Originally posted on Vox.
Two thousand years ago, on August 19, 14 AD, Caesar Augustus died. He was Rome’s first emperor, having won a civil war more than 40 years earlier that transformed the dysfunctional Roman Republic into an empire. Under Augustus and his successors, the empire experienced 200 years of relative peace and prosperity. Here are 40 maps that explain the Roman Empire — its rise and fall, its culture and economy, and how it laid the foundations of the modern world.
The rise and fall of Rome
In 500 BC, Rome was a minor city-state on the Italian peninsula. By 200 BC, the Roman Republic had conquered Italy, and over the following two centuries it conquered Greece and Spain, the North African coast, much of the Middle East, modern-day France, and even…