This is a pretty rad flash video, about 90 seconds, that scrolls from 3000BC to (AD)2006, showing the various empires that have ruled the Middle East (which really should revert back to being called Arabia for political and lexicological reasons). The map expands as necessary to show the Occident or the Orient for the Roman and European empires, or the Mongolian.
It's really interesting not just to see the warring cultures and their land acquisitions in a really short time, but also to see all the major empires high school and college never touched on. F'rinstance, I'm the smallest bit schooled on Saladin, but what was the Sassanid Empire? They replaced Byzantium in most of Arabia. And the Seljuk Empire? C'mon, public education, if this video can brief me on the basics in two minutes, you can give me at least Wikipedia-depth info over the course of my 13-year tenure wiv you.
Anyways, watch it.