Western civilization is deeply connected to Mediterranean and European roots and again to the previous Western Roman Empire as well as the Medieval Western Christendom who came out of feudalism to encounter such transformative episodes in history such as those of reformation, renaissance, the industrial revolution, the enlightenment and the establishment of liberal. Western civilization has been able to spread all through many parts of the world to create dominant cultures amongst the contemporary North America, Oceania and South America. It has made a lot of universal influence in modern times.
The civilizations that came with classical Rome and Greece together with ancient Israel along with the first Christendom are taken as seminal times in the Western history – cultural contributions also came up from pagans of Europe before the start of Christianity in such areas. After the 5th century fall of the Roman Empire, the Europe got into the middle ages, a period within which the Catholic Church filled the power gap that was left in the west through the fall of Rome as the Byzantine Empire succeeded for many centuries that saw it become a Hellenic Eastern contrast to the then Latin West.
By the 12th century, there was a lot of learning and art in Europe fueled through the construction and establishment of cathedrals and medieval universities. Reformation during the 14th century shattered Christian unity. A merchant class started to grow from city states, starting from the Italian peninsula and the Renaissance period that affected Europe from the 14th century all the way to the 17th century acting as a forerunner of the artistic and technological development that ushered the discovery age leading to the emergence of international European empires such as Portugal, Britain and Spain. This European culture is sometimes equated with western civilization and lifestyle.
Generally, western civilization is this heritage of ethical values, social norms, belief systems, traditional customs, political systems along with particular artifacts and technologies that had a similar origin from the west though had a very high connection with the Europe. Western culture is defined through a group of literary, artistic legal and philosophic themes and conventions. These include those of the Jewish, Latin, Germanic and Celtic along with other linguistic and ethnic groups together with Christianity and most specifically the Catholic Church that had a very significant role in the molding of western civilization back from the 4th century.