans. Strabo wrote that "great promises were made in exchange for these services", as Persian culture endured in Amasia after Mithridates and Tigranes were defeated, scholars have speculated about how the family's support for Rome might have affected their position in the local community, whether they might have been granted Roman citizenship as a reward. Strabo's life was characterized by extensive travels, he journeyed to Egypt and Kush, as far west as coastal Tuscany and as far south as Ethiopia in addition to his travels in Asia Minor and the time he spent in Rome.
Travel throughout the Mediterranean and Near East for scholarly purposes, was popular during this era and was facilitated by the relative peace enjoyed throughout the reign of Augustus. He moved to Rome in 44 BC, stayed there and writing, until at least 31 BC. In 29 BC, on his way to Corinth, he visited the island of Gyaros in the Aegean Sea. Around 25 BC, he sailed up the Nile until reaching Philae, after which point there is little record of his proceedings until AD 17, it is not known when Strabo's Geography was written, though comments within the work itself place the finished version within the reign of Emperor Tiberius. Some place its first drafts around 7 BC, others around AD 17 or 18; the latest passage to which a date can be assigned is his reference to the death in AD 23 of Juba II, king of Maurousia, said to have died "just recently". He worked on the Geography for many years and revised it not always consistently, it is an encyclopaedical chronicle and consists of political, social, geographic description of whole Europe: British Isles, Iberian Peninsula, Germania, The Alps, Greece.
The Geography is the only extant work providing information about both Greek and Roman peoples and countries during the reign of Augustus. On the presumption that "recently" means within a year, Strabo stopped writing that year or the next, when he died, he was influenced by Homer and Aristotle. The first of Strabo's major works, Historical Sketches, written while he was in Rome, is nearly lost. Meant to cover the history of the known world from the conquest of Greece by the Romans, Strabo quotes it himself and other classical authors mention that it existed, although the only surviving document is a fragment of papyrus now in possession of the University of Milan. Strabo studied under several prominent teachers of various specialties throughout his early life at different stops along his Mediterranean travels, his first chapter of education took place in Nysa under the master of rhetoric Aristodemus, who had taught the sons of the same Roman general who had taken over Pontus. Aristodemus was the head of two schools of rhetoric and grammar, one in Nysa and one in Rhodes, the former of the two cities possessing a distinct intellectual curiosity of Homeric literature and the interpretation of epics.
Strabo was an admirer of Homer's poetry a consequence of his time spent in Nysa with Aristodemus. At around the age of 21, Strabo moved to Rome, where he studied philosophy with the Peripatetic Xenarchus, a respected tutor in Augustus's court. Despite Xenarchus's Aristotelian leanings, Strabo gives evidence to have formed his own Stoic inclinations. In Rome, he learned grammar under the rich and famous scholar Tyrannion of Amisus. Although Tyrannion was a Peripatetic, he was more relevantly a respected authority on geography, a fact significant, considering Strabo's future contributions to the field; the final noteworthy mentor to Strabo was Athenodorus Cananites, a philosopher who had spent his life since 44 BC in Rome forging relationships with the Roman elite. Athenodorus endowed to Strabo three important items: his philosophy, his knowledge, his contacts. Unlike the Aristotelian Xenarchus and Tyrannion who preceded him in teaching Strabo, Athenodorus was Stoic in mindset certainly the source of Strabo's diversion from the philosophy of his former mentors.
