While empires may have originated along rivers, once the necessary military technology and the proper economic foundations were developed, empires soon expanded beyond their river valley homes. Eventually, many of the these empire would develop extensive trade and cultural contacts.
- 550-323 BC: Persian Empire
- 250 BC-AD 225: Parthian Empire
- 323-146 BC: Hellenistic Kingdoms
- 146 BC-AD1453: Rome and Byzantium
- AD 226-642: Sassanid Persia
- ca. 322-185 BC: Mauryan Empire
- AD 320-540: Gupta Empire
- AD 25--220: Later Han dynasty
- 581-618: Sui Dynasty
- 618-907: Tang Dynasty
- 960-1126: Northern Song Dynasty
- 1127-1279: Southern Song Dynasty
- 300-700: The Kingdom of Axum
- c. 900: Beginnings of the Sudanese kingdoms.
- c. 900-1100: The Kingdom of Ghana
- c. 1200-1450: The Kingdom of Mali.
- 900s-1400s: Great Zimbabwe
- c. 1450: Oyo Empire is founded.
- 1460-1591: Songhai Empire.
Text copyright 1996-9 by David W. Koeller. All rights reserved.