Text and maps copyright Howard Wiseman 2002-2011.
Last updated: 8 December 2011
Over these 18 centuries the fortunes of the Empire have waxed and waned greatly. However, for about the middle 3/4 of this time, from 146 BC to 1204 AD, it was without doubt the greatest and wealthiest power in the northern Mediterranean. Below are some small maps which give an idea of the Empire's changing territorial extent (including client states) over this period of greatness.
Those who thought the Roman Empire ended with the barbarian invasions of the 5th century will no doubt be surprised by the last three of the above maps. Those having more familiarity with mediaeval history will probably be surprised more at my audacity for representing all the territories in these maps as part of the Roman Empire(s). I justify myself later.
The centrepiece of this web site is a series of 19 maps of the Roman
Empire, roughly every century, from its beginning in 338 BC to its end
almost 18 centuries later, with commentaries. One might wonder why I
this site, given that there is already a truly marvellous website,
and Romania" (http://www.friesian.com/romania.htm)
by Dr. Kelly Ross. This has a similar series of maps (and much more),
with twice as many (every 50 years). However my maps are different in a
number of ways:
1. I have chosen the dates very carefully to emphasize the waxing and waning of the Empire's fortunes.
2. I show the Western ("Holy") Roman Empire alongside the Eastern ("Byzantine") Roman Empire.
3. I also have numerous other maps which present different perspectives on the Roman Empire, its predecessors, rivals, descendants and supplanters.
This site is organized into the following pages: