Portal:Asia

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Asia (orthographic projection).svg

Asia (/ˈʒə/ (listen), also UK: /ˈʃə/) is a landmass, which is either considered a continent in its own right or a subcontinent of Eurasia. It shares the continental landmass with Afro-Eurasia with 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. Its 4.7 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. A commonly accepted division places 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...)

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Byzantine imperial flag, 14th century.svg

The Byzantine navy was the naval force of the East Roman or Byzantine Empire. Like the empire it served, it was a direct continuation from its Imperial Roman predecessor, but played a far greater role in the defence and survival of the state than its earlier iteration. While the fleets of the unified Roman Empire faced few great naval threats, operating as a policing force vastly inferior in power and prestige to the legions, the sea became vital to the very existence of the Byzantine state, which several historians have called a "maritime empire".

The first threat to Roman hegemony in the Mediterranean was posed by the Vandals in the 5th century, but their threat was ended by the wars of Justinian I in the 6th century. The re-establishment of a permanently maintained fleet and the introduction of the dromon galley in the same period also marks the point when the Byzantine navy began departing from its late Roman roots and developing its own characteristic identity. This process would be furthered with the onset of the Muslim conquests in the 7th century. Following the loss of the Levant and later Africa, the Mediterranean Sea was transformed from a "Roman lake" into a battleground between Byzantines and Arabs. In this struggle, the Byzantine fleets were critical, not only for the defence of the Empire's far-flung possessions around the Mediterranean basin, but also for repelling seaborne attacks against the imperial capital of Constantinople itself. Through the use of the newly invented "Greek fire", the Byzantine navy's best-known and feared secret weapon, Constantinople was saved from several sieges and numerous naval engagements were won for the Byzantines. (Full article...)
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Emblem of Maldives.svg

Maldives (/ˈmɔːldvz/, US: /ˈmɔːldvz/; Dhivehi: ދިވެހިރާއްޖެ, romanizedDhivehi Raajje, Dhivehi pronunciation: [d̪iʋehi ɾaːd͡ʒd͡ʒe]), officially the Republic of Maldives (Dhivehi: ދިވެހިރާއްޖޭގެ ޖުމްހޫރިއްޔާ, romanizedDhivehi Raajjeyge Jumhooriyyaa, Dhivehi pronunciation: [d̪iʋehi ɾaːd͡ʒd͡ʒeːge d͡ʒumhuːɾijjaː]), is an archipelagic state located in Southern Asia, situated in the Indian Ocean. It lies southwest of Sri Lanka and India, about 750 kilometres (470 miles; 400 nautical miles) from the Asian continent's mainland. The chain of 26 atolls stretches from Ihavandhippolhu Atoll in the north to Addu Atoll in the south (across the Equator).

Comprising a territory spanning roughly 90,000 square kilometres (35,000 sq mi) including the sea, land area of all the islands comprises 298 square kilometres (115 sq mi), Maldives is one of the world's most geographically dispersed sovereign states and the smallest Asian country as well as one of the smallest Muslim-majority countries by land area and, with around 557,751 inhabitants, the 2nd least populous country in Asia. Malé is the capital and the most populated city, traditionally called the "King's Island" where the ancient royal dynasties ruled for its central location. (Full article...)

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Muhammad I (red tunic and shield) leading his troops during the Mudéjar revolt of 1264–1266. Contemporary depiction from Cantigas de Santa Maria
Muhammad I (red tunic and shield) depicted leading his troops during the Mudéjar revolt of 1264–1266 in the Cantigas de Santa Maria

Abu Abdullah Muhammad ibn Yusuf ibn Nasr (Arabic: أبو عبد الله محمد بن يوسف بن نصر‎; 1195  – 22 January 1273), also known as Ibn al-Aḥmar (Arabic: ابن الأحمر, "the Red") and by his honorific al-Ghalib billah (Arabic: الغالب بالله, "The Victor by the Grace of God"), was the first ruler of the Emirate of Granada, the last independent Muslim state on the Iberian Peninsula, and the founder of its ruling Nasrid dynasty. He lived during a time when Iberia's Christian kingdoms—especially Portugal, Castile and Aragon—were expanding at the expense of the Islamic territory in Iberia, called Al-Andalus. Muhammad ibn Yusuf took power in his native Arjona in 1232 when he rebelled against the de facto leader of Al-Andalus, Ibn Hud. During this rebellion, he was able to take control of Córdoba and Seville briefly, before he lost both cities to Ibn Hud. Forced to acknowledge Ibn Hud's suzerainty, Muhammad was able to retain Arjona and Jaén. In 1236, he betrayed Ibn Hud by helping Ferdinand III of Castile take Córdoba. In the years that followed, Muhammad was able to gain control over southern cities, including Granada (1237), Almería (1238), and Málaga (1239). In 1244, he lost Arjona to Castile. Two years later, in 1246, he agreed to surrender Jaén and accept Ferdinand's overlordship in exchange for a 20-year truce.

In the 18 years that followed, Muhammad consolidated his domain by maintaining relatively peaceful relations with the Crown of Castile; in 1248; he even helped the Christian kingdom take Seville from the Muslims. But in 1264, he turned against Castile and assisted in the unsuccessful rebellion of Castile's newly conquered Muslim subjects. In 1266 his allies in Málaga, the Banu Ashqilula, rebelled against the emirate. When these former allies sought assistance from Alfonso X of Castile, Muhammad was able to convince the leader of the Castilian troops, Nuño González de Lara, to turn against Alfonso. By 1272 Nuño González was actively fighting Castile. The emirate's conflict with Castile and the Banu Ashqilula was still unresolved in 1273 when Muhammad died after falling off his horse. He was succeeded by his son, Muhammad II. (Full article...)

General images

The following are images from various Asia-related articles on Wikipedia.

Featured picture

An Adivasi woman.
Credit: PICQ
An Adivasi (indigenous) woman from the Kutia Khond tribal group in the Indian state of Orissa. Khonds were known for their human sacrifices, which were intended to further the fertilization of the earth.

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Updated: 1:33, 20 March 2022

In the news

20 March 2022 –
South Korean car company Hyundai announces that the Genesis Motor brand has surpassed 700,000 units in accumulative global sales. (Korea Herald)
Nowruz 1401 Iranian nation new solar hijri year and new 14th century beginning.
19 March 2022 – COVID-19 pandemic
COVID-19 pandemic in Asia
COVID-19 pandemic in India
Maharashtra reports 97 new cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, making it the first time that the Indian state has reported less than 100 new cases of COVID-19 since April 2020. (Business Standard)
COVID-19 pandemic in mainland China

Updated: 7:33, 20 March 2022

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150pxBirds and Flower of the Four Seasons
Credit: Kanō Eitoku

Birds and flowers of the four seasons (紙本墨画花鳥図, shihon bokuga kachōzu), part of the Paintings on room partitions in the abbot's quarters (hōjō) (方丈障壁画, hōjō shōhekiga) of Jukō-in (聚光院) of Daitoku-ji (大徳寺), Kyoto, Japan. Ink on paper. This picture shows four of 16 panels on fusuma (sliding doors) in the in the ritual room (室中). The paintings have been designated as National Treasures of Japan in the category paintings.

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