North Africa during the Classical Period reconstruction of Hecataeus ' map of the world The Phoenicians explored North Africa, establishing a number of colonies, the most prominent of which was Carthage. Carthage itself conducted exploration of West Africa. The first circumnavigation of the African continent was probably made by Phoenician sailors, in an expedition commissioned by Egyptian pharaoh Necho IIin c.
A mosaic showing Alexander the Great battling Darius III The Hellenic civilisation was a collection of city-states or poleis with different governments and cultures that achieved notable developments in government, philosophy, science, mathematics, politics, sports, theatre and music.
Athens was a powerful Hellenic city-state and governed itself with an early form of direct democracy invented by Cleisthenes ; the citizens of Athens voted on legislation and executive bills themselves.
Athens was the home of Socrates Platoand the Platonic Academy. By the late 6th century BC, all the Greek city states in Asia Minor had been incorporated into the Persian Empirewhile the latter had made territorial gains in the Balkans such as MacedonThracePaeoniaetc.
In the course of the 5th century BC, some of the Greek city states attempted to overthrow Persian rule in the Ionian Revoltwhich failed.
This sparked the first Persian invasion of mainland Greece. At some point during the ensuing Greco-Persian Warsnamely during the Second Persian invasion of Greeceand precisely after the Battle of Thermopylae and the Battle of Artemisiumalmost all of Greece to the north of the Isthmus of Corinth had been overrun by the Persians,  but the Greek city states reached a decisive victory at the Battle of Plataea.
With the end of the Greco-Persian wars, the Persians were eventually decisively forced to withdraw from their territories in Europe. The Greco-Persian Wars and the victory of the Greek city states directly influenced the entire further course of European history and would set its further tone.
The Peloponnesian Wars ensued, and the Peloponnesian League was victorious. Subsequently, discontent with Spartan hegemony led to the Corinthian War and the defeat of Sparta at the Battle of Leuctra. Hellenic infighting left Greek city states vulnerable, and Philip II of Macedon united the Greek city states under his control.
The son of Philip II, known as Alexander the Greatinvaded neighboring Persiatoppled and incorporated its domains, as well as invading Egypt and going as far off as Indiaincreasing contact with people and cultures in these regions that marked the beginning of the Hellenistic period.
After the death of Alexander, his empire split into multiple kingdoms ruled by his generals, the Diadochi. The Diadochi fought against each other only three major kingdoms remained: Ptolemaic Egyptthe Seleucid Empire and Macedonia kingdom.
These kingdoms spread Greek culture to regions as far away as Bactria. First governed by kingsthen as a senatorial republic the Roman RepublicRome finally became an empire at the end of the 1st century BC, under Augustus and his authoritarian successors.
The Roman Empire at its greatest extent in AD, under the emperor Trajan The Roman Empire had its centre in the Mediterranean, controlling all the countries on its shores; the northern border was marked by the Rhine and Danube rivers.
In the 4th century, the emperors Diocletian and Constantine were able to slow down the process of decline by splitting the empire into a Western part with a capital in Rome and an Eastern part with the capital in Byzantium, or Constantinople now Istanbul.
Whereas Diocletian severely persecuted Christianity, Constantine declared an official end to state-sponsored persecution of Christians in with the Edict of Milanthus setting the stage for the Church to become the state church of the Roman Empire in about Decline of the Roman Empire[ edit ] Main articles: Gibbon said that the adoption of Christianity, meant belief in a better life after death, and therefore made people lazy and indifferent to the present.
Bowersock has remarked,  "we have been obsessed with the fall: Some other notable dates are the Battle of Adrianople inthe death of Theodosius I in the last time the Roman Empire was politically unifiedthe crossing of the Rhine in by Germanic tribes after the withdrawal of the legions to defend Italy against Alaric Ithe death of Stilicho infollowed by the disintegration of the western legions, the death of Justinian Ithe last Roman Emperor who tried to reconquer the west, inand the coming of Islam after Many scholars maintain that rather than a "fall", the changes can more accurately be described as a complex transformation.
Late Antiquity and Migration Period[ edit ] Main articles: Late Antiquity and Migration Period A simplified map of migrations from the 2nd to the 5th century. When Emperor Constantine had reconquered Rome under the banner of the cross inhe soon afterwards issued the Edict of Milan indeclaring the legality of Christianity in the Roman Empire.
In addition, Constantine officially shifted the capital of the Roman Empire from Rome to the Greek town of Byzantium, which he renamed Nova Roma- it was later named Constantinople "City of Constantine". In Theodosius Iwho had made Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire, would be the last emperor to preside over a united Roman Empire.
The empire was split into two halves: The Western Roman Empire was repeatedly attacked by Germanic tribes see: Migration Periodand in finally fell to the Heruli chieftain Odoacer.
Over time, feudalism and manorialism arose, two interlocking institutions that provided for division of land and labor, as well as a broad if uneven hierarchy of law and protection.The Maghreb (المغرب العربي al-Maġrib al-ʿArabī; also rendered Maghrib, or sometimes—though rarely—Moghreb) is a collection of countries within what is commonly termed Northern grupobittia.com area lies along the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic grupobittia.com modern definition of the Maghreb includes the nations of: Mauritania, .
In the middle decades of the 19th century, European explorers had mapped areas of East Africa and Central Africa. Even as late as the s, European states still controlled only ten percent of the African continent, with all their territories located near the coast.
Between and , metropolitan France (that is, without overseas or colonial possessions) was the second most populous country of Europe, behind Russia, and the fourth most populous country in the world (behind China, India, and Russia); between and , metropolitan France was the third most populous country of Europe, .
It was left for 19th-century European explorers, including those searching for the famed sources of the Nile, notably John Hanning Speke, Sir Richard Burton, David Livingstone and Henry Morton Stanley, to complete the exploration of Africa by the s.
In the late 19th century, the technological gap between Europeans and Africans, already present since the 16th century, began to widen at a faster pace. The first successful use of gunpowder was by Ottoman forces at Constantinople in , and its use spread to Europe more so than to Africa.
Africa and Africans have had an influence on European thought and culture far disproportionate to the size of the small black population (which, for example, approached , in the Iberian peninsula in the 16th century, and by the 18th Century amounted to just several thousand in France, a few thousand in the Netherlands, and several hundred.