The Rise & Fall of the Romans: Every Year Shown in a Timelapse Map Animation (753 BC ‑1479 AD)

The Youtu­ber “Emper­or­Tiger­star” spe­cial­izes in doc­u­ment­ing the unfold­ing of world his­tor­i­cal events by stitch­ing togeth­er hun­dreds of maps into time­lapse films. In years past, we’ve fea­tured his “map ani­ma­tions” of the U.S. Civ­il War (1861–1865), World War I (1914–1918), and World War II (1939–1945). Today, we’re high­light­ing a more ambi­tious project, an attempt to visu­al­ly doc­u­ment the rise and fall of the Romans. The video cov­ers 2,000 years of his­to­ry, in just ten min­utes.

Mov­ing from 753 BC  to 1479 AD, the map ani­ma­tion shows Rome’s ter­ri­to­r­i­al bound­aries chang­ing as the Roman King­dom morphs into the Roman Repub­lic and lat­er the Roman Empire. Then the grav­i­ty of his­to­ry takes over and we expe­ri­ence the grad­ual decline of Roman civ­i­liza­tion. We see the bifur­ca­tion that splits the Empire into West­ern and East­ern (Byzan­tine) parts, until only a sad, lit­tle piece remains.

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Relat­ed Con­tent:

Ani­mat­ed Map Lets You Watch the Unfold­ing of Every Day of the U.S. Civ­il War (1861–1865)

Watch World War I Unfold in a 6 Minute Time-Lapse Film: Every Day From 1914 to 1918

Watch World War II Rage Across Europe in a 7 Minute Time-Lapse Film: Every Day From 1939 to 1945

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Comments (10)
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  • Divyanka Beniwal says:

    The his­to­ry of the Roman Empire cov­ers the his­to­ry of Ancient Rome. You have shared many rel­e­vant and infor­ma­tive points.Thanks for shar­ing.

  • Bob says:

    Great! Would love to see the same treat­ment of the Roman Catholic Church and oth­er Catholic/Christian Church­es around the Mediter­ranean.

  • Scott Mansfield says:

    Each time a piece of land flash­es from white to col­or or back, men killed each oth­er. Thou­sands maybe mil­lions of bru­tal deaths for the Roman Empire. I guess the win­ners got land and booty, but all that killing seems rather point­less in ret­ro­spect, giv­en the cost.

  • Diocletian says:

    Whats the music ? It’s great.

  • Civilis says:

    A small point that does­n’t have much impact on the map itself: Otho and Vitel­lius should be list­ed along with Gal­ba as emper­ors in the year 68 AD. That year — the Year of the Four Emper­ors — was a major turn­ing point, cul­mi­nat­ing with Ves­pasian becom­ing emper­or fol­low­ing the deaths of Gal­ba, Otho, and Vitel­lius in turn. It sig­naled the end of the Julio-Clau­di­an dynasty and the ascen­sion of the Fla­vians. The Bata­vians were near­ly suc­cess­ful that year in lead­ing a revolt against Vitel­lius under the pre­tense of sup­port­ing Ves­pasian. Had they been suc­cess­ful, Rome would have lost a fair part of Gaul.

  • SpiritHorse says:

    I LOVE the way the col­ors spin!!!

  • SpiritHorse says:

    I genuil­ny love the col­ors and the whole scheme of things i think that they make it so much more enjoy­a­bell to watch with my 7 kids on a day to day bassss­es

  • maryln says:

    spirthorse, i also love col­ors but what do col­ors have to do with rome? i might have to call CPS for you’re kids.. also i rece­mend to have tin­ker bell in the back­round while read­ing about rome his­to­ry!! wish­ing you the best.

  • shutne says:

    marlyn should mind her darn burisnes, dont tell peo­ple how to rase there kids you ! besides that this was bery inter­es­tig, i love the wright­ign style is very nice. i was inter­est­ed by it

  • Kurtis says:

    I enjoyed this video and can’t wait for more to come out! This is my favorite con­tent cre­ator :)

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.