31 images of the world's greatest cities before they were cities

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Brooklyn_Museum_ _Evening_Shower_at_Nihonbashi_Bridge,_from_Celebrated_Places_in_the_Eastern_Capital_(Toto_Meisho)_ _Utagawa_Hiroshige_(Ando)_ _overall

Wikimedia Commons

A woodcut of Tokyo before it was Tokyo, 1850s.

Like all living things, cities have lifespans.

Some, like Paris, are ancient - over 2,000 years old. Others are adolescent in comparison, like Sydney, at just over 200 years old.

Here are the maps, paintings, and old-time photographs that show the journeys of our greatest cities.

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