Rise of Western Han Dynasty
It should be noted that when Western Han Dynasty rose, two world powers also rose: one was Rome and other was Persia. Before 264 BC Rome has always been a small country, bordered by Italy, with little presence in Mediterranean world. Starting from 264 BC. Rome continued to wage war against Carthage, eventually annexing it and occupying western Mediterranean. Starting from 215 BC. Rome launched a war against Hellenistic countries and finally turned Mediterranean into an "inland lake" in 191 BC.
From Persian side, Greeks ruled Persia for hundreds of years, beginning with Alexander's Eastern Campaign. Finally, in 247 BC. in western Iran, Parthian kingdom was founded, which China called "Ansi". During period of Mithridates I (reigned from 170 BC to 145 BC), Parthian Empire exercised its power over Iranian plateau and occupied Mesopotamia. So far, Persia has basically achieved a revival and become one of great powers of world.Second, four empires side by side
There is no doubt that Han Dynasty was most powerful country in world from Emperor Wu of Han Dynasty to reign of Zhaoxuan. However, since Hanyuan Emperor ascended throne 48 years ago, Western Han dynasty has declined. Various contradictions intertwined. Events such as Wang Mang's reform and Chimei Lulin's rebellion took place. It was not until 36 AD that a reunification took place, dubbed "Eastern Han Dynasty". At beginning of Eastern Han Dynasty, it became a world superpower along with Rome.
Ever since Rome united Mediterranean coast, its internal conflicts have flared up. Since then, for more than 100 years, Rome has expanded from outside, while continuing internal strife, and civil wars have been fought between great military leaders. Only 31 years ago, Octavian deposed heroes and achieved reunification. A single Roman territory reached 5 million square kilometers, with a population of 50 million people. Combined with economic and cultural prosperity, Rome became most powerful country in world at that time.
Map of Roman Empire
However, unity of Roman Empire did not last long. In era of Nero (54-68), Rome began to show signs of decline. In AD 69, four emperors of Rome were allied with each other and began a ten-year civil war. In 79, Vespasian once again unified Rome, gradually bringing Rome to its heyday. During Domitian period, Eastern Han dynasty allied with Xianbei to destroy Northern Huns, national power of Eastern Han dynasty reached its peak, and Rome expanded into Scotland. Thereafter, Eastern Han dynasty began to go from prosperity to decline, while Rome continued to prosper. In era of Trajan (98-117), Rome included Mesopotamia in its territory, which was heyday of Roman territory. The power of Rome continued until fall of Antonine dynasty in 192
In addition to Roman Empire and Eastern Han Dynasty, there were two other empires worth mentioning at that time: Persian Dynasty of Parthia and Guishuang Empire. The Parthian dynasty has maintained a strong and prosperous state for a long time since reclaiming territory of Persia. Although its all-encompassing national strength is not as good as that of Han Dynasty and Rome, its combat effectiveness is amazing. At end of Roman Republic, Ansi dynasty defeated Roman army many times and inflicted worst defeat in Roman history. The commercial prosperity of Parthian dynasty, it communicated with Silk Road and became a transit point for trade between Han Dynasty and Rome. It was not until time of Roman Trajan that Ansi fell into decline, its most prosperous Mesopotamia having been invaded by Rome and never recovered.
The Guishuang Empire was founded by Yuezhi people who migrated south to Afghanistan. The empire was created in 25, and by 65 it already occupied a large territory of Western Asia. At beginning of 2nd century AD, Guishuang Empire aggressively attacked India and occupied entire Indus River basin, becoming one of four largest powers in world today. The strength of Guishuang Empire also persisted for about 100 years. During period of Khubisak II (183-199), various ministries of empire went out of control one after another, and Guishuang empire fell into decline.3. The era of collapse of empire
Around end of 2nd century, world's largest empires began to crumble. During Eastern Han Dynasty, Yellow Turban rebellion broke out in 184, and then it existed only in name, and princes fought in hand-to-hand combat, and finally formed Three Kingdoms in 220. The three kingdoms opposed each other for decades and were eventually united by Western Jin dynasty for a short time, but it wasn't until 10 years later that chaos reigned again.
