The over 2300 pages of this work, planned and directed by Christophe Charle and Daniel Roche, are not meant as a traditional encyclopedia. It includes more than 600 hundred entries contributed by 435 scholars and alphabetically arranged within thematic sections referring to the long time span between the Roman Empire and the present day. The editors wanted to project a plural, multiple image of Europe - or of the different Europes - which would prove both descriptive and critical. The history of Europe is a contradictory one, made up of convergent evolutions and exchanges, but also of divergences and conflicts. There are a lot of cross-fertilizations, contradictions, intersections and overlappings in the book, which was not designed for quick consultation or for linear reading, but as an assemblage of different possible itineraries. It is an unusual work, likely to inspire careful reflections as well as justified perplexities.
Keywords: Europe, European history, civilization, encyclopedia, cultural heritage.