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Europe is the second smallest of the seven continents covering roughly 2% of the earth’s surface. The name 'Europe’ has long been thought to have been derived from the ancient myth of Zeus and Europa. According to this tale, the great god Zeus, seeing the lovely Phoenician princess Europa bathing (or, according to other versions, playing with her handmaidens... [continue reading]
The Aegean Sea lies between the coast of Greece and Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey). It contains over 2,000 islands which were settled by the ancient Greeks; the largest among them being Crete (Kriti) and the best known and most often photographed, Santorini (Thera or Thira). Both of these islands have strong associations with ancient Greek history and myth... [continue reading]
The Near East is traditionally regarded by archaeologists and ancient historians as the region of southwest Asia, specifically the area encircled by the Mediterranean Sea, the Black Sea, the Caspian Sea, the Red Sea and the Persian/Arabian Gulf. In modern times this region includes the countries of Israel/Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, Jordan, Iraq and western... [continue reading]
The term Indo-European is essentially a linguistic term denoting a language family with a large number of branches: Indic, Iranian, Tocharian, Albanian, Anatolian, Armenian, Greek, Italic, Celtic, Germanic, Baltic and Slavic. A small group of unaffiliated languages (Phyrgian, Thracian, Macedonian, Illyrian, Venetic, Messapic and Lusitanian) is also considered... [continue reading]