Moreover, from his own first-hand experience, Athenodorus provided Strabo with information about regions of the empire which he would not otherwise have known. Strabo is most notable for his work Geographica, which presented a descriptive history of people and places from different regions of the world known to his era. Although the Geographica was utilized in its contemporary antiquity, a multitude of copies survived throughout the Byzantine Empire, it first appeared in Western Europe in Rome as a Latin translation issued around 1469. The first Greek edition was published in 1516 in Venice. Isaac Casaubon, classical scholar and editor of Greek texts, provided the first critical edition in 1587. Although Strabo cited the antique Greek astronomers Eratosthenes and Hipparchus, acknowledging their astronomical and mathematical efforts towards geography, he claimed that
Europe is a continent located in the Northern Hemisphere and in the Eastern Hemisphere. It is bordered by the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west and the Mediterranean Sea to the south, it comprises the westernmost part of Eurasia. Since around 1850, Europe is most considered to be separated from Asia by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas and the waterways of the Turkish Straits. Although the term "continent" implies physical geography, the land border is somewhat arbitrary and has been redefined several times since its first conception in classical antiquity; the division of Eurasia into two continents reflects East-West cultural and ethnic differences which vary on a spectrum rather than with a sharp dividing line. The geographic border does not follow political boundaries, with Turkey and Kazakhstan being transcontinental countries. A strict application of the Caucasus Mountains boundary places two comparatively small countries and Georgia, in both continents.
Europe covers 2 % of the Earth's surface. Politically, Europe is divided into about fifty sovereign states of which the Russian Federation is the largest and most populous, spanning 39% of the continent and comprising 15% of its population. Europe had a total population of about 741 million as of 2016; the European climate is affected by warm Atlantic currents that temper winters and summers on much of the continent at latitudes along which the climate in Asia and North America is severe. Further from the sea, seasonal differences are more noticeable than close to the coast. Europe, in particular ancient Greece, was the birthplace of Western civilization; the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 AD and the subsequent Migration Period marked the end of ancient history and the beginning of the Middle Ages. Renaissance humanism, exploration and science led to the modern era. Since the Age of Discovery started by Portugal and Spain, Europe played a predominant role in global affairs. Between the 16th and 20th centuries, European powers controlled at various times the Americas all of Africa and Oceania and the majority of Asia.
The Age of Enlightenment, the subsequent French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars shaped the continent culturally and economically from the end of the 17th century until the first half of the 19th century. The Industrial Revolution, which began in Great Britain at the end of the 18th century, gave rise to radical economic and social change in Western Europe and the wider world. Both world wars took place for the most part in Europe, contributing to a decline in Western European dominance in world affairs by the mid-20th century as the Soviet Union and the United States took prominence. During the Cold War, Europe was divided along the Iron Curtain between NATO in the West and the Warsaw Pact in the East, until the revolutions of 1989 and fall of the Berlin Wall. In 1949 the Council of Europe was founded, following a speech by Sir Winston Churchill, with the idea of unifying Europe to achieve common goals, it includes all European states except for Belarus and Vatican City. Further European integration by some states led to the formation of the European Union, a separate political entity that lies between a confederation and a federation.
The EU originated in Western Europe but has been expanding eastward since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. The currency of most countries of the European Union, the euro, is the most used among Europeans. In classical Greek mythology, Europa was a Phoenician princess; the word Europe is derived from her name. The name contains the elements εὐρύς, "wide, broad" and ὤψ "eye, countenance", hence their composite Eurṓpē would mean "wide-gazing" or "broad of aspect". Broad has been an epithet of Earth herself in the reconstructed Proto-Indo-European religion and the poetry devoted to it. There have been attempts to connect Eurṓpē to a Semitic term for "west", this being either Akkadian erebu meaning "to go down, set" or Phoenician'ereb "evening, west", at the origin of Arabic Maghreb and Hebrew ma'arav. Michael A. Barry, professor in Princeton University's Near Eastern Studies Department, finds the mention of the word Ereb on an Assyrian stele with the meaning of "night, sunset", in opposition to Asu " sunrise", i.e. Asia.
