Southern Europe

Southern Europe is the southern region of the European continent. Most definitions of Southern Europe, also known as Mediterranean Europe, include Spain, Italy, Malta, Corsica, Greece, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania, Slovenia, East Thrace of European Turkey and Cyprus. Portugal, Andorra, Vatican City, San Marino, Serbia, Kosovo, Bulgaria and North Macedonia are also often included despite not having a coast in the Mediterranean.[1] Some definitions may also include mainland Southern France and Monaco, which are otherwise considered parts of Western Europe.

Different methods can be used to define Southern Europe, including its political, economic, and cultural attributes. Southern Europe can also be defined by its natural features — its geography, climate, and flora. Politically, seven of the Southern European states form the EU Med group.

Southern Europe map green
Mediterranean Sea 16.61811E 38.99124N
Geographic features of Southern European countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea.


Geographically, Southern Europe is the southern half of the landmass of Europe. This definition is relative, although largely based in history, culture, climate, and flora which is shared across the region. It includes southwestern Europe: the Iberian Peninsula (Andorra, Portugal and Spain), including the British overseas territory of Gibraltar. Then Italy and the micro-states of San Marino and the Vatican City. Southeastern Europe includes Kosovo, Slovenia, Greece, Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Albania and East Thrace (part of European Turkey). [2][3][4] The Major islands in the region are Sardinia, Sicily, Crete, the Balearic islands and the Island countries of Cyprus and Malta.


Southern Europe's most emblematic climate is that of the Mediterranean climate, which has become a typically known characteristic of the area, which is due to 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 much of Portugal, Spain, Southeast France, Monaco, Italy, coastal Croatia, Albania, 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 trees.

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.


Floristic regions in Europe (english)
The European floristic regions
Agricultura ganaderia europa
  Mediterranean agriculture in coastal and peri-coastal regions

Southern Europe's flora is that of the Mediterranean Region, one of the phytochoria recognized by Armen Takhtajan. The Mediterranean and Submediterranean climate regions in Europe are found in much of Southern Europe, mainly in Southern Portugal, most of Spain, the southern coast of France, Italy, the Croatian coast, much of Bosnia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Serbia, Albania, North Macedonia, Greece, and the Mediterranean islands.[5]


Country Area
(2016 est.)

(per km²)
 Albania 28,748 2,926,348 111.1 Tirana
 Andorra 468 77,281 179.8 Andorra la Vella
 Bosnia and Herzegovina 51,129 3,516,816 69 Sarajevo
 Croatia 56,594 4,213,265 81 Zagreb
 Cyprus 9,251 1,170,125 123.4 Nicosia
 Gibraltar (UK) 6.8 34,408 4,328 Gibraltar
 Greece 131,990 11,183,716 85.3 Athens
 Italy 301,338 59,429,938 200.5 Rome
 Kosovo 10,908 1,920,079 159 Pristina
 Malta 316 429,362 1,306.8 Valletta
 Montenegro 13,812 628,615 50 Podgorica
 North Macedonia 25,713 2,081,206 80.1 Skopje
 Portugal 92,090 10,371,627 114 Lisbon
 San Marino 61 33,203 501 City of San Marino
 Serbia[7] 77,474 7,040,272 91.1 Belgrade
 Slovenia 20,273 2,077,862 101.8 Ljubljana
 Spain 504,030 46,347,576 93 Madrid
 Turkey (East Thrace) 23,764 10,620,739 446.9 Ankara
  Vatican City 0.44 801 1877 Vatican City

Largest urban areas

Rank Urban Area State Population[8] Density
(per km²)
1 İstanbul (European part) Turkey 8,963,431 2,620
2 Madrid Spain 6,171,000 4,600
3 Milan Italy 5,257,000 2,800
4 Barcelona Spain 4,693,000 4,300
5 Rome Italy 3,906,000 3,400
6 Naples Italy 3,706,000 3,600
7 Athens Greece 3,484,000 5,000
8 Lisbon Portugal 3,075,000 2,800
9 Porto Portugal 1,900,524 2,200
10 Valencia Spain 1,570,000 5,800


