Talk:History of Europe

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This page needs to be erased. The English is bad enough to warrant erasure.[edit]

This article is a complete mess. The English is indeed so bad, and the sentence and paragraph style so bad, as to be nearly incomprehensible. Not really sure what purpose it is serving. Audaciter (talk) 00:39, 13 June 2012 (UTC)

What is European history?[edit]

What is European history? I mean does this subject really exist? What dous the history of Crete have in common with that of the Faroe Islands? Aaker 16:15, 3 March 2007 (UTC)

by the same logic there's no History of the world, History of North America, etc. You talk about Crete, the Minoan civilization was an early one and very important in general. --Leladax 21:12, 10 March 2007 (UTC)


The European Library gives free and centralised access to Europe's national libraries. I guess that this source could (should?) be used in developing this wiki. Maybe even include their mini searchbox here.Fleurstigter 10:20, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

Today I have added a link to The European Library.Fleurstigter 10:20, 19 April 2007 (UTC)

this information is not supportive


No, no, no. This page is all wrong. I'm going to blank it so we can start over. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Maxman280 (talkcontribs) 21:11, 16 April 2007 (UTC).

I don't know if there's any dutch specialist, but on nl: we made a far better article than there is here. 20:27, 13 May 2007 (UTC)
That article is 137 kb. I don't think most people like articles like that...They're in violation of WP:SIZE...It does seem more fleshy, and more balanced (though I'm basically just guessing at that fact from the images and some headings with common roots; I can't read Dutch.) ...This article does need some serious work. Geuiwogbil 21:00, 13 May 2007 (UTC)


I took it upon myself to completely restructure the article. Let me know what you think. Sdornan 18:18, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

Not too shabby.. However, there should really be a separate section for the High Middle Ages. Bunching them together with the Late Middle Ages is not really useful, though I understand the reason for doing so with the limited material that we have in the article right now.
Peter Isotalo 15:00, 5 September 2007 (UTC)

The Jews[edit]

Hi I wanted to recomend an edit for this page. The Jews were not the only ethnicity that were bankers during 14th century Europe. Please look into this topic and make the approiate changes if you will.

Thank you —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:37, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

Contents, pictures, timeline[edit]

I've reordered the article a bit, putting in stub sections for things that I think would be good to fill out (e.g. Byzantine Empire, Industrial Revolution); adding different title pictures and placing the old ones uniformly; created a new timeline alongside the contents, and restyled and shortened the introduction. I hope this is helpful. Lots more to be done, but it's a good article. Wikidea 00:40, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

Just to add, that the contents as are there now, follow a roughly even time period pattern:
  1. Prehistoric period - up to 500 BC (or foundation of Rome 753BC)
  2. Classical world - up to 500 AD (or the sacking of Rome 476 AD)
  3. Dark Ages - up to 1000 (or the Great Schism of 1054)
  4. High feudalism - up to 1500 (or the Renaissance, c.a. 1439)
  5. Europe's awakening - up to 1750 (or the Watt Steam engine in 1775)
  6. Revolution and nationalism - up to 1900 (or the First World War 1914)
  7. War and peace - up to 1991 (or the fall of the Iron Curtain)
Wikidea 11:35, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
I had this on my watchlist- it was rather embarassing for an article about the History of Europe. Unfortunately, I am deeply involved in other editing work and I can't fix everything. Glad to see someone taking this project on! Monsieurdl mon talk-mon contribs

12:35, 23 December 2007 (UTC)


The introduction seems to have been rewritten without sources and with questionable NPOV -- anyone know what the purpose of this was?Martin Turner (talk) 13:23, 25 December 2007 (UTC) example: "Renaissance was followed by the reformation of the church, as German priest Martin Luther nailed Papal authority with his protests."Martin Turner (talk) 13:25, 25 December 2007 (UTC)

I've checked through, and the last version of the 'old' introduction was I don't really understand what the purpose of the change was, since it deletes references to the key periods (dark ages, middle ages, enlightenment, etc), introduces details such as pentarchy which may well be too detailed for the main article, and adds value judgements.

