Throughout history, powerful nations have attempted to extend their spheres of influence by invading the lands surrounding them. While some efforts have been fruitless, others have resulted in the emergence of true empires. Almost every era and every region has had its significant empire, and each has hastened man's passage to modernity, leading the way in social, political, and economic developments. This exquisitely illustrated book features specially commissioned cartography and full-color photographs that locate each empire and place it in its historical context; contemporary letters, documents, speeches, and literature that bring to life each historical period; and a continuous timeline of dates and events. From the ancient Akkad Empire of Iraq to the modern superpower, the Atlas of Empireschronicles the rise and fall of history's most powerful civilizations.