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.
The Taj Mahal (Hindi: , from Persian/Urdu: "crown of palaces") is a white Marble mausoleum located in Agra, India. It was built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal. The Taj Mahal is widely recognized as "the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world's heritage." Taj Mahal is the finest example of Mughal architecture, a style that combines elements from Persian, Turkish and Indian architectural styles.
Malaysia ( m?-LAY-zee-?, -zh?; Malay: [m?lejsi?]) is a country in Southeast Asia. The federal constitutional monarchy consists of thirteen states and three federal territories, separated by the South China Sea into two regions, Peninsular Malaysia and Borneo's East Malaysia. Peninsular Malaysia shares a land and maritime border with Thailand and maritime borders with Singapore, Vietnam, and Indonesia. East Malaysia shares land and maritime borders with Brunei and Indonesia and a maritime border with the Philippines and Vietnam. Kuala Lumpur is the national capital and largest city while Putrajaya is the seat of the federal government. With a population of over 32 million, Malaysia is the world's 43rd-most populous country. The southernmost point of continental Eurasia is in Tanjung Piai. In the tropics, Malaysia is one of 17 megadiverse countries, home to a number of endemic species.
Malaysia has its origins in the Malay kingdoms which, from the 18th century, became subject to the British Empire
, along with the British Straits Settlements
protectorate. Peninsular Malaysia was unified as the Malayan Union
in 1946. Malaya was restructured as the Federation of Malaya
in 1948 and achieved independence on 31 August 1957. Malaya united with North Borneo
, and Singapore
on 16 September 1963 to become Malaysia. In 1965, Singapore was expelled
from the federation. Read more...
Tiridates I (Parthian: , T?rid?t; Greek: , Tiridátes) was King of Armenia beginning in 53 and the founder of the Arsacid dynasty of Armenia. The dates of his birth and death are unknown. His early reign was marked by a brief interruption towards the end of the year 54 and a much longer one from 58 to 63. In an agreement to resolve the Roman-Parthian conflict in and over Armenia, Tiridates I (one of the brothers of Vologases I of Parthia) was crowned king of Armenia by the Roman emperor Nero in 66; in the future, the king of Armenia was to be a Parthian prince, but his appointment required approval from the Romans. Even though this made Armenia a client kingdom, various contemporary Roman sources thought that Nero had de facto ceded Armenia to the Parthian Empire.
In addition to being a king, Tiridates I was also a Zoroastrian
priest and was accompanied by other magi
on his journey to Rome in 66. In the early 20th century, Franz Cumont
speculated that Tiridates was instrumental in the development of Mithraism
which ultimately became the main religion of the Roman Army and spread across the whole empire. Furthermore, during his reign, he started reforming the administrative structure of Armenia, a reform which was continued by his successors, and which brought many Iranian
customs and offices into it. Read more...
In the news
The Iraq War in Al Anbar Governorate, also known as the Al Anbar campaign, consisted of fighting between the United States military, together with Iraqi Government forces, and Sunni insurgents in the western Iraqi governorate of Al Anbar. The Iraq War lasted from 2003 to 2011, but the majority of the fighting and counterinsurgency campaign in Anbar took place between April 2004 and September 2007. Although the fighting initially featured heavy urban warfare primarily between insurgents and U.S. Marines, insurgents in later years focused on ambushing the American and Iraqi security forces with improvised explosive devices (IED's), large scale attacks on combat outposts, and car bombings. Almost 9,000 Iraqis and 1,335 Americans were killed in the campaign, many in the Euphrates River Valley and the Sunni Triangle around the cities of Fallujah and Ramadi.
Al Anbar, the only Sunni
-dominated province in Iraq, saw little fighting in the initial invasion
. Following the fall of Baghdad
it was occupied by the U.S. Army
's 82nd Airborne Division
. Violence began on 28 April 2003 when 17 Iraqis were killed in Fallujah
by U.S. soldiers during an anti-American
demonstration. In early 2004 the U.S. Army relinquished command of the governorate to the Marines. By April 2004 the governorate was in full-scale revolt. Savage fighting occurred in both Fallujah and Ramadi by the end of 2004, including the Second Battle of Fallujah
. Violence escalated throughout 2005 and 2006 as the two sides struggled to secure the Western Euphrates River
Valley. During this time, Al Qaeda in Iraq
(AQI) became the governorate's main Sunni insurgent group and turned the provincial capital of Ramadi into its stronghold. The Marine Corps issued an intelligence report
in late 2006 declaring that the governorate would be lost without a significant additional commitment of troops. 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.
The Qing Empire in 1820, marked the time when the Qing began to rule these areas.
Contemporary political map of Asia
Daian-ji temple at Nara, Japan
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.
Sun temple at Konarka, Odisha
The Russian Znamensky Cathedral in Tyumen built in 1768
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.
Map of Asia for early 20th century
East Asian cultural sphere
Population concentration and boundaries of the Western Zhou dynasty in China
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
A Confucian ritual ceremony in Jeju, South Korea
The Taj Mahal, Agra, India
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
Korean peninsula in 476 AD. There are three kingdoms and Gaya Union in the picture. This picture shows the heyday of Goguryeo
Map of Marco Polo's travels
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