Early history

The Phoenicians originally expanded from Canaan ports, by the 8th century dominating trade in the Mediterranean. Carthage was founded in 814 BC, and the Carthaginians by 700 BC had firmly established strongholds in Sicily, Italy and Sardinia, which created conflicts of interest with Etruria. Its colonies later reached the Western Mediterranean, such as Cádiz in Spain and most notably Carthage in North Africa, and even the Atlantic Ocean. The civilisation spread across the Mediterranean between 1500 BC and 300 BC.[9]

Roman Republic Empire map
In 500 BC, Rome was a small city-state on the Italian Peninsula. By 200 BC, Rome had conquered Italy, and over the following two centuries it conquered Greece and Hispania (Spain and Portugal), the North African coast, much of the Middle East, Gaul (France), and Britannia (England and Wales).

The period known as classical antiquity began with the rise of the city-states of Ancient Greece. Greek influence reached its zenith under the expansive empire of Alexander the Great, spreading throughout Asia. The Roman Empire came to dominate the entire Mediterranean Basin in a vast empire based on Roman law and Roman legions. It promoted trade, tolerance, and Greek culture. By 300 AD the Roman Empire was divided into the Western Roman Empire based in Rome, and the Eastern Roman Empire based in Constantinople. The attacks of the Goths led to the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 AD, a date which traditionally marks the end of the classical period and the start of the Middle Ages. During the Middle Ages, the Eastern Roman Empire survived, though modern historians refer to this state as the Byzantine Empire. In Western Europe, Germanic peoples moved into positions of power in the remnants of the former Western Roman Empire and established kingdoms and empires of their own.

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 and Venice to become major economic powers. The Reconquista, a related movement, worked to reconquer Iberia for Christendom. 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 in 1453.

Post-Middle Ages

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[10] 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.[11] 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.

European overseas expansion led to the rise of colonial empires, producing the Columbian Exchange.[12] The combination of resource inflows from the New World and the Industrial Revolution of Great Britain, allowed a new economy based on manufacturing instead of subsistence agriculture.[13] The period between 1815 and 1871 saw a large number of revolutionary attempts and independence wars. Balkan nations began to regain independence from the Ottoman Empire. Italy unified into a nation state. The capture of Rome in 1870 ended the Papal temporal power.

20th 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. Yugoslavia was neutral.

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. As a consequence, Europe's integration deepened, the continent became depolarised, and the European Union expanded to subsequently include many of the formerly communist European countries – Romania and Bulgaria (2007) and Croatia (2013).


The following table shows the languages in Southern Europe that are spoken by at least five million people in the region:

Language Speakers[a] Principal Southern European
country / countries
Italian 59,400,000[14] Italy
San Marino
Vatican City
Spanish 46,000,000+[15] Spain
Serbo-Croatian 21,000,000+[16] Serbia
Greek 13,432,490[17] Greece
Turkish 10,934,365 Turkey
Portuguese 10,000,000[18] Portugal
Catalan 10,000,000[19][20] Spain

Romance languages

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), Catalan (spoken in eastern Spain, Andorra and Alghero in Italy), Galician (spoken in northwestern Spain) and Occitan, which is spoken in the Val d'Aran in Catalonia, in the Occitan Valleys in Italy and in southern France.

Other languages

The Hellenic languages or Greek language are widely spoken in Greece and in the Republic of Cyprus. Additionally, other varieties of Greek are spoken in small communities in parts of other European countries.

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 and parts of Italy (particularly by the Arbëreshë people in Southern Italy) and Greece, and Serbo-Croatian is spoken in Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and Montenegro. Slovenian 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.


The following table shows the busiest airports in Southern Europe in 2016.