The same naming motive according to "cartographic convention" appears in Greek Ἀνατολή. Martin Litchfield West stated that "phonologically, the match between Europa's name and any form of the Semitic word is poor." Next to these hypotheses there is a Proto-Indo-European root *h1regʷos, meaning "darkness", which produced Greek Erebus. Most major world languages use words derived from Europa to refer to the continent. Chinese, for example, uses the word Ōuzhōu. In some Turkic languages the Persian name Frangistan is used casually in referring to much of Europe, besides official names such as Avrupa or Evropa; the prevalent definition of Europe as a geographical term has been in use since the mid-19th century. Europe is taken to be bounded by large bodies of water
The Caucasus Mountains are a mountain system at the intersection of Europe and Asia. Stretching between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, it surrounds the eponymous Caucasus region and is home to Mount Elbrus, the highest peak in Europe; the Caucasus Mountains include Lesser Caucasus in the south. The Greater Caucasus runs west-northwest to east-southeast, from the Caucasian Natural Reserve in the vicinity of Sochi on the northeastern shore of the Black Sea nearly to Baku on the Caspian Sea; the Lesser Caucasus runs parallel to the Greater about 100 km south. The Greater and Lesser Caucasus ranges are connected by the Likhi Range, to the west and east of the Likhi Range lie the Colchis Plain and the Kur-Araz Lowland; the Meskheti Range is a part of the Lesser Caucasus system. In the southeast the Aras River separates the Lesser Caucasus from the Talysh Mountains which straddle the border of southeastern Azerbaijan and Iran; the Lesser Caucasus and the Armenian Highland constitute the Transcaucasian Highland, which at their western end converge with the highland plateau of Eastern Anatolia in the far north east of Turkey.
The highest peak in the Caucasus range is Mount Elbrus in the Greater Caucasus, which rises to a height of 5,642 metres above sea level. Mountains near Sochi hosted part of the 2014 Winter Olympics. Geologically, the Caucasus Mountains belong to a system that extends from southeastern Europe into Asia; the Greater Caucasus Mountains are composed of Cretaceous and Jurassic rocks with the Paleozoic and Precambrian rocks in the higher regions. Some volcanic formations are found throughout the range. On the other hand, the Lesser Caucasus Mountains are formed predominantly of the Paleogene rocks with a much smaller portion of the Jurassic and Cretaceous rocks; the evolution of the Caucasus began from the Late Triassic to the Late Jurassic during the Cimmerian orogeny at the active margin of the Tethys Ocean while the uplift of the Greater Caucasus is dated to the Miocene during the Alpine orogeny. The Caucasus Mountains formed as the result of a tectonic plate collision between the Arabian plate moving northwards with respect to the Eurasian plate.
As the Tethys Sea was closed and the Arabian Plate collided with the Iranian Plate and was pushed against it and with the clockwise movement of the Eurasian Plate towards the Iranian Plate and their final collision, the Iranian Plate was pressed against the Eurasian Plate. As this happened, the entire rocks, deposited in this basin from the Jurassic to the Miocene were folded to form the Greater Caucasus Mountains; this collision caused the uplift and the Cenozoic volcanic activity in the Lesser Caucasus Mountains. The entire region is subjected to strong earthquakes from this activity. While the Greater Caucasus Mountains have a folded sedimentary structure, the Lesser Caucasus Mountains are of volcanic origin; the Javakheti Volcanic Plateau in Georgia and the surrounding volcanic ranges which extend well into central Armenia are some of the youngest features of the region. Only was the Caucasus a scene for intense volcanic activity: the Armenian highland was flooded by calc-alkaline basalts and andesites in the Pliocene and the highest summits of the Caucasus, the Elbrus, the Kazbek, formed as Pleistocene-Pliocene volcanoes.
