What is Europe? A geographical entity, a source of historical wealth, an ideological construct? It is all of this: a “thing” with indeterminate but tangible traits that have emerged over millennia. The advent and gradual development of this geographical, historical, and cultural “thing” is the object of the original account offered by this book. The text initially focuses on the very term “Europe” and its spatial definition, and then grows increasingly detailed as it addresses the contemporary age. The author identifies the major nodes, processes, and transformations that have led to today’s Europe: from the legacy of ancient Greece and Rome to the formation of Christian Europe, to the emergence of cities and states; from imperial expansionism to revolution and nationalism; from 20th-century totalitarianism to a unified Europe.
Andrea Zannini teaches Modern History at the University of Udine.