Rank Country Airport City Passengers (2015) Passengers (2016) Change
1 Turkey İstanbul Atatürk Airport İstanbul 61,322,729[21] 60,119,215[21] Decrease02.0%
2 Spain Adolfo Suarez Madrid-Barajas Airport Madrid 46,824,838[22] 50,420,583[22] Increase07.7%
3 Spain Barcelona El Prat Airport Barcelona 39,711,237[22] 44,154,693[22] Increase11.2%
4 Turkey Sabiha Gökçen Airport Istanbul 28,285,578[23] 29,651,543[23] Increase04.8%
5 Spain Palma de Mallorca Airport Palma de Mallorca 23,745,023[22] 26,253,882[22] Increase10.6%
6 Portugal Lisbon Portela Airport Lisbon 20,090,418[24] 22,449,289[25] Increase11.7%
7 Greece Athens International Airport Athens 18,087,377[26] 20,017,530[26] Increase10.7%
8 Italy Malpensa Airport Milan 18,582,043[27] 19,420,690[27] Increase04.5%
9 Spain Málaga Airport Málaga 14,404,206[22] 16,672,776[22] Increase15.7%
10 Spain Alicante Airport Alicante 10,575,288[22] 12,344,945[22] Increase16.7%


Great Schism 1054 with former borders
The religious distribution in 1054[28]

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, North Macedonia — are generally Eastern Orthodox.

Other classifications

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:[29]

  • Albania
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Greece
  • Italy
  • Malta
  • Montenegro
  • North Macedonia
  • Portugal
  • Serbia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Turkey

See also


  1. ^ Both native and second language speakers residing in Southern Europe only.


  1. ^ Encyclopedia of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Dr Alan Barnard and Jonathan Spence. Retrieved 10 October 2015.
  2. ^ Article in Britannica
  3. ^ "New five-euro note has goddess". 27 October 2017 – via
  4. ^ Library of Congress. Cataloging Policy and Support Office, Library of Congress Subject Headings
  5. ^ Wolfgang Frey and Rainer Lösch; Lehrbuch der Geobotanik. Pflanze und Vegetation in Raum und Zeit. Spektrum Akademischer Verlag, München 2004
  6. ^ "World Population Prospects: The 2017 Revision". (custom data acquired via website). United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division. Retrieved 10 September 2017.
  7. ^ Figures do not include Kosovo.
  8. ^ "United Nations: World Urbanization Prospects". Archived from the original on 2007-03-10. Retrieved 2011-10-06.
  9. ^ "Phoenicia". Ancient History Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2017-08-09.
  10. ^ e.g. Averroes#Commentaries on Aristotle and Plato written in the 12th century, which was mentioned in Divine Comedy IV:144 Archived 2015-06-20 at the Wayback Machine around 1320 AD
  11. ^ 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.
  12. ^ Richard J. Mayne. "history of Europe:: The Middle Ages". Britannica Online Encyclopedia. Retrieved 18 April 2009.
  13. ^ Steven Kreis (11 October 2006). "The Origins of the Industrial Revolution in England". Retrieved 31 January 2010.
  14. ^ Italian at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  15. ^ Spanish at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  16. ^ "The Slavic Languages" (PDF). Cambridge Language Surveys. p. 7. Retrieved 19 June 2017.
  17. ^ Greek at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  18. ^ Portuguese at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  19. ^ "Number of Catalan speakers rising despite adverse context".
  20. ^ "Informe sobre la Situació de la Llengua Catalana - Xarxa CRUSCAT. Coneixements, usos i representacions del català".
  21. ^ a b "Paris Partners: 'Les pactes d'amitié et de coopération'". Mairie de Paris. Retrieved December 1, 2008.
  22. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Spain AENA Airport Statistics
  23. ^ a b Sabiha Gökçen Airport Traffic Report
  24. ^ Portugal Airport Statistics
  25. ^
  26. ^ a b AIA traffic statistics
  27. ^ a b |title=Statistiche - Assaeroporti|
  28. ^ Dragan Brujić (2005). "Vodič kroz svet Vizantije (Guide to the Byzantine World)". Beograd. p. 51.
  29. ^ European Tourism in 2014: Trends & Prospects (Q3/2014), page 15
AMC Networks International Southern Europe

AMC Networks International Southern Europe (formerly AMC Networks International Iberia, Chello Multicanal and Multicanal) is a Madrid, Spain-based television company, owned by AMC Networks International.

