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Western culture, sometimes equated with Western civilization, Occidental culture, the Western world, Western society, and European civilization, is the
heritage Heritage may refer to: History and society * In history, "heritage" refers to events or processes that have a special meaning in group memory * National heritage site, a site having a value that has been registered by a governmental agency as bein ...
of
social norms Social norms are regarded as collective representations of acceptable group conduct as well as individual perceptions of particular group conduct. They can be viewed as cultural products (including values, customs, and traditions)Sherif, M. (1936 ...
,
ethical value In ethics, value denotes the degree of importance of some thing or action, with the aim of determining what actions are best to do or what way is best to live (normative ethics), or to describe the significance of different actions. Value systems ...
s,
tradition A tradition is a belief or behavior (folk custom) passed down within a group or society with symbolic meaning or special significance with origins in the past. A component of folklore, common examples include holidays or impractical but socially ...
al customs,
belief systems A belief is an attitude that something is the case, or that some proposition about the world is true. In epistemology, philosophers use the term "belief" to refer to attitudes about the world which can be either true or false. To believe somethi ...
,
political system In political science, a political system defines the process for making official government decisions. It is usually compared to the legal system, economic system, cultural system, and other social systems. However, this is a very simplified view o ...
s, artifacts and
technologies Technology ("science of craft", from Greek , ''techne'', "art, skill, cunning of hand"; and , ''-logia'') is the sum of techniques, skills, methods, and processes used in the production of goods or services or in the accomplishment of objectiv ...
of the
Western world The Western world, also known as the West, refers to various regions, nations and states, depending on the context, most often consisting of the majority of Europe, the Americas, and Australasia.
that originated in or are associated with
Europe Europe is a continent located entirely in the Northern Hemisphere and mostly in the Eastern Hemisphere. It comprises the westernmost peninsulas of the continental landmass of Eurasia, and is bordered by the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlant ...

Europe
. The term also applies beyond Europe to countries and cultures whose
histories Histories or, in Latin, Historiae may refer to: * the plural of history * ''Histories'' (Herodotus), by Herodotus * ''The Histories'', by Timaeus * ''The Histories'' (Polybius), by Polybius * ''Histories'' by Gaius Sallustius Crispus (Sallust), of ...

histories
are strongly connected to Europe by immigration, colonization, or influence. For example, Western culture includes determinated countries in the
Americas The Americas (also collectively called America) is a landmass comprising the totality of North and South America. The Americas make up most of the land in Earth's Western Hemisphere and comprise the New World. Along with their associated i ...

Americas
and
Oceania Oceania (, , ) is a geographic region that includes Australasia, Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia. Spanning the Eastern and Western Hemispheres, Oceania has a land area of and a population of over 41 million. When compared to continents, ...

Oceania
. Western culture is most strongly influenced by the
Greco-Roman Roman Theatre of Mérida, Spain. The term "Greco-Roman world" (also "Greco-Roman culture" or ; spelled Graeco-Roman in the Commonwealth), as understood by modern scholars and writers, refers to geographical regions and countries that cultural ...

Greco-Roman
and
Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. The words ''Christ'' and ''Christian'' derive from the Koine Greek title ''Christós'' (Χριστ ...

Christian
cultures. Ancient Greece is considered the birthplace of many elements of Western culture, including the development of a
democratic Democrat, Democrats, or Democratic may refer to: *A proponent of democracy, or democratic government; a form of government involving rule by the people. *A member of a Democratic Party: **Democratic Party (United States) (D) **Democratic Party (Cy ...

democratic
system of government and major advances in philosophy, science and mathematics. The expansion of Greek culture into the
Hellenistic The Hellenistic period covers the period of Mediterranean history between the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC and the emergence of the Roman Empire, as signified by the Battle of Actium in 31 BC and the conquest of Ptolemaic Egyp ...

Hellenistic
world of the
eastern Mediterranean Eastern Mediterranean is a loose definition of the eastern approximate half, or third, of the Mediterranean Sea (its lowest common denominator being the Levantine Sea). It typically embraces all of that sea's coastal zones, referring to communities ...

eastern Mediterranean
led to a synthesis between Greek and
Near-East The Near East (Arabic: شرق أدنى, Hebrew: המזרח הקרוב, Aramaic: ܡܕܢܚܐ ܩܪܒ, Persian: خاور نزدیک, Turkish: Yakın Doğu) is a geographical term which roughly encompasses a transcontinental region comprising Western A ...

Near-East
ern cultures, and major advances in literature, engineering, and science, and provided the culture for the expansion of early Christianity and the Greek
New Testament The New Testament grc|Ἡ Καινὴ Διαθήκη, transl. ; la|Novum Testamentum. (NT) is the second division of the Christian biblical canon. It discusses the teachings and person of Jesus, as well as events in first-century Christianit ...

New Testament
. This period overlapped with and was followed by
Rome | established_title = Founded | established_date = 753 BC | founder = King Romulus | image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Lazio, Italy).svg | map_caption = The territo ...

Rome
, which made key contributions in law, government, engineering and political organization. The concept of a "West" dates back to the
Roman Empire#REDIRECT Roman Empire#REDIRECT Roman Empire {{Redirect category shell|1= {{R from other capitalisation ...
{{Redirect category shell|1= {{R from other capitalisation ...

Roman Empire
, where there was a cultural divide between the
Greek East and Latin West Greek East and Latin West are terms used to distinguish between the two parts of the Greco-Roman world, specifically the eastern regions where Greek was the ''lingua franca'' (Anatolia, Greece, the Balkans, the Levant and Egypt) and the western par ...

Greek East and Latin West
, a divide that later continued in Medieval Europe between the Catholic
Latin Church | native_name_lang = la | image = San Giovanni in Laterano - Rome.jpg | imagewidth = 250px | alt = Façade of the Archbasilica of St. John in Lateran | caption = Archbasilica of Saint John Late ...

Latin Church
west and the "Greek" Eastern Orthodox east. Western culture is characterized by a host of artistic, philosophic, literary and
legal Law is a system of rules created and enforced through social or governmental institutions to regulate behavior,Robertson, ''Crimes against humanity'', 90. with its precise definition a matter of longstanding debate. It has been variously descr ...

legal
themes and traditions.
Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. It is the world's largest religion, with about 2.4 billion followers. Its adherents, known as Christians, make up a majority of the populati ...

Christianity
, including the
Roman Catholic Church The Catholic Church, often referred to as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with approximately 1.3 billion baptised Catholics worldwide . As the world's oldest and largest continuously functioning international ...

Roman Catholic Church
,
Protestantism Protestantism is a form of Christianity that originated with the 16th-century Reformation, a movement against what its followers perceived to be errors in the Catholic Church. Protestants reject the Roman Catholic doctrine of papal supremacy and ...

Protestantism
the
Eastern Orthodox Church The Eastern Orthodox Church, officially the Orthodox Catholic Church, is the second-largest Christian church, with approximately 220 million baptised members. It operates as a communion of autocephalous churches, each governed by its bishops ...

Eastern Orthodox Church
, and
Oriental Orthodoxy The Oriental Orthodox Churches are a group of Eastern Christian churches adhering to Miaphysite Christology, with a total of approximately 60 million members worldwide. The Oriental Orthodox Churches are broadly part of the trinitarian Nic ...

Oriental Orthodoxy
, has played a
prominent role
prominent role
in the shaping of Western civilization since at least the 4th century,Caltron J.H Hayas, ''Christianity and Western Civilization'' (1953), Stanford University Press, p. 2: That certain distinctive features of our Western civilization—the civilization of western Europe and of America—have been shaped chiefly by Judaeo–Graeco–Christianity, Catholic and Protestant.Jose Orlandis, 1993, "A Short History of the Catholic Church," 2nd edn. (Michael Adams, Trans.), Dublin:Four Courts Press, , preface, se

