Since the spread of Christianity from the Levant to Europe and North Africa during the early Roman Empire, Christendom has been divided in the pre-existing Greek East and Latin West. Consequently, different versions of the Christian religion arose with their own beliefs and practices, centred around the cities of Rome (Western Christianity, whose community was called Western or Latin Christendom) and Constantinople (Eastern Christianity, whose community was called Eastern Christendom). From the 11th to 13th centuries, Latin Christendom rose to the central role of the Western world. The history of the Christian world spans about 1,700 years and includes a variety of socio-political developments, as well as advances in the arts, architecture, literature, science, philosophy, and technology.
The term usually refers to the Middle Ages and to the Early Modern period during which the Christian world represented a geopolitical power that was juxtaposed with both the pagan and especially the Muslim world.