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The fall of the Roman Empire in AD 476 traditionally marks the start of the Middle Ages.

Beginning in the 14th century a Renaissance of knowledge challenged traditional doctrines in science and theology.

The Cold War dominated European geo-politics from 1947 to 1989.

Unification into a European Union moved forward after 1950, with some setbacks.

Eastern Europe in the High Middle Ages was dominated by the rise and fall of the Mongol Empire.

Led by Genghis Khan, the Mongols were a group of steppe nomads who established a decentralized empire which, at its height, extended from China in the east to the Black and Baltic Seas in Europe.

In Western Europe, Germanic peoples became more powerful in the remnants of the former Western Roman Empire and established kingdoms and empires of their own.

Of all of the Germanic peoples, the Franks would rise to a position of hegemony over Western Europe, the Frankish Empire reaching its peak under Charlemagne around 800.

The Rus' people founded Kievan Rus', which evolved into Russia.

After 1000 the Crusades were a series of religiously motivated military expeditions originally intended to bring the Levant back under Christian rule.

The period known as classical antiquity began with the emergence of the city-states of ancient Greece.

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