accessed 8 December 2014. p. (preface)
Thomas E. Woods and Antonio Canizares, 2012, "How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization," Reprint edn., Washington, D.C.: Regnery History, , se
accessed 8 December 2014. p. 1: "Western civilization owes far more to Catholic Church than most people—Catholic included—often realize. The Church in fact built Western civilization."
/ref> as did
Judaism Judaism ( he|יהדות, ''Yahadut''; originally from Hebrew , ''Yehudah'', "Judah", via Greek ''Ioudaismos''; the term itself is of Anglo-Latin origin c. 1400) is an Abrahamic primarily ethnic religion comprising the collective religious, ...
. A cornerstone of Western thought, beginning in
ancient Greece Ancient Greece ( el|Ἑλλάς|Hellás) was a civilization belonging to a period of Greek history from the Greek Dark Ages of the 12th–9th centuries BC to the end of antiquity ( AD 600). This era was immediately followed by the Early Middle ...
and continuing through the
Middle Ages In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages or medieval period lasted from the 5th to the late 15th century. It began with the fall of the Western Roman Empire and transitioned into the Renaissance and the Age of Discovery. The Middle Ages i ...
and
Renaissance The Renaissance ( , ) , from , with the same meanings. was a period in European history marking the transition from the Middle Ages to modernity and covering the 15th and 16th centuries. It occurred after the Crisis of the Late Middle Ages an ...
, is the idea of
rationalism In philosophy, rationalism is the epistemological view that "regards reason as the chief source and test of knowledge" or "any view appealing to reason as a source of knowledge or justification".Lacey, A.R. (1996), ''A Dictionary of Philosophy' ...
in various spheres of life developed by
Hellenistic philosophyHellenistic philosophy is the period of Western philosophy and Ancient Greek philosophy during the Hellenistic period. Background The Hellenistic period followed the conquests of Alexander the Great (356-323 BCE), who had spread Ancient Greek cul ...
,
scholasticism Scholasticism was a medieval school of philosophy that employed a critical method of philosophical analysis predicated upon a Latin Catholic theistic curriculum which dominated teaching in the medieval universities in Europe from about 1100 to 1 ...
and
humanism Humanism is a philosophical stance that emphasizes the value and agency of human beings, individually and collectively. The meaning of the term ''humanism'' has fluctuated according to the successive intellectual movements which have identif ...
.
Empiricism In philosophy, empiricism is a theory that states that knowledge comes only or primarily from sensory experience. It is one of several views of epistemology, along with rationalism and skepticism. Empiricism emphasizes the role of empirical e ...
later gave rise to the
scientific method The scientific method is an empirical method of acquiring knowledge that has characterized the development of science since at least the 17th century. It involves careful observation, applying rigorous skepticism about what is observed, given t ...
, the
scientific revolution The Scientific Revolution was a series of events that marked the emergence of modern science during the early modern period, when developments in mathematics, physics, astronomy, biology (including human anatomy) and chemistry transformed the vi ...
, and the
Age of Enlightenment The Age of Enlightenment (also known as the Age of Reason or simply the Enlightenment); ger|Aufklärung, "Enlightenment"; it|L'Illuminismo, "Enlightenment"; pl|Oświecenie , "Enlightenment"; pt|Iluminismo, "Enlightenment"; es|link=no|La ...
. Western culture continued to develop with the Christianisation of European society during the Middle Ages, the reforms triggered by the
Renaissance of the 12th century The Renaissance of the 12th century was a period of many changes at the outset of the High Middle Ages. It included social, political and economic transformations, and an intellectual revitalization of Western Europe with strong philosophical and ...
and 13th century under the influence of the Islamic world via
Al-Andalus#REDIRECT Al-Andalus#REDIRECT Al-Andalus {{Redirect category shell|1= {{R from other capitalisation ...
{{Redirect category shell|1= {{R from other capitalisation ...
and
Sicily (masculine) it|Siciliana (feminine) | population_note = | population_blank1_title = | population_blank1 = | demographics_type1 = Ethnicity | demographics1_footnotes = | demograph ...
(including the transfer of technology from the East, and Latin translations of Arabic texts on science and
philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, existence, knowledge, values, mind, and language. Such questions are often posed as problems to be studied or resolved. The term was proba ...
), and the
Italian Renaissance The Italian Renaissance ( it|Rinascimento ), a period in Italian history that covered the 15th and 16th centuries, developed a culture that spread across Europe and marked the transition from the Middle Ages to modernity. Proponents of a "long ...
as
Greek scholars Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece, a country in Southern Europe: *Greeks, an ethnic group *Greek language, a branch of the Indo-European language family **Proto-Greek language, the assumed last common ancestor of ...
fleeing the fall of the
Byzantine Empire The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, when its capital city was Constantinople. It surviv ...
after the Muslim conquest of Constantinople brought classical traditions and philosophy.Geanakoplos, Deno John. Constantinople and the West: essays on the late Byzantine (Palaeologan) and Italian Renaissances and the Byzantine and Roman churches. Univ of Wisconsin Press, 1989.
Medieval Christianity Christianity in the Middle Ages covers the history of Christianity from the Fall of the Western Roman Empire () until the Fall of Constantinople (1453), which is usually taken to mark the end of the Middle Ages in the History of Europe. In Chri ...
is credited with creating the modern
university A university ( la|universitas, 'a whole') is an institution of higher (or tertiary) education and research which awards academic degrees in various academic disciplines. Universities typically offer both undergraduate and postgraduate programs. ...

university
,Rüegg, Walter: "Foreword. The University as a European Institution", in: ''A History of the University in Europe. Vol. 1: Universities in the Middle Ages'', Cambridge University Press, 1992, , pp. xix–xx the modern
hospital A hospital is a health care institution providing patient treatment with specialized medical and nursing staff and medical equipment. The best-known type of hospital is the general hospital, which typically has an emergency department to treat ...

hospital
system, scientific
economics Economics () is the social science that studies how people interact with value; in particular, the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. Economics focuses on the behaviour and interactions of economic agents and ...
, and
natural law#REDIRECT Natural law#REDIRECT Natural law {{Redirect category shell|1= {{R from other capitalisation ...
{{Redirect category shell|1= {{R from other capitalisation ...
(which would later influence the creation of
international law International law, also known as public international law and law of nations, is the set of rules, norms, and standards generally accepted in relations between nations. It establishes normative guidelines and a common conceptual framework to guide ...
). Christianity played a role in ending practices common among
pagan Paganism (from classical Latin ''pāgānus'' "rural", "rustic", later "civilian") is a term first used pejoratively in the fourth century by early Christians for people in the Roman Empire who practiced polytheism or ethnic religions other than ...
societies, such as human sacrifice, slavery,Chadwick, Owen p. 242. infanticide and polygamy.Hastings, p. 309. The globalization by successive
European colonial empires A colonial empire is a collective of territories (often called colonies), either contiguous with the imperial center or located overseas, settled by the population of a certain state and governed by that state. Example:- Mughal Empire, British Empir ...
spread European ways of life and European educational methods around the world between the 16th and 20th centuries. European culture developed with a complex range of philosophy, medieval scholasticism, mysticism and Christian and secular humanism. Rational thinking developed through a long age of change and formation, with the
experiments An experiment is a procedure carried out to support, refute, or validate a hypothesis. Experiments provide insight into cause-and-effect by demonstrating what outcome occurs when a particular factor is manipulated. Experiments vary greatly in ...
of the Enlightenment and breakthroughs in the
sciences Science (from the Latin word ''scientia'', meaning "knowledge") is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe."... modern science is a discovery as w ...

sciences
. Tendencies that have come to define modern Western
societies A society is a group of individuals involved in persistent social interaction, or a large social group sharing the same spatial or social territory, typically subject to the same political authority and dominant cultural expectations. Societi ...
include the concept of political pluralism,
individualism Individualism is the moral stance, political philosophy, ideology and social outlook that emphasizes the moral worth of the individual. Individualists promote the exercise of one's goals and desires and so value independence and self-reliance an ...
, prominent
subcultures A subculture is a group of people within a culture that differentiates itself from the parent culture to which it belongs, often maintaining some of its founding principles. Subcultures develop their own norms and values regarding cultural, polit ...
or
counterculture A counterculture is a culture whose values and norms of behavior differ substantially from those of mainstream society, sometimes diametrically opposed to mainstream cultural mores.Eric Donald Hirsch. ''The Dictionary of Cultural Literacy''. Houg ...
s (such as
New Age New Age is a range of spiritual or religious beliefs and practices which rapidly grew in the Western world during the 1970s. Precise scholarly definitions of the New Age differ in their emphasis, largely as a result of its highly eclectic structu ...
movements) and increasing cultural
syncretism Syncretism is the combining of different beliefs, while blending practices of various schools of thought. Syncretism involves the merging or assimilation of several originally discrete traditions, especially in the theology and mythology of reli ...
resulting from
globalization Globalization, or globalisation (Commonwealth English; see spelling differences), is the process of interaction and integration among people, companies, and governments worldwide. Globalization has accelerated since the 18th century due to adva ...
and
human migration Human migration involves the movement of people from one place to another with intentions of settling, permanently or temporarily, at a new location (geographic region). The movement often occurs over long distances and from one country to anothe ...
.


Terminology

The West as a geographical area is unclear and undefined. More often the ideology of a state's inhabitants is what will be used to categorize it as a Western society. There is some disagreement about what nations should or should not be included in the category and at what times. Many parts of the
Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, when its capital city was Constantinople. It surviv ...
are considered Western today but were considered Eastern in the past. However, in the past it was also the Eastern Roman Empire that had many features now seen as "Western," preserving Roman law, which was first codified by
Justinian Justinian I (; la|Flavius Petrus Sabbatius Iustinianus; grc-gre|Ἰουστινιανός|Ioustinianós; 11 May 48214 November 565), also known as Justinian the Great, was the Byzantine emperor from 527 to 565. His reign is marked by the ambi ...

Justinian
in the east, as well as the traditions of scholarship around
Plato Plato ( ; grc-gre|Πλάτων ''Plátōn'', in Classical Attic; 428/427 or 424/423 – 348/347 BC) was an Athenian philosopher during the Classical period in Ancient Greece, founder of the Platonist school of thought and the Academy, the ...

Plato
,
Aristotle Aristotle (; grc-gre|Ἀριστοτέλης ''Aristotélēs'', ; 384–322 BC) was a Greek philosopher and polymath during the Classical period in Ancient Greece. Taught by Plato, he was the founder of the Lyceum, the Peripatetic schoo ...

Aristotle
, and
Euclid Euclid (; grc|Εὐκλείδης – ''Eukleídēs'', ; fl. 300 BC), sometimes called Euclid of Alexandria to distinguish him from Euclid of Megara, was a Greek mathematician, often referred to as the "founder of geometry" or the "father of ...