They operate channels under 26 channels (11 in HD and 3 in 4K) in Spain, Portugal, France and Italy.

Allied Joint Force Command Naples

Allied Joint Force Command (JFC) Naples (JFC Naples) is a NATO military command based in Lago Patria, in the Metropolitan City of Naples, Italy—the base was formerly located in the Bagnoli quarter of Naples. It was activated on 15 March 2004, after what was effectively a redesignation of its predecessor command, Allied Forces Southern Europe (AFSOUTH), originally formed in 1951. AFSOUTH in NATO Military Command Structure terms was a "Major Subordinate Command". Commander JFC Naples reports to the Supreme Allied Commander Europe at Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, Casteau, Belgium.

Cardium pottery

Cardium pottery or Cardial ware is a Neolithic decorative style that gets its name from the imprinting of the clay with the shell of the cockle, an edible marine mollusk formerly known as Cardium edulis (now Cerastoderma edule). These forms of pottery are in turn used to define the Neolithic culture which produced and spread them, mostly commonly called the "Cardial culture".

The alternative name impressed ware is given by some archaeologists to define this culture, because impressions can be with sharp objects other than cockle shell, such as a nail or comb. Impressed pottery is much more widespread than the Cardial. Impressed ware is found in the zone "covering Italy to the Ligurian coast" as distinct from the more western Cardial extending from Provence to western Portugal. The sequence in prehistoric Europe has traditionally been supposed to start with widespread Cardial ware, and then to develop other methods of impression locally, termed "epi-Cardial". However the widespread Cardial and Impressed pattern types overlap and are now considered more likely to be contemporary.


Halonoproctidae is a family of mygalomorph spiders, split off from the family Ctenizidae in 2018. Species in the family are widely distributed in North and Central America, Australasia, Asia, southern Europe and North Africa. One species is recorded from Venezuela in South America. They are relatively large, sombrely coloured spiders, that live in burrows with some kind of trapdoor.

Italian Peninsula

The Italian Peninsula or Apennine Peninsula (Italian: Penisola italiana, Penisola appenninica) extends 1,000 km (620 mi) from the Po Valley in the north to the central Mediterranean Sea in the south (about 44% of total Italy's area). The peninsula's shape gives it the nickname lo Stivale (the Boot). Three smaller peninsulas contribute to this characteristic shape, namely Calabria (the "toe"), Salento (the "heel") and Gargano (the "spur").

Geographically, the Italian Peninsula consists of the land south of a line extending from the Magra to the Rubicon rivers, north of the Tuscan–Emilian Apennines. It excludes the Po Valley and the southern slopes of the Alps.

All of the peninsula lies within the territory of the Italian Republic except for the microstates of San Marino and Vatican City. Additionally, Sicily, Elba and other smaller islands, such as Palagruža (Italian: Pelagosa), (which belongs to Croatia) are usually considered as islands off the peninsula and in this sense geographically grouped along with it.

The peninsula lies between the Tyrrhenian Sea on the west, the Ionian Sea on the south, and the Adriatic Sea on the east. The backbone of the Italian Peninsula consists of the Apennine Mountains, from which it takes one of its names. Most of its coast is lined with cliffs.

The peninsula has mainly a Mediterranean climate, though in the mountainous parts the climate is much cooler. Its natural vegetation includes macchia along the coasts and deciduous and mixed deciduous coniferous forests in the interior.

List of United States Navy four-star admirals

This is a complete list of four-star admirals in the United States Navy. The rank of admiral (or full admiral, or four-star admiral) is the highest rank normally achievable in the U.S. Navy. It ranks above vice admiral (three-star admiral) and below fleet admiral (five-star admiral).

