This stunning infographic (called a “histomap“) captures 4,000 years of world history and the relative power of contemporary states, nations, and empires.  Note the fall of the Egyptians beginning 2,000 years ago, and the rise of the Roman Empire in 700BC… till it swells to world domination around 100 AD.  Then, note the rise of America in the 1900’s – pidley, compared to the Roman’s vast expanse.

The image comes to us via Slate, was originally created by John B. Sparks, and was first printed by Rand McNally in 1931.

Click the infographic to see a full size version (which is far more legible).

Histomap of world powers