Euclid
that were later introduced to Italy during the Renaissance by
Greek scholars Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece, a country in Southern Europe: *Greeks, an ethnic group *Greek language, a branch of the Indo-European language family **Proto-Greek language, the assumed last common ancestor of ...
fleeing the fall of [[Constantinople. Thus, the culture identified with East and West itself interchanges with time and place (from the ancient world to the modern). Geographically, the "[[Western world|West" of today would include Europe (especially the states that collectively form the [[European Union, the United Kingdom, Norway, and Switzerland) together with extra-European territories belonging to the [[English-speaking world, the [[Hispanidad, the [[Lusosphere; and the [[Francophonie in the wider context. Since the context is highly biased and context-dependent, there is no agreed definition of what the "West" is. It is difficult to determine which individuals fit into which category and the East–West contrast is sometimes criticized as [[relativism|relativistic and arbitrary. Globalism has spread Western ideas so widely that almost all modern cultures are, to some extent, influenced by aspects of Western culture. Stereotypical views of "the West" have been labeled [[Occidentalism, paralleling [[Orientalism—the term for the 19th-century stereotyped views of "the East". It has been disputed by some [[philosophers whether Western culture can be considered a historically sound, unified body of thought. For example, [[Kwame Anthony Appiah points out that many of the fundamental influences on Western culture, such as those of [[Ancient Greek philosophy|Greek philosophy are also shared by the [[Muslim world|Islamic world to a certain extent. Appiah argues that the origin of the Western and European identity can be traced back to the Muslim invasion of Iberia where Christians would form a common Christian or European identity. Contemporary Latin chronicles from Spain described the victors in the [[Kingdom of the Franks|Frankish victory over the [[The Umayyads|Umayyads at the [[Battle of Tours as Europeans according to Appiah, denoting a shared sense of identity. As Europeans discovered the wider world, old concepts adapted. The area that had formerly been considered the [[Orient ("the East") became the [[Near East as the interests of the European powers interfered with [[Meiji Period|Meiji Japan and [[Qing China for the first time in the 19th century. Thus the [[First Sino-Japanese War|Sino-Japanese War in 1894–1895 occurred in the [[Far East while the troubles surrounding the [[decline of the Ottoman Empire simultaneously occurred in the Near East. The term [[Middle East in the mid-19th century included the territory east of the [[Ottoman Empire, but West of China—[[Greater Persia and [[Greater India—is now used synonymously with "Near East" in most languages.


History

The earliest [[civilizations which influenced the development of Western culture were those of [[Mesopotamia; the area of the [[Tigris–Euphrates river system, largely corresponding to modern-day [[Iraq, northeastern [[Syria, southeastern [[Turkey and southwestern [[Iran: the [[cradle of civilization.Jacobus Bronowski; ''The Ascent of Man''; Angus & Robertson, 1973 Geoffrey Blainey; ''A Very Short History of the World''; Penguin Books, 2004 [[Ancient Egypt similarly had a strong influence on Western culture. The [[Greeks contrasted themselves with both their [[History of Anatolia|Eastern neighbours (such as the [[Troy|Trojans in ''[[Iliad'') as well as their Western neighbours (who they considered [[barbarians). Concepts of what is ''the West'' arose out of legacies of the [[Western Roman Empire and the [[Eastern Roman Empire. Later, ideas of the West were formed by the concepts of [[Greek East and Latin West|Latin Christendom and the [[Holy Roman Empire. What is thought of as Western thought today originates primarily from
Greco-Roman Roman Theatre of Mérida, Spain. The term "Greco-Roman world" (also "Greco-Roman culture" or ; spelled Graeco-Roman in the Commonwealth), as understood by modern scholars and writers, refers to geographical regions and countries that cultural ...

Greco-Roman
and [[Germanic peoples|Germanic influences, and includes the ideals of the
Middle Ages In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages or medieval period lasted from the 5th to the late 15th century. It began with the fall of the Western Roman Empire and transitioned into the Renaissance and the Age of Discovery. The Middle Ages i ...
, [[the Renaissance, and the [[Age of Enlightenment|Enlightenment, as well as [[Christianity|Christian culture.


Classical West

While the concept of a "West" did not exist until the emergence of the [[Roman Republic, the roots of the concept can be traced back to [[Ancient Greece. Since [[Homeric literature (the [[Trojan Wars), through the accounts of the [[Persian Wars of [[Greeks against [[Persians by [[Herodotus, and right up until the time of [[Alexander the Great, there was a [[paradigm of a contrast between Greeks and other civilizations. Greeks felt they were the most civilized and saw themselves (in the formulation of
Aristotle Aristotle (; grc-gre|Ἀριστοτέλης ''Aristotélēs'', ; 384–322 BC) was a Greek philosopher and polymath during the Classical period in Ancient Greece. Taught by Plato, he was the founder of the Lyceum, the Peripatetic schoo ...

Aristotle
) as something between the advanced civilizations of the [[Near East (who they viewed as soft and slavish) and the wild [[barbarians of most of Europe to the west. During this period writers like Herodotus and [[Xenophon would highlight the importance of freedom in the Ancient Greek world, as opposed to the perceived slavery of the so-called barbaric world. Alexander's conquests led to the emergence of a [[Hellenistic civilization, representing a synthesis of Greek and
Near-East The Near East (Arabic: شرق أدنى, Hebrew: המזרח הקרוב, Aramaic: ܡܕܢܚܐ ܩܪܒ, Persian: خاور نزدیک, Turkish: Yakın Doğu) is a geographical term which roughly encompasses a transcontinental region comprising Western A ...

Near-East
ern cultures in the [[Eastern Mediterranean region.Green, Peter. ''Alexander to Actium: The Historical Evolution of the Hellenistic Age''. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1990. The Near-Eastern civilizations of [[Ancient Egypt and the [[Levant, which came under Greek rule, became part of the Hellenistic world. The most important Hellenistic centre of learning was [[Ptolemaic Egypt, which attracted Greek, [[Egyptians|Egyptian, [[Jewish, [[Persian people|Persian, [[Phoenician and even [[History of India|Indian scholars. Hellenistic [[science, [[philosophy, [[classical architecture|architecture, [[classical literature|literature and [[art later provided a foundation embraced and built upon by the
Roman Empire#REDIRECT Roman Empire#REDIRECT Roman Empire {{Redirect category shell|1= {{R from other capitalisation ...
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Roman Empire as it swept up Europe and the [[History of the Mediterranean region|Mediterranean world, including the Hellenistic world in its conquests in the 1st century BCE. Following the Roman conquest of the Hellenistic world, the concept of a "West" arose, as there was a cultural divide between the
Greek East and Latin West Greek East and Latin West are terms used to distinguish between the two parts of the Greco-Roman world, specifically the eastern regions where Greek was the ''lingua franca'' (Anatolia, Greece, the Balkans, the Levant and Egypt) and the western par ...

Greek East and Latin West
. The Latin-speaking [[Western Roman Empire consisted of [[Western Europe and [[Northwest Africa, while the Greek-speaking [[Eastern Roman Empire (later the
Byzantine Empire The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, when its capital city was Constantinople. It surviv ...
) consisted of the [[Balkans, [[Asia Minor, [[Roman Egypt|Egypt and [[Levant. The "Greek" East was generally wealthier and more advanced than the "Latin" West. With the exception of [[Roman Italy|Italia, the wealthiest provinces of the Roman Empire were in the East, particularly [[Roman Egypt which was the wealthiest Roman province outside of Italia. Nevertheless, the Celts in the West created some significant literature in the ancient world whenever they were given the opportunity (an example being the poet [[Caecilius Statius), and they developed a large amount of scientific knowledge themselves (as seen in their [[Coligny Calendar). For about five hundred years, the Roman Empire maintained the [[Greek East and consolidated a Latin West, but an east–west division remained, reflected in many cultural norms of the two areas, including language. Eventually, the empire became increasingly split into a Western and Eastern part, reviving old ideas of a contrast between an advanced East, and a rugged West. From the time of Alexander the Great (the [[Hellenistic period), Greek civilization came in contact with Jewish civilization.
Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. It is the world's largest religion, with about 2.4 billion followers. Its adherents, known as Christians, make up a majority of the populati ...

Christianity
would eventually emerge from the
syncretism Syncretism is the combining of different beliefs, while blending practices of various schools of thought. Syncretism involves the merging or assimilation of several originally discrete traditions, especially in the theology and mythology of reli ...
of [[Hellenism (Greek culture)|Hellenic culture, [[Roman culture, and [[Second Temple Judaism, gradually spreading across the
Roman Empire#REDIRECT Roman Empire#REDIRECT Roman Empire {{Redirect category shell|1= {{R from other capitalisation ...
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Roman Empire and eclipsing its antecedents and influences. The rise of Christianity reshaped much of the Greco-Roman tradition and [[culture; the Christianised culture would be the basis for the development of Western civilization after the fall of Rome (which resulted from increasing pressure from barbarians outside Roman culture). Roman culture also mixed with [[Celts|Celtic, [[Germanic peoples|Germanic, and [[Slavic peoples|Slavic cultures, which slowly became integrated into Western culture: starting mainly with their acceptance of Christianity.


Medieval West

, from the [[Vézelay Abbey ([[Burgundy, France) The Medieval West referred specifically to the Catholic "Latin" West, also called "Frankish" during [[Charlemagne's reign, in contrast to the Orthodox East, where Greek remained the language of the
Byzantine Empire The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, when its capital city was Constantinople. It surviv ...
. After the [[fall of Rome, much of Greco-Roman art, literature, science and even technology were all but lost in the western part of the old empire. However, this would become the center of a new West. Europe fell into political anarchy, with many warring kingdoms and principalities. Under the Frankish kings, it eventually, and partially, reunified, and the anarchy evolved into [[feudalism. Much of the basis of the post-Roman cultural world had been set before the fall of the [[Roman Empire|Empire, mainly through the integration and reshaping of Roman ideas through Christian thought. The Greek and Roman [[Religion in ancient Rome|paganism had been completely replaced by
Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. It is the world's largest religion, with about 2.4 billion followers. Its adherents, known as Christians, make up a majority of the populati ...

