Celebrated historian John Hirst offers a fascinating exploration of the qualities that made Europe a world-changing civilization. The Shortest History of Europe begins with a rapid overview of European civilization, describing its birth from an unlikely mixture of classical learning and Christianity and German warrior culture. Over the centuries, this unstable blend produced highly distinctive characters—pious knights and belligerent popes, romantics spouting folklore and revolutionaries imitating Rome—and its coming apart provided the dynamic of European history in modern times. The Shortest History of Europe is a clear, humorous and thought-provoking account of a remarkable civilization. This new edition brings the story into the present, covering the world wars and beyond.