This is a very interesting map. In case you can’t read it very well, a better copy is here. I had no idea that the Romans conquered so far. They conquered “the known world” as it was said at the time. That wasn’t really true, as even the Romans admitted that they did not conquer the Germanic tribes in Germania Magna, Sarmatia, Aethiopia, Iberia, Arabia Felix, Caledonia, Hibernia, etc.
These names are instructive, as these are the places that the Romans did not conquer.
Hibernia was Ireland; to this day, Irish English, which can be very hard to understand, is called Hibernian English. Caledonia for Scotland makes no sense to me, but there is a province in the Solomon Islands in Melanesia called New Caledonia, FWIW. Iberia for the Caucasus makes no sense either, as Iberia usually means the Spanish Peninsula nowadays.
All of Africa outside North Africa is simply referred to as Aethiopia. Arabia Felix is the Arabian Peninsula. Germania Major (Greater Germany) is the area of the fiercest German tribes; perhaps they were just too much hassle to conquer. Sarmatia is Russia; this means nothing to me.
Now for the provinces. Egypt is Aegyptus. Libya is Creta et Cyrene, apparently a combination province of Crete (Creta) and Cyrene (Libya). Israel/Palestine is Judea. Syria, Lebanon, etc. is Syria. This notion of Greater Syria lives on with Pan-Syrianists such as the Syrian Social Nationalist Party. Iraq is Mesopotamia. Armenia is Armenia, but much larger than today. Bulgaria is Thracia. The regions of Western Turkey are familiar to me, but mean nothing anymore. Romania is Dacia.
The name of Dacia is important. Nordicists claim that some mysterious Northern European superior folks came down to Italy, conquered inferior greasy dagos, and became the ancient White Romans. Like most Nordicist crap, it’s a lie. The Romans, true, did not come from Italy. Instead they came from Dacia.
No one really knows who the Dacians were, but I doubt they were Germans. They probably looked dark like the Romanians of today. This group has also had some Scythian-type Ossetian/Iranian inputs 1600 years ago or so. So the Romans were Southern Europeans.
Italy was Italia, and Sicily was Sicilia. Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia, etc. were Dalmatia. This name lives on in the Dalmatian Coast of Croatia. Sardinia and Corsica retain their Roman names. Portugal is Lusitania, and Portuguese speaking nations today are called Lusophone regions. North Africa, for some reason, is Mauritania – is this a reference to “Moors?” Western France was Aquitania – think Eleanor of Aquitaine.
Southern France was Norbonensis; there is a city called Narbonne in the region today. The Balearic Islands were called Baleares. Northern Greece was Macedonia. A region called Belgica covered northeastern France – think Belgium. The part of Germany known today as the Rhineland was conquered and referred as Germania Inferior and Superior.
The area in and around Switzerland and Southern Germany was referred to as Raetia. The branch of the Romance Language family that today contains Romansch is referred to as Rhaetian. The Southern Germans and Swiss have a large dose of “Roman” in them, and their languages have a Romance influence. I recently met a Bavarian man who looked for all the world like a Frenchman.
England and Wales are Brittania. This name lives in on the British nationalist phrase, “Rule Brittania.”
I left off a number of place names that mean nothing to me. There are also some cities there, but the names are very hard to read. Londonium is London. Salamanca is a now a region in Spain. Roma is Rome, and Syracuse is in Sicily. Carthaga is in Tunisia. Alexandria yet exists in Egypt. Caesarea was a city in northern Israel, now abandoned on the sand dunes. Thessalonika in Northern Greece still exists, as does Antiochia in Turkey (Antioch).
The legend of this map, as you can see, is in German. The shaded area of the Roman Empire is the Romanisches Reich, a nice touch.
Romanisches Reich it was.
Nice Map of the Roman Empire
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21 thoughts on “Nice Map of the Roman Empire”
The Romans did conquer Caledonia, (Agricola), but withdrew due to the fact it contained no wealth and unruly Picts. (Indeed the Anglo-Saxons came to a similar conclusion a few hundred years later).
They were also well on the way to taking Germania but again it was all forest then, no gold or good farmland. Then there was the Varus dissater so they withdrew and only returned for the odd punitive adventure.
Sounds like you really know your shit about ancient history. I don’t even know what the Varus adventure is, and I’ve never heard of Agricola.
If you ever fancy a read on ancient history, the Varus disaster is worth knowing.
I’ve never heard that the Romans came from Dacia…
I am pretty sure about that, and it was a damned Nordicist who told me too. This proved that the Romans were not those inferior dagos, but instead they were “Germanics.” He was trying to make some argument that Dacians were Germanics or something, but I think that’s absurd.
As I recall the Roman ruling class was a different breed to the common man. They were taller often blue eyed and blonde. The name Flavius (a common name amongst them) means blonde.
Where they came from though I thought had been lost in the mists of time. Although they did have a Trojan origin tale.
Blonds/blue eyes were seen as barbaric in Roman times. That was a clear signal identifying a Gaulish/German man. Both races were notorious fighters.