Christianity
around the 4th and 5th centuries, since it became the official State religion following the baptism of the emperor [[Constantine I. [[Orthodoxy#Christianity|Orthodox Christian Christianity and the [[Nicene Creed served as a unifying force in Christian parts of Europe, and in some respects replaced or competed with the secular authorities. The [[Jewish Christian tradition out of which it had emerged was all but extinguished, and [[antisemitism became increasingly entrenched or even integral to Christendom. Much of art and literature, law, education, and politics were preserved in the teachings of the Church. The [[Orthodox Church|Church founded many [[cathedrals, [[university|universities, [[Monastery|monasteries and [[Seminary|seminaries, some of which continue to exist today. After the [[fall of the Roman Empire, many of the classical Greek texts were translated into Arabic and preserved in the [[medieval Islamic world. The [[Transmission of the Greek Classics|Greek classics along with [[Science in the medieval Islamic world|Arabic science,
philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, existence, knowledge, values, mind, and language. Such questions are often posed as problems to be studied or resolved. The term was proba ...
and technology were [[Islamic world contributions to Medieval Europe|transmitted to Western Europe and [[Latin translations of the 12th century|translated into Latin, sparking the
Renaissance of the 12th century The Renaissance of the 12th century was a period of many changes at the outset of the High Middle Ages. It included social, political and economic transformations, and an intellectual revitalization of Western Europe with strong philosophical and ...
and 13th century.George Sarton: ''A Guide to the History of Science''
Waltham Mass. U.S.A. 1952
Burnett, Charles. "The Coherence of the Arabic-Latin Translation Program in Toledo in the Twelfth Century," ''Science in Context'', 14 (2001): 249–288.
Medieval Christianity Christianity in the Middle Ages covers the history of Christianity from the Fall of the Western Roman Empire () until the Fall of Constantinople (1453), which is usually taken to mark the end of the Middle Ages in the History of Europe. In Chri ...
is credited with creating the first modern universities. The Catholic Church established a hospital system in Medieval Europe that vastly improved upon the Roman ''valetudinaria'' and Greek healing temples. These hospitals were established to cater to "particular social groups marginalized by poverty, sickness, and age," according to the historian of hospitals, Guenter Risse. Christianity played a role in ending practices common among pagan societies, such as human sacrifice, slavery, infanticide and polygamy. [[Francisco de Vitoria, a disciple of [[Thomas Aquinas and a Catholic thinker who studied the issue regarding the human rights of colonized natives, is recognized by the United Nations as a father of international law, and now also by historians of economics and democracy as a leading light for the West's democracy and rapid economic development. [[Joseph Schumpeter, an economist of the twentieth century, referring to the [[Scholasticism|Scholastics, wrote, "it is they who come nearer than does any other group to having been the 'founders' of scientific economics." In a broader sense, the
Middle Ages In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages or medieval period lasted from the 5th to the late 15th century. It began with the fall of the Western Roman Empire and transitioned into the Renaissance and the Age of Discovery. The Middle Ages i ...
, with its fertile encounter between Greek philosophical [[reasoning and [[Levantine [[monotheism was not confined to the West but also stretched into the old East. The philosophy and science of Classical Greece were largely forgotten in Europe after the collapse of the Western Roman Empire, other than in isolated monastic enclaves (notably in Ireland, which had become Christian but was never conquered by Rome). The learning of [[Classical Antiquity was better preserved in the [[Byzantine [[Eastern Roman Empire. Justinian's [[Corpus Juris Civilis Roman civil law code was created in the East in his capital of Constantinople, and that city maintained trade and intermittent political control over outposts such as [[Venice in the West for centuries. Classical Greek learning was also subsumed, preserved, and elaborated in the rising Eastern world, which gradually supplanted Roman-Byzantine control as a dominant cultural-political force. Thus, much of the learning of classical antiquity was slowly reintroduced to European civilization in the centuries following the collapse of the Western Roman Empire. The rediscovery of the [[Roman law|Justinian Code in Western Europe early in the 10th century rekindled a passion for the discipline of law, which crossed many of the re-forming boundaries between East and West. In the [[Catholic or [[Franks|Frankish west, [[Roman law became the foundation on which all legal concepts and systems were based. Its influence is found in all Western legal systems, although in different manners and to different extents. The study of [[canon law, the legal system of the Catholic Church, fused with that of Roman law to form the basis of the refounding of Western legal scholarship. During the Reformation and Enlightenment, the ideas of [[civil rights, [[social equality|equality before the [[law, [[procedural justice, and [[democracy as the ideal form of [[society began to be institutionalized as principles forming the basis of modern Western culture, particularly in Protestant regions. In the 14th century, starting from Italy and then spreading throughout Europe, there was a massive artistic, architectural, scientific and philosophical revival, as a result of the Christian revival of Greek philosophy, and the long Christian medieval tradition that established the use of reason as one of the most important of human activities.Grant ''God and Reason'' p. 9 This period is commonly referred to as the
Renaissance The Renaissance ( , ) , from , with the same meanings. was a period in European history marking the transition from the Middle Ages to modernity and covering the 15th and 16th centuries. It occurred after the Crisis of the Late Middle Ages an ...
. In the following century, this process was further enhanced by an exodus of Greek Christian priests and [[Greek scholars in the Renaissance|scholars to Italian cities such as [[Venice after the end of the
Byzantine Empire The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, when its capital city was Constantinople. It surviv ...
with the [[fall of Constantinople. From [[Late Antiquity, through the
Middle Ages In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages or medieval period lasted from the 5th to the late 15th century. It began with the fall of the Western Roman Empire and transitioned into the Renaissance and the Age of Discovery. The Middle Ages i ...
, and onwards, while Eastern Europe was shaped by the [[Orthodox Church, Southern and Central Europe were increasingly stabilized by the [[Catholic Church which, as Roman imperial governance faded from view, was the only consistent force in Western Europe. In 1054 came the [[East–West Schism|Great Schism that, following the
Greek East and Latin West Greek East and Latin West are terms used to distinguish between the two parts of the Greco-Roman world, specifically the eastern regions where Greek was the ''lingua franca'' (Anatolia, Greece, the Balkans, the Levant and Egypt) and the western par ...

Greek East and Latin West
divide, separated Europe into religious and cultural regions present to this day. Until the Age of Enlightenment, [[Christian culture took over as the predominant force in Western civilization, guiding the course of philosophy, art, and science for many years. Movements in [[art and [[philosophy, such as the [[Humanism|Humanist movement of the
Renaissance The Renaissance ( , ) , from , with the same meanings. was a period in European history marking the transition from the Middle Ages to modernity and covering the 15th and 16th centuries. It occurred after the Crisis of the Late Middle Ages an ...
and the [[Scholasticism|Scholastic movement of the [[High Middle Ages, were motivated by a drive to connect [[Catholicism with Greek and Arab thought imported by [[Christianity|Christian pilgrims. However, due to the division in [[Western Christianity caused by the [[Protestant Reformation and the Enlightenment, religious influence—especially the temporal power of the [[Pope—began to wane. From the late 15th century to the 17th century, Western culture began to spread to other parts of the world through explorers and missionaries during the [[Age of Discovery, and by [[Imperialism|imperialists from the 17th century to the early 20th century. During the [[Great Divergence, a term coined by [[Samuel P. Huntington|Samuel Huntington the Western world overcame pre-modern growth constraints and emerged during the 19th century as the most powerful and wealthy world [[civilization of the time, eclipsing [[Qing Dynasty|Qing China, [[Mughal Empire|Mughal India, [[Tokugawa shogunate|Tokugawa Japan, and the [[Ottoman Empire. The process was accompanied and reinforced by the Age of Discovery and continued into the modern period. Scholars have proposed a wide variety of theories to explain why the Great Divergence happened, including lack of government intervention, geography, colonialism, and customary traditions.


Early modern era

Coming into the [[modern era, the historical understanding of the East–West contrast—as the opposition of [[Christendom to its geographical neighbors—began to weaken. As religion became less important, and Europeans came into increasing contact with far-away peoples, the old concept of Western culture began a slow evolution towards what it is today. The [[Age of Discovery faded into the
Age of Enlightenment The Age of Enlightenment (also known as the Age of Reason or simply the Enlightenment); ger|Aufklärung, "Enlightenment"; it|L'Illuminismo, "Enlightenment"; pl|Oświecenie , "Enlightenment"; pt|Iluminismo, "Enlightenment"; es|link=no|La ...
of the 18th century, during which cultural and intellectual forces in European society emphasized reason, analysis, and individualism rather than traditional lines of authority. It challenged the authority of institutions that were deeply rooted in society, such as the [[Catholic Church; there was much talk of ways to reform society with toleration, science and [[skepticism. Philosophers of the Enlightenment included [[Francis Bacon, [[René Descartes, [[John Locke, [[Baruch Spinoza, [[Voltaire (1694–1778), [[David Hume, and [[Immanuel Kant. influenced society by publishing widely read works. Upon learning about enlightened views, some rulers met with intellectuals and tried to apply their reforms, such as allowing for toleration, or accepting multiple religions, in what became known as [[enlightened absolutism. New ideas and beliefs spread around Europe and were fostered by an increase in literacy due to a departure from solely religious texts. Publications include ''[[Encyclopédie'' (1751–72) that was edited by [[Denis Diderot and [[Jean le Rond d'Alembert. The ''[[Dictionnaire philosophique'' (Philosophical Dictionary, 1764) and ''[[Letters on the English'' (1733) written by [[Voltaire spread the ideals of the Enlightenment. Coinciding with the Age of Enlightenment was the
scientific revolution The Scientific Revolution was a series of events that marked the emergence of modern science during the early modern period, when developments in mathematics, physics, astronomy, biology (including human anatomy) and chemistry transformed the vi ...
, spearheaded by Newton. This included the emergence of [[modern science, during which developments in [[History of mathematics#Mathematics during the Scientific Revolution|mathematics, [[History of physics#Scientific Revolution|physics, [[History of astronomy#Renaissance Period|astronomy, [[History of biology#Renaissance and early modern developments|biology (including [[History of anatomy|human anatomy) and [[History of chemistry#17th and 18th centuries: Early chemistry|chemistry transformed views of society and nature.Galileo Galilei, ''Two New Sciences'', trans. [[Stillman Drake, (Madison: Univ. of Wisconsin Pr., 1974), pp. 217, 225, 296–97.Marshall Clagett, ''The Science of Mechanics in the Middle Ages,'' (Madison, Univ. of Wisconsin Pr., 1961), pp. 218–19, 252–55, 346, 409–16, 547, 576–78, 673–82; Anneliese Maier, "Galileo and the Scholastic Theory of Impetus," pp. 103–23 in ''On the Threshold of Exact Science: Selected Writings of Anneliese Maier on Late Medieval Natural Philosophy,'' (Philadelphia: Univ. of Pennsylvania Pr., 1982).Hannam, p. 342E. Grant, ''The Foundations of Modern Science in the Middle Ages: Their Religious, Institutional, and Intellectual Contexts'', (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Pr., 1996), pp. 29–30, 42–47. While its dates are disputed, the publication in 1543 of [[Nicolaus Copernicus's ''[[De revolutionibus orbium coelestium'' (''On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres'') is often cited as marking the beginning of the scientific revolution, and its completion is attributed to the "grand synthesis" of Newton's 1687 ''[[Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica|Principia''.