I'm proposing to revert to the 22 December branch for the introduction. Comments or views on this, or perhaps the person who did the edit would explain the rationale.Martin Turner (talk) 13:45, 25 December 2007 (UTC)

I think that the edits by Wikidea have been needed for a very, very long time. The entire state of this article before he started editing it was rather pathetic considering the subject, full of errors in grammar and spelling, lacking sources, and very bland and severely lacking in general. For the article History of Europe you need to put in a lot of work to really make it what it should be, and a quibble over the introduction would be counter-productive until this article can actually be peer reviewed.
I am very surprised no one objected to the countless amount of inaccuracies and unsourced sections before- and just now, when someone comes to put a lot of effort into fixing what should be fixed, there is a problem? I say let it be for now and we should be praising Wikidea for his concerted efforts rather than hindering him over an introduction. Monsieurdl mon talk-mon contribs

15:07, 25 December 2007 (UTC)

Hello Martin, the purpose of it was that the original introduction was CRAP! It was crap and too long. You try summarising the history of europe in two paragraphs. You can't. You need to gloss over a few things. None of the dark/middle ages, enlightenment that you mention are left out. But they are glossed over. If you want to adjust my rhetorical exuberance (i.e. "nailing Christianity", which I hope you realise is just a comical turn of phrase and no more) then please do just that. It's better than it was before. I'm glad you're showing concern, but in my experience on these big articles, where a lot is trying to be covered, people always want endlessly to pore over the first three sentences, the introductory section, because they can't be arsed to read the rest of the content, which is where help is really necessary. I would suggest, and request, that if anyone feels like changing something, go for one of the contents' sections that I've left with bullet points to be elaborated on. Don't revert, because not only is it lazy, it's useless, because I'll revert it straight back. I would also suggest, that a peer review is something you get done when there's a complete article. Writing stuff is a more important first step than peer reviewing. The best way to move forward is for ALL of us to pick up a book, and fill in the blank spaces, with appropriate references. Wikidea 20:09, 26 December 2007 (UTC)
In addition, I'd just like to say what I would do with this article if I had loads of time. Under the main sections, there's room for an overview of what follows in the subsections (e.g. '3' is 'Dark ages', and the subsections are '3.1 The shadows of Rome' and so on). Ideally I think that the main section should be a sketch of what is to follow in detail with source based references. If I were a kid at school, wanting to do something about the history of europe, I probably wouldn't want to look at every section - but if I added up 3,4,5,6,7 etc - and left out 3.1,3.2,3.3,4.1,4.2... etc - then I would have a preliminary picture of what the history of europe was. Do you see what I'm getting at? The serious detail of course must necessarily be in the 'main article's, but by the same token, if I were a 15 year old doing a history project on the 'dark ages' reading all of that section, I should be able to get some kind depth and at the same time a sense of overall structure plus pointers for further reading. I think that's the kind of ambitious benchmark that good articles on Wikipedia should set themselves. Wikidea 20:30, 26 December 2007 (UTC)
Well, I won't more than point out of the irony of what you've written -- why did you not edit the previous, rather than writing a new one? However, getting into an edit war is pointless. In many ways, the most important section of a history of Europe article _is_ the introduction, because a history of Europe must reference the main articles on each period. Nonetheless, can I ask how you came up with the section headings you are proposing? I thought the old section headings were, if open to discussion, fine, whereas headings such as "War and Peace" make no sense to me — particularly as the term "War and Peace" is taken from a novel describing the Napoleonic war. A good starting point might be something on the lines of "The Times Atlas of World History", which, because of its primary focus on maps, divides European history in an outline fashion. For example, it references the period you are calling "War and Peace" as "The European Civil War 1875-1989".Martin Turner (talk) 01:57, 29 December 2007 (UTC)

Timeline and pictures[edit]

