The Rise & Fall of Roman Civilization: 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 ani­mat­ed map 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 lit­tle piece remains.

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Relat­ed Con­tent:

The His­to­ry of Ancient Rome in 20 Quick Min­utes: A Primer Nar­rat­ed by Bri­an Cox

The Splen­did Book Design of the 1946 Edi­tion of Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

An 8‑Minute Ani­mat­ed Flight Over Ancient Rome

How to Make Roman Con­crete, One of Human Civilization’s Longest-Last­ing Build­ing Mate­ri­als

The His­to­ry of the Byzan­tine Empire (or East Roman Empire): An Ani­mat­ed Time­line Cov­er­ing 1,100 Years of His­to­ry

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  • Mike Kelly says:

    This was great! I’m on my third go around on Edward Gib­bons his­to­ry, and it moves around a lit­tle in time and loca­tion to keep the nar­ra­tive so it is won­der­ful to see it with time and place unfold­ing togeth­er as they did.

    Bar­bar­ian today, Holy Roman Emper­or tomor­row, there is hope for us all!

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