At same time, a large number of nomads from north entered Central Plains, and they also participated in these civil strife. In 316, Xiongnu destroyed Western Jin dynasty, leaving only half of Jin dynasty in south, known in history as "Eastern Jin Dynasty", while chaos of "Sixteen Kingdoms" arose in north. The Eastern Jin Dynasty was replaced by Southern Dynasty in 420, and Sixteen Kingdoms were finally unified by Northern Wei Dynasty in 439, and China entered Southern and Northern Dynasties. The history of confrontation between Northern and Southern dynasties continued until 589. From 184 to 589, there was a total of more than 400 years of civil strife in China, during this period China dropped out of list of first-class powers.
Northern and Southern Dynasties
In Rome, too, not everything is in order. The Antonine dynasty ceased to exist in 192, and since then Rome entered a period of crisis lasting more than 30 years (193-284). During this period, wars were frequent, emperors constantly changed, slaves continued to rebel, there were severe financial crises and Roman rule was crumbling. In 284, Diocletian came to power, strengthening centralization of power, abolishing rule of four emperors, moving capital to Byzantium and restoring prosperity of Rome.
After death of Diocletian, Rome was again at war and was soon united by Theodosius I for a short time. In 395 Theodosius I died, and Roman Empire was divided into two parts. The Western Roman Empire was in a severe economic crisis, subjected to constant barbarian invasions, and finally perished in 476. However, Eastern Rome remained strong for a long time due to its excellent geographical position, becoming most powerful country in world in era of Justinian.
Persia has achieved a change of dynasty. In 224, Persian Shao Sassanid dynasty destroyed Parthian dynasty, and Persia entered a second golden age, known in history as "Second Persian Empire". At that time, Guishuang Empire in east and Roman Empire in west were collapsing, so Sassanid dynasty expanded and almost unified all of Western Asia and even occupied Egypt at some point, with a maximum area of 5 million km² and a population of 15 million, strongest country of that time .
Map of Sassanid dynasty
During this period, first signs of a renaissance finally appeared in India. After collapse of Maurya Empire, India was at war for hundreds of years, and it was only during reign of Gupta, king of maritime protection (330-380), that India unified Ganges basin and established Gupta Dynasty. After that, Gupta II, super-Japanese king, effectively unified Indian subcontinent and re-established his capital in Fahrenheit City. Of course, control of Gupta dynasty over Deccan plateau was inferior to that of Mauryan dynasty.
The nomads of this era are changing picture of world that we cannot ignore. First, nomadic peoples from northern China moved south to Central Plains and established sixteen kingdoms in Central Plains, among which Xianbei people established Northern Wei Dynasty and unified Northern China. Then barbarians in Northern Europe continued to invade Roman Empire, which led to collapse of Western Roman Empire. After that, a number of barbarian dynasties appeared on territory of Western Rome.
Later, Juzhan, Gaoche, Kheda and Turki rose successively on Eurasian continent. At beginning, Rouran and Gao Che fought for hegemony in desert, and at end, Rouran defeated Gao Che. Subsequently, Kheda rose in Afghanistan, replaced Guishuang empire, continued to attack Persia and India, and once defeated Gaoche and occupied Tarim Basin. The rise of Kheda Khanate was an important cause of decline of the Persian and Indian Gupta dynasties.
Finally, Turks rose in Altai Mountains. The Turks annexed Gaoche tribe, replaced Rouran's rule, and allied with Persian Empire to divide Kheda Khanate. Thereafter, Turks joined forces with Eastern Rome to start a war against Persia, with result that Persia continued to decline. During its heyday, territory of Turkic Khanate stretched from Sungari River in east to Black Sea coast in west, Lake Baikal in north, and Indus River basin in south. powerful world power of that time. However, there were many internal contradictions in Turks, and tendency to split was serious, and after 20 years of civil war they finally split into Eastern and Western Turks.
For 1000 years, from 500 B.C. to 500 AD, world's early classical empires collapsed, and structure of world underwent a fundamental change. After collapse of empires, a large number of nomads invaded these empires, forming a new wave of ethnic integration. The nomads brought fresh blood to agricultural areas and began reorganization of empire. After that, world will enter Middle Ages, and reintegrated Tang Dynasty, Arab Empire and Eastern Roman Empire will shine in world. However, India and Persia, which failed to integrate, have long been trapped in a vicious circle of foreign rule.