The Kazbek is no longer active, but the Elbrus erupted in postglacial times and fumarole activity is registered near its summit. Contemporary seismic activity is a prominent feature of the region, reflecting active faulting and crustal shortening. Clusters of seismicity occur in northern Armenia. Many devastating earthquakes have been documented in historical times, including the Spitak earthquake in December 1988 which destroyed the Gyumri-Vanadzor region of Armenia. Europe's highest mountain is Mount Elbrus 5,642 m in the Caucasus Mountains. Elbrus is 832 m higher than the highest peak in the Alps and western Europe at 4,810 m; the crest of the Caucasus Mountains is taken to define the continental divide between Asia and Europe for the region between the Black and Caspian Seas. The table below lists some of the highest peaks of the Caucasus. With the exception of Shkhara, the heights are taken from Soviet 1:50,000 mapping; the list includes all mountains over 4,500 m height with 300 m prominence.
Mount Ararat in Turkey is just south of the lesser Caucasus. The climate of the Caucasus varies both vertically and horizontally. Temperature decreases as elevation rises. Average annual temperature in Sukhumi, Abkhazia at sea level is 15 °C while on the slopes of Mt. Kazbek at an elevation of 3,700 metres, average annual temperature falls to−6.1 °C. The northern slopes of the Greater Caucasus Mountain Range are 3 °C colder than the southern slopes; the highlands of the Lesser Caucasus Mountains in Armenia and Georgia are marked by sharp temperature contrasts between the summer and winter months due to a more continental climate. Precipitation increases from east to west in most areas. Elevation plays an important role in the Caucasus and mountains receive higher amounts of precipitation than low-lying areas; the northeastern regions and the southern portions of the Lesser Caucasus Mountains are the driest. The absolute minimum annual precipitation is 250 mm in the northeastern Caspian Depression.
Western parts of the Caucasus Mountains are marked by high amounts of precipitation. The southern slopes of the Greater Caucasus Mountain Range receive higher amounts of precipitation than the northern slope
The Armenian Highlands is the central-most and highest of three land-locked plateaus that together form the northern sector of the Middle East. To its west is the Anatolian plateau which rises from the lowland coast of the Aegean Sea and converges with the Armenian Highlands to the east of Cappadocia. To its southeast is the Iranian plateau, where the elevation drops by about 600 metres to 1,500 metres above sea level; the Caucasus extends to the northeast of the Armenian Highlands. To the southwest of the Armenian Highlands is Upper Mesopotamia. During the Iron Age, the region was known by variations of the name Ararat. During Antiquity, it was known as "Armenia Major," a central region to the history of Armenians, one of the four geo-political regions associated with Armenians, the other three being Armenia Minor and Commagene. Since the 1040s the highlands have been under the rule of various Turkic peoples and the Safavid dynasty. Much of Eastern Armenia, ruled by the Safavids from the 16th century, came under Russian control in 1828.
While much of Western Armenia was under the rule of the Ottomans and incorporated into Turkey. The highlands are divided into western and eastern regions, defined by the Ararat Valley where Mount Ararat is located; the region to the west of the Ararat Valley, conventionally called "Western Armenia", is now part of present day eastern Anatolia, the region to the east, conventionally called "Eastern Armenia," is now referred to as "Lesser Caucasus" or "Caucasus Minor." The region was mainly inhabited by Armenians, minorities of Assyrians, Greeks and Iranians. During the Middle Ages and Turkmens and Kurds settled in large numbers in the Armenian Highlands; the Christian population of the western half of the region was exterminated during the Armenian Genocide of 1915 and on a smaller scale the Assyrian Genocide and Greek Genocide. Today, the eastern half is inhabited by Armenians and Georgians, while the western half is inhabited by Azerbaijanis, Kurds and Zazas, with a minority of Assyrians; the Armenian Highlands is part of the Alpide belt, forming part of the Asian range that stretches from the Pontic Mountains to the Malay Peninsula.