Industrial Revolution

The [[Industrial Revolution was the transition to new manufacturing processes in the period from about 1760 to sometime between 1820 and 1840. This included going from hand production methods to machines, new chemical manufacturing and iron production processes, improved efficiency of [[water wheel|water power, the increasing use of [[steam power, and the development of [[machine tools. These transitions began in Great Britain, and spread to Western Europe and North America within a few decades. The Industrial Revolution marks a major turning point in history; almost every aspect of daily life was influenced in some way. In particular, average income and population began to exhibit unprecedented sustained growth. Some economists say that the major impact of the Industrial Revolution was that the [[standard of living for the general population began to increase consistently for the first time in history, although others have said that it did not begin to meaningfully improve until the late 19th and 20th centuries. The precise start and end of the Industrial Revolution is still debated among historians, as is the pace of economic and social changes.Eric Hobsbawm, ''The Age of Revolution: Europe 1789–1848'', Weidenfeld & Nicolson Ltd., p. 27 [[Gross domestic product|GDP per capita was broadly stable before the Industrial Revolution and the emergence of the modern [[capitalism|capitalist economy, while the Industrial Revolution began an era of per-capita [[economic growth in capitalist economies. Economic historians are in agreement that the onset of the Industrial Revolution is the most important event in the history of humanity since the domestication of animals, plants and fire. The First Industrial Revolution evolved into the [[Second Industrial Revolution in the transition years between 1840 and 1870, when technological and economic progress continued with the increasing adoption of steam transport (steam-powered railways, boats, and ships), the large-scale manufacture of machine tools and the increasing use of machinery in steam-powered factories. No name is given to the transition years. The "[[Transportation Revolution" began with improved roads in the late 18th century.. Reprinted by McGraw-Hill, New York and London, 1926 (); and by Lindsay Publications, Inc., Bradley, Illinois, ().


After the Industrial Revolution

Tendencies that have come to define modern Western
societies A society is a group of individuals involved in persistent social interaction, or a large social group sharing the same spatial or social territory, typically subject to the same political authority and dominant cultural expectations. Societi ...
include the concept of political pluralism,
individualism Individualism is the moral stance, political philosophy, ideology and social outlook that emphasizes the moral worth of the individual. Individualists promote the exercise of one's goals and desires and so value independence and self-reliance an ...
, prominent
subcultures A subculture is a group of people within a culture that differentiates itself from the parent culture to which it belongs, often maintaining some of its founding principles. Subcultures develop their own norms and values regarding cultural, polit ...
or
counterculture A counterculture is a culture whose values and norms of behavior differ substantially from those of mainstream society, sometimes diametrically opposed to mainstream cultural mores.Eric Donald Hirsch. ''The Dictionary of Cultural Literacy''. Houg ...
s (such as
New Age New Age is a range of spiritual or religious beliefs and practices which rapidly grew in the Western world during the 1970s. Precise scholarly definitions of the New Age differ in their emphasis, largely as a result of its highly eclectic structu ...
movements) and increasing cultural
syncretism Syncretism is the combining of different beliefs, while blending practices of various schools of thought. Syncretism involves the merging or assimilation of several originally discrete traditions, especially in the theology and mythology of reli ...
resulting from
globalization Globalization, or globalisation (Commonwealth English; see spelling differences), is the process of interaction and integration among people, companies, and governments worldwide. Globalization has accelerated since the 18th century due to adva ...
and
human migration Human migration involves the movement of people from one place to another with intentions of settling, permanently or temporarily, at a new location (geographic region). The movement often occurs over long distances and from one country to anothe ...
. Western culture has been heavily influenced by the
Renaissance The Renaissance ( , ) , from , with the same meanings. was a period in European history marking the transition from the Middle Ages to modernity and covering the 15th and 16th centuries. It occurred after the Crisis of the Late Middle Ages an ...
, the Ages of [[Age of Exploration|Discovery and [[Age of Enlightenment|Enlightenment and the [[Industrial Revolution|Industrial and [[Scientific Revolutions. In the 20th century, [[Post-Christianity|Christianity declined in influence in many Western countries, mostly in the European Union where some member states have experienced falling church attendance and membership in recent years, and also elsewhere. [[Secularism (separating religion from politics and science) increased. Christianity remains the dominant religion in the Western world, where 70% are Christians. The West went through a series of great cultural and social changes between 1945 and 1980. The emergent [[mass media (film, radio, television and recorded music) created a global culture that could ignore national frontiers. Literacy became almost universal, encouraging the growth of books, magazines and newspapers. The influence of cinema and radio remained, while televisions became near essentials in every home. By the mid-[[20th century, Western culture was exported worldwide, and the development and growth of international [[transport and [[telecommunication (such as [[Transatlantic telegraph cable|transatlantic cable and the [[radiotelephone) played a decisive role in modern
globalization Globalization, or globalisation (Commonwealth English; see spelling differences), is the process of interaction and integration among people, companies, and governments worldwide. Globalization has accelerated since the 18th century due to adva ...
. The West has contributed a great many technological, political, philosophical, artistic and religious aspects to modern international culture: having been a crucible of [[Catholicism,
Protestantism Protestantism is a form of Christianity that originated with the 16th-century Reformation, a movement against what its followers perceived to be errors in the Catholic Church. Protestants reject the Roman Catholic doctrine of papal supremacy and ...

Protestantism
, democracy, industrialisation; the first major civilisation to seek to [[Abolitionism|abolish slavery during the 19th century, the first to [[Women's suffrage|enfranchise women (beginning in [[Australasia at the end of the 19th century) and the first to put to use such technologies as [[steam power|steam, [[electric power|electric and [[nuclear power. The West invented [[film|cinema, [[television, the [[personal computer and the [[Internet; produced artists such as [[Michelangelo, [[William Shakespeare|Shakespeare, [[Rembrandt, [[Johann Sebastian Bach|Bach, and [[Mozart; developed sports such as [[soccer, [[cricket, [[golf, [[tennis, [[Rugby football|rugby, [[basketball, and [[volleyball; and transported humans to an [[astronomical object for the first time with the [[1969 in spaceflight|1969 [[Apollo 11 [[Moon Landing.


Arts and humanities

What is distinctive of [[European art is that it comments on so many levels-religious, humanistic, satirical, metaphysical, and the purely physical. Some cultural and artistic modalities are characteristically Western in origin and form. While dance, music, visual art, story-telling, and architecture are human universals, they are expressed in the West in certain characteristic ways. European art pays deep tribute to human suffering. In Western dance, music, plays and other arts, the performers are only very infrequently masked. There are essentially no taboos against depicting a god, or other religious figures, in a representational fashion.


Music

In music, Catholic monks developed the first forms of modern Western musical notation in order to standardize liturgy throughout the worldwide Church,Hall, p. 100. and an enormous body of religious music has been composed for it through the ages. This led directly to the emergence and development of European classical music and its many derivatives. The [[Baroque style, which encompassed music, art, and architecture, was particularly encouraged by the post-Reformation Catholic Church as such forms offered a means of religious expression that was stirring and emotional, intended to stimulate religious fervor.Murray, p. 45. The [[symphony, [[concerto, [[sonata, [[opera, and [[oratorio have their origins in Italy. Many [[musical instruments developed in the West have come to see widespread use all over the world; among them are the [[violin, [[piano, [[pipe organ, [[saxophone, [[trombone, [[clarinet, [[accordion, and the [[theremin. In turn, most European instruments have roots in earlier Eastern instruments that were [[Islamic world contributions to Medieval Europe|adopted from the medieval Islamic world. The solo [[piano, [[symphony orchestra, and the [[string quartet are also significant musical innovations of the West. File:Bernardo Strozzi - Claudio Monteverdi (c.1630).jpg|[[Claudio Monteverdi, 1567–1643 File:Vivaldi.jpg|[[Antonio Vivaldi, 1678–1741 File:Wolfgang-amadeus-mozart 1.jpg|[[Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, 1756–1791 File:Beethoven.jpg|[[Ludwig van Beethoven, 1770–1827 File:Porträt des Komponisten Pjotr I. Tschaikowski (1840-1893).jpg|[[Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, 1840–1893


Painting and photography

[[Jan van Eyck, among other renaissance painters, made great advances in [[oil painting, and [[perspective (graphical)|perspective drawings and paintings had their earliest practitioners in [[Florence. In art, the [[Celtic knot is a very distinctive Western repeated motif. Depictions of the [[nude human male and female in [[photography, painting, and [[sculpture are frequently considered to have special artistic merit. Realistic [[portraiture is especially valued. Photography, and the [[motion picture as both a technology and basis for entirely new art forms were also developed in the West. File:Cubiculum (bedroom) from the Villa of P. Fannius Synistor at Boscoreale MET DP170950.jpg|Restoration of a fresco from an Ancient Roman villa bedroom, circa 50-40 BC, dimensions of the room: 265.4 x 334 x 583.9 cm, in the [[Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York City) File:Mona Lisa, by Leonardo da Vinci, from C2RMF retouched.jpg|''[[Mona Lisa'', by [[Leonardo da Vinci, circa 1503–1506, perhaps continuing until circa 1517, oil on poplar panel, 77 cm × 53 cm, [[Louvre, (Paris) File:Las Meninas, by Diego Velázquez, from Prado in Google Earth.jpg|''[[Las Meninas'', by [[Diego Velázquez, 1656, oil on canvas, 318 cm × 276 cm, [[Museo del Prado|El Prado (Madrid) File:Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Le Moulin de la Galette.jpg|''[[Bal du moulin de la Galette|Dance at Le moulin de la Galette'', by [[Pierre-Auguste Renoir, 1876, oil on canvas, height: 131 cm, [[Musée d'Orsay (Paris) File:Atget Intérieur d'un ouvrier rue de Romainville (cropped).jpg|Photo of the interior of the apartment of [[Eugène Atget, taken in 1910 in Paris


