Asian History

Asia is the worlds largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earths total surface area and comprises 30% of its land area. With approximately 4.3 billion people, it hosts 60% of the worlds current human population.

Asia has a high growth rate in the modern era. For instance, during the 20th century, Asias population nearly quadrupled. Asia is defined as comprising the eastwards four-fifths of Eurasia. It is located to the east of the Suez Canal, the Ural River, and the Ural Mountains, and south of the Caucasus Mountains and the Caspian and Black Seas. It is bounded on the east by the Pacific Ocean, on the south by the Indian Ocean and on the north by the Arctic Ocean.Given its size and diversity, Asia ??“ a toponym dating back to classical antiquity ??“ “is more a cultural concept” incorporating diverse regions and peoples than a homogeneous physical entity. Asia differs very widely among and within its regions with regard to ethnic groups, cultures, environments, economics, historical ties and government systems.

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Latin Asia and Greek ???? appear to be the same word. Roman authors translated ???? as Asia. The Romans named a province Asia, which was in the location of the then Asia. There was an Asia Minor and an Asia Major (Iraq), of which the name of Minor survived. As the earliest evidence of the name is Greek, it is likely circumstantially that Asia came from ????, but ancient transitions, due to the lack of literary contexts, are difficult to catch in the act. The most likely vehicles were the ancient geographers and historians, such as Herodotus, who were all Greek. Roman civilization Hellenized extensively.

Ancient Greek certainly evidences early and rich uses of the name. The first continental use of Asia is attributed to Herodotus, not because he innovated it, but because his Histories are the earliest surviving prose to describe it in any detail. He defines it carefully, mentioning the previous geographers whom he had read, but whose works are now missing. By it he means Anatolia and the Persian Empire, in contrast to Greece and Egypt.

Herodotus comments that he is puzzled as to why three womens names were “given to a tract which is in reality one” ,stating that most Greeks assumed that Asia was named after the wife of Prometheus but that the Lydians say it was named after Asies, son of Cotys, who passed the name on to a tribe at Sardis. In Greek mythology, “Asia” or “Asie” was the name of a “Nymph or Titan goddess of Lydia.”Herodotus geographical puzzlement was perhaps only a form of disagreement, as, having read the earlier Greek poetry along with everyone else literate, he would have known perfectly well why places received female names. Athens, Mycenae, Thebes and many other locations in fact had them.

In ancient Greek religion, places were under the care of female divinities, parallel to guardian angels. The poets detailed their doings and generations in allegoric language salted with entertaining stories, which subsequently playwrights transformed into classical Greek drama and became “Greek mythology.” Asia is the largest continent on Earth. It covers 8.8% of the Earths total surface area ), and has the largest coastline, at 62,800 kilometres Asia is generally defined as comprising the eastern four-fifths of Eurasia. It is located to the east of the Suez Canal and the Ural Mountains, and south of the Caucasus Mountains and the Caspian and Black Seas.[4][5] It is bounded on the east by the Pacific Ocean, on the south by the Indian Ocean and on the north by the Arctic Ocean. Asia is subdivided into 48 countries, two of them having part of their land in Europe.

Asia has extremely diverse climates and geographic features. Climates range from arctic and subarctic in Siberia to tropical in southern India and Southeast Asia. It is moist across southeast sections, and dry across much of the interior. Some of the largest daily temperature ranges on Earth occur in western sections of Asia. The monsoon circulation dominates across southern and eastern sections, due to the presence of the Himalayas forcing the formation of a thermal low which draws in moisture during the summer. Southwestern sections of the continent are hot.

Siberia is one of the coldest places in the Northern Hemisphere, and can act as a source of arctic air masses for North America. The most active place on Earth for tropical cyclone activity lies northeast of the Philippines and south of Japan. The Gobi Desert is in Mongolia and the Arabian Desert stretches across much of the Middle East. The Yangtze River in China is the longest river in the continent. The Himalayas between Nepal and China is the tallest mountain range in the world. Tropical rainforests stretch across much of southern Asia and coniferous and deciduous forests lie farther north.

Many of the worlds major religions have their origins in Asia. Islam, which originated in Saudi Arabia, currently has the largest number of adherents in the continent. With 12.7% of the world Muslim population, the largest Muslim population in Asia is in Indonesia, followed by Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Iran and Turkey. Mecca, Medina and to a lesser extent Jerusalem are the holiest cities for Islam in Asia.

These religious sites attract large numbers of devotees from all over the world, particularly during the Hajj and Umrah seasons.Almost all Asian religions have philosophical character and Asian philosophical traditions cover a large spectrum of philosophical thoughts and writings. Indian philosophy includes Hindu philosophy and Buddhist philosophy. They include elements of nonmaterial pursuits, whereas another school of thought from India, Carvaka, preached the enjoyment of the material world. As of 2012, Hinduism has around 1.1 billion adherents. The faith represents around 25% of Asias population and is the second largest religion in Asia.

However, it is mostly concentrated in South Asia. Christianity is also present in most Asian countries. Asian mythology is complex and diverse.

The story of the Great Flood for example, as presented to Christians in the Old Testament, is first found in Mesopotamian mythology, in the Epic of Gilgamesh. Hindu mythology tells about an Avatar of the God Vishnu in the form of a fish who warned Manu of a terrible flood. In ancient Chinese mythology, Shan Hai Jing, the Chinese ruler Da Yu, had to spend 10 years to control a deluge which swept out most of ancient China and was aided by the goddess Nuwa who literally fixed the broken sky through which huge rains were pouring.