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Byzantine Empire
Definition by Mark Cartwright

Byzantine Empire

The Byzantine Empire existed from 330 to 1453. It is often called the Eastern Roman Empire or simply Byzantium. The Byzantine capital was founded at Constantinople by Constantine I (r. 306-337). The Byzantine Empire varied in size over the...
Mali Empire
Definition by Mark Cartwright

Mali Empire

The Mali Empire (1240-1645) of West Africa was founded by Sundiata Keita (r. 1230-1255) following his victory over the kingdom of Sosso (c. 1180-1235). Sundiata's centralised government, diplomacy and well-trained army permitted a massive...
Empire of Trebizond
Definition by Michael Goodyear

Empire of Trebizond

The Empire of Trebizond was an offshoot of the Byzantine Empire that existed from 1204 to 1461 CE, ruled by the Megas Komnenos Dynasty, descendants of the Komenos Byzantine emperors. The Empire of Trebizond has been far less researched than...
Songhai Empire
Definition by Mark Cartwright

Songhai Empire

The Songhai Empire (aka Songhay, c. 1460 - c. 1591) covered what is today southern Mauritania and Mali. It replaced the Mali Empire (1240-1645) as the most important state in West Africa. Originating as a smaller kingdom along the eastern...
Ghana Empire
Definition by Mark Cartwright

Ghana Empire

The Ghana Empire flourished in West Africa from at least the 6th to 13th century CE. Not connected geographically to the modern state of Ghana, the Ghana Empire was located in the western Sudan savannah region (modern southern Mauritania...
Neo-Assyrian Empire
Definition by Joshua J. Mark

Neo-Assyrian Empire

The Neo-Assyrian Empire (912-612 BCE) was the final stage of the Assyrian Empire, stretching throughout Mesopotamia, the Levant, Egypt, Anatolia, and into parts of Persia and Arabia. Beginning with the reign of Adad Nirari II (912-891 BCE...
Map of the Ptolemaic World
Image by J M Dent (1912)

Map of the Ptolemaic World

A map showing the known world at the time of the Ptolemaic Empire, ca. 300 BC.
Ancient Persia
Definition by Joshua J. Mark

Ancient Persia

Persia (roughly modern-day Iran) is among the oldest inhabited regions in the world. Archaeological sites in the country have established human habitation dating back 100,000 years to the Paleolithic Age with semi-permanent settlements (most...
Ptolemaic King
Image by Mark Cartwright

Ptolemaic King

Limestone head of Ptolemaic King, 2nd to 1st century BCE, Medinet Madi. (Egyptian Museum, Castello Sforzesco, Milan)
Roman Egypt
Definition by Donald L. Wasson

Roman Egypt

The rich lands of Egypt became the property of Rome after the death of Cleopatra VII in 30 BCE, which spelled the end of the Ptolemaic dynasty that had ruled Egypt since the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BCE. After the murder of Gaius...
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