Do you all like the timeline and the new pictures by the way? I put in the link for the atlas of european maps in the ==see also== section. I thought the scanned old maps looked much nicer than the blotchy computer generated maps, and have made it so there's a big one at the start of each major section (not that the computer generated maps aren't really useful in themselves too!) Wikidea 21:33, 26 December 2007 (UTC)

To remind us of the state of the article before, here's a link for an old version, and note, the old contents had way to much on nothing in the prehistoric period, nothing specific on greece, no dark ages separately, time periods erratic (500BC-500AD; 500AD-1400AD; 1400AD-1792AD; 1792-1815AD; 1815AD-2007) etc etc.Wikidea 21:55, 26 December 2007 (UTC)


The section of this article currently entitled "Enlightenment" barely touches on the eighteenth century at all. Could anyone suggest a different title? Or even better, actually add some stuff about the Enlightenment. Jamrifis (talk) 12:09, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

William the Conqueror, King of Normandy?[edit]

I replaced King of Normandy for Duke of Normandy. I mean "King of Normandy"? Seriously, even a primary schoolbook for children may not do such as mistake. Matthieu (talk) 14:29, 17 June 2008 (UTC)


directly under the introductory paragraphs, the first timeline presented in the entry starts with "360 BC Plato refutes Athenian democracy in The Republic". What?! That struck me as totally bizarre. How could anyone argue that of all the events in the history of Europe, that is the most rational and obvious beginning? Unless Wikipedia has given up, this needs to be changed. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:21, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

I see no reference on the timeline to the Muslim invasion of the Iberian Peninsula in 711. I guess if it is less important for the European History than the invasion of England by William the conqueror. Is it? --Ignacio (talk) 09:45, 4 September 2008 (UTC)


I do appreciate the difference in scope, but nevertheless does history of Western civilization and this article have huge overlaps in scope ({{Duplication}}). "history of Western civilization" and "history of Europe" are nearly synonymous for times before 1800 or so, which covers most of the material discussed here. Only after 1800 (or possibly even only after 1900) do "western civilization" and "Europe" become separate terms, mostly due to the rise of the USA as a great power of its own. --dab (𒁳) 08:43, 13 September 2008 (UTC)


I wish to echo some of the comments made above. This seems very Western Europe orientated. There is little about Russia and the poor Turks seem in danger of being written out of history. I accept that it would be very difficult to write an all-encompassing history of Europe (or indeed of any continent) in which case why not have a small paragraph stating something along the lines that Europe is the sum of its parts and then links to the various nation/topic articles?--Utinomen (talk) 07:43, 16 October 2008 (UTC)

I have also conserns about objectivity of this article. It still seems to be too Western-European oriented. Iffcool (talk) 22:41, 25 August 2009 (UTC)

Timeline of Warring States[edit]

cut from article:

Year Power Opposing Power Conflict Name
1409-1411 Teutonic Knights Polish-Lithuania Polish–Lithuanian–Teutonic War
1618-1648 Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth Russians Polish–Muscovite War (1605–1618)
1618-1648 British and French Austrians and Spanish Thirty Years War
1662 - 1699 Ottoman Empire Austrian, Russian and Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth Great Turkish War
1688-1697 British, Irish, Holy Roman Empire, Spanish, Dutch, Duchy of Savoy, Sweden and others French and Irish Nine Years' War
1756-1763 British and Prussians French, Spanish, Russians, Austrians Seven Years War
1805 British French and Spanish Battle of Trafalgar
1854-1856 British and French Russian Crimean War
1870-1871 French Prussians Franco-Prussian War
1914-1918 British and French German World War I
1939-1945 German Russian, British and French World War II

there could be a list article in there, although it isn't clear what this is supposed to do ("list of wars in European history"?) Capitalized "Warring States" is a term of Chinese history. --dab (𒁳) 13:29, 27 December 2008 (UTC)


Is this really an appropriate headline? Can't we have something less religious, less fatal? 惑乱 Wakuran (talk) 10:46, 25 January 2009 (UTC)

Regarding "redivision of power in Europe"[edit]

A concern regarding the last part of the "A divided church" section.

