When we talk about history of Europe, we are in fact talking about the history of humans populating the European continent by the time it was inhabitated for the first time in prehistoric times through present — the first human dwelling dates back to a period somewhat between 45,000 and 25,000 BC.
Greek and Roman civilizations had prevailed the Classical antiquity, beginning with the reemergence of art and literature in Ancient Greece at around 700 BC, generally believed to be the epock-making culture that laid the foundation of Western civilization and profusely formative on politics, educational systems, language, philosophy, science and the arts.
Their values and tradition were passed on to the Roman Republic set up in 509 BC, expanding from Italy, situated in the center of Mediterranean, till such time that Roman Empire had reached its farthest limits about the year 150.
In 313, after a series of civil wars, the emperor Constantine I transferred the capital from Rome to the Greek town Byzantium, then christened Constantinople, present day Istanbul, vis-a-vis sanctioning Christianity. By 395 the empire had permanently split in two, as the Western Roman Empire time and again attacked while they were migrating.
In 410, Rome was ransacked by the Visigoths, the original Germanic peoples intruding Roman land. By the time last West Roman emperor was dethroned in 476, Southeastern Europe and some portion of the Mediterranean kept under the influence of Eastern Roman Empire, famously known as Byzantine Empire, till the later part of the 6th century.
When Constantinople began to stagger, Germanic tribes set up empires in western territories. The newly formed states had Latin in common as written language, a trailing legacy of Roman customs and Christian religion.
A lot of territory was granted to the Franks by Charlemagne, who the pope had conferred western Emperor by 800, which was scrapped out very soon when Europe was ravaged by Vikings, Muslims from north Africa, and Magyars from Hungary. It was by the mid of 10th century that the threat waned, though not completely as the Vikings kept on threatening the British Isles.
Around 1054 AD, a rift bifurcated Christian Church into Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy, but from 1095 a succession of religiously-sanctioned military campaigns was instigated by an alliance of Latin Christian Europeans, to respond to a call from the Byzantine Empire, for help against the Muslim expansion. southern France, Lithuania, Spain, and pagan regions came under the same empire at that time. In this connection, the last large-scale crusade of the Middle Ages was fought in 1396.
Complicated feudal alliances emerged and the nobility of rising nationalities developed intimate relationships through intermarriages and other social and transactional ties. The feudalism started to decay as Mongol raided the frontier areas and the calamity of Black Death finished almost from 30% to 60% population of Europe.
Developing approximately in the 14th century in Florence, and later prevailing throughout the European continent with the invention of printing press, a Renaissance of knowledge questioned conventional belifs in science and theology, esp with the revival of classical Greek and Roman knowledge.