Dance and performing arts

The [[ballet is a distinctively Western form of performance dance. The [[ballroom dance is an important Western variety of dance for the elite. The [[polka, the [[square dance, the [[flamenco, and the Irish [[step dance are very well known Western forms of [[folk dance. [[Greek theater|Greek and [[Theatre of ancient Rome|Roman theatre are considered the antecedents of modern [[theatre, and forms such as [[medieval theatre, [[Passion Play|passion plays, [[morality plays, and [[commedia dell'arte are considered highly influential. [[Elizabethan theater|Elizabethan theatre, with such luminaries as [[William Shakespeare, [[Christopher Marlowe, and [[Ben Jonson, is considered one of the most formative and important eras for modern drama. The [[soap opera, a popular culture dramatic form, originated in the United States first on radio in the 1930s, then a couple of decades later on television. The [[music video was also developed in the West in the middle of the 20th century. [[Musical theatre was developed in the West in the 19th and 20th Centuries, from [[music hall, [[comic opera, and [[Vaudeville; with significant contributions from the [[Jewish diaspora, [[African-American culture|African-Americans, and other marginalized peoples.


Literature

While epic literary works in verse such as the [[Mahabharata and Homer's [[Iliad are ancient and occurred worldwide, the prose [[novel as a distinct form of storytelling, with developed, consistent human characters and, typically, some connected overall plot (although both of these characteristics have sometimes been modified and played with in later times), was popularized by the West in the 17th and 18th centuries. Of course, extended prose fiction had existed much earlier; both novels of adventure and romance in the [[Hellenistic period|Hellenistic world and in [[Heian period|Heian Japan. Both [[Petronius' ''[[Satyricon'' (c. 60 CE) and the ''[[Tale of Genji'' by [[Murasaki Shikibu (c. 1000 CE) have been cited as the world's first major novel but they had a very limited long-term impact on literary writing beyond their own day until much more recent times. The novel, which made its appearance in the 18th century, is an essentially European creation. Chinese and Japanese literature contain some works that may be thought of as novels, but only the European novel is couched in terms of a personal analysis of personal dilemmas. As in its artistic tradition, European literature pays deep tribute to human suffering. [[Tragedy, from its ritually and mythologically inspired Greek origins to modern forms where struggle and downfall are often rooted in psychological or social, rather than mythical, motives, is also widely considered a specifically European creation and can be seen as a forerunner of some aspects of both the novel and of classical [[opera. The validity of reason was postulated in both [[Christian philosophy and the Greco-Roman classics. Christianity laid a stress on the inward aspects of actions and on motives, notions that were foreign to the ancient world. This subjectivity, which grew out of the Christian belief that man could achieve a personal union with [[God, resisted all challenges and made itself the fulcrum on which all literary exposition turned, including the 20th-21st century novels. Western literature encompasses literary traditions of
Europe Europe is a continent located entirely in the Northern Hemisphere and mostly in the Eastern Hemisphere. It comprises the westernmost peninsulas of the continental landmass of Eurasia, and is bordered by the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlant ...

Europe
, as well as [[Northern America and [[Latin America.


Architecture

Important Western architectural motifs include the [[Doric order|Doric, [[Corinthian order|Corinthian, and [[Ionic order|Ionic columns, and the [[Romanesque architecture|Romanesque, [[Gothic architecture|Gothic, [[Baroque, and [[Victorian architecture|Victorian styles are still widely recognised, and used even today, in the West. Much of Western architecture emphasizes repetition of simple motifs, straight lines and expansive, undecorated planes. A modern ubiquitous architectural form that emphasizes this characteristic is the [[skyscraper, their modern equivalent first developed in New York and Chicago. The predecessor of the skyscraper can be found in the [[Towers of Bologna|medieval towers erected in Bologna. File:Parthenon-2008 entzerrt.jpg|The [[Parthenon under restoration in 2008, the most iconic [[Classical architecture|Classical building, built from 447 BC to 432 BC, located in [[Athens File:Sainte Chapelle Interior Stained Glass.jpg|Stained glass windows of the ''[[Sainte-Chapelle'' in Paris, completed in 1248, mostly constructed between 1194 and 1220 File:Saint Basil's Cathedral in Moscow.jpg|[[Saint Basil's Cathedral, built from 1555 to 1561, in the [[Red Square of [[Moscow, with its extraordinary [[onion dome|onion-shaped domes, painted in bright colors File:Paris Opera full frontal architecture, May 2009.jpg|The [[Palais Garnier in Paris, built between 1861 and 1875, a [[Beaux-Arts architecture|Beaux-Arts masterpiece


Scientific and technological inventions and discoveries

of the [[University of Oxford, in full academic dress. The typical dress for graduation are gowns and hoods or hats adapted from the daily dress of university staff in the Middle Ages, which was in turn based on the attire worn by medieval clergy. is generally referred to as the first known [[analogue computer. astronaut [[Buzz Aldrin, [[Apollo Lunar Module pilot of the first crewed mission to land on the Moon, poses for a photograph beside the deployed [[Flag of the United States|United States flag during his Extravehicular Activity (EVA) on the lunar surface. A notable feature of Western culture is its strong emphasis and focus on innovation and invention through science and technology, and its ability to generate new processes, materials and material artifacts with its roots dating back to the Ancient Greeks. The
scientific method The scientific method is an empirical method of acquiring knowledge that has characterized the development of science since at least the 17th century. It involves careful observation, applying rigorous skepticism about what is observed, given t ...
as "a method or procedure that has characterized natural science since the 17th century, consisting in systematic observation, measurement, and experiment, and the formulation, testing, and modification of hypotheses" was fashioned by the 17th-century Italian [[Galileo Galilei, with roots in the work of medieval scholars such as the 11th-century [[Physics in the medieval Islamic world|Iraqi physicist [[Ibn al-Haytham and the 13th-century English friar [[Roger Bacon. By the [[Will and testament|will of the [[Swedes|Swedish inventor [[Alfred Nobel the [[Nobel Prize were established in 1895. The prizes in [[Nobel Prize in Chemistry|Chemistry, [[Nobel Prize in Literature|Literature, [[Nobel Peace Prize|Peace, [[Nobel Prize in Physics|Physics, and [[Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine|Physiology or Medicine were first awarded in 1901. The percentage of ethnically European Nobel prize winners during the first and second halves of the 20th century were respectively 98 and 94 percent. A study by the [[Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) – Japan's equivalent of the [[Department of Trade and Industry (United Kingdom)|Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) – concluded that 54% of the world's most important inventions were British. Of the rest, 25% were American and 5% Japanese. The West is credited with the development of the [[steam engine and adapting its use into [[Factory|factories, and for the generation of [[electric power. The electrical [[Electric motor|motor, [[Electrical generator|dynamo, [[transformer, [[electric light, and most of the familiar electrical appliances, were inventions of the West.Tom McInally, The Sixth Scottish University. The Scots Colleges Abroad: 1575 to 1799 (Brill, Leiden, 2012) p. 115 The [[Four-stroke cycle|Otto and the [[Diesel engine|Diesel [[internal combustion engines are products whose genesis and early development were in the West. [[Nuclear power stations are derived from the first [[atomic pile constructed in Chicago in 1942. Communication devices and systems including the [[Telegraphy|telegraph, the [[telephone, [[radio, [[television, [[Communications satellite|communications and [[Satellite navigation system|navigation satellites, [[mobile phone, and the [[Internet were all invented by Westerners.John F. Mitchell Biography
/ref>Who invented the cell phone?
/ref>
''The Virtual Museum of the City of San Francisco'', retrieved 15 July 2009.
The [[pencil, [[ballpoint pen, [[Cathode ray tube, [[liquid-crystal display, [[light-emitting diode, [[camera, [[photocopier, [[laser printer, [[ink jet printer, [[plasma display screen and [[world wide web were also invented in the West. Ubiquitous materials including [[aluminium|aluminum, clear [[glass, [[synthetic rubber, [[synthetic diamond and the plastics [[polyethylene, [[polypropylene, [[polyvinyl chloride and [[polystyrene were discovered and developed or invented in the West. Iron and steel ships, bridges and [[skyscrapers first appeared in the West. [[Nitrogen fixation and [[petrochemicals were invented by Westerners. Most of the [[Chemical element|elements were discovered and named in the West, as well as the contemporary [[Bohr model|atomic theories to explain them. The [[transistor, [[integrated circuit, memory chip, and [[computer were all first seen in the West. The [[Longitude by chronometer|ship's chronometer, the [[screw propeller, the [[locomotive, [[bicycle, [[automobile, and [[airplane were all invented in the West. [[Glasses|Eyeglasses, the [[telescope, the [[microscope and [[electron microscope, all the varieties of [[chromatography, [[Protein sequencing|protein and [[DNA sequencing, [[computerized tomography|computerised tomography, [[nuclear magnetic resonance, [[x-rays, and light, ultraviolet and infrared [[spectroscopy, were all first developed and applied in Western laboratories, hospitals and factories. In medicine, the pure [[antibiotics were created in the West. The method of preventing [[Rh disease, the treatment of [[diabetes, and the [[germ theory of disease were discovered by Westerners. The eradication of [[smallpox, was led by a Westerner, [[Donald Henderson. [[Radiography, [[computed tomography, [[positron emission tomography and [[medical ultrasonography are important diagnostic tools developed in the West. Other important diagnostic tools of [[clinical chemistry, including the methods of [[spectrophotometry, [[electrophoresis and [[immunoassay, were first devised by Westerners. So were the [[stethoscope, the [[electrocardiograph, and the [[endoscope. [[Vitamins, [[hormonal contraception, [[hormones, [[insulin, [[beta blockers and [[ACE inhibitors, along with a host of other medically proven drugs, were first utilized to treat disease in the West. The [[double-blind study and [[evidence-based medicine are critical scientific techniques widely used in the West for medical purposes. In mathematics, [[calculus, [[statistics, [[mathematical logic|logic, [[Vector (geometric)|vectors, [[tensors and [[complex analysis, [[group theory and [[topology were developed by Westerners.Dodge, Y. (2006) ''The Oxford Dictionary of Statistical Terms'', OUP. In biology, [[evolution, [[chromosomes, [[DNA, [[genetics and the methods of [[molecular biology are creations of the West. In physics, the science of [[mechanics and [[quantum mechanics, [[theory of relativity|relativity, [[thermodynamics, and [[statistical mechanics were all developed by Westerners. The discoveries and inventions by Westerners in [[electromagnetism include [[Coulomb's law (1785), the first [[Battery (electricity)|battery (1800), the unity of [[Electromagnetism|electricity and magnetism (1820), [[Biot–Savart law (1820), [[Ohm's Law (1827), and [[Maxwell's equations (1871). The [[atom, [[Atomic nucleus|nucleus, [[electron, [[neutron and [[proton were all unveiled by Westerners. The world's most widely adopted system of measurement, the [[International System of Units, derived from the [[metric system, was first developed in France and evolved through contributions from various Westerners. In business, economics, and finance, [[Double-entry bookkeeping system|double entry bookkeeping, [[credit cards, and the [[charge card were all first used in the West. Westerners are also known for their explorations of the globe and [[outer space. The first expedition to [[Magellan's circumnavigation|circumnavigate the Earth (1522) was by Westerners, as well as the first journey to the [[South Pole (1911), and the [[Apollo 11|first Moon landing (1969). The [[Mars Exploration Rovers|landing of robots on Mars (2004 and 2012) and on an [[NEAR Shoemaker|asteroid (2001), the ''[[Voyager 2'' explorations of the outer planets ([[Uranus in 1986 and [[Neptune in 1989), ''[[Voyager 1''s passage into interstellar space (2013), and ''[[New Horizons'' flyby of [[Pluto (2015) were significant recent Western achievements.


