AskDefine | Define Eurasia

Dictionary Definition

Eurasia n : the land mass formed by the continents of Europe and Asia

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Etymology

Portmanteau of Europe and Asia.

Pronunciation

  • /jʊˈɹeɪʒə/, /jU"reIZ@/
    Rhymes: -eɪʒə
  • Hyphenation: Eur·a·sia

Proper noun

Eurasia
  1. The largest landmass on Earth consisting of Europe and Asia

Translations

the largest landmass on Earth consisting of Europe and Asia
  • Croatian: Eurazija, Euroazija
  • Estonian: Euraasia
  • German: Eurasien
  • Hungarian: Eurázsia
  • Japanese: ユーラシア
  • Maltese: Ewrasja

Extensive Definition

Eurasia is a large landmass covering roughly 53,990,000 km² which is 10.6 percent of the surface of the Earth. Sometimes considered a single continent, Eurasia comprises the geo-political areas of Europe and Asia, concepts which date back to classical antiquity with somewhat arbitrary borders. Eurasia, in turn, is part of the yet larger landmass of Afro-Eurasia, as Eurasia is joined to Africa at the Isthmus of Suez.
Eurasia has over 4.6 billion people, more than 69% of the world's human population.

History and culture

Jared Diamond, in his book Guns, Germs and Steel, credits Eurasia's dominance in world history to the east-west extent of Eurasia and its climate zones, and the availability of Eurasian animals and plants suitable for domestication. He includes North Africa in his definition of Eurasia.
The Silk Road symbolizes trade and cultural exchange linking Eurasian cultures through history and has been an increasingly popular topic. Over recent decades the idea of a greater Eurasian history has developed with the aim of investigating the genetic, cultural and linguistic relationships between European and Asian cultures of antiquity. These had long been considered distinct.

Geology

Eurasia formed 325 to 375 million years ago. It formed when Siberia (once an independent continent), Kazakhstania, and Baltica (which was joined to Laurentia (now North America) to form Euramerica) joined. Chinese cratons collided with Siberia's southern coast.

Use of term

In modern usage, the term Eurasian may also refer to a person of both European and Asian parentage, especially in 'New World' countries such as the United States and Australia.
Located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres, Eurasia is considered a supercontinent, part of the supercontinent of Afro-Eurasia or simply a continent in its own right. In plate tectonics, the Eurasian Plate includes Europe and most of Asia but not the Indian subcontinent, the Arabian Peninsula or the area of the Russian Far East east of the Chersky Range. Eurasia is also sometimes used in geopolitics as a neutral way to refer to organizations of or affairs concerning the post-Soviet states, in particular Russia, the Central Asian republics, and the Transcaucasian republics.
In ancient times the Greeks who gave Europe its name believed Europe and Asia to be separate continents. Where to draw the dividing line between the two continents is still a matter of discussion. Especially whether the Kuma-Manych Depression or the Caucasus Mountains form the south-east boundary is disputed, since the Mount Elbrus would be part of Europe in the latter case, making it (and not the Mont Blanc) Europe's highest mountain. Most accepted is probably the boundary as defined by Philip Johan von Strahlenberg in the 18th century. He defined the dividing line along the Aegean Sea, Dardanelles, Sea of Marmara, Bosporus, Black Sea, Kuma-Manych Depression, Caspian Sea, Ural River, and Ural Mountains. This distinction between Europe and Asia has spread to the rest of the world, even though Asia contains multiple regions and cultures as large and populous as Europe, and as different and geographically separated from each other as they are from Europe. From a modern perspective in scientific circles people generally prefer to subsume Europe and Asia into Eurasia.

Use in fiction

Eurasia is a fictional country, state or supranational entity appearing in several works of fantasy, literature and science fiction, including books, movies, television series and video games:
  • A Eurasia comprising approximately the same land area as the real-life landmass appears in George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four. This superstate excludes Britain and Ireland (both controlled by Oceania) and Eastasia, the latter of which was formed after a 'decade of confused fighting' by an alliance of the states of the real-life East Asia region, the most important three being Korea, China and Japan. India was a contested border zone between Eurasia and Oceania and was the most famous state involved.
  • In S. M. Stirling's dystopian Draka alternative history series, the analogue to World War II is known as "The Eurasian War". Somewhat similar in its geography to Orwell's scenario, the war ends with most of Eurasia—excluding the British Isles, India and southeast Asia—being conquered by the extremely oppressive Draka who literally enslave everybody else.
  • Eurasia is also used as the name of the fictional space colony that X and Zero must stop from colliding with Earth in the video game Mega Man X5.
  • Eurasia is also the name of the super-state in the Japanese film "Casshern". Unlike most others fictional "Eurasias" this one has more Chinese/Japanese motives than Russian, although Russian seems to be the official written language.

