The period known as classical antiquity began with the emergence of the city-states of ancient Greece.
Later, the Roman Empire came to dominate the entire Mediterranean basin.
The Crusaders opened trade routes which enabled the merchant republics of Genoa and Venice to become major economic powers.
The Reconquista, a related movement, worked to reconquer Iberia for Christendom.
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.
Unification into a European Union moved forward after 1950, with some setbacks.
As Mongol power waned towards the Late Middle Ages, the Grand Duchy of Moscow rose to become the strongest of the numerous Russian principalities and republics and would grow into the Tsardom of Russia in 1547.
The Late Middle Ages represented a period of upheaval in Europe.
In Western Europe, Germanic peoples became more powerful in the remnants of the former Western Roman Empire and established kingdoms and empires of their own.
Of all of the Germanic peoples, the Franks would rise to a position of hegemony over Western Europe, the Frankish Empire reaching its peak under Charlemagne around 800.