The history of the Middle East over the past 500 yearshttp://www.timemaps.com/history/middle-east-1000bc or so has been one of imperial powers following one anotherhttp://www.timemaps.com/history-middle-east#4 in succession: first the Assyrians, then the Babylonians and Medes, and now the Persian empire, the largest state in the history of the Ancient World. This now covers the entire region and beyond. The Lydians, Phrygians and Ionian Greeks of Asia Minor,http://www.timemaps.com/history/turkey-500bc the Phoenicians and Jews (newly restored to their homeland) of Syria and the Levant,http://www.timemaps.com/history/syria-500bc the Egyptians,http://www.timemaps.com/history/ancient-egypt-500bc the Babylonians of Mesopotamia,http://www.timemaps.com/history/iraq-500bc and the different Iranianhttp://www.timemaps.com/history/iran-500bc peoples, are now all under one regime.
This succession of great empires – and the policy that the Assyrians and Babylonians pursued of re-settling conquered peoples in scattered groups throughout their territories – has resulted in the upheaval of populations on a vast scale. As a result, old languages have vanished and Aramaean has become the lingua-franca of the region. With its simple-to-learn alphabet, this has greatly stimulated international trade and inter-regional communications.
Middle Eastern civilization, by now three millennia old in its Mesopotamian heartland, has reached new heights.
ORIGINAL SOURCE: timemaps.com