Further changes were set afoot with a redivision of power in Europe. William the Conqueror, a Duke of Normandy invaded England in 1066. The Norman Conquest was a pivotal event in English history for several reasons. ... It created one of the most powerful monarchies in Europe and engendered a sophisticated governmental system. ...

First this paragraph has nothing particularly to do with the stated topic of the section. But, regardless, this paragraph is really stretching to overemphasize the importance of England at this time compared to the rest of Europe. The discussion of the growth of the British Empire is severely premature given this point in the discussion is talking about the turn of the millennium. The way it is written it seems to say that England was a major power in Europe at this time which was certainly not true. The Norman Conquest was important in the history of England but, in the context of Europe as a whole, it was not an earth-shattering event. Also whether it was a primary cause of England's successess hundreds of years later is debatable.

Since I am not a regular contributor here I do not want to make a major modification but it seems to me this does not belong here.

--Mcorazao (talk) 04:19, 8 March 2009 (UTC)

Holy introduction![edit]

This article possibly has the longest and most rambling introduction ever seen on Wikipedia! All joking aside, it certainly needs some work. Most of the information supplied in the intro should be in the body of the article, under the appropriate headline (and indeed some of it already is, rending the intro pretty redundant). There's a tag at the top of the article saying as much, but it's not dated so who knows how long it's been there. I also notice some formatting issues (such as usage of html tags, which are unnecessary and confusing in wikipedia articles). Is anybody working on this article at the moment? I don't want to step in here on other people's toes, so I'm not going to make any sweeping changes myself right now, but I thought maybe a note here might get things jump-started... romarin [talk ] 21:32, 11 March 2009 (UTC)

Lmao its certainly one of the longest introductions ive seen. BritishWatcher (talk) 23:15, 28 March 2009 (UTC)

"Classical antiquity" concerns[edit]

I have concerns about using the label "Classical antiquity" in this context. It excludes most of Western and Northern Europe during the relevant period; that is, it excludes Celtic and Germanic peoples. Now, it could be argued that these peoples, having left no written records, are part of "prehistory" rather than history proper, but I've also seen the term "protohistory" used to refer to what is known about these peoples through Greek and Roman literary sources and through archaeology during "Classical antiquity". Following the "further information" link to Iron Age Europe isn't as helpful as it ought to be. I wonder whether Barry Cunliffe's book Europe Between the Oceans might not be a good place to begin. I haven't been able to lay hands on it, but it's supposed to be quite readable and has earned highly favorable reviews. Cynwolfe (talk) 14:41, 25 July 2009 (UTC)

I have that book, although I haven't read all of it. I don't have time to do a wholesale reorganisation/rewrite of this article, but if there are any particular issues you want addressed, I could look into it when I have the chance. Iapetus (talk) 10:32, 12 September 2013 (UTC)

European history has more sense than national history and about the classic antiquity in the North Europe.[edit]

I would argue the importance of this page on two points.

The influence of classical culture went beyond the territories of the Roman Empire and the oriental Hellenic states. A classic example are the Scythians and Goths (their kings studied in Rome or Byzantium and knew the greek and latin and were more educated than Charlemagne, I remember Ataulf and Theodoric. The population of Ireland became Christian before lot of South-European areas. The late imperial army was composed of Germanic immigrated. Stilico was of Vandal origin only to make an example. Ecateo of Abdera knew the astronomical phenomenon of the hyperborean temple of Callandish. In medieval period the venetian ships went in London and Hanseatic harbours as in Alexandria or Azov (Tana). And the merchant families had economic interests that went from Central Asia to Paris. The culture of the medieval european universities wasn’t italian, french or dutch but was a whole. The teachers, the monks, the merchants and students were wandering as the Bardi, Peruzzi, Fugger of Soranzo money. As science see Galileo, Copernicus and Newton, and the spread of the telescope, from Holand to Italy in a month. The similar fast spread was also for Guttemberg press and for english flying shuttle. The Europe is a whole and the history of Europe has more sense than single national histories. After all the nation-state is a political recent invention. Between a Venetian and a Castilian is the same difference that can to exist between a Venetian and a Sicilian. Although the Venetian and Sicilian are in Italy. I am the first generation of my family who speak a proper Italian. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:27, 10 July 2011 (UTC)

