The Middle East is a transcontinental region that is represented by the modern day countries of Iraq, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Israel, Jordan, and Iran. Before 500 AD the Middle East saw the rise and fall of five major empires, Babylon, Persia, Alexander the Great, Parthia, and Rome. The region was split between Roman and Persian rule by 500 AD. Despite the strength of each of these empires, there are very few remaining marks of any of these empires on the culture of the Middle East.
The Roman empire that had controlled most of known civilization began to decline around 300 AD. By 500 AD the Eastern Roman Empire was all that was left. This region became known as the Byzantine Empire and remained in power for almost a Millennium. Following the decline of Rome, Islam emerged around 700 AD in the Middle East. Muslim Caliphates or Sultanates began spreading and eroding the Byzantine Empire.
The Crusaders from Europe were able to carve out a small coastal region called the Crusader states in the Jewish and Christian holy land. The Muslims in the Middle East were eventually united by the Ottoman Empire. The Ottoman Empire overthrew the Byzantine Empire in 1453, and spread into parts of Eastern Europe.
The Middle East was and is a very important part of history and how the world is the way it is today.