is the southern subregion
Definitions of Southern Europe, also known as Mediterranean Europe
, include countries and regions such as: Albania
, Bosnia and Herzegovina
, North Macedonia
, San Marino
, Southern France
(and especially Corsica
) and Vatican City
Southern Europe is focused on the three peninsulas located in the extreme south of the European continent. These are the Iberian Peninsula
, the Italian Peninsula
, and the Balkan Peninsula
. These three peninsulas are separated from the rest of Europe by towering mountain ranges. The location of these peninsulas in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea, as well as their mountainous reliefs, provide them with very different types of climates (mainly subtropicalMediterranean
) from the rest of the continent. So, the Sirocco
hot wind that originates in the heart of the Sahara
blows over Italy
, going up to the interior of the Alpine arc (Po Valley
). The Alps
prevent the Sirocco from spreading to the rest of Europe. And, conversely, the Alps and the Pyrenees
protect the Italian and Iberian peninsulas from the rains and icy winds from the south of France such as the Mistral
and the Tramontane
. When the Mistral
and the Tramontane
are blowing, this provokes an "upwelling" phenomenon on the French coast. They push the surface waters out to sea and bring deeper, cooler waters up to the seaside. Consequently, the temperature of the waters of the French coasts are therefore very cool even in summer, and not representative of the rest of the Mediterranean.
This same kind of phenomenon takes place between the two slopes of the Balkan mountain
range. These mountain ranges have, moreover, been a serious handicap to population displacement, focusing southern Europe mainly on the Mediterranean world. The climate and cultures are therefore very specific.
Geographically, Southern Europe is the southern portion of the European
continent. This definition is relative, although largely based on history, culture, climate
, and flora, which is shared across the region. Southern Europe can be subdivided into three subregions
and the Balkan Peninsula
, Bosnia and Herzegovina
, North Macedonia
, and Slovenia
, as well as East Thrace
Map representing the geography of Europe, with the mountain ranges separating Southern Europe.
Satellite image of the Iberian Peninsula.
Satellite image of the Italian Peninsula.
Satellite image of the Balkan Peninsula.
European climate. The Köppen-Geiger climates
map is presented by the Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia and the Global Precipitation Climatology Center of the Deutscher Wetterdienst.
Southern Europe's most emblematic climate
is the Mediterranean climate
, influenced by the large subtropical semi-permanent centre of high atmospheric pressure found, not in the Mediterranean itself, but in the Atlantic Ocean, the Azores High
. The Mediterranean climate covers Portugal
, the southern coast of France
, coastal Croatia
, coastal Slovenia
, southern Bosnia and Herzegovina
, and Greece
, as well as the Mediterranean islands. Those areas of Mediterranean climate present similar vegetations and landscapes throughout, including dry hills, small plains, pine
forests and olive
Cooler climates can be found in certain parts of Southern European countries, for example within the mountain ranges of Spain and Italy. Additionally, the north coast of Spain experiences a wetter Atlantic climate.
Some parts of Southern Europe have humid subtropical climates with warm and wet summers, unlike typical Mediterranean climates. This climate is mainly found in Italy and Croatia around the Adriatic Sea
in cities such as Venice
Mediterranean agriculture' in coastal and peri-coastal regions
Southern Europe's flora
is mainly characterized by Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and scrub
, but also temperate broadleaf and mixed forests
. The Mediterranean and Submediterranean climate regions in Europe are found in much of Southern Europe, mainly Portugal, Spain, Italy, Malta, Albania, Greece, Cyprus and all the mediterranean islands, but also in southeast France, the Balkan
Mediterranean coast and part of Macedonia.
Roman Empire. In yellow the south-west of Europe, and in violet the south-east.
Eastern Roman Empire mainly focused on southern Europe.
