More than 5,100 years have passed since earliest kingdoms appeared in world. Over these 5,000 years of history, picture of world has undergone countless changes. This article mainly uses maps to show changes in world map, and mainly selects ancient parts. Since ancient history mainly developed in Asia, Europe, and North Africa, selected maps are mostly from Eastern Hemisphere.
First of all, first map is distribution of ancient civilizations in world. The darker color in picture, earlier origin of civilization. It can be seen that Egypt and Mesopotamia are earliest civilizations in world, followed by India, China, Greece and Turkish Peninsula. The brown part in picture is most important area in ancient history of world.
About 550 BC The Persian Empire in Western Asia emerged and united Media, Babylon, Lydia, Egypt and other countries, becoming world's first empire with a peak area of 7 million square kilometers. At this time, Greece entered era of city-states, India entered era of Sixteen Kingdoms, and China entered Spring and Autumn period and Warring States period.
Rise of Persian Empire
About 330 B.C. e. Alexander Great in Greece conquered East, destroyed Persian Empire and founded Macedonian Empire. It is a pity that good times did not last long, and soon empire broke up into Seleucid Empire, Ptolemaic dynasty, and so on. Among them, Seleucid dynasty in past occupied position of Persian Empire and is still one of strongest countries in world. Since then, Peacock Empire in India has been rising, covering an area of 4 million square kilometers. In 221 BC The Qin Dynasty in China united six kingdoms. At that time, there was a situation where three main Seleucid empires, Mauryan Empire and Qin Empire, were opposed.
Comparison of Seleucids, Mauryan Empire and Qin Dynasty
By 2nd century BC, all three empires had collapsed. The Chinese Western Han Dynasty succeeded Qin Empire and gradually expanded its territory, covering an area of almost 6 million square kilometers. The Mauryan Empire in South Asia collapsed and India has been divided for a long time since then. After collapse of Seleucid Empire, Persian Empire was restored and Parthian dynasty was established. In Mediterranean, rise of Roman Republic almost turned Mediterranean into a lake. At this time, era of three pillars of Chinese Han Dynasty, Perso-Parthian Dynasty and Roman Republic begins in world.
Subsequently, world entered era of parallelism of four empires. Among them, Eastern Han dynasty in east replaced Western Han dynasty, and Roman Empire in west replaced Roman Republic, and area was further expanded. At this time, territory of Roman Empire reached 5 million square kilometers, which made it most powerful country in world. The Parthian Dynasty and Guishuang Empire, located between Roman Empire and Han Dynasty, were also relatively strong in terms of national power.
Parallel Empire Era Han Roman Empire
From Three Kingdoms to Western Jin Dynasty, China experienced great divisions and finally achieved a short-lived reunification. At this time, Roman Empire was Severus dynasty and its territory still held first place in world, but its national power began to decline. The Sasanian dynasty in Persia replaced Parthian dynasty and began to strengthen. The Guishuang Empire has perished, and India continues to split. At this time, as China and India experienced an era of great division, Roman Persia became the protagonist of world hegemony.
In 4th century, China entered chaotic period of Eastern Jin and Sixteen Kingdoms, and its national power declined greatly. The Roman Empire also split into Eastern Rome and Western Rome. At this time, most powerful country in world was Persian Sassanid dynasty.
Rome divided, Eastern Jin dynasty unequal
At beginning of 5th century, map of world changed again, and all this is based on previous changes. In China, Xianbei traveled south to Central Plains to unite north and found Northern Dynasty. The Eastern Jin Dynasty in south was also replaced by Southern Dynasty. China entered period of Northern and Southern Dynasties. In Europe, due to invasion of Germans, Western Roman Empire soon perished, leaving Eastern Rome with all his might to support it. The Sasanian dynasty in Western Asia continued to be strong.