Its total area is about 400,000 km2. The Armenian Highlands have been the scene of great volcanic activity. Geologically recent volcanism on the area has resulted in large volcanic formations and a series of massifs and tectonic movement has formed the three largest lakes in the Highland, Lake Sevan, Lake Van and Lake Urmia; the Armenian Highlands are rich in water resources. The central, axial chain of Armenian highland ridges, running from west to east across Western Armenia, is called Anti-Taurus. In the west, the Anti-Taurus departs to the north from the Central Taurus, passing right in the middle of the Armenian plateau, parallel to the Eastern Taurus, ends in the east with Ararat peaks. Most of the Armenian Highlands is in present day eastern Anatolia, includes northwestern Iran, all of Armenia, southern Georgia, western Azerbaijan, its northeastern parts are known as Lesser Caucasus, a center of Armenian culture. From 4000 to 1000 BC, tools and trinkets of copper and iron were produced in this region and traded in neighboring lands where those metals were less abundant.
It is traditionally believed to be one of the possible locations of the Garden of Eden. The Armenian Plateau has been called the "epicenter of the Iron Age", since it appears to be the location of the first appearance of Iron Age metallurgy in the late 2nd millennium BC. In the Early Iron Age, the Kingdom of Van controlled much of the region, until it was overthrown by the Medes and Orontid dynasty. In Gilgamesh, the land of Aratta is placed in a geographic space that could be describing the Armenian plateau. Throughout Classical Antiquity and the Middle Ages, during various centuries, the Armenian Highlands was a contested territory of the Iranian Parthian Empire, Sassanid Persian Empire, Byzantine Empire, the Arab Caliphate. From the early modern era and on, the region came directly under Safavid Iranian rule. Contested for centuries between the Iranian Safavids and its vying archrival the Ottoman Empire with numerous wars raging over the region, large parts of the Highlands comprising Western Armenia were conquered by the Ottoman Empire in the first half of the 17th century following the Ottoman–Safavid War and the outcoming Treaty of Zuhab, while Eastern Armenia, forming another major part of the Highlands, stayed in Iranian hands up to the course of the 19th century, when it was ceded to Imperial Russia.
During the first half of the 19th century, the Ottoman held parts of the Armenian Highlands comprising Western Armenia now formed the boundary of the Ottoman sphere of influence and the Russian sphere of influence, the latter who had just completed its conquest of the Caucasus and Eastern Armenia at the expense of its suzerain, Qajar Iran, in about 4 major wars spanning more than two centuries. According to Richard Hovannisian, the Armenian Genocide was the "physical elimination of the Armenian people and most of the evidence of their having lived on the great highland called the Armenian Plateau, to which the perpetrator side soon assigned the new name of Eastern Anatolia". Since the Armenian Genocide and dissolution of the Ottoman Empire after World War I, it has been the boundary region of Turkey and the Sovie
Tea is an aromatic beverage prepared by pouring hot or boiling water over cured leaves of the Camellia sinensis, an evergreen shrub native to East Asia. After water, it is the most consumed drink in the world. There are many different types of tea. Tea originated in Southwest China during the Shang dynasty. An early credible record of tea drinking dates to the 3rd century AD, in a medical text written by Hua Tuo, it was popularized as a recreational drink during the Chinese Tang dynasty, tea drinking spread to other East Asian countries. Portuguese priests and merchants introduced it to Europe during the 16th century. During the 17th century, drinking tea became fashionable among Britons, who started large-scale production and commercialization of the plant in India. Combined and India supplied 62% of the world's tea in 2016; the term herbal tea refers to drinks not made from Camellia sinensis: infusions of fruit, leaves, or other parts of the plant, such as steeps of rosehip, chamomile, or rooibos.
These are sometimes called tisanes or herbal infusions to prevent confusion with tea made from the tea plant. The Chinese character for tea is 茶 written with an extra stroke as 荼, acquired its current form during the Tang Dynasty; the word is pronounced differently in the different varieties of Chinese, such as chá in Mandarin, zo and dzo in Wu Chinese, ta and te in Min Chinese. One suggestion is that the different pronunciations may have arisen from the different words for tea in ancient China, for example tú may have given rise to tê. There were other ancient words for tea, it has been proposed that the Chinese words for tea, tu, cha and ming, may have been borrowed from the Austro-Asiatic languages of people who inhabited southwest China. Most Chinese languages, such as Mandarin and Cantonese, pronounce it along the lines of cha, but Hokkien and Teochew Chinese varieties along the Southern coast of China pronounce it like teh; these two pronunciations have made their separate ways into other languages around the world.
