When you look at a map of the world today, you’ll see a bunch of lines. These lines are often the cause of dispute for all sorts of reasons including non-sensical ones like the sense of superiority of members of one state versus those of a neighboring one. What many people seem to forget or not realize is that these borders never used to exist and are completely made up. For example, Arabia used to be one large area with no borders. Now, with there being many borders, people living in one area like Saudi Arabia may have a sense of superiority over people in a neighboring area like Yemen. This may be because Saudi Arabia is one of the richest countries in the world (only after having discovered large oil reserves) whereas Yemen is one of the poorest. Another example is the people of India and Pakistan. The maps below show the changing borders in that part of the world. Prior to August 15, 1947, there was one country (India). Then, the British split it into two thereby creating a new country in the north called Pakistan. Now, it is not uncommon to see people in both countries claim superiority over the other despite the fact that they were all from the same country (India) just ~70 years ago. I think Yanni explained it well when he commented about world borders.
This post contains 3 sections.
- Video (4K) of a map of the world with changing borders from 3000 BCE to 2013 CE in intervals of 100 years
- Table of significant historical events that had an effect on geographic borders
- List of maps (4K) showing borders from 3000 BCE to 2013 CE in intervals of 100 years
Changing Map of the World Video
Table of Significant Historical Periods
Ancient History (3000 BC – 476)
|3000 BCE||2271 BCE||Sumer|
Sumer is the earliest known civilization in the historical region of southern Mesopotamia (south-central Iraq).
|2686 BCE||2181 BCE||Old Kingdom of Egypt|
In ancient Egyptian history, the Old Kingdom is the period spanning c. 2700–2200 BC. It is also known as the “Age of the Pyramids”.
|2500 BCE||563 BCE||Ancient India|
According to consensus in modern genetics, anatomically modern humans first arrived on the Indian subcontinent from Africa between 73,000 and 55,000 years ago. By 4500 BCE, settled life had spread more widely, and began to gradually evolve into the Indus Valley civilisation. Their Vedic Period (1500–500 BCE) was marked by the composition of the Vedas, large collections of hymns of these tribes. Their varna system, which evolved into the caste system, consisted of a hierarchy of priests, warriors, and free peasants.
|2270 BCE||2083 BCE||Akkad|
The Akkadian Empire was the first ancient empire of Mesopotamia after the long-lived civilization of Sumer. It was centered in the city of Akkad and its surrounding region. The empire united Akkadian and Sumerian speakers under one rule. The Bible refers to Akkad in Genesis 10:10–12.
|2083 BCE||1699 BCE||Neo-Sumerian Empire|
The Third Dynasty of Ur, also called the Neo-Sumerian Empire, refers to a 22nd to 21st century BC (middle chronology) Sumerian ruling dynasty based in the city of Ur.
|2055 BCE||1786 BCE||Middle Kingdom of Egypt|
The Middle Kingdom of Egypt (also known as The Period of Reunification) is the period in the history of ancient Egypt following a period of political division known as the First Intermediate Period. The Middle Kingdom lasted from approximately 2040 to 1782 BC, stretching from the reunification of Egypt under the reign of Mentuhotep II in the Eleventh Dynasty to the end of the Twelfth Dynasty.
|2000 BCE||1400 BCE||Minoan age|
The Minoan civilization was a Bronze Age Aegean civilization on the island of Crete and other Aegean Islands, whose earliest beginnings were from c. 3500 BC, with the complex urban civilization beginning around 2000 BC, and then declining from c. 1450 BC until it ended around 1100 BC. The term “Minoan” refers to the mythical King Minos of Knossos, a figure in Greek mythology associated with Theseus, the labyrinth and the Minotaur.
|2000 BCE||590 BCE||China|
According to Chinese tradition, the first dynasty was the Xia, which emerged around 2100 BCE. The Xia dynasty marked the beginning of China’s political system based on hereditary monarchies, or dynasties, which lasted for a millennium.
|1830 BCE||1531 BCE||First Dynasty of Babylon|
The Old Babylonian Empire, or First Babylonian Empire, is dated to c. 1894 BC – c. 1595 BC, and comes after the end of Sumerian power with the destruction of the Third Dynasty of Ur, and the subsequent Isin-Larsa period.
|1660 BCE||1178 BCE||Hittites|
The Hittites were an Anatolian people who played an important role in establishing first a kingdom in Kussara (before 1750 BC), then the Kanesh or Nesha kingdom (c. 1750–1650 BC), and next an empire centered on Hattusa in north-central Anatolia (around 1650 BC).