Media

The roots of modern-day Western mass media can be traced back to the late 15th century, when [[printing presses began to operate throughout wealthy European cities. The emergence of [[news media in the 17th century has to be seen in close connection with the [[spread of the printing press, from which the publishing [[Publishing|press derives its name. In the 16th century, a decrease in the preeminence of [[New Latin|Latin in its literary use, along with the impact of economic change, the discoveries arising from trade and travel, navigation to the [[New World|new world, science and arts and the development of increasingly rapid communications through print led to a rising corpus of vernacular media content in European society. After the launch of the satellite [[Sputnik 1 by the Soviet Union in 1957, satellite transmission technology was dramatically realised, with the United States launching [[Telstar in 1962 linking live media broadcasts from the UK to the US. The first digital broadcast satellite (DBS) system began transmitting in US in 1975. Beginning in the 1990s, the [[Internet has contributed to a tremendous increase in the accessibility of Western media content. Departing from media offered in bundled content packages ([[magazines, [[Compact disc|CDs, [[News broadcasting|television and radio slots), the Internet has primarily offered unbundled content items ([[Digital journalism|articles, audio and video files).


Religion

The native religions of Europe were [[polytheism|polytheistic but not homogenous – however, they were similar insofar as they were predominantly [[Indo-European religion|Indo-European in origin. [[Religion in ancient Rome|Roman religion was similar to but not the same as [[Religion in ancient Greece|Hellenic religion – likewise for [[Germanic paganism|indigenous Germanic polytheism, [[Celtic polytheism and [[Slavic paganism|Slavic polytheism. Before this time many Europeans from the north, especially Scandinavians, remained polytheistic, though southern Europe was predominantly Christian from the 5th century onwards. Western culture is most strongly influenced by the [[Judeo-Christian and
Greco-Roman Roman Theatre of Mérida, Spain. The term "Greco-Roman world" (also "Greco-Roman culture" or ; spelled Graeco-Roman in the Commonwealth), as understood by modern scholars and writers, refers to geographical regions and countries that cultural ...

Greco-Roman
cultures. These cultures had a number of similarities, such as a common emphasis on the individual, but they also embody fundamentally conflicting worldviews. For example, in Judaism and Christianity, [[God is the ultimate authority, while Greco-Roman tradition considers the ultimate authority to be [[reason. Christian attempts to reconcile these frameworks were responsible for the preservation of [[Greek philosophy. As in other areas, the [[Jewish diaspora and
Judaism Judaism ( he|יהדות, ''Yahadut''; originally from Hebrew , ''Yehudah'', "Judah", via Greek ''Ioudaismos''; the term itself is of Anglo-Latin origin c. 1400) is an Abrahamic primarily ethnic religion comprising the collective religious, ...
exist in the Western world. Non-European groups, and Jews in particular, have been subjected to intense [[racism, [[Ethnic hatred|ethnic and [[religious hatred, [[xenophobia, [[discrimination, and [[Jewish persecution|persecution in the West. This has included [[pogroms, [[forced conversion, [[Forced displacement|displacement, [[Racial segregation|segregation and [[ghettos, [[ethnic cleansing, [[genocide, and other forms of violence and prejudice. Religion has waned in
Europe Europe is a continent located entirely in the Northern Hemisphere and mostly in the Eastern Hemisphere. It comprises the westernmost peninsulas of the continental landmass of Eurasia, and is bordered by the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlant ...

Europe
, where people who are [[agnostic or [[atheist make up about 18% of the European population today. In particular, over half of the populations of the [[Czech Republic ([[Religion in the Czech Republic|79% of the population was agnostic, atheist or irreligious), the United Kingdom ([[Religion in the United Kingdom|52%), Germany ([[Religion in Germany|25–33%), France (30–35%)
Views on globalisation and faith
''. [[Ipsos MORI, 5 July 2011.
Catholicisme et protestantisme en France: Analyses sociologiques et données de l'Institut CSA pour La Croix
– Groupe CSA TMO for ''[[La Croix'', 2001
and the [[Netherlands (39–44%) are agnostic or atheist. However, per another survey by [[Pew Research Center from 2011,
Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. It is the world's largest religion, with about 2.4 billion followers. Its adherents, known as Christians, make up a majority of the populati ...

Christianity
remains the dominant religion in the
Western world The Western world, also known as the West, refers to various regions, nations and states, depending on the context, most often consisting of the majority of Europe, the Americas, and Australasia.
where 70–84% are [[Christians, According to this survey, 76% of
Europe Europe is a continent located entirely in the Northern Hemisphere and mostly in the Eastern Hemisphere. It comprises the westernmost peninsulas of the continental landmass of Eurasia, and is bordered by the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlant ...

Europe
ans described themselves as [[Christians, and about 86% of the
Americas The Americas (also collectively called America) is a landmass comprising the totality of North and South America. The Americas make up most of the land in Earth's Western Hemisphere and comprise the New World. Along with their associated i ...

Americas
population identified themselves as [[Christians, (90% in [[Latin America and 77% in [[North America). And 73% in
Oceania Oceania (, , ) is a geographic region that includes Australasia, Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia. Spanning the Eastern and Western Hemispheres, Oceania has a land area of and a population of over 41 million. When compared to continents, ...

Oceania
are self-identify as Christian, and 76% in [[South Africa is Christian. According to new polls about religiosity in the European Union in 2012 by [[Eurobarometer,
Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. It is the world's largest religion, with about 2.4 billion followers. Its adherents, known as Christians, make up a majority of the populati ...

Christianity
is the largest religion in the [[European Union, accounting for 72% of the EU population. The question asked was "Do you consider yourself to be...?" With a card showing: Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, Other Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, Buddhist, Hindu, Atheist, and Non-believer/Agnostic. Space was given for Other (SPONTANEOUS) and DK. Jewish, Sikh, Buddhist, Hindu did not reach the 1% threshold. [[Catholics are the largest [[Christians|Christian group, accounting for 48% of the EU citizens, while [[Protestants make up 12%, [[Eastern Orthodox Church|Eastern Orthodox make up 8% and other Christians make up 4%. [[Agnostic|Non-believers/Agnostics account for 16%, [[atheists account for 7%, and [[Muslims account for 2%. Throughout the Western world there are increasing numbers of people who seek to revive the indigenous religions of their European ancestors; such [[Reconstructionist Paganism|groups include [[Germanic Polytheistic Reconstructionism|Germanic, [[Roman polytheistic reconstructionism|Roman, [[Hellenic Polytheistic Reconstructionism|Hellenic, [[Celtic Polytheistic Reconstructionism|Celtic, [[Slavic Neopaganism|Slavic, and polytheistic reconstructionist movements. Likewise, [[Wicca,
New Age New Age is a range of spiritual or religious beliefs and practices which rapidly grew in the Western world during the 1970s. Precise scholarly definitions of the New Age differ in their emphasis, largely as a result of its highly eclectic structu ...
spirituality and other [[Neopagan|neo-pagan belief systems enjoy notable minority support in Western states.


