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Europe is taken to be bounded by large bodies of water to the north, west and south; Europe's limits to the far east are usually taken to be the Urals, the Ural River, and the Caspian Sea; to the southeast, including the Caucasus Mountains, the Black Sea and the waterways connecting the Black Sea to the Mediterranean Sea.Islands are generally grouped with the nearest continental landmass, hence Iceland is generally considered to be part of Europe, while the nearby island of Greenland is usually assigned to North America.For the second part compare also the divine attributes of "grey-eyed" Athena (γλαυκῶπις, glaukōpis) or ox-eyed Hera (βοῶπις, boōpis).There have been attempts to connect Eurṓpē to a Semitic term for "west", this being either Akkadian erebu meaning "to go down, set" (said of the sun) or Phoenician 'ereb "evening, west", which is at the origin of Arabic Maghreb and Hebrew ma'arav. Barry, professor in Princeton University's Near Eastern Studies Department, finds the mention of the word Ereb on an Assyrian stele with the meaning of "night, [the country of] sunset", in opposition to Asu "[the country of] sunrise", i.e. The same naming motive according to "cartographic convention" appears in Greek Ἀνατολή (Anatolḗ "[sun] rise", "east", hence Anatolia).regʷos, meaning "darkness", which also produced Greek Erebus.Herodotus mentioned that the world had been divided by unknown persons into three parts, Europe, Asia, and Libya (Africa), with the Nile and the Phasis forming their boundaries—though he also states that some considered the River Don, rather than the Phasis, as the boundary between Europe and Asia.
The first recorded usage of Eurṓpē as a geographic term is in the Homeric Hymn to Delian Apollo, in reference to the western shore of the Aegean Sea.In 1955, the Council of Europe was formed in Strasbourg following a speech by Sir Winston Churchill, with the idea of unifying Europe to achieve common goals.It includes all states except for Belarus, Kazakhstan and Vatican City.Nevertheless, there are some exceptions based on sociopolitical and cultural differences.Cyprus is closest to Anatolia (or Asia Minor), but is usually considered part of Europe both culturally and politically and is a member state of the EU.
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The fall of the Western Roman Empire, during the migration period, marked the end of ancient history and the beginning of an era known as the Middle Ages.