From ancient times in the subconscious of mankind the East associated with revival and decline. The connection with sunrise gave traits of divinity and sacredness, Nomad attacks-traits of chaos.
Authoritarianism and suppression of personal displays characterize the East, but in the East the person could leave material borders. The History of the East is a history of the most ancient class societies, civilizations that possess major cultural achievements of mankind, which in turn made possible its further progress, predetermined the direction and character of this progress.
The geographical concept of the East does not coincide with cultural, civilization and historical and in different centuries varied. The spread of Islam and the Arab Muslims expansion in 7-8 centuries have transformed the concept of the «East» into the «Lands of Islam». During the Cold War the concept was more often used for a designation of countries of the Warsaw treaty and Communist China.
Today for Europeans the East geographically almost coincides with Asia, although quite often under the East are perceived countries of Asia, Northeast Africa and Southeastern Europe, opposed to the countries of Western culture. Because of the remoteness from the Western European civilization the East conditionally is divided into Near, Middle and Far.
«Near East» – the name of a territory to the Western Asia and North-eastern Africa. In the 19th –and early 20th centuries in the concept of «Near East» was included all of the territory of Ottoman empire, including countries of Balkan Peninsula.
Mainly in the Western European and American literature the countries of «Near East» together with Iran and Afghanistan are included into the concept of «Middle East». As consequence, the concept «Middle East» is often applied only to Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Northeast, East and Southeast Asia is often called «Far East».
CIVILIZATIONS OF THE EAST
Human history is the history of civilizations, the history of the rise and fall. At the same time civilization Itself is the unity of the historical process and a set of material and spiritual achievements of mankind.
In this context, local civilizations are holistic systems, complex of economic, political, social, and spiritual subsystems. They developed according to the laws of the vital cycle.
Civilizations don’t have clearly defined boundaries, the exact start and end, the form. They change over time, since cultures of peoples interact and overlap.
Chinese civilization emerged about 1500 BC. This civilization is something more than the doctrine of Confucius. It is not limited of China, but also covers the Chinese community in Southeast Asia, as well as related culture of Vietnam and Korea.
Japanese civilization was separated from the Chinese civilization between 100 and 400 years BC. Japanese civilization was formed as a result of multi-ethnic and complex contacts.
Hinduism was the central culture of Hindustan from the second millennium AD. This is more than religion or social system, is the very essence of Indian civilization.
Inside Islamic civilization , emerged in the Arabian Peninsula in the VII century, there are many individual cultures and sub-civilizations, including Arab, Turkic, Persian and Malay.
Specific micro civilization is Eastern Christianity ( Armenians, Greeks, Georgians, Syrians, Copts and others)
Modern traditional religions of the East in the majority belong to the type of polytheistic. A feature of Eastern religions is also their national identity.