Southern Europe

Southern Europe includes all European Mediterranean countries with the exclusion of France which is typically considered to be of Western Europe and with the possible inclusion of Turkey. Originating with several prehistoric cultures, trade and greater civilisation emerged in the Bronze Age which saw interaction across the Mediterranean and to varied extents with Egypt and the Near East. The later cultural unification of the Greeks saw the first major civilisation of Southern Europe that would become one of the most artistically significant cultures of the ancient world. Hellenistic Greece saw its greatest cultural dissemination following the conquest of Alexander the Great reaching as far as India. The Etruscans in Italy developed their own culture though it saw extensive influence from Greece. The Phoenicians, originating from the Near East and establishing a city state in Carthage in Tunisia interacted culturally with the Ancient Greeks and later Romans. Following the decline of Greece Rome reached new heights of imperial power and cultural exchange embarking on conquest into Northern Europe and North Africa. With the decline of Rome Southern Europe saw the conquest of Germanic tribes from Northern Europe Before being later reconquered by the Byzantine Empire. In Spain Islamic conquest was seen via North Africa with the establishment of Moorish Spain.

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