Classical antiquity (also the classical era or classical period) is a broad term for a long period of cultural history centred on the Mediterranean Sea, comprising the interlocking civilizations of Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome. It is conventionally taken to begin with the earliest-recorded Greek poetry of Homer (8th–7th century B.C.), and continues through the rise of Christianity and the decline of the Roman Empire (5th century AD). It ends with the dissolution of classical culture at the close of Late Antiquity (AD 300-600), blending into the Early Middle Ages. Such a wide sampling of history and territory covers many disparate cultures and periods. The civilization of the ancient Greeks has been immensely influential on the language, politics, educational systems, philosophy, science, art and architecture of the modern world, fuelling the Renaissance in Western Europe and again resurgent during various neo-classical revivals in the 18th and 19th centuries.