See also

Eurasia in Afrikaans: Eurasië
Eurasia in Tosk Albanian: Eurasien
Eurasia in Arabic: أوراسيا
Eurasia in Aragonese: Eurasia
Eurasia in Franco-Provençal: Erasia
Eurasia in Asturian: Eurasia
Eurasia in Azerbaijani: Avrasiya
Eurasia in Belarusian: Еўразія
Eurasia in Belarusian (Tarashkevitsa): Эўразія
Eurasia in Central Bicolano: Eurasya
Eurasia in Bosnian: Euroazija
Eurasia in Breton: Eurazia
Eurasia in Bulgarian: Евразия
Eurasia in Catalan: Euràsia
Eurasia in Czech: Eurasie
Eurasia in Welsh: Ewrasia
Eurasia in Danish: Eurasien
Eurasia in German: Eurasien
Eurasia in Estonian: Euraasia
Eurasia in Modern Greek (1453-): Ευρασία
Eurasia in Spanish: Eurasia
Eurasia in Esperanto: Eŭrazio
Eurasia in Basque: Eurasia
Eurasia in French: Eurasie
Eurasia in Western Frisian: Jeraazje
Eurasia in Friulian: Eurasie
Eurasia in Irish: An Eoráise
Eurasia in Scottish Gaelic: Eoràisia
Eurasia in Galician: Eurasia
Eurasia in Korean: 유라시아
Eurasia in Hindi: यूरेशिया
Eurasia in Croatian: Euroazija
Eurasia in Ido: Eurazia
Eurasia in Indonesian: Eurasia
Eurasia in Interlingue: Eurasia
Eurasia in Icelandic: Evrasía
Eurasia in Italian: Eurasia
Eurasia in Hebrew: אירואסיה
Eurasia in Georgian: ევრაზია
Eurasia in Kazakh: Еуразия
Eurasia in Haitian: Ewazi
Eurasia in Ladino: Evrasia
Eurasia in Latin: Eurasia
Eurasia in Latvian: Eirāzija
Eurasia in Lithuanian: Eurazija
Eurasia in Hungarian: Eurázsia
Eurasia in Macedonian: Евроазија
Eurasia in Mongolian: Еврази
Eurasia in Dutch: Eurazië
Eurasia in Japanese: ユーラシア大陸
Eurasia in Norwegian: Eurasia
Eurasia in Norwegian Nynorsk: Eurasia
Eurasia in Novial: Eurasia
Eurasia in Low German: Eurasien
Eurasia in Polish: Eurazja
Eurasia in Portuguese: Eurásia
Eurasia in Romanian: Eurasia
Eurasia in Vlax Romani: Eurasiya
Eurasia in Quechua: Iwrasya
Eurasia in Russian: Евразия (континент)
Eurasia in Simple English: Eurasia
Eurasia in Slovak: Eurázia
Eurasia in Slovenian: Evrazija
Eurasia in Serbian: Евроазија
Eurasia in Serbo-Croatian: Eurazija
Eurasia in Sundanese: Eurasia
Eurasia in Finnish: Euraasia
Eurasia in Swedish: Eurasien
Eurasia in Silesian: Ojroazyjo
Eurasia in Tamil: யூரேசியா
Eurasia in Thai: ทวีปยูเรเชีย
Eurasia in Vietnamese: Lục địa Á-Âu
Eurasia in Tajik: Евросиё
Eurasia in Turkish: Avrasya
Eurasia in Ukrainian: Євразія
Eurasia in Urdu: یوریشیا
Eurasia in Venetian: Euraxia
Eurasia in Võro: Õuraasia
Eurasia in Wolof: Tugalasi
Eurasia in Samogitian: Eurazėjė
Eurasia in Chinese: 歐亞大陸
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