Re: [OT] Europe (Was:: Defined Private Use)

From: Ernest Cline (
Date: Sun May 02 2004 - 23:59:20 CDT

> [Original Message]
> From: John Cowan <>
> Ernest Cline scripsit:
> > Defining Europe is vague.
> Well, Michael Everson back in 1995 defined it thus:
> "Europe" extends from the Arctic and Atlantic (including
> Iceland and the Faroe Islands) southeastwards to the
> Mediterranean (including Malta and Cyprus), with its
> eastern and southern borders being the Ural Mountains,
> the Ural River, the Caspian Sea, and Anatolia, inclusive
> of Transcaucasia.
> A more precise political definition can be found at
> .

A good definition for his purposes, but others have other purposes
which is what makes defining Europe vague. Geologically it is
the western portion of the Eurasian plate with the exact position
of the rather arbitrary portion of its boundary from the Caspian
to the Black a matter of debate, but the Caucasus have
traditionally used as part of the border. Geologically speaking
tho, Cyprus is on the African plate, just south of its border with
Eurasia, and so can't be part of Europe geologically, while
Iceland is split between Eurasia and North America. Culture
and language which Michael's page is concerned with is
something different, altho on those grounds I'd also include
Anatolia (Asia Minor) which also has the advantage of being
part of Eurasia, unlike Cyprus. Of course, we could always
use the original Homeric definition of Europe which is just
Central Greece. However, like Europe, Asia too has expanded
in size over time, and I don't think we'd want to consider
Georgian as an East Asian script.

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