RIVALRIES IN THE PACIFIC
THE history of Europe can only be understood when we link it up with the history of Asia. It would be better if we Europeans kept firmly in mind the fact that it is only in the course of the last half-millennium that our continent has become a decisive factor of world policy, in the full sense of the former word; for even the most important political achievement of the ancient West, the Roman Empire, was confined to the Mediterranean world and did little more than touch the shores of the Atlantic.
Europe first appears on the stage of world history as a peninsula of Asia. The myth of Europa who flies from the eastern land of Asia and reaches the western land which is called after her, is characteristic of the old conception of the Asiatic origin of European culture. Europe developed in action and reaction in a long conflict with Asia. Eastern cultural and political influences, the wars of conquest in both directions constitute an essential part of the history of Europe.1Leaving aside the various migratory movements and clashes between the two continents in pre-history, we need remember only the Greco-Persian wars in the sixth century B.C., the Hellenistic European-Asiatic Empires between the fourth and second centuries B.C., and the great struggle between Rome and Carthage in the third century B.C. We can only conjecture what were the earliest movements in the interior of Asia which are the first known events in the history of the Near East. All later history, however, establishes the fact that the continent of Asia constitutes one single gigantic transmission system whereby movements generated in Central and Eastern Asia affect the extreme limits of the continent. When we consider the Arab wars of conquest (seventh to tenth century), conquest of the Eastern Mongols under Jenghiz Khan ( T'uh-mu-chan) in the thirteenth century, of the Western Mongols under