The period known as the Crusades
, a series of religiously motivated military expeditions originally intended to bring the Levant
back into Christian rule, began. Several Crusader states
were founded in the eastern Mediterranean. These were all short-lived. The Crusaders would have a profound impact on many parts of Europe. Their sack of Constantinople
in 1204 brought an abrupt end to the Byzantine Empire. Though it would later be re-established, it would never recover its former glory. The Crusaders would establish trade routes that would develop into the Silk Road
and open the way for the merchant republics of Genoa
to become major economic powers. The Reconquista
, a related movement, worked to reconquer Iberia
. The late Middle Ages
represented a period of upheaval in Europe. The epidemic known as the Black Death
and an associated famine caused demographic
catastrophe in Europe as the population plummeted. Dynastic struggles and wars of conquest
kept many of the states of Europe at war for much of the period. In the Balkans
, the Ottoman Empire
, a Turkish state originating in Anatolia
, encroached steadily on former Byzantine lands, culminating in the fall of Constantinople
The areas of the world that were at one time part of the Portuguese
Beginning roughly in the 12th century in Florence
, and later spreading through Europe with the development of the printing press
, a Renaissance
of knowledge challenged traditional doctrines in science and theology
, with the Arabic texts and thought
bringing about rediscovery of classical Greek and Roman knowledge. The Catholic reconquest of Portugal and Spain led to a series of oceanic explorations resulting in the Age of Discovery
that established direct links with Africa, the Americas, and Asia. During this period, Iberian forces engaged in a worldwide struggle with Islamic societies; the battlefronts in this Ibero-Islamic World War stretched from the Mediterranean
into the Indian Ocean
, finally involving the islands of Southeast Asia
Eventually this ecumenical conflict ended when new players—England, Holland and France—replaced Spain and Portugal as the main agents of European imperialism in the mid-17th century.
The outbreak of World War I
in 1914 was precipitated by the rise of nationalism in Southeastern Europe as the Great Powers
took up sides. The Allies defeated the Central Powers
in 1918. During the Paris Peace Conference
the Big Four
imposed their terms in a series of treaties, especially the Treaty of Versailles
. The Nazi regime under Adolf Hitler
came to power in 1933, and along with Mussolini's Italy
sought to gain control of the continent by the Second World War
. Following the Allied victory in the Second World War, Europe was divided by the Iron Curtain
. The countries in Southeastern Europe were dominated by the Soviet Union
and became communist states
. The major non-communist Southern European countries joined a US-led military alliance (NATO
) and formed the European Economic Community
amongst themselves. The countries in the Soviet sphere of influence joined the military alliance known as the Warsaw Pact
and the economic bloc called Comecon
was neutral. The common attribute of the eastern countries is that all of them have experiences about socialism
, but nevertheless, the beginning of the 1990s was just roughly the same. For some of them becoming independent was the major challenge, while others needed to face with poverty and deep dictatorship also Economically, parallel with the political changes, and the democratic transition, – as a rule of law states – the previous command economies were transformed via the legislation into market economies, and set up or renewed the major macroeconomic factors: budgetary rules, national audit, national currency, central bank. Generally, they shortly encountered the following problems: high inflation, high unemployment, low economic growth and high government debt. By 2000 these economies were stabilized, and sooner or later between 2004 and 2013 some of them joined the European Union, and Slovenia introduced the euro.
Italy became a major industrialized country
again, due to its post-war economic miracle
. The European Union
(EU) involved the division of powers, with taxation, health, and education handled by the nation states, while the EU had charge of market rules, competition, legal standards and environmentalism. The Soviet economic and political system collapsed, leading to the end of communism in the satellite countries in 1989, and the dissolution of the Soviet Union itself in 1991. European Union expanded to subsequently include many of the formerly communist European countries – Romania
(2007) and Croatia
The most widely spoken family of languages in Southern Europe are the Romance languages
, the heirs of Latin, which have spread from the Italian peninsula, and are emblematic of Southwestern Europe. (See the Latin Arch.)
By far the most common Romance languages in Southern Europe are Italian (spoken by over 50 million people in Italy, Malta, San Marino, and the Vatican) and Spanish, which is spoken by over 40 million people in Spain, Andorra and Gibraltar. Other common Romance languages include Portuguese (spoken in Portugal and Andorra), French (spoken in southern France, Monaco, and the Aosta Valley
in Italy), Catalan (spoken in eastern Spain, Andorra, Southwestern France, and the Sardinian
town of Alghero
in Italy), Galician
(spoken in northwestern Spain), Mirandese
(spoken in northeast Portugal), and Occitan
, which is spoken in the Val d'Aran
in Catalonia, in the Occitan Valleys
in Italy and in southern France.
