The History of Asia


According to, Asia has an area of 44,579,000 square kilometers representing 29.4% of the Earth’s land area.

Asia’s history is characterized by the intersections of impulses that have come from five different cultures; the Chinese, Indian, Islamic, Central Asian and European.

Different cultures


Chinese influence has at times reached all the way west to Transoxania, leaving deep traces in Korea, Japan, Annam, partly also in Mongolia, Tibet, Thailand and Cambodia, but has not reached India.

By contrast, Indian influence through Buddhism has played a major role in China and Japan, besides Mongolia, Tibet, Malaya, Cambodia and the East Indies to the Lombok Strait east of Bali. See for other Asian countries and their abbreviations.

The Islamic influence reached in the north to the western provinces of China, in the south it was strong in northern and central India, Malaya and the East Indies (except Bali) and reached close to Luzon in the Philippines.

The Central Asian influence was based on nomadic tribes, linguistically referred to as Huns, Turks and Mongols. In culture-creating ability, they could not compare themselves with the agricultural peoples as they mastered from time to time, but by their conquests they promoted social and trade and conveyed cultural impulses.

European influence has increased continuously from around 1500 to the present time.

History is at different times across Asia. While Babylonia everything in the 3000s BCE. found himself in the light of history, China slipped into around 1500 and India somewhat later, there is no authentic sources for Japan before the 500 century CE. From around 1500 BC., when the Iron Age began in Asia Minor, we can make a full picture of the situation. In the next century or so, the iron reached Japan.

Asian Countries

Country Proportion of energy from renewable sources (percent) Proportion of the population who have access to electricity (percent)
Afghanistan 18.4 (2015) 84 (2016)
Bahrain 0.0 (2015) 100 (2016)
Bangladesh 34.7 (2015) 76 (2016)
Bhutan 86.9 (2015) 100 (2016)
Brunei 0.0 (2015) 100 (2016)
Burma 61.5 (2015) 57 (2016)
Philippines 27.5 (2015) 91 (2016)
United Arab Emirates 0.1 (2015) 100 (2016)
India 36.0 (2015) 85 (2016)
Indonesia 36.9 (2015) 98 (2016)
Iraq 0.8 (2015) 100 (2016)
Iran 0.9 (2015) 100 (2016)
Israel 3.7 (2015) 100 (2016)
Japan 6.3 (2015) 100 (2016)
Yemen 2.3 (2015) 72 (2016)
Jordan 3.2 (2015) 100 (2016)
Cambodia 64.9 (2015) 50 (2016)
Kazakhstan 1.6 (2015) 100 (2016)
China 12.4 (2015) 100 (2016)
Kyrgyzstan 23.3 (2015) 100 (2016)
Kuwait 0.0 (2015) 100 (2016)
Laos 59.3 (2015) 87 (2016)
Lebanon 3.6 (2015) 100 (2016)
Malaysia 5.2 (2015) 100 (2016)
Maldives 1.0 (2015) 100 (2016)
Mongolia 3.4 (2015) 82 (2016)
Nepal 85.3 (2015) 91 (2016)
Oman 0.0 (2015) 100 (2016)
Pakistan 46.5 (2015) 99 (2016)
Qatar 0.0 (2015) 100 (2016)
Saudi Arabia 0.0 (2015) 100 (2016)
Singapore 0.7 (2015) 100 (2016)
Sri Lanka 52.9 (2015) 96 (2016)
South Korea 2.7 (2015) 100 (2016)
Syria 0.5 (2015) 100 (2016)
Tajikistan 44.7 (2015) 100 (2016)
Thailand 22.9 (2015) 100 (2016)
Turkmenistan 0.0 (2015) 100 (2016)
Uzbekistan 3.0 (2015) 100 (2016)
Vietnam 35.0 (2015) 100 (2016)
East Timor 18.2 (2015) 63 (2016)

Babylonia and Assyria

Asia’s most important cultural centers in ancient times were Babylonia and Assyria. The creators of this culture built on city states, the Sumerians, were displaced by the Akkadians around 2500 BCE, and a world empire founded by the Semites with Babylon as the center.

A later dynasty of conquerors, the Cassites, was again displaced by the Assyrians, who reached their highest power in the 900-800s, but had to give in to a short-lived New Babylonian kingdom, which was destroyed when Babylon in 538 BCE. was conquered by the Persian king Kyros. However, Babylonian culture continued to exert great influence for hundreds of years. Persian dominion reached the last centuries BCE. from the Mediterranean to the Indus, and extended into Central Asia.


Hell Hinduism

With Alexander the Great ‘s rise from 334, European influence for the first time reached Indus. However, neither the Macedonian Empire nor the partisans that emerged after its dissolution had a longer duration. The Hellenistic states of Asia were incorporated into the Roman Empire in the 200-100 BCE.

In India occurred in 322 BCE. a national dynasty, the Mauryans, which represented a heyday, but went down around 185 BCE when conquerors from the northwest invaded. In Iran, Hellenism collapsed with the conquest of the Sassanids, which led to the formation of the Nigerian empire.

In Hellenistic times, contact eastward from the Mediterranean was more vibrant; not only with India, but also across Central Asia with China, which received important impetus, first and foremost Buddhism. In the Tarimba basin, the cultural mix reached a climax in the first centuries CE, the states of Khotan and Kucha built on Chinese, Indian, Persian, Greek and Christian elements.

From their empire in Mongolia and Central Asia, the Huns in the last hundred years BCE. exerted strong pressure along the border with China, but was kept in check during numerous battles with the Qin and Han emperors. However, during the split after the fall of the Han Dynasty in 221 AD (see Han Dynasty and China’s history), the country was invaded and from about 300 partially occupied by competing barbarians, Huns, Turks and the Mongolian avars.

Around the year 400, the Huns penetrated far into Europe, and in the mid-400s they appeared in India and weakened the other national ruler house, the Gupta. In the 600s, all the tribes from Manjury to Western Turkestan were pacified by the Chinese Tangkeians.

Islamic conquests

With the Arab migration that began in 632, Islamic conquests began, which again brought India and China into closer contact with a Mediterranean power. As the Arab caliphate that stretched around 750 from Indus in the east to Syr Darja in the north disintegrated, new rulers continued to spread Islam.

Around the year 1200, the whole of northern India was ruled by Islamic princes, and in the late Middle Ages the Islamic dominion was spread further. The Arabs also had sea connections with India and China. Turkish dynasties gradually took over the political leadership in West Asia. In 1453, the Turks conquered Constantinople and later penetrated all the way to Vienna.