Asia is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern and Northern Hemispheres. It shares the continental landmass of Eurasia with the continent of Europe and the continental landmass of Afro-Eurasia with both Europe and Africa. Asia covers an area of 44,579,000 square kilometres (17,212,000 sq mi), about 30% of Earth's total land area and 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area. The continent, which has long been home to the majority of the human population, was the site of many of the first civilizations. Asia is notable for not only its overall large size and population, but also dense and large settlements, as well as vast barely populated regions. Its 4.5 billion people constitute roughly 60% of the world's population.
In general terms, Asia is bounded on the east by the Pacific Ocean, on the south by the Indian Ocean, and on the north by the Arctic Ocean. The border of Asia with Europe is a historical and cultural construct, as there is no clear physical and geographical separation between them. It is somewhat arbitrary and has moved since its first conception in classical antiquity. The division of Eurasia into two continents reflects East-West cultural, linguistic, and ethnic differences, some of which vary on a spectrum rather than with a sharp dividing line. The most commonly accepted boundaries place Asia to the east of the Suez Canal separating it from Africa; and to the east of the Turkish Straits, the Ural Mountains and Ural River, and to the south of the Caucasus Mountains and the Caspian and Black Seas, separating it from Europe.
China and India alternated in being the largest economies in the world from 1 to 1800 CE. China was a major economic power and attracted many to the east, and for many the legendary wealth and prosperity of the ancient culture of India personified Asia, attracting European commerce, exploration and colonialism. The accidental discovery of a trans-Atlantic route from Europe to America by Columbus while in search for a route to India demonstrates this deep fascination. The Silk Road became the main east-west trading route in the Asian hinterlands while the Straits of Malacca stood as a major sea route. Asia has exhibited economic dynamism (particularly East Asia) as well as robust population growth during the 20th century, but overall population growth has since fallen. Asia was the birthplace of most of the world's mainstream religions including Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Jainism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Christianity, Islam, Sikhism, as well as many other religions.
North Korea (Korean: , MR: Chos?n; literally , MR: Pukchos?n, or /, RR: Bukhan in South Korean usage), officially the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK or DPR Korea; Korean: , Chos?n Minjuju?i Inmin Konghwaguk), is a country in East Asia constituting the northern part of the Korean Peninsula. The country is bordered to the north by China and by Russia along the Amnok (known as the Yalu in Chinese) and Tumen rivers, and to the south by South Korea, with the heavily fortified Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) separating the two. North Korea, like its southern counterpart, claims to be the legitimate government of the entire peninsula and adjacent islands. Pyongyang is the country's capital and largest city.
In 1910, Korea
by Imperial Japan
. At the Japanese surrender
at the end of World War II
in 1945, Korea was divided into two zones
, with the north occupied by the Soviet Union
and the south occupied by the United States
. Negotiations on reunification
failed, and in 1948, separate governments were formed: the socialist Democratic People's Republic of Korea in the north, and the capitalist Republic of Korea
in the south. An invasion initiated by North Korea led to the Korean War
(1950-1953). The Korean Armistice Agreement
brought about a ceasefire, but no peace treaty was signed. Read more...
In the news
Macedonia (; Ancient Greek: , Makedonía), also called Macedon , was an ancient kingdom on the periphery of Archaic and Classical Greece, and later the dominant state of Hellenistic Greece. The kingdom was founded and initially ruled by the royal Argead dynasty, which was followed by the Antipatrid and Antigonid dynasties. Home to the ancient Macedonians, the earliest kingdom was centered on the northeastern part of the Greek peninsula, and bordered by Epirus to the west, Paeonia to the north, Thrace to the east and Thessaly to the south.
Before the 4th century BC, Macedonia was a small kingdom outside of the area dominated by the great city-states
, and briefly subordinate
to Achaemenid Persia
. During the reign of the Argead king PhilipII
(359-336 BC), Macedonia subdued mainland Greece
and the Thracian Odrysian kingdom
through conquest and diplomacy. With a reformed army
wielding the sarissa
pike, PhilipII defeated the old powers of Athens
in the Battle of Chaeronea
in 338BC. PhilipII's son Alexander the Great
, leading a federation of Greek states
, accomplished his father's objective of commanding the whole of Greece when he destroyed Thebes
after the city revolted. During Alexander's subsequent campaign of conquest
, he overthrew
the Achaemenid Empire
and conquered territory that stretched as far as the Indus River
. For a brief period, his empire was the most powerful in the world – the definitive Hellenistic
state, inaugurating the transition to a new period of Ancient Greek civilization
. Greek arts
flourished in the new conquered lands and advances in philosophy
, and science
spread throughout much of the ancient world. Of particular importance were the contributions of Aristotle
, tutor to Alexander, whose writings
became a keystone of Western philosophy
. Read more...
Did you know...
- ... that the United States was ordered by the World Court to lift some sanctions against Iran over humanitarian concerns?
- ... that Peng Shilu, the "father of China's nuclear submarines", was jailed at age eight?
- ... that the Israeli actor Topol, who won a Golden Globe for his performance as Tevye in the 1971 film Fiddler on the Roof, played the role in shows and revivals about 3,500 times?
- ... that the Indonesian Declaration of Independence was drafted in the home of Japanese rear admiral Tadashi Maeda?
- ... that engraver Abraham Goos and merchant Jacob ben Abraham Zaddiq were responsible for the first map of the Holy Land printed in Hebrew?
- ... that to ensure the loyalty of Queen Fatuma, a client ruler of Zanzibar, Omani forces kept a cannon trained on her palace?
- ... that Fang Renqiu was a member of the first national football team of the People's Republic of China and later coached the national team?
- ... that Chun Chik-yu, a descendant of Hawaiian chiefs, served as governor of Guangdong province in China?
- ... that the fiery-browed starling, found only on Sulawesi in Indonesia, forms mixed flocks with the Sulawesi myna and grosbeak starling?
- ... that although the 2018 release Hamari Paltan was promoted as the last film of veteran Indian actor Tom Alter, another one featuring him premiered later that same year?
Updated: 10:33, 25 June 2020
The following are images from various Asia-related articles on Wikipedia.
Daian-ji temple at Nara, Japan
Here a Jesuit, Adam Schall von Bell (1592-1666), is dressed as an official of the Chinese Department of Astronomy.
Language families in South Asia
Map of Marco Polo's travels
Map of Asia for early 20th century
The third Inter-Korean Summit, which was held in 2018, between South Korean president Moon Jae-in and North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong-un. It was a historical event that symbolized the peace of Asia.
A Confucian ritual ceremony in Jeju, South Korea
East Asian cultural sphere
Chicken tikka, a well-known dish across the globe, reflects the amalgamation of South Asian cooking styles with those from Central Asia.
Byzantine and Sassanian Empires in 600 AD
Detail of Chinese silk from the 4th century BCE. The characteristic trade of silk through the Silk Road connected various regions from China, India, Central Asia, and the Middle East to Europe and Africa.
The Russian Znamensky Cathedral in Tyumen built in 1768
Contemporary political map of Asia
Population concentration and boundaries of the Western Zhou dynasty in China
Korean peninsula in 476 AD. There are three kingdoms and Gaya Union in the picture. This picture shows the heyday of Goguryeo
Sun temple at Konarka, Odisha
The Qing Empire in 1820, marked the time when the Qing began to rule these areas.
The Taj Mahal, Agra, India
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