There have been 267 four-star admirals in the history of the U.S. Navy. Of these, 225 achieved that rank while on active duty, 40 were promoted upon retirement in recognition of combat citations, and one was promoted posthumously. Admirals entered the Navy via several paths: 234 were commissioned via the U.S. Naval Academy (USNA), 18 via Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC), 8 via Officer Candidate School (OCS), 2 via warrant, 2 via Aviation Officer Candidate School (AOCS), one via direct commission (direct), one via the Naval Aviation Cadet (NAVCAD) program, and one via the U.S. Merchant Marine.

List of cities by GDP

This is a list of cities and/or their metropolitan areas in the world by GDP. The methodology may differ between the studies and are widely based on projections and sometimes approximate estimations, notably for non-OECD cities (refer to sources for more information.)


List of countries by intentional homicide rate

List of countries by UNODC homicide rate per year per 100,000 inhabitants. The reliability of underlying national murder rate data may vary. Only UNODC data is used in the main table below. In some cases it is not as up to date as other sources. See farther down as to why its data is used over other sources.

Research suggests that intentional homicide demographics are affected by changes in trauma care, leading to changed lethality of violent assaults, so the intentional homicide rate may not necessarily indicate the overall level of societal violence. They may also be under-reported for political reasons.A study undertaken by the Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development estimated that there were approximately 490,000 intentional homicides in 2004. The study estimated that the global rate was 7.6 intentional homicides per 100,000 inhabitants for 2004. UNODC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime) reported a global average intentional homicide rate of 6.2 per 100,000 population for 2012 (in their report titled "Global Study on Homicide 2013"). UNODC calculated a rate of 6.9 in 2010.

List of countries by population (United Nations)

This is a list of countries and other inhabited areas of the world by total population, based on projections published by the United Nations in the 2017 revision of World Population Prospects. Figures refer to the de facto population in a country or area projected according to the "medium fertility" scenario.

Lists of birds by region

The following are the regional bird lists by continent. Some are full species lists, others, particularly continental lists, have just the families.

For another list see Category:Lists of birds by location

Lists of mammals by region

The following are the regional mammal lists by continent. Some are full species lists, others, particularly continental lists, have just the families.

Mediterranean Basin

In biogeography, the Mediterranean Basin (also known as the Mediterranean region or sometimes Mediterranea) is the region of lands around the Mediterranean Sea that have a Mediterranean climate, with mild, rainy winters and hot, dry summers, which supports characteristic Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and scrub vegetation.

Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO

Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO (STRIKFORNATO) is the principal naval service command of the Allied Command Operations for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, replacing Naval Striking and Support Forces Southern Europe (STRIKFORSOUTH). STRIKFORNATO is commanded by Commander United States Sixth Fleet, and it is the only command capable of leading an expanded maritime task force.

Northern Europe

Northern Europe is a general term for the geographical region in Europe that is roughly north of the southern coast of the Baltic Sea, which is about 54°N. Narrower definitions may be based on other geographical factors such as climate and ecology. A broader definition would include the area north of the Alps. Countries which are central-western (such as Belgium and Switzerland), central (such as Austria) or central-eastern (such as Hungary and Poland) are not usually considered part of either Northern or Southern Europe.

Historically, when Europe was dominated by the Roman Empire, everything not near the Mediterranean region was termed Northern Europe, including southern Germany, all of the Low Countries, and Austria. This meaning is still used today in some contexts, for example, discussions of the Northern Renaissance.


Porcupines are rodents with a coat of sharp spines, or quills, that protect against predators. The term covers two families of animals, the Old World porcupines of family Hystricidae, and the New World porcupines of family Erethizontidae. Both families belong to the infraorder Hystricognathi within the profoundly diverse order Rodentia and display superficially similar coats of quills: despite this, the two groups are distinct from each other and are not closely related to each other within the Hystricognathi.

The Old World porcupines live in southern Europe, Asia (western and southern), and most of Africa. They are large, terrestrial, and strictly nocturnal. In taxonomic terms, they form the family Hystricidae.

