World 100 AD  

The World's Empires (c. 100 AD)

This map shows the extent of some of the world's greatest empires in 100 AD.  Some small empires are omitted.  This is only a snap shot of the empires' territories.  Boundaries shift continuously through history.

Almost two thousands years ago, there was already contact between the East and the West.  Trade routes such as the Silk Road from Chang'an to Venice, and the Tea Road from Chang'an to Burma are some notable ones.  Traders did not travel all the way between China and Europe though.  Goods were passed on from trader to trader and it took a long time for items such as silk to reach their final buyers.  Seafarers also traded very frequently but most did not have the navigation techniques at this time to venture out to open oceans.  Trade routes across the Mediterranean Sea were probably the most developed among the world's oceans.