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. (Full article...)
Indonesia ( IN-də-NEE-zhə), officially the Republic of Indonesia (Indonesian: Republik Indonesia [reˈpublik ɪndoˈnesia] (listen)), is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania between the Indian and Pacific oceans. It consists of more than seventeen thousand islands, including Sumatra, Java, Sulawesi, and parts of Borneo and New Guinea. Indonesia is the world's largest island country and the 14th-largest country by land area, at 1,904,569 square kilometres (735,358 square miles). With more than 270 million people, Indonesia is the world's fourth-most populous country and the most populous Muslim-majority country. Java, the world's most populous island, is home to more than half of the country's population.
The sovereign state
is a presidential
, constitutional republic
with an elected legislature
. It has 34 provinces
, of which five have special status
. The country's capital, Jakarta
, is the second-most populous urban area in the world
. The country shares land borders
with Papua New Guinea
, East Timor
, and the eastern part
. Other neighbouring countries include Singapore
, the Philippines
, and India
's Andaman and Nicobar Islands
. Despite its large population and densely populated regions, Indonesia has vast areas of wilderness that support one of the world's highest levels of biodiversity
. (Full article...
Tiridates I (Parthian: 𐭕𐭉𐭓𐭉𐭃𐭕, Tīridāt; Greek: Τιριδάτης, 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. (Full article...
The 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. (Full article...
Did you know...
- ... that Siamosaurus, a large bipedal carnivore from the Early Cretaceous of Thailand, is the first crocodilian-like dinosaur named from Asia?
- ... that Tsutomu Kawabuchi was referred to as the "father of Japanese women's ice hockey"?
- ... that Bharatiya Janata Party politicians Maneka Gandhi and Santosh Gangwar, current members of the 17th Lok Sabha, have been elected to the Indian lower house for the eighth time?
- ... that after the US banned Chinese students from returning to China, Li Hengde organized a student network which petitioned the Chinese premier, the US president, and the UN for their right to go home?
- ... that Filipino-born scientist Ye Zhupei founded chemical metallurgy in China, while his American wife became an English professor who taught the future Chinese foreign minister Li Zhaoxing?
- ... that it was once illegal for civilians to pass U.S. military vehicles on Japan National Route 58?
- ... that Manuel L. Quezon defeated the National Socialist Party and the communist-backed Republican Party in 1935?
- ... that two months after being unable to walk properly, Indian long jumper M. Sreeshankar won the bronze medal at the 2018 Asian Junior Athletics Championships?
- ... that the cartography of Palestine has been described as "obsessive"?
- ... that Faith Smith, who grew up on the Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe reservation in Wisconsin, became the founding president of the first urban institute of higher learning led by and serving Native Americans?
Updated: 12:33, 12 April 2021
In the news
The following are images from various Asia-related articles on Wikipedia.
The Taj Mahal, Agra, India
The global contribution to world's GDP by major economies from 1 AD to 2003 AD according to Angus Maddison's estimates. Before 18th century, China and India were the two largest economies by GDP output.
Byzantine and Sassanian Empires in 600 AD
Sun temple at Konarka, Odisha
The Russian Znamensky Cathedral in Tyumen built in 1768
Chicken tikka, a well-known dish across the globe, reflects the amalgamation of South Asian cooking styles with those from Central Asia.
The Taipei 101 skyscraper in Taipei, Taiwan, which was the tallest building in the world from 2004 to 2010.
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.
Contemporary political map of Asia
East Asian cultural sphere
The Qing Empire in 1820, marked the time when the Qing began to rule these areas.
Daian-ji temple at Nara, Japan
Map of Marco Polo's travels
Here a Jesuit, Adam Schall von Bell (1592–1666), is dressed as an official of the Chinese Department of Astronomy.
Korean peninsula in 476 AD. There are three kingdoms and Gaya Union in the picture. This picture shows the heyday of Goguryeo
Projected shares of global GDP by region to 2050
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.
A Confucian ritual ceremony in Jeju, South Korea
Projected GDP of 7 largest economies in 2050.
Population concentration and boundaries of the Western Zhou dynasty in China
Map of Asia for early 20th century
India's middle-class population of 300 million is growing at an annual rate of 5%. Shown here is an upmarket area in South Mumbai.
Language families in South Asia
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