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Ashy pale
Asia Minor
Asian American
Asian black grouse
Asian coral snake
Asian country
Asian crocodile
Asian elephant
Asian flu
Asian horseshoe crab
Asian influenza
Asian longhorned beetle

Asia definitions

WordNet (r) 3.0 (2005)

1: the largest continent with 60% of the earth's population; it is joined to Europe on the west to form Eurasia; it is the site of some of the world's earliest civilizations
2: the nations of the Asian continent collectively

Merriam Webster's

geographical name continent of the eastern hemisphere N of equator forming a single landmass with Europe (the conventional dividing line between Asia & Europe being the Ural Mountains & main range of the Caucasus Mountains); has numerous large offshore islands including Cyprus, Sri Lanka, Malay Archipelago, Taiwan, the Japanese chain, & Sakhalin area 17,139,445 square miles (44,391,162 square kilometers)

Britannica Concise

Largest continent on earth. It is bounded by the Arctic Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, and the Indian Ocean; the W boundary, with Europe, runs roughly north-south along the E Ural Mtns.; the Caspian, Black, Aegean, and Mediterranean seas; the Suez Canal; and the Red Sea. The islands of Sri Lanka and Taiwan and the archipelagoes of Indonesia, the Philippines, and Japan also form part of Asia. Area: 17,139,445 sq mi (44,391,162 sq km). Population, excluding Asian Russia and the countries of former Soviet Central Asia (1996 est.): 3,499,626,000. Mountains and plateaus predominate on the continent, with the highest mountains located in Central Asia. Asia's elevations include the earth's highest (Mt. Everest) and the lowest (the Dead Sea). The largest of its many desert regions are the Thar and Gobi deserts. Its hydrology is dominated by some of the longest rivers in the world, incl. the Euphrates, Tigris, Indus, Ganges, Chang (Yangtze), Huang (Yellow), Ob, Yenisey, and Lena. The Caspian, Aral, and Dead seas are major saltwater lakes. More than 15% of Asia's landmass is arable. Asia's principal language groups and languages include Sino-Tibetan, Indo-Aryan, Japanese, Austronesian, Austroasiatic, Semitic, and Korean. E. Asia contains three main ethnic groups: Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. The Indian subcontinent contains a vast diversity of peoples, most of whom speak languages from the Indo-Aryan subgroup of the Indo-European family. Because of the influence of China and the former Soviet Union, Mandarin and Russian are widespread. Asia is the birthplace of all the world's major religions and hundreds of minor ones. Hinduism is the oldest religion to have originated in S Asia; Jainism and Buddhism emerged in the 6th and 5th cent. BC, respectively. SW Asia was the cradle of Judaism and its offshoots, Christianity and Islam. Taoism and Confucianism, both of which originated in the 6th or 5th cent. BC, have profoundly influenced Chinese and Chinese-driven culture. Asia is marked by great disparities in wealth, both between and within its countries. A few countries, notably Japan, Singapore, and the oil-rich nations of Arabia, have achieved high standards of living; others, such as Bangladesh and Myanmar, are very poor. Between these two extremes lie Russia, China, and India. Asia's culture is the result of the interaction of five main influences: Chinese, Indian, Islamic, European (incl. Russia), and Central Asian. China has had great influence in E. Asia as the source of Confucianism, a style of art, and the Chinese script. Indian influence has been expressed through Hinduism and Buddhism, affecting Tibet, Indonesia, Cambodia, and Central Asia. Islam spread from its original Arabian home to become important in the Middle East, SW Asia, and elsewhere, accompanied by the use of the Arabic alphabet. Homo erectus hominids migrated from Africa to E. Asia at least 1 million years ago. One of the earliest civilizations to use writing developed in the Tigris and Euphrates river valleys c.3500-3000 BC (see Mesopotamia). Civilization in the Indus valley and in N Syria followed c.2500 BC. Chinese urban civilization began with the Shang dynasty (traditionally, 1766-1122 BC) and continued under the Chou (1122-221 BC). Indo-European-speaking peoples (Aryans) began to invade India from the west c.1700 BC and developed the Vedic culture. A succession of empires and charismatic rulers, incl. Alexander the Great, spread their political mantles as far as military power could carry them. In the 13th cent. AD, Genghis Khan and his Mongol successors united much of Asia under their rule. In the 14th cent. Timur conquered much of Central Asia. Muslim Turks destroyed the remnants of the Byzantine empire in the 15th cent. In the 19th cent., European imperialism began to replace Asian imperialism. Czarist Russia pushed to the Pacific Ocean, the British gained control of India, the French moved into Indochina, the Dutch occupied the E. Indies, and the Spanish and later the U.S. ruled the Philippines. After World War II, European imperialism lar

Hitchcock Bible Dictionary

muddy; boggy

Easton's Bible Dictionary

is used to denote Proconsular Asia, a Roman province which embraced the western parts of Asia Minor, and of which Ephesus was the capital, in Acts 2:9; 6:9; 16:6; 19:10,22; 20:4, 16, 18, etc., and probably Asia Minor in Acts 19:26, 27; 21:27; 24:18; 27:2. Proconsular Asia contained the seven churches of the Apocalypse (Rev. 1:11). The "chiefs of Asia" (Acts 19:31) were certain wealthy citizens who were annually elected to preside over the games and religious festivals of the several cities to which they belonged. Some of these "Asiarchs" were Paul's friends.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

a'-shi-a (Asia): A Roman province embracing the greater part of western Asia Minor, including the older countries of Mysia, Lydia, Caria, and a part of Phrygia, also several of the independent coast cities, the Troad, and apparently the islands of Lesbos, Samos, Patmos, Cos and others near the Asia Minor coast (Ac 16:6; 19:10,27). It is exceedingly difficult to determine the exact boundaries of the several countries which later constituted the Roman province, for they seem to have been somewhat vague to the ancients themselves, and were constantly shifting; it is therefore impossible to trace the exact borders of the province of Asia. Its history previous to 133 BC coincides with that of Asia Minor of which it was a part. However, in that year, Attalus III (Philometer), king of Pergamos, bequeathed his kingdom to the Roman Empire. It was not until 129 BC that the province of Asia was really formed by Rome. Its first capital was Pergamos, the old capital of Mysia, but in the time of Augustus, when Asia had become the most wealthy province of the Empire, the seat of the government was transferred to Ephesus. Smyrna was also an important rival of Ephesus. The governor of Asia was a pro-consul, chosen by lot by the Roman senate from among the former consuls who had been out of office for at least five years, and he seldom continued in office for more than a single year. The diet of the province, composed of representatives from its various districts, met each year in the different cities. Over it presided the asiarch, whose duty it was, among other things, to offer sacrifices for the welfare of the emperor and his family.

In 285 AD the province was reduced in size, as Caria, Lydia, Mysia and Phrygia were separated from it, and apart from the cities of the coast little remained. The history of Asia consists almost entirely of the history of its important cities, which were Adramyttium, Assos, Cnidus, Ephesus, Laodicea, Miletus, Pergamos, Philadelphia, Sardis, Smyrna, Thyatira, Troas, etc.

E. J. Banks

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