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18C - where is it ?[edit]

I appreciate that this is a very summary article - and I am grateful to all those who have contributed. But it is a little surprising to find nothing between 1654 and 1775 apart from:

- the modernisation of the Prussian army leading (one presumes) to Prussia's expansion - though the two are not mentioned together;

- and (to summarise) "the replacement of the Swedish, Polish and Ottoman powers by Russia, Austria and Prussia" - this is greatly misleading - Sweden, Poland and Ottomania continued to exist (even if the latter two were sorely diminished), so it should be "the influence of the Swedish &c. powers ... ". And it is not clear to me (from this article) that the rest of Europe was involved in or even necessarily affected by this; but other things happened there.

- And what about culture, economics and ideas ? The three powers are described as "new enlightened absolutist monarchies", but Friedrich der Grosse's enlightenment was very partial albeit polyglot and musical; while Maria Theresa was more a creature of her own warm sympathies in her social, medical and educational reforms (which last did not extend to Marie Antoinette) - and an intelligent ruler in using ministers who might be able (and in her dealings with her son) but scarcely a product of "The Enlightenment", which is what this section is titled. Yes, Joseph ll (and his successor) could reasonably be called enlightened, in spite of his limited support of Mozart. Catherine the Great, I agree, was undoubtedly intellectually enlightened (if you can overlook (a+(b to the nth power))/n = x)and the implicit refusal in this story of Catherine to accept that her own indifference to religion did not mean that her courtiers could be atheists). Overall however I do not think that characterizing these three rulers as "enlightened" really helps the distinction between them and Sweden, Poland and the Ottoman empire.

Also someone needs to deal with the muddled grammar/ semantics at various points (e.g. "But in 1648 beginning of the Khmelnytsky Uprising in Ukraine, at this time in the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, which continues until 1654, and results is concluded in the city of Pereyaslav during the meeting between the Cossacks of the Zaporozhian Host and Tsar Alexey I of Russia the Treaty of Pereyaslav.")I am prepared to give it a try (though no historian) if nobody else wants to. Ardj (talk) 19:20, 15 May 2014 (UTC)

Time-lapse video of European borders changing from 1000AD to present[edit]

Check it out here. Probably pretty accurate although I did not check it year for year.--Tomwsulcer (talk) 17:01, 15 August 2014 (UTC)


These video have millions of views, and I linked the specific part of the time. The person can always go to a more indepth source. Also, for the circumnavigation of Africa I cited the primary source (which is a 2nd source), which has been widely quoted (I learned about it first from Asimov)Scientus (talk) 04:10, 17 June 2015 (UTC)

Incorrect maps[edit]

