300 CE

World About A. D. 300.—Almost six hundred years has elapsed, and the Great Roman Empire is already in its decline. A special map of the Roman Empire at its height will be found later on. This little map  represents the empire in the time of Constantine.

Under Constantine the Great two great changes took place—the introduction of Christianity as the religion of the State, and the transference of the seat of government from Rome to Byzantium (A. D. 330), which was re-named after the emperor, Constantinople.

Persia at this time, under the Sassanian dynasty, attained a height of prosperity and power such as it had never before reached, and against it even the veteran Roman legions could gain no lasting laurels.

In China authentic history begins with the Chow dynasty (1122-255 B. C.) when Confucius and Mincius flourished (600 B. C). In the next (Tsin) dynasty Shih Hwang Ti (221-209 B. C.) reduced the independent petty states, and built the Great Wall as a protection against the barbarous Hiong-non (Huns) or Tartars of the north. Shortly after the beginning of the Christian era the Chinese seem to have begun intercourse with the Parthians and to have known the Roman Empire as Ta-tsin; and about the time of Constantine's establishment of his new capital the Chinese emperor's court was fixed at Nanking, the southern capital.

The increase of geographical knowledge during the period in which Rome was spreading out its power in all directions could not fail to be very considerable. Already in the latter part of the first century B. C., a general survey of the Roman Empire had been begun by the collection and arrangement of the itineraries of the roads to places in the empire. One of these traces the main roads of all the region stretching from Britain to the mouth of the Ganges in India.

ABOUT A.D. 300