Sport

[[File:Baron Pierre de Coubertin.jpg|upBaron [[Pierre de Coubertin, founder of the [[International Olympic Committee, and considered father of the modern [[Olympic Games. Since [[classical antiquity, sport has been an important facet of Western cultural expression. A wide range of sports was already established by the time of [[Ancient Greece and the military culture and the development of sports in Greece influenced one another considerably. Sports became such a prominent part of their culture that the Greeks created the [[Olympic Games, which in ancient times were held every four years in a small village in the [[Peloponnese|Peloponnesus called [[Olympia, Greece|Olympia. Baron [[Pierre de Coubertin, a Frenchman, instigated the modern revival of the Olympic movement. The first modern Olympic games were held at [[1896 Summer Olympics|Athens in 1896. The Romans built immense structures such as the [[Roman amphitheatre|amphitheatres to house their festivals of sport. The Romans exhibited a passion for [[blood sports, such as the infamous [[Gladiatorial battles that pitted contestants against one another in a fight to the death. The Olympic Games revived many of the sports of [[Classical Antiquity—such as [[Greco-Roman wrestling, [[discus and [[javelin. The sport of [[bullfighting is a traditional spectacle of Spain, Portugal, southern France, and some Latin American countries. It traces its roots to prehistoric [[bull worship and [[animal sacrifice|sacrifice and is often linked to [[Roman Empire|Rome, where many human-versus-animal events were held. Bullfighting spread from Spain to its American colonies, and in the 19th century to France, where it developed into a distinctive form in its own right. [[Jousting and hunting were popular sports in the European
Middle Ages In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages or medieval period lasted from the 5th to the late 15th century. It began with the fall of the Western Roman Empire and transitioned into the Renaissance and the Age of Discovery. The Middle Ages i ...
, and the aristocratic classes developed passions for leisure activities. A great number of popular global sports were first developed or codified in Europe. The modern game of [[golf originated in Scotland, where the first written record of golf is [[James II of Scotland|James II's banning of the game in 1457, as an unwelcome distraction to learning [[archery. The [[Industrial Revolution that began in Britain in the 18th Century brought increased leisure time, leading to more time for citizens to attend and follow spectator sports, greater participation in athletic activities, and increased accessibility. These trends continued with the advent of mass media and global communication. The bat and ball sport of [[cricket was first played in England during the 16th century and was exported around the globe via the [[British Empire. A number of popular modern sports were devised or codified in Britain during the 19th Century and obtained global prominence—these include [[ping pong, modern [[tennis, [[association football, [[netball and [[Rugby football|rugby. [[association football|Football(also known as soccer) remains hugely popular in Europe, but has grown from its origins to be known as the ''world game''. Similarly, sports such as cricket, rugby, and netball were exported around the world, particularly among countries in the [[Commonwealth of Nations, thus India and Australia are among the strongest cricketing states, while victory in the [[Rugby World Cup has been shared among New Zealand, Australia, England, and South Africa. [[Australian Rules Football, an Australian variation of football with similarities to [[Gaelic football and [[Rugby football|rugby, evolved in the British [[colony of Victoria in the mid-19th century. The United States also developed unique variations of English sports. English migrants took antecedents of [[baseball to America during the colonial period. The history of [[American football can be traced to early versions of rugby football and [[association football. Many games are known as "football" were being played at colleges and universities in the United States in the first half of the 19th century. American football resulted from several major divergences from rugby, most notably the rule changes instituted by [[Walter Camp, the "Father of American Football". [[Basketball was invented in 1891 by [[James Naismith, a Canadian physical education instructor working in [[Springfield, Massachusetts, in the United States. [[Volleyball was created in [[Holyoke, Massachusetts, a city directly north of Springfield, in 1895.


Themes and traditions

Western culture has developed many themes and traditions, the most significant of which are: * Greco-Roman classic letters, arts, architecture, philosophical and cultural tradition, which include the influence of preeminent authors and philosophers such as [[Socrates,
Plato Plato ( ; grc-gre|Πλάτων ''Plátōn'', in Classical Attic; 428/427 or 424/423 – 348/347 BC) was an Athenian philosopher during the Classical period in Ancient Greece, founder of the Platonist school of thought and the Academy, the ...

Plato
,
Aristotle Aristotle (; grc-gre|Ἀριστοτέλης ''Aristotélēs'', ; 384–322 BC) was a Greek philosopher and polymath during the Classical period in Ancient Greece. Taught by Plato, he was the founder of the Lyceum, the Peripatetic schoo ...

Aristotle
, [[Homer, [[Virgil, and [[Marcus Tullius Cicero|Cicero, as well as a long [[Greek mythology|mythologic tradition. * [[Christianity|Christian ethical, philosophical, and [[Jewish mythology|mythological tradition, stemming largely from the [[Bible|Christian Bible, particularly the
New Testament The New Testament grc|Ἡ Καινὴ Διαθήκη, transl. ; la|Novum Testamentum. (NT) is the second division of the Christian biblical canon. It discusses the teachings and person of Jesus, as well as events in first-century Christianit ...

New Testament
Gospels. * Monasteries, [[schools, [[libraries, [[books, book making, [[universities, teaching, [[education, and lecture halls. * A tradition of the importance of [[the rule of law. * [[Secular humanism,
rationalism In philosophy, rationalism is the epistemological view that "regards reason as the chief source and test of knowledge" or "any view appealing to reason as a source of knowledge or justification".Lacey, A.R. (1996), ''A Dictionary of Philosophy' ...
and Enlightenment thought. This set the basis for a new critical attitude and open questioning of religion, favouring [[freethinking and questioning of the church as an authority, which resulted in open-minded and reformist ideals inside, such as [[liberation theology, which partly adopted these currents, and secular and political tendencies such as [[laicism, [[agnosticism and [[atheism. * Generalized usage of some form of the [[Latin alphabet|Latin or [[Greek alphabet, and derived forms, such as [[Cyrillic script|Cyrillic, used by those southern and eastern Slavic countries of [[Eastern Christianity|Christian Orthodox tradition, historically under the
Byzantine Empire The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, when its capital city was Constantinople. It surviv ...
and later within the Russian [[czarist or the [[Soviet Union|Soviet area of influence. Other variants of the Latin or Greek alphabets are found in the [[Gothic alphabet|Gothic and [[Coptic alphabets, which historically superseded older scripts, such as [[Runic|runes, and the Egyptian [[Demotic (Egyptian)|Demotic and [[Hieroglyphic systems. * [[Natural law, [[human rights, [[constitutionalism, [[parliamentarism (or [[presidentialism) and formal [[liberal democracy in recent times—prior to the 19th century, most Western governments were still monarchies. * A large influence, in [[modern history|modern times, of many of the ideals and values developed and inherited from [[Romanticism. * An emphasis on, and use of, [[science as a means of understanding the natural world and humanity's place in it. * More pronounced use and application of innovation and scientific developments, as well as a more rational approach to scientific progress (what has been known as the
scientific method The scientific method is an empirical method of acquiring knowledge that has characterized the development of science since at least the 17th century. It involves careful observation, applying rigorous skepticism about what is observed, given t ...
), as opposed to more empiric discoveries in the [[Eastern world.


See also


Notes


References


Citations


Sources

* * Barzun, Jacques ''[[From Dawn to Decadence: 500 Years of Western Cultural Life 1500 to the Present'' HarperCollins (2000) . * Daly, Jonathan.
The Rise of Western Power: A Comparative History of Western Civilization
(London and New York: Bloomsbury, 2014). . * Daly, Jonathan.
Historians Debate the Rise of the West
(London and New York: Routledge, 2015). . * Jones, Prudence and Pennick, Nigel ''A History of Pagan Europe'' Barnes & Noble (1995) . * Merriman, John ''Modern Europe: From the Renaissance to the Present'' W. W. Norton (1996) . * Derry, T. K. and Williams, Trevor I. ''A Short History of Technology: From the Earliest Times to A.D. 1900'' Dover (1960) . * Eduardo Duran, Bonnie Dyran
Native American Postcolonial Psychology
' 1995 Albany: State University of New York Press * McClellan, James E. III and Dorn, Harold ''Science and Technology in World History'' Johns Hopkins University Press (1999) . * Stein, Ralph ''The Great Inventions'' Playboy Press (1976) . * Asimov, Isaac ''Asimov's Biographical Encyclopedia of Science and Technology: The Lives & Achievements of 1510 Great Scientists from Ancient Times to the Present'' Revised second edition, Doubleday (1982) . * [[Ludwig von Pastor|Pastor, Ludwig von, ''History of the Popes from the Close of the Middle Ages; Drawn from the [[Vatican Secret Archives|Secret Archives of the Vatican and other original sources'', 40 vols. St. Louis, B. Herder (1898ff.) * [[James Joseph Walsh|Walsh, James Joseph, ''The Popes and Science; the History of the Papal Relations to Science During the Middle Ages and Down to Our Own Time'', Fordam University Press, 1908, reprinted 2003, Kessinger Publishing. Reviews
p. 462
* Ankerl, Guy (2000). C''oexisting Civilizations: Arabo-Muslim, Bharati, Chinese, and Western''. INUPRESS, Geneva, 119–244. . * Atle Hesmyr (2013). ''Civilization, Oikos, and Progress'' * [[Victor Davis Hanson|Hanson, Victor Davis; Heath, John (2001). ''Who Killed Homer: The Demise of Classical Education and the Recovery of Greek Wisdom'', Encounter Books. * Stearns, P.N. (2003). ''Western Civilization in World History'', Routledge, New York. * [[Bruce Thornton|Thornton, Bruce (2002). ''Greek Ways: How the Greeks Created Western Civilization'', Encounter Books.


Further reading

* Barzun, Jacques. [[iarchive:fromdawntodecade00barz 0|''From Dawn to Decadence: 500 Years of Western Cultural Life : 1500 to the Present''. New York: HarperCollins, 2001. * Hesmyr, Atle Kultorp: ''Civilization; Its Economic Basis, Historical Lessons and Future Prospects''(Telemark: Nisus Publications, 2020).


External links


An overview of the Western Civilization
{{Authority control [[Category:Western culture| [[Category:Classical studies [[Category:Cultural anthropology [[Category:Sociological terminology