  • Europe 814.svg - boundaries of the Frankish Empire are somewhere in Ukraine (?), Moravia and Slovakia are presented as parts of the empire (this is also incorrect), Bohemia existed maybe as a geographical term, but not as a political unit and definitely not as a some "island" in the Frankish Empire. The primary source of the map was a public school atlas from 1905 (completely outdated source) + some later corrections, but it is still wrong.
  • Europe around 650.jpg - "political boundaries" of the Avar Kingdom before 670 were on the Danube bank (in the north) not somewhere close to the High Tatras as it is shown on the map. The Avars expanded to the north of Danube only later - in the period cca 670-800 and only to the southern part of Slovakia. More, around 650 Samo's Empire still existed and large territories were out of any Avar rule. The source of the map is outdated - some atlas from 1911 (maybe, free from copyright rights, but hardly accurate and up to date).--Ditinili (talk) 04:31, 1 August 2015 (UTC)
NO RS cited for supposed p;roblem. In any case perfect maps do not exist. So until a better one is provided it has to stay. Rjensen (talk) 00:41, 4 August 2015 (UTC)
If some reliable sources are missing, then right reliable sources for these maps. E.g. the school atlas from 1905 is not a reliable source because it cannot contain results of any later research, for example any archaeological research done in the last 110 years which can help to indicate "political borders" where written records are missing, they are not clear or the are contradicting (= it is completely outdated). More, there is currently not any reliable source confirming, that Moravia or Slovakia were parts of the Frankish Empire in 814 and the Frankish territory continued through these countries to Ukraine. This is an absolute non-sense and it is not even in the source of the map. This incorrect information was unfortunately and in a good faith inserted to the map by the uploader (see the history of the map). When I noticed, that the map is outdated and it contains e.g. the Avar Kingdom in a large territory, but the Avars were defeated after series of the wars with Franks (791-803) then all supposed Avar territories (with wrong boundaries already in the original) were mechanically assigned by the author to the Frankish empire - as an own research, without any reliable source. The reliable source rejecting both version is for example Teich M., Kovac D., Brown M.D: Slovakia in history, Cambridge University Press, 2013. p. 16.
The second map (650) - how the borders of the khaganate changed in time in the area north of Danube is described e.g. in Zabojnik J.: Slovensko a Avarsky kaganat [Slovakia and the Avar khaganate], Comenius University, 2004. Reference to Samo's revolt with dates of the beginning and the collapse of his empire is e.g. in Bardford P.M.: The Early Slavs, The British Museum Press, 2001. p. 78-79. Ditinili (talk) 05:35, 4 August 2015 (UTC)
Wikipedia is limited to non-copyright material, which usually means maps published before 1923. Perfect maps that are copyright free are possible if an editor draws one. (avoiding original research of course). Erasing a map and not replacing it because of one supposed 5% problem will strip readers of 95% of the info. Notice that the Muir map is a fair good match to a 2009 map of the same area (which we are not allowed to use) at 2009 map of Avars Rjensen (talk) 05:47, 4 August 2015 (UTC)
Rejsen, the maps are incorrect and not based on reliable sources. How it is compliant with wikipedia policy for RS?
Then, look better in euratlas. Regardles of details, the red line is drawn somewhere around the Danube bank (close to the current Slovak - Hungarian border), not close to the High Tatras (the current Slovak-Polish border). The similar applies for the Moravia and Eastern Ukraine. Both maps share only a location of the core Avar territory (present-day Hungary).Ditinili (talk) 06:04, 4 August 2015 (UTC)
How do you know what the boundary was in 650ad what is your source?? in this case is using a reference books that are well recommended and pre-1923 see recommended #1; recommended p 57 Keep in mind the Wikipedia rule: we seek not truth but verifiability. see WP:TRUTH.
Let's close the problem of the first map and then we can continue by the second one. Can we agree that the map about 814 is not based on a reliable source, the later "improvement" is own research, information are incorrect and I have also demonstrated it by up to date, peer reviewed source from a recognized publisher?Ditinili (talk) 09:07, 4 August 2015 (UTC)
ok Rjensen (talk) 09:30, 4 August 2015 (UTC)
Fine. Now, the second map (around 650). The borders of such early kingdoms or "states" often cannot be exactly defined. However, we can define at least two main periods - before 670 and after 670. Before 670 the Avars did not settle north of the Danube and did not have this territory under permanent military control. Of course, they did some raids also there, but we have to distinguish between raids (as Vikings, Mongols but also Slavs did on other territories) and being part of some political unit. The archeological research (not available when the original map was published) indicates that Avars settled north of the Danube only after 670, in smaller area where they then coexisted with Slavs, but in the north the border life continued as before. There is not a single evidence that the Avars had borders somewhere near High Tatras, but the current findings indicates that the border went through the southern Slovakia. Of course, around 650 (=our map) the Samo's realm still existed and at least western part of the khaganate was out of control. Ditinili (talk) 10:55, 4 August 2015 (UTC)

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lead is far far far too long[edit]

The general guideline is that the lead should consist of a concise summary of the topic. The idea is this can be done in up to 4 not overly long paragraph. WP:LEADLENGTH. The current lead has 10 paragraphs, several of which are long paragraphs. In my view it is mainly the whole middle ages section up to the age of enlightenment which has grown out of all proportion, although the modern history sections are also way too long.

