Ancient History of Europe
The European region of the world has been inhabited since before 2000 BC with Indo-European tribes invading the area by 1800 BC. By the European Iron Age in 1200 BC, Greeks and Phoenicians were establishing Mediterranean cities. This Mediterranean colonization became the central point of development for Europe.
Europe’s Influence in World History
Europe is considered the origin of Western civilization. From Greece, the ideas of democracy, rationalism, philosophy, and humanism have emerged, becoming the building blocks of future societies around the world. From the Roman Empire, in control during the 2nd century AD, came advanced legal and political systems as well as engineering and architectural developments. By 1000 AD, Christianity was firmly entrenched throughout the region, a religion that would go on to become one of the most widely practiced in the world. During the Renaissance Period, Europe contributed to the fields of art, music, philosophy, and the sciences. By the 15th century, European explorers were establishing international trade routes, forming colonies, and spreading these ideas around the world.
Europe is by far one of the greatest influential regions of the world, both past, and present. Many historic cities continue to hold critical roles. Today, these ancient urban areas are the major capital cities of Europe. The region is filled with history and has never ceased to be a major influential power in the world.This article takes a look at some of the capital cities of Europe, their histories, and current roles.
Perhaps one of the most historic capital cities of Europe is Rome, the capital of Italy. This city has a population of 2.9 million and a history that dates back over 2,500 years. Rome became important as the capital of the Roman Empire, although Indo-European tribes had inhabited the area prior to the Roman invasion. This city has provided the world with the first metropolis model and played a significant role in the spread of Catholicism. The pope ruled the city from the 1st century AD until the 8th century when it became the capital of the Papal States until 1870. Rome has always held the place as a global cultural center, becoming the center of the Italian Renaissance, and eventually bringing the world the Baroque style and Neoclassicism. Today, Rome is the most popular tourist destination in Italy and the 14th most visited city in the world. It is the center for government administration and hosts large international organizations such as the World Food Programme and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.
London, the capital of England, is one of the most significant capital cities of Europe. Scientists have discovered evidence of inhabitants dating back as far as 4500 BC, but the first major development of the city was by Roman invaders in 43 AD. In 61 AD, the British Celtic Iceni tribe led an uprising and burned it to the ground. The Romans rebuilt and by 100 AD, London was the capital of Britannia, a Roman province. The city declined for several hundred years after the fall of Rome, but by the 11th century, it was once again the largest city in the region. In the late 1400’s, the most widely practiced religion became Protestantism which would spread to North America by British colonizers in the 16th and 17th centuries. Today, London is a global financial center and receives more international visitors than any other city in the world. It is a principle center for arts, education, entertainment, fashion, and commerce.
Paris is one of the most heavily populated capital cities of Europe. It is the capital of France and has over 12 million inhabitants within the Paris region. This site was first inhabited during the 3rd century BC by the Parisii tribe which was conquered by Roman invaders in 52 BC. It was not until after the fall of Rome that Paris became an important urban center for France. Under Frankian rule at the end of the 900’s AD, the city grew in population and economy. By the 12th century, it was firmly established as the political, religious, economic, and cultural capital of France. The city experienced the Age of Enlightenment in the 1700’s and never stopped being an important center for the arts. During the 1900’s, many artists and writers made their homes here. Today, Paris hosts the Louvre, the most visited art museum in the world. Additionally, more than 22 million visitors a year come to see monuments like the Eiffel Tower, to eat French cuisine, and to take part in Paris Fashion Week.
Other Major Capital Cities of Europe
Other major capital cities of Europe include Berlin of Germany, Vatican City (technically a sovereign state within Rome), Athens of Greece, Madrid of Spain, and Brussels of Belgium. A complete list of all the countries and their capitals can be found below.