English is used as a second language in parts of Southern Europe. As a primary language, however, English has only a small presence in Southern Europe, only in Gibraltar (alongside Spanish) and Malta (secondary to Maltese). English is also widely spoken in Cyprus.
There are other language groupings in Southern Europe. Albanian
is spoken in Albania, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Croatia and Italy (particularly by the Arbëreshë people
in Southern Italy
), and Serbo-Croatian
is spoken in Kosovo, Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Italy (in Molise
is spoken in Slovenia, Italy (in Friuli-Venezia Giulia
) and Croatia (in Istria
) and Macedonian
is spoken in North Macedonia. Maltese
is a Semitic language
that is the official language of Malta, descended from Siculo-Arabic
, but written in the Latin script with heavy Latin and Italian influences. The Basque language
is spoken in the Basque Country
, a region in northern Spain and southwestern France. Turkish
is a Turkic language
that is spoken in Turkey, Cyprus, Kosovo, Greece, North Macedonia and Bosnia, and German
is spoken in Italy, particularly in South Tyrol
The religious distribution in 1054
The predominant religion in Southern Europe is Christianity
. Christianity spread throughout Southern Europe during the Roman Empire, and Christianity was adopted as the official religion of the Roman Empire in the year 380 AD. Due to the historical break of the Church
into the western half based in Rome and the eastern half based in Constantinople, different denominations of Christianity are prominent in different parts of Europe. Christians
in the western half of Southern Europe — e.g., Portugal, Spain, Italy — are generally Roman Catholic
. Christians in the eastern half of Southern Europe — e.g., Greece, Serbia and North Macedonia — are generally Eastern Orthodox
is widely practiced in Albania, Bosnia, Kosovo and Turkey and Northern Cyprus
. Muslims are a significant minority in several countries of Southern Europe- e.g., Greece, Italy, Spain.Judaism
was practiced widely throughout the European continent within the Roman Empire from the 2nd century.
In the CIA World Factbook
, the description of each country includes information about "Location" under the heading "Geography", where the country is classified into a region. The following countries are included in their classification "Southern Europe":
In addition, Andorra
are classified as "Southwestern Europe", while Albania
, Bosnia and Herzegovina
, North Macedonia
(the part west of the Bosporus) are described as located in "Southeastern Europe".
European Travel Commission classification
European Travel Commission divides the European region on the basis of Tourism Decision Metrics (TDM) model. Countries which belong to the Southern/Mediterranean Europe in this classification are: Albania
, Bosnia and Herzegovina
, North Macedonia
, East Thrace
- ^ Southern Europe
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- ^ José María Magone; Magone, José María Magone (2003). The Politics of Southern Europe: Integration Into the European Union. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 292–. ISBN 978-0-275-97787-0.
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- ^ Truxillo, Charles A. By the Sword and the Cross: The Historical Evolution of the Catholic World Monarchy in Spain and the New World, 1492-1825.
- ^ Richard J. Mayne. "history of Europe:: The Middle Ages". Britannica Online Encyclopedia. Retrieved 18 April 2009.
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- ^ Vértesy, László (2018). "Macroeconomic Legal Trends in the EU11 Countries" (PDF). Public Governance, Administration and Finances Law Review. Vol. 3. No. 1. 2018.
- ^ "From 6 to 27 members". ec.europa.eu. Retrieved 15 March 2021.
- ^ Dragan Brujić (2005). "Vodič kroz svet Vizantije (Guide to the Byzantine World)". Beograd. p. 51.[dead link]
- ^ Conrad Hackett (29 November 2017), "5 facts about the Muslim population in Europe", Pew Research Center
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- ^ Publications Office of the European Union. "EU Vocabularies 7206 Europe". EuroVoc.
- ^ European Tourism 2014 – Trends & Prospects (Q2/2014), page 5
Last edited on 4 May 2021, at 07:36
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