As for the ethnicity of the Romans themselves, I strongly believe they are an Aryan (Dacian)/Phoenician hybrid. Etruscans in Italy and the people of ancient Crete are said to be descendents of Phonecian (dark complexion) traders before being ‘invaded’ by Indo-Europeans (Aryans) like the Dacians and Thracians.
Romans definitely link to an Indo-European ancestry.
Oh and please note that Italy has been invaded for hundreds of years by Gaulish tribes. Explains why there were people who were blond there – but it doesn’t prove that Romans were originally blond and blue eyed.
This part is apparently not true; it’s a Nordicist lie. The Roman ruling class supposedly just looked like Italians.
They talk a lot about Germans being fair, blonde, blue, etc. and how different they look from typical Romans.
By the time they were describing the Germans 800 odd years had passed and much had changed.
Tacitus positively praised the purity of the german stock compared to the degenerate Roman.
The fact they called some kids “blonde” means plenty weren’t. (Nero was I think).
Still, not a topic I would argue on.
The Romans are not a special kind of people, they were just ordinary Italics who got lucky enough to build a great empire. Proto-Italics stemmed from modern-day Austria and settled in the Italian Peninsula around 9th centure b.c. That’s the great mistery about Roman origins.
And about the Dacians, there’s no way they are German in any meaningful sense. What few was recorded of their language shows more affinities with Balto-Slavic and Albanian than with Germanic. Archaeologically the claim is untenable as well. Germans can be readily identified with Bronze and Iron Age cultures based on Scandinavia and Northern Germany, and don’t show up on the Danubian basin until Roman times. “blond” does not equate “german”, no matter what nordicists say. Nordicists are a bunch of mystifiers of history.
Obvioulsy “disaster ” is a matter of perspective. The germans obviously thought three Roman legions invading thier forests was not a good thing.
I am governed by a simple ethical priciple, which is to always side with the innocent. Would you make the argument that an invading army is innocent rather then a man defending home and hearth?
What is the Varus Disaster anyway? I’ve never heard of it.
The Romans had actually been in Germania for a few years by 9AD. It was considered a province by 7AD and Varus was appointed to govern it.
The destruction of the Legions came as a great shock to Rome who thought the area was pacified.
The Romans called it the Varus disaster because Varus let himself be tricked into marching the Legions through a swampy forest where they were able to be ambushed and slaughtered.
At the time the Imperial war machine thought of itself as unbeatable.
Ha…those hyperimperialistic Roman fuckers never could call “Caledonia” a portion of their empire.
As an American who is primarily of ethnic “Caledonian” descent I am very proud of that fact.
You cannot be proud of who you are. You played no conscious role in how you got conceived. However, you can feel fortunate about being white. Much better than being black.
Did you know that the areas which are now known as Italy, Spain, Greece, and large parts of North Africa used to be heavily forested back in ancient Greek/Roman times?
However, desertification or semi-desertification set in after the ancient Greeks/Romans started majorly deforesting those regions, clearing them for farmland/pastureland/etc and thus exposing the soil in those places to heavily erosive winds which eventually ruined much of the land there.
The environments of those areas and regions have never quite recovered from all of the deforestation that happened during ancient Greek/Roman times and the resulting desertification that occurred during the centuries that followed it.
What is the Varus Disaster anyway? I’ve never heard of it.
Decisive battle between German tribes and Romans (a crushing defeat for the Romans…) which basically stopped Roman colonization at the the Rhine.
Thx for this.
“Caledonia for Scotland makes no sense to me”
I don’t believe that the scots, or at least their linguistic forbears, even live in Scotland at this time. They would come later from Ireland.
” Iberia for the Caucasus makes no sense either, as Iberia usually means the Spanish Peninsula nowadays”
I believe that an older name for the Georgian kingdom was Iberia. I think at a different time they went by Colchis too. There was also a Caucasian Albania that has nothing to do with the Balkan Albania.
“Sarmatia is Russia; this means nothing to me”
The Sarmatians were an Iranian nomad group that conquered the South Russian Steppe. They dislodged the Scythians. There is debate as to whether the slavs were even in the area at this time. The slavic urheimat was apparently located in the Carpathian Mountains. There is debate as to the exact time of their spread. George Vernadsky in his book “Origins of Russia” thinks that the Scythians had conquered the area (200 BC) before the slavs started to spread. He supports this by saying that southern and eastern slavic mythology has iranian elements. There are others who say that the slavs have been there longer. Herodotus mentions “Scythian plowmen” in his Histories. Some think that these are early slavs. Some Ukrainian naitonalists go further and claim the Trypillian culture as theirs. Anyway the Sarmatians controlled the area until the Goths arrived. They were dislodged by the Huns. Gothic lived on in Crimea until just a few centuries ago. Iranian cultural influences from the Scythians and Sarmatians lived on in Russia until the middle ages.
” for some reason, is Mauritania – is this a reference to “Moors”
Yes. So is Morocco, I believe.
” I don’t even know what the Varus adventure is”
You’ve never heard of the Battle of Teutonburg Forest? Where Arminius (Hermann to the Germans) defeated the Romans? That’s surprising. What I’ve always wondered was if the dutch name “armin” comes from Arminius.
“and I’ve never heard of Agricola”
It appears that Tacitus also believed in an early form of the “noble savage theory”.