My proposal would be:

(1) A brief prehistoric section (the current is fine)

(2) A brief antiquity section (the current seems ok)
(3) A middle ages section (not much longer than the current antiquity section combining the 3rd (Byzantine) 4th (Viking - anecdotal evidence of the problem: The lead uses the word Viking 4 times, the rest of the article (which the lead should summarise) uses the word only twice) and 5th (Eastern Europe) section in a section which combined should be shorter than any of those)

(4) An early modernity section which combines the 6th (Renaissance and Age of Invention) and 7th section (empire building) in a paragraph not longer than the current empire building paragraph

(5) A modern age section combining 8th para (19th cent) 9th para (20 th century) and 10th para (EU) in a short paragraph.

This will come down to cutting the text of the lead by (rough estimate) somewhere between 60 and 80%. I hope that people can support this, as the current lead is more of a mid sized articles on its own than a lead. Arnoutf (talk) 08:15, 13 September 2015 (UTC)

No that's a mere guideline that applies to all 4 million Wiki articles. The rule actually states will have occasional exceptions and this is just about the most complicated topic in all of history. So that's what an "occasional exception" looks like. People uninterested in this era or that can skip easy enough. Rjensen (talk) 09:09, 13 September 2015 (UTC)
A good author can summarise a complex situation in a few words.
And how would you account for the fact that the lead summarises the Viking era in more text than the main article? Is that a sign a good, or sloppy editing? (I think the main text should be expanded and the lead reduce dhere)
Why do we need the name of Fibonacci in the text?
Why do we need to know it was Roman legions and law that were central to the Roman Empire (relevant for the main text, and for the Roman Empire article lead but here?)
And these are only a few of the details that clutter the lead.
And you may have noticed that I already did take account for the complexities of this topic by proposing a lead length of 5 sections which is already beyond the 3-4 sections suggested for long article by the guideline. So yes I stand by my comment that the lead needs to be cut by about 60-80% to make it a good lead. Arnoutf (talk) 09:27, 13 September 2015 (UTC)
"A good author can summarise a complex situation in a few words." -- Well that's nonsense. the lede has to summarize some long complex centuries in a few hundred words. The point is that very few people are interested in reading about European history from prehistoric times to the present. The article is designed for people interested in one area or another, and it leads them to the much more detailed articles on that topic. Rjensen (talk) 10:03, 13 September 2015 (UTC)
I agree that pointing readers to detailed topics is indeed the function of this article. The main text, not its lead. And you do not address my point that the lead addresses points (like the Viking age) that are not dealt with in the main text of the article it is supposed to summarise. Simply put, the lead as it is does not summarise the article and as such does not follow what the lead should be. (Note that I am commenting on the lead section, not on the article length (which does surpass the generally suggested maximum length of about 50000 byte per WP:SIZE) as I do see that the complexities of the topic require a substantial amount of space.) Arnoutf (talk) 09:55, 13 September 2015 (UTC)
your actually complaining about the Vikings? Rjensen (talk) 10:01, 13 September 2015 (UTC)
In the lead. Yes. There is more text about Vikings in the lead than in the article that should be summarized in the lead. As far as I know a summary provides a condensed instead of an expanded version of the text is summarises. At least, that is what I picked up from technical writing classes. Arnoutf (talk) 10:03, 13 September 2015 (UTC)
The current lead has about 2000 words and 10000 characters, which in itself would make for a midsized Wikipedia article; and would take about 10-20 minutes to read (following the estimate in WP:LENGTH). The lead should invite readers to read the article (or at least the parts they think are interesting). Reading such a long lead is probably too much and people will lose interest. Arnoutf (talk) 10:08, 13 September 2015 (UTC)
If people are interested in the Middle Ages, say, then they only have a few hundred words to read. I met a lot of students over the years, and I don't think any of them wanted to understand all of European history in 15 minutes. The freshman I knew were willing to spend several hours on the topic. :) Rjensen (talk) 10:49, 13 September 2015 (UTC)
I agree - the lead is far too long and has too much that is not in the body of the article. Leads are meant to be concise - and it is entirely possible to do so on even large topics. Ealdgyth - Talk 12:38, 13 September 2015 (UTC)

