Birth of the Western Region
The history of Europe began in the West, with the establishment of the Frankish-Carolingian Empire in the ninth century. Its frontiers formed the demarcation line beyond which "Europe" was nothing more than a geographic notion. East of the empire stretched "eastern Europe," at the time a concept without any content, a vast territory slowly filled with nomadic tribes that poured in from Asia during the centuries of the Great Migration of such peoples as Bulghars and Avars, Khazars and Magyars, or the Slavs branching out radiating east, west, and south from their original center between the Vistula and the Dnieper. In the south, Carolingian Europe was blocked by the Byzantine Empire based in Asia Minor, in the southwest corner by the Arab conquests reaching from North Africa deep into the Iberian Peninsula.
The Carolingian Empire gave birth not only to Europe, but also to its specific structure, western feudalism, the social foundation on which the evolving West was built, until capitalism replaced it. The western model of feudalism was shaped by an organic synthesis of late antique Roman-Christian and barbarian-German ele