500 CE

World About A. D. 500.—For more than two centuries prior to this map , the whole of northern Europe, had begun to pour forth wave after wave of barbarian hordes, against the Roman Empire. By the invasions of the tribes of Goths, Franks, Vandals, etc., the western emperors lost their power outside of Italy, and the empire itself ceases to exist in 476, when it is nominally joined to the Eastern Empire. The Vandals had established their rule along north Africa; the Visigoths ruled in Spain; the Ostrogothic monarchy of Theodoric the Great extended over Italy, France, and all the countries round the Alps as far as the middle Danube; and the Franks, under Clovis, had possession of the whole of Gaul between the Loire and Somme.

Persia, still under the energetic Sassanian dynasty, not only maintained its integrity as an empire, but had begun to repel the Roman or Byzantine power in Asia, and had added part of Armenia. Westward, however, the arms of the Byzantine Empire were triumphant, the reign of the Emperor Justinian having been rendered famous by the expedition of his great general Belisarius to Africa, where, after a campaign of two years, he completely overthrew the Vandals and led their king captive to Constantinople. In a second war, Belisarius wrested all southern Italy from the Ostrogoths, pursuing them northward to Rome and Ravenna, and thus began the re-conquest of the peninsula, which was completed by his successor, the imperial general Narses, after which the Ostrogoths disappear as a distinct nation.

At this time, under Khosru, the greatest of the great monarchs of the Sassanian dynasty, the Persian Empire stretched from the Red Sea to the Indus, and from Arabia far into central Asia.

ABOUT A.D. 500