|1600 BCE||1100 BCE||Mycenean age|
Mycenaean Greece (or the Mycenaean civilization) was the last phase of the Bronze Age in Ancient Greece, spanning the period from approximately 1750 to 1050 BC. It represents the first advanced and distinctively Greek civilization in mainland Greece with its palatial states, urban organization, works of art, and writing system.
|1590 BCE||1240 BCE||Mitanni|
Mitanni was a Hurrian-speaking state in northern Syria and southeast Anatolia (modern-day Turkey).
|1550 BCE||1069 BCE||New Kingdom of Egypt|
The New Kingdom, also referred to as the Egyptian Empire, is the period in ancient Egyptian history between the sixteenth century BC and the eleventh century BC, covering the Eighteenth, Nineteenth, and Twentieth dynasties of Egypt.
|1353 BCE||968 BCE||Middle Assyrian Period|
The Middle Assyrian Empire was the third stage of Assyrian history, covering the history of Assyria from the accession of Ashur-uballit I c. 1363 BC and the rise of Assyria as a territorial kingdom to the death of Ashur-dan II in 912 BC. The Middle Assyrian Empire was Assyria’s first period of ascendancy as an empire.
|1099 BCE||776 BCE||Greek Dark Ages|
The Greek Dark Ages is the period of Greek history from the end of the Mycenaean palatial civilization, around 1100 BC, to the beginning of the Archaic age, around 750 BC. Archaeological evidence shows a widespread collapse of Bronze Age civilization in the Eastern Mediterranean world at the outset of the period, as the great palaces and cities of the Mycenaeans were destroyed or abandoned. At about the same time, the Hittite civilization suffered serious disruption, as cities from Troy to Gaza were destroyed. In Egypt, the New Kingdom fell into disarray.
|967 BCE||609 BCE||Neo-Assyrian Period|
The Neo-Assyrian Empire was the fourth and penultimate stage of ancient Assyrian history and the final and greatest phase of Assyria as an independent state. Beginning with the accession of Adad-nirari II in 911 BC, the Neo-Assyrian Empire grew to dominate the ancient Near East throughout much of the 8th and 7th centuries BC, becoming the largest empire in history up to that point. Because of its geopolitical dominance and ideology based in world domination, the Neo-Assyrian Empire is by many researchers regarded to have been the first world empire in history. At its height, the empire was the strongest military power in the world and ruled over all of Mesopotamia, the Levant and Egypt, as well as portions of Anatolia, Arabia and modern-day Iran and Armenia.
|825 BCE||146 BCE||Carthage|
Carthage was the capital city of Ancient Carthage, on the eastern side of the Lake of Tunis in what is now Tunisia. Carthage was one of the most important trading hubs of the Ancient Mediterranean and one of the most affluent cities of the classical world.
|775 BCE||505 BCE||Archaic Period (Ancient Greece)|
Archaic Greece was the period in Greek history lasting from circa 800 BC to the second Persian invasion of Greece in 480 BC, following the Greek Dark Ages and succeeded by the Classical period. In the archaic period, Greeks settled across the Mediterranean and the Black Seas, as far as Marseille in the west and Trapezus (Trebizond) in the east; and by the end of the archaic period, they were part of a trade network that spanned the entire Mediterranean.
|753 BCE||28 BCE||Rome|
The history of Rome includes the history of the city of Rome as well as the civilisation of ancient Rome. Roman history has been influential on the modern world, especially in the history of the Catholic Church, and Roman law has influenced many modern legal systems. According to legend, Romulus founded Rome.
|608 BCE||539 BCE||Neo-Babylonian Empire|
The Neo-Babylonian Empire or Second Babylonian Empire, historically known as the Chaldean Empire, was the last polity ruled by monarchs native to Mesopotamia. Beginning with the coronation of Nabopolassar as the King of Babylon in 626 BC and being firmly established through the fall of the Neo-Assyrian Empire in 612 BC, the Neo-Babylonian Empire was conquered by the Achaemenid Persian Empire in 539 BC, marking the collapse of the Chaldean dynasty less than a century after its founding.
|550 BCE||330 BCE||Achaemenid Empire|
The Achaemenid Empire or Achaemenian Empire (/əˈkiːmənɪd/; Old Persian: 𐎧𐏁𐏂, Xšāça, lit. ‘The Empire’ or ‘The Kingdom’), also called the First Persian Empire, was an ancient Iranian empire founded by Cyrus the Great in 550 BC. Based in Western Asia, it was contemporarily the largest empire in history, spanning a total of 5.5 million square kilometres (2.1 million square miles) from the Balkans and Egypt in the west to Central Asia and the Indus Valley in the east.