Starting in the early 17th century, the Dutch played a dominant role in the early European tea trade via the Dutch East India Company. The Dutch borrowed the word for "tea" from Min Chinese, either through trade directly from Hokkien speakers in Formosa where they had established a port, or from Malay traders in Bantam, Java; the Dutch introduced to other European languages this Min pronunciation for tea, including English tea, French thé, Spanish té, German Tee. This pronunciation is the most common form worldwide; the Cha pronunciation came from the Cantonese chàh of Guangzhou and the ports of Hong Kong and Macau, which were major points of contact with the Portuguese traders who settled Macau in the 16th century. The Portuguese adopted the Cantonese pronunciation "chá", spread it to India. However, the Korean and Japanese pronunciations of cha were not from Cantonese, but were borrowed into Korean and Japanese during earlier periods of Chinese history. A third form, the widespread chai, came from Persian چای chay.
Both the châ and chây forms are found in Persian dictionaries. They are derived from the Northern Chinese pronunciation of chá, which passed overland to Central Asia and Persia, where it picked up the Persian grammatical suffix -yi before passing on to Russian as чай, Arabic as شاي, Urdu as چائے chay, Hindi as चाय chāy, Turkish as çay, etc; the few exceptions of words for tea that do not fall into the three broad groups of te, cha and chai are from the minor languages from the botanical homeland of the tea plant from which the Chinese words for tea might have been borrowed originally. English has all three forms: char, attested from the 16th century. However, the form chai refers to a black tea mixed with sugar or honey and milk in contemporary English. Tea plants are native to East Asia, originated in the borderlands of north Burma and southwestern China. Chinese tea Chinese Western Yunnan Assam tea Indian Assam tea Chinese Southern Yunnan Assam teaChinese type tea may have originated in southern China with hybridization of unknown wild tea relatives.
However, since there are no known wild populations of this tea, the precise location of its origin is speculative. Given their genetic differences forming distinct clades, Chinese Assam type tea may have two different parentages – one being found in southern Yunnan and the other in western Yunnan. Many types of Southern Yunnan assam tea have been hybridized with the related species Camellia taliensis. Unlike Southern Yunnan Assam tea, Western Yunnan Assam tea shares many genetic similarities with Indian Assam type tea. Thus, Western Yunnan Assam tea and Indian Assam tea both may have originated from the same parent plant in the area where southwestern China, Indo-Burma
Herodotus was an ancient Greek historian, born in Halicarnassus in the Persian Empire. He is known for having written the book The Histories, a detailed record of his "inquiry" on the origins of the Greco-Persian Wars, he is considered to have been the first writer to have treated historical subjects using a method of systematic investigation—specifically, by collecting his materials and critically arranging them into an historiographic narrative. On account of this, he is referred to as "The Father of History", a title first conferred on him by the first-century BC Roman orator Cicero. Despite Herodotus's historical significance, little is known about his personal life, his Histories deals with the lives of Croesus, Cambyses, Smerdis and Xerxes and the battles of Marathon, Artemisium, Salamis and Mycale. Herodotus has been criticized for the fact that his book includes a large number of obvious legends and fanciful accounts. Many authors, starting with the late fifth-century BC historian Thucydides, have accused him of making up stories for entertainment.
Herodotus, states that he is reporting what he has been told. A sizable portion of the information he provides has since been confirmed by historians and archaeologists. Herodotus announced the purpose and scope of his work at the beginning of his Histories as such: Here are presented the results of the enquiry carried out by Herodotus of Halicarnassus; the purpose is to prevent the traces of human events from being erased by time, to preserve the fame of the important and remarkable achievements produced by both Greeks and non-Greeks. His record of the achievements of others was an achievement in itself, though the extent of it has been debated. Herodotus's place in history and his significance may be understood according to the traditions within which he worked, his work is the earliest Greek prose. However, Dionysius of Halicarnassus, a literary critic of Augustan Rome, listed seven predecessors of Herodotus, describing their works as simple, unadorned accounts of their own and other cities and people, Greek or foreign, including popular legends, sometimes melodramatic and naïve charming – all traits that can be found in the work of Herodotus himself.
Modern historians regard the chronology as uncertain, but according to the ancient account, these predecessors included Dionysius of Miletus, Charon of Lampsacus, Hellanicus of Lesbos, Xanthus of Lydia and, the best attested of them all, Hecataeus of Miletus. Of these, only fragments of Hecataeus's works survived, the authenticity of these is debatable, but they provide a glimpse into the kind of tradition within which Herodotus wrote his own Histories. In his introduction to Hecataeus's work, Genealogies: Hecataeus the Milesian speaks thus: I write these things as they seem true to me; this points forward to the "international" outlook typical of Herodotus. However, one modern scholar has described the work of Hecataeus as "a curious false start to history", since despite his critical spirit, he failed to liberate history from myth. Herodotus mentions Hecataeus in his Histories, on one occasion mocking him for his naive genealogy and, on another occasion, quoting Athenian complaints against his handling of their national history.
It is possible that Herodotus borrowed much material from Hecataeus, as stated by Porphyry in a quote recorded by Eusebius. In particular, it is possible that he copied descriptions of the crocodile and phoenix from Hecataeus's Circumnavigation of the Known World misrepresenting the source as "Heliopolitans", but Hecataeus did not record events that had occurred in living memory, unlike Herodotus, nor did he include the oral traditions of Greek history within the larger framework of oriental history. There is no proof that Herodotus derived the ambitious scope of his own work, with its grand theme of civilizations in conflict, from any predecessor, despite much scholarly speculation about this in modern times. Herodotus claims to be better informed than his predecessors by relying on empirical observation to correct their excessive schematism. For example, he argues for continental asymmetry as opposed to the older theory of a circular earth with Europe and Asia/Africa equal in size. However, he retains idealizing tendencies, as in his symmetrical notions of the Nile.
His debt to previous authors of prose "histories" might be questionable, but there is no doubt that Herodotus owed much to the example and inspiration of poets and story-tellers. For example, Athenian tragic poets provided him with a world-view of a balance between conflicting forces, upset by the hubris of kings, they provided his narrative with a model of episodic structure, his familiarity with Athenian tragedy is demonstrated in a number of passages echoing Aeschylus's Persae, including the epigrammatic observation that the defeat of the Persian navy at Salamis caused the defeat of the land army. The debt may have been repaid by Sophocles because there appear to be echoes of The Histories in his plays a passage in Antigone that resembles Herodotus's account of the death of Intaphernes. However, this point is one of the most contentious
Arabs are a population inhabiting the Arab world. They live in the Arab states in Western Asia, North Africa, the Horn of Africa and western Indian Ocean islands, they form a significant diaspora, with Arab communities established around the world. The first mention of Arabs is from the mid-ninth century BCE as a tribal people in eastern and southern Syria and the north of the Arabian Peninsula; the Arabs appear to have been under the vassalage of the Neo-Assyrian Empire, the succeeding Neo-Babylonian, Achaemenid and Parthian empires. Arab tribes, most notably the Ghassanids and Lakhmids, begin to appear in the southern Syrian Desert from the mid 3rd century CE onward, during the mid to stages of the Roman and Sasanian empires. Before the expansion of the Rashidun Caliphate, "Arab" referred to any of the nomadic and settled Semitic people from the Arabian Peninsula, Syrian Desert, North and Lower Mesopotamia. Today, "Arab" refers to a large number of people whose native regions form the Arab world due to the spread of Arabs and the Arabic language throughout the region during the early Muslim conquests of the 7th and 8th centuries and the subsequent Arabisation of indigenous populations.