By beginning of 6th century, model of Middle Ages was basically established. The Turkic Khanate arose on pastures, which had an important impact on history of Asia and Europe. China entered late period of southern and northern dynasties, and divisions continued to exist. Under leadership of Justinian, Eastern Roman Empire regained a large amount of land within Roman Empire and for a time became most powerful empire in world. Although Sasanian dynasty was relatively strong, at that time it could only take second place.
Eastern Roman Revival
At end of 6th century, China was finally united and Sui dynasty was created, which almost became most powerful country in world. Unfortunately, time was too short. The Turkic Khanate was split due to internal conflicts. The territory of Eastern Roman Empire began to shrink and was eventually limited to eastern Mediterranean. The Germans in Western Europe founded Frankish dynasty, which had a profound effect on the history of Western Europe.
In 7th century, there were only three great powers in world: Chinese Tang Dynasty, Arab Empire and Eastern Roman Empire. Of course, next to three empires there are many more powerful nations and countries, such as Turks, Tubo, Frank, etc., but they clearly cannot compete with three empires. From 7th century to middle of 8th century, national power of Tang dynasty ranked first in world, Arab Umayyad dynasty second, and Eastern Rome third.
In middle and end of Tang Dynasty, national power began to decline and its territory shrank, while Arab Abbasid dynasty continued to prosper and become most powerful empire in world. Tubo also became strong and once controlled western regions, Turks in Mobey were replaced by Uyghurs.
By 10th century, world had changed a lot again. In China, Tang dynasty was divided and Northern Song dynasty was finally reunited. In north, powerful Liao kingdom was founded. In Western Asia and North Africa, Arab Empire completely disintegrated. In Western Europe, Frankish kingdom was divided into three parts, laying foundation for France, Italy and Germany. The emergence of Russian state in Eastern Europe, that is, Russia began to be created. During this era, Northern Song dynasty became most prosperous country in world, but its military power was relatively weak.
In 12th century, European countries began to emerge from Middle Ages. Although country was divided, social change accelerated. In east, Northern Song dynasty perished, and Song and Jin clashed. The remnants of Liao kingdom created powerful Western Liao dynasty in western regions. In Western Asia, Seljuk Turkic Empire and Khorezm Turkic Empire, which were predecessors of Ottoman Empire, were successively established. In Eastern Europe, Rus' split, laying foundation for Mongol conquest.
In 13th century, Mongolia almost conquered Eurasian continent. They founded Yuan dynasty in China, Chagatai Khanate and Vokuotai Khanate in western regions, Golden Horde Khanate in Russian state, and Ilkhanate in Western Asia. In other respects, Delhi Sultanate of an Islamic dynasty began to be established in India, and a unification trend finally emerged in India. Europe undertook nine Crusades against Northwest, which strengthened connection between Europe and Asia and Europe and hastened entry of Western Europe into era of capitalism.
After 14th century, Mongolian dominance in Eurasia gradually collapsed. In east, Ming dynasty overthrew Yuan dynasty, and Mongol forces retreated to Mongol grasslands. In Western Asia, Ilkhanate perished, and Timur's empire soon collapsed, holding out strong for some time. In Central Asia, Chagatai Khanate collapsed, Eastern Chagatai existed for a long time, and Western Chagatai soon perished, and later a number of small Mongolian states arose. In Eastern Europe, Moscow Principality united country of Rus and began to annex large khanates that had broken away from Polyn Khanate. In other respects, Ottoman Türkiye began to rise and a renaissance began in Europe.
After mid-15th century, Ming dynasty began to decline, while Turkish Empire and Mughal Empire in India rose. However, whether it is Ming Empire, Turkey or India, they are all representatives of traditional empires. At this time, European countries set off on a great voyage, and America was discovered and began to unite.
From 18th century to 19th century, Western countries almost completed staking around world. Britain became an empire on which sun never sets, and Russia occupied all of Central Asia and Siberia. America moved towards independence. At present, Mughal Empire has become a colony, and only China and Turkey can remain in traditional empire. During Qing Dynasty, China unified East Asian continent and laid foundation for China's territory. Turkey later collapsed due to its participation in First World War and its lands were divided.