|499 BCE||449 BCE||Persian Wars|
The Greco-Persian Wars (also often called the Persian Wars) were a series of conflicts between the Achaemenid Empire and Greek city-states that started in 499 BC and lasted until 449 BC. The collision between the fractious political world of the Greeks and the enormous empire of the Persians began when Cyrus the Great conquered the Greek-inhabited region of Ionia in 547 BC. Struggling to control the independent-minded cities of Ionia, the Persians appointed tyrants to rule each of them. This would prove to be the source of much trouble for the Greeks and Persians alike.
|461 BCE||405 BCE||Peloponnesian Wars|
The Peloponnesian War (431–404 BC) was an ancient Greek war fought between Athens and Sparta and their respective allies for the hegemony of the Greek world. The war remained undecided for a long time until the decisive intervention of the Persian Empire in support of Sparta. Led by Lysander, the Spartan fleet built with Persian subsidies finally defeated Athens and started a period of Spartan hegemony over Greece.
|334 BCE||323 BCE||Alexander the Great|
Alexander III of Macedon, commonly known as Alexander the Great, was a king of the ancient Greek kingdom of Macedon. He succeeded his father Philip II to the throne in 336 BC at the age of 20, and spent most of his ruling years conducting a lengthy military campaign throughout Western Asia and Egypt. By the age of thirty, he had created one of the largest empires in history, stretching from Greece to northwestern India. He was undefeated in battle and is widely considered to be one of history’s greatest and most successful military commanders
|248 BCE||226 CE||Parthian Empire|
The Parthian Empire, also known as the Arsacid Empire, was a major Iranian political and cultural power in ancient Iran from 247 BC to 224 AD. The empire, located on the Silk Road trade route between the Roman Empire in the Mediterranean Basin and the Han dynasty of China, became a center of trade and commerce.
|27 BCE||476 CE||Roman Empire|
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of ancient Rome. As a polity, it included large territorial holdings around the Mediterranean Sea in Europe, North Africa, and Western Asia, and was ruled by emperors. From the accession of Caesar Augustus as the first Roman emperor to the military anarchy of the 3rd century, it was a principate with Italia as the metropole of its provinces and the city of Rome as its sole capital.
|227 BCE||651 CE||Sassanid Empire|
The Sassanid Empire, officially known as the Empire of Iranians and also referred to by historians as the Neo-Persian Empire, was the last Iranian empire before the early Muslim conquests of the 7th-8th centuries AD. Named after the House of Sasan, it endured for over four centuries, from 224 to 651 AD, making it the longest-lived Persian imperial dynasty. The Sasanian Empire succeeded the Parthian Empire, and re-established the Persians as a major power in late antiquity alongside its neighbouring arch-rival, the Roman Empire (after 395 the Byzantine Empire).
Middle Ages (476 – 1492)
|233 CE||476 CE||Migration Period / Barbarian Invasions|
The migration period was a period in European history marked by large-scale migrations that saw the fall of the Western Roman Empire and subsequent settlement of its former territories by various tribes, notably the Franks, Goths, Alemanni, Alans, Huns, early Slavs, Pannonian Avars, Magyars, and Bulgars within or into the former Western Empire and Eastern Europe.
The barbarian kingdoms were the states founded by various non-Roman, primarily Germanic, peoples in Western Europe and North Africa following the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in the fifth century.
|396 CE||1453 CE||Byzantium Empire|
The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, when its capital city was Constantinople (present-day Istanbul).
|962||1806||Holy Roman Empire|
|1337||1453||Hundred Years’ War|
|1487||1522||Age of Discovery|
Early Modern Period (1492 – 1789)
|1517||1648||Protestant Reformation and Counter-Reformation|
|1555||1980||French colonial empire|
|1568||1648||Eighty Years’ War|
|1618||1648||Thirty Years’ War|
Modern & Contemporary Period (1789 – 2013)
|1809||1829||Spanish American independence|
|1861||1865||American civil war|
|1914||1918||World War I|
|1936||1939||Spanish Civil War|
|1939||1945||World War II|
|1922||1990||Africa – Decolonisation|
Map of the World from 3000 BCE to 2013 CE
To view details within a map, click “View 4K map” to open the map at full size (3840 x 2160 px), preferably on a large, maybe 32″, 4K monitor.