The Arabs forged the Rashidun, Umayyad and the Fatimid caliphates, whose borders reached southern France in the west, China in the east, Anatolia in the north, the Sudan in the south. This was one of the largest land empires in history. In the early 20th century, the First World War signalled the end of the Ottoman Empire; this resulted in the defeat and dissolution of the empire and the partition of its territories, forming the modern Arab states. Following the adoption of the Alexandria Protocol in 1944, the Arab League was founded on 22 March 1945; the Charter of the Arab League endorsed the principle of an Arab homeland whilst respecting the individual sovereignty of its member states. Today, Arabs inhabit the 22 Arab states within the Arab League: Algeria, Comoros, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Mauritania, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen; the Arab world stretches around 13 million km2, from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Arabian Sea in the east, from the Mediterranean Sea in the north to the Horn of Africa and the Indian Ocean in the southeast.
Beyond the boundaries of the League of Arab States, Arabs can be found in the global diaspora. The ties that bind Arabs are ethnic, cultural, identical, nationalist and political; the Arabs have their own customs, architecture, literature, dance, cuisine, society and mythology. The total number of Arabs are an estimated 450 million. Arabs are a diverse group in terms of religious practices. In the pre-Islamic era, most Arabs followed polytheistic religions; some tribes had adopted Christianity or Judaism, a few individuals, the hanifs observed monotheism. Today, about 93% of Arabs are adherents of Islam, there are sizable Christian minorities. Arab Muslims belong to the Sunni, Shiite and Alawite denominations. Arab Christians follow one of the Eastern Christian Churches, such as the Greek Orthodox or Greek Catholic churches. Other smaller minority religions are followed, such as the Bahá'í Faith and Druze. Arabs have influenced and contributed to diverse fields, notably the arts and architecture, philosophy, ethics, politics, music, cinema, medicine and technology in the ancient and modern history.
The earliest documented use of the word "Arab" to refer to a people appears in the Kurkh Monoliths, an Akkadian language record of the ninth century BCE Assyrian conquest of Aram, which referred to Bedouins of the Arabian Peninsula under King Gindibu, who fought as part of a coalition opposed to Assyria. Listed among the booty captured by the army of king Shalmaneser III of Assyria in the Battle of Qarqar are 1000 camels of "Gi-in-di-bu'u the ar-ba-a-a" or " Gindibu belonging to the Arab; the related word ʾaʿrāb is used to refer to Bedouins today, in contrast to ʿarab which refers to Arabs in general. The term Arab and ʾaʿrāb are mentioned around 40 times in pre-Islamic Sabaean inscriptions; the term Arab occurs in the titles of the Himyarite kings from the time of'Abu Karab Asad until MadiKarib Ya'fur. The term ʾaʿrāb is driven from the term Arab according to Sabaean grammar; the term is mentioned in Quranic verses referring to people who were living in Madina and it might be a south Arabian loan-word into Quranic language.
The oldest surviving indication of an Arab national identity is an inscription made in an archaic form of Arabic in 328 using the Nabataean alphabet, which refers to Imru' al-Qays ibn'Amr as "King of all the Arabs". Herodotus refers to the Arabs in the Sinai, southern Palestine, the frankincense region. Other ancient Greek historians like Agatharchides, Diodorus Siculus and Strabo mention Arabs living in Mesopotamia, in Egypt, southern Jordan, the Syrian steppe and in eastern Arabia. Inscriptions dating to the 6th century BCE in Yemen include the term "Arab"; the most popular Arab account holds that the word "Arab" came from an eponymous father called Ya'rub, the first to speak Arabic. A