From its earliest beginnings thousands of years ago, the course of man's progress has been measured by his empires. Large, dynamic flows of power, people, and culture that merge, thrive, then break apart the pieces only to merge again in a new configuration, the process to be repeated. Through pictures and words, EMPIRES: Their Rise and Fall brings the reader face to face with twentyeight of the world's greatest empires. Full-color photographs over 300 per volume are combined with an absorbing narrative in a lively historical account of each empire and an examination of the period's most enduring cultural achievements. Revealing historical anecdotes and pictorial explorations of little-known facets of daily life provide fascinating insights into the lives of the ruling elite and ordinary men and women throughout the centuries. This series will be of interest not only to students of history and art but also to the armchair traveler wishing to embark on a journey through five continents and 5000 years of civilization. Here is but a small sampling of the empires you'll find richly profiled in this fascinating series: Imperial Rome Considered by many to be history's greatest empire, Rome began as the humble con- vergence of a few small villages on the Tiber River and eventually encompassed more than two million square miles. At its height the power of Rome spread from Britain in the northwest across the Mediterranean and through the Middle East to the Persian Gulf. In its contributions to our languages, cultures, and customs, no other empire has had greater impact on our lives today.