Fantastic Map of The Roman Empire

Whilst doing a little bit of web browsing when writing my recent series of Roman articles, I came across this wonderful map below of the Roman Empire when it was at its maximum extent.  I don’t write simple posts like this but thought it is a worthy exception especially as my old posts on Maps are still very popular.  (Getting Lost In The World of Maps    Lost In The World of Maps     Still Lost In The World of Maps     May Map Madness    Amazing Maps Tracking the Cargo Ships of the World)   That gives you an idea!mediterranean sea

I’ve inserted it below at a very large resolution so hopefully you can zoom in or download it and spend some time studying it… if maps of the Roman Empire are your thing!

One of the things I find fascinating about the map below is the extent of the Roman Empire.  For its time it was huge.  Many think of the Roman Empire as ‘just’ being Italy, France, parts of Spain and Britain but that is just a small section and in fact the Roman though of Britain as a rather remote and relatively unimportant part of their empire.

A quick study below will show that despite their wonderful and expansive road network, the Roman Empire was really built around the Mediterranean Sea.  When people think of the Romans, how many people think of Morocco, Libya, Arabia and even Iraq and Iran?   a quick look at the map however will show that Carthage in modern-day Tunisia and Algeria was much more integral to Rome than France or Britain.

As well as parts of Eastern Europe such a Romania which the Romans occupied from the Dacians, in no small part no doubt due to the wonderful wine that can be produced there is  Anatolia/ Asia Minor or what we now know of as Turkey.  There are more Roman and Greek ruins in Turkey than any other country.

Map of the maximum extent of the Roman Empire.

Map of the maximum extent of the Roman Empire.

If you’d like to see my visit to the very edge of the Roman Empire then check out this post from 2016 on Hardknott Castle and mountain pass.   And this one of Hadrians Wall and the Roman city of Corbridge.



About Stephen Liddell

I am a writer and traveller with a penchant for history and getting off the beaten track. With several books to my name including a #1 seller, I also write environmental, travel and history articles for magazines as well as freelance work. Recently I've appeared on BBC Radio and Bloomberg TV and am waiting on the filming of a ghost story on British TV. I run my own private UK tours company (Ye Olde England Tours) with small, private and totally customisable guided tours run by myself!
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6 Responses to Fantastic Map of The Roman Empire

  1. Contractions of Fate says:

    I love these old maps. Europe in 1340/1360 is also fascinating. I had the impression Trajan ruled over the largest area,117, but 211 AD was Septimus Severus. What was the difference in the extent of the empire at these times?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m not an expert but apparently Septimus extended the Empire in North Africa, which is useful as I think he was from Africa. He also temporarily invaded and occupied Northern England and Southern Scotland above Hadrians Wall but got ill while campaigning and ended up dying in the city of York. I’ve seen a statue to him there I think! Glad you like the map, I’m doing a series of map posts in the next 3 weeks!


  2. Malla Duncan says:

    Always so informative, Stephen. Very interesting. Kinda emphasizes that all power is temporary, even if it lasts centuries.


    • Thank-you Malla. Yes indeed. It’s interesting that with a few exceptions like Rome, London, Istanbul etc so many places then have now lost importances, especially in North Africa. I’d hope in 2,000 years we are all in a unified civilisation but if not, it would be interesting just to know if some ‘new’ city or state gets important and established ones disappear. It’s also interesting to see that even if just by geography, the Romans saw North Africa and parts of the Middle East as much more important than much of Europe and yet today there is such a firm division between Europe and North Africa 😦


  3. blakus632 says:

    Great. I think the Roman Empire was at its greatest extent during this time, though they had overextended. An excellent online map resource, with very good detail, is the Lund University Digital Atlas of the Roman Empire.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for the tip-off about Lund University, I will check it out. I love exploring map collections. I think you’re right about the Roman Empire being overextended. It’s interesting how the Byzantine Empire continued for another 1,000 years even if increasingly fragile by not over-stretching. I guess some civilisations are built around expansion and conquest like The Mongols when sometimes it would be better to have had 25% of the territory but with much increased longevity.


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