The New World porcupines are indigenous to North America and northern South America. They live in wooded areas and can climb trees, where some species spend their entire lives. They are less strictly nocturnal than their Old World relatives, and generally smaller. In taxonomic terms, they form the family Erethizontidae.

Most porcupines are about 60–90 cm (25–36 in) long, with an 20–25 cm (8–10 in) long tail. Weighing 5–16 kg (12–35 lb), they are rounded, large, and slow, and use aposematic strategy of defense. Porcupines occur in various shades of brown, gray, and white. Porcupines' spiny protection resembles that of the unrelated erinaceomorph hedgehogs and Australian monotreme echidnas.

Southeast Europe

Southeast Europe or Southeastern Europe (SEE) is a geographical region of Europe, consisting primarily of the coterminous Balkan Peninsula. There are overlapping and conflicting definitions as to where exactly Southeastern Europe begins or ends or how it relates to other regions of the continent. Sovereign states that are most frequently included in the region are, in alphabetical order: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, and Slovenia.

These boundaries can vary greatly and are widely disputed, due to political, economic, historical, cultural, and geographical considerations and point of view of the observer.

UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists

UNESCO established its Lists of Intangible Cultural Heritage with the aim of ensuring better protection of important intangible cultural heritages worldwide and the awareness of their significance. This list is published by the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage, the members of which are elected by State Parties meeting in a General Assembly.

Through a compendium of the different oral and intangible treasures of humankind worldwide, the programme aims to draw attention to the importance of safeguarding intangible heritage, which UNESCO has identified as an essential component and as a repository of cultural diversity and of creative expression.The list was established in 2008 when the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage took effect.

As of 2010 the programme compiles two lists. The longer, Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, comprises cultural "practices and expressions [that] help demonstrate the diversity of this heritage and raise awareness about its importance." The shorter, List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding, is composed of those cultural elements that concerned communities and countries consider require urgent measures to keep them alive.In 2013 four elements were inscribed on the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding, which helps States Parties mobilize international cooperation and assistance to ensure the transmission of this heritage with the participation of the concerned communities. The Urgent Safeguarding List now numbers 35 elements.

The Committee also inscribed 25 elements on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, which serves to raise awareness of intangible heritage and provide recognition to communities’ traditions and know-how that reflect their cultural diversity. The List does not attribute or recognize any standard of excellence or exclusivity. The list totaled 508 elements corresponding to 122 countries as of 2018.Elements inscribed in the lists are deemed as significant bastions of humanity's intangible heritage, the highest honour for intangible heritage in the world stage.

United States Army Africa

United States Army Africa (USARAF), also known as the Southern European Task Force (SETAF), is the United States Army service component command of United States Africa Command (USAFRICOM or AFRICOM).USARAF's headquarters are located on Caserma Ederle and Caserma Del Din, Vicenza, Italy.

SETAF, now known as USARAF/SETAF has been stationed in Italy since 1955 and has a long history of operating on the African continent and partnering with African nations. During the past 15 years, SETAF has provided crisis response, disaster relief and humanitarian assistance on the continent.

On 3 December 2008 in Rome, Italy, an official announcement by the U.S. and Italian governments stated that SETAF would become USARAF, and one week later on 9 December 2008 USARAF was established as the Army Service Component Command of AFRICOM. According to the Army Times, this marked the end of the airborne chapter of the unit’s history and the beginning of its new role as the Army component of AFRICOM.

The vision for U.S. Army Africa is to be a trusted and respected partner, achieving long-term strategic effects in Africa. The command's mission statement explains that USARAF/SETAF employs Army forces as partners, builds sustainable capacity, and supports the joint force in order to disrupt transnational threats and promote regional stability in Africa.


Voivode, Vojvoda or Wojewoda (, also Воевода/Wojewoda, Войвода/Wojwoda) is a Slavic term for a military commander in Central, Eastern and Southern Europe during the Early Middle Ages, or a governor of a territorial voivodeship.

Earth's primary regions

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