Too many Italians in the introduction[edit]

In the introduction section, the following important names appear: Alexander the Great, Charlemagne, Genghis Khan, Martin Luther, Galileo Galilei and Leonardo da Vinci; and then there are some guys you've hardly heard of, if at all: Luca Pacio, Leonardo Bruni, Alberico Gentili, Francesco Redi, Marcello Malpighi, Camillo Golgi, Alessandro Volta and Guglielmo Marconi. This latter group of "all Italians" does not belong in the introduction. While I'm sure that they belong in an article entitled "Cool guys from Italy," things like proving that maggots come from the eggs of flies does not exactly belong in an introduction to a survey of European history. The poor use of English articles (now removed) and other less than stellar sentence structures certainly indicate from what country the author of the passage below might be. For my money, it should just be deleted. Keep Galileo but put his contribution in context.

"Many Italians were making significant contributions in various fields. Luca Pacio established accounting and Galileo Galilei invented the thermometer and the telescope, which allowed him to observe and describe the solar system. Leonardo Bruni divided the history into three periods and Alberico Gentili separated secularism from canon law and Roman Catholic theology and also made essential works regarding international law.[3] Francesco Redi founded experimental biology and proved that maggots come from eggs of flies. Marcello Malpighi and Camillo Golgi's names were given to numerous biological systems. Leonardo da Vinci painted some of the most famous works of art in the world.[4] Alessandro Volta invented the battery and Guglielmo Marconi was credited with the invention of the radio.[5]"

And what the hell is this?

"Sake Dean Mahomed introduced the shampooing baths and South Asian cuisine in Europe, by providing therapeutic massage.[note 1]"

Whoever put this in has no idea of what an introduction is, much less an introduction to a survey article of a very broad topic. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:38, 13 February 2016 (UTC)

The Sake Dean section is an obvious example of vandalism, so good call in removing that nonsense.
I have boldly removed the whole Italians listing from the lead. As it is, the intro is still about 3 times as long as it should be. So removing seems the better strategy than revising at this stage. Arnoutf (talk) 10:32, 13 February 2016 (UTC)

The whole future of the EU is in doubt[edit]

Why? Where is the evidence to support this assertion? One could equally claim (2 months after the Brexit referendum) that the EU may be entering a period of transformation that consolidates its future without the input from the UK. No one yet knows. I suggest removing this comment or at the very least transforming it into a neutral statement about uncertainty. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:35, 1 September 2016 (UTC)

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Introduction - a possible solution?[edit]

I appreciate the rather unique challenge of this article ie that it HAS to contain so much that it is difficult to get a workable Introduction of sufficient brevity. Also the Contents section is unwieldy in size. Now here's my idea.

First, set up an intermediary between the Introduction and the main body of text, by inserting a section at the head of all the others, entitled "Summary" or the like. This will basically be the text of the article-size Intro as it stands. The new Intro will then be an intro to the Summary, as well as to the full text, and can be far shorter.

Second, it would be nice if it were possible to present the Contents in a semi-concealed way, i.e. hide the third level of sub-paragraphs, and hide the second-level details of the bibliography section. Then there would need to be two options in square brackets ie both "hide" and "expand fully". However, this may just not be feasible with present Wiki templates. I don't know.

I would attempt this myself - because from comments and personal experience I think something like this is really needed - but lack the time to make the committment to see this idea through. But I hope it might just inspire someone else to adopt and develop.

Lucy Skywalker (talk) 22:37, 23 April 2017 (UTC)