The four kingdoms prophesied by the four parts of the great statue in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream are fairly easy to identify. Like Daniel said to Nebuchadnezzar, he (ie Babylon) is the head of gold (Daniel 2:38). Daniel continues by identifying the chest of silver as "another kingdom" which will arise. This is the Persian/Median empire which, under Cyrus the Great, overcame and replaced Babylon. Cyrus took the city of Babylon in 538 BC. The Persian kingdom ruled from present-day Turkey and Egypt all the way to Afghanistan and Pakistan. In 335 BC, Alexander the Great crossed from Greece into Asia Minor, and within two years he conquered the entire Persian empire. Alexander and his successors were the belly and thighs of bronze. The next world power to rule over the Near East was Rome. They finally defeated the last of the successors of Alexander, Cleopatra, in AD 32 after the battle of Actium. Rome is the fourth kingdom, the one which breaks and smashes everything. Like Daniel prophesied, this fourth kingdom was amazingly powerful and durable, yet eventually it became a divided kingdom (Daniel 2:41). Rome divided once and for all in AD 395 under Theodosian. Western Rome was brittle, falling to the barbarians withing 70 years of the division, but Eastern Rome endured for over one thousand years. This, too, was prophesied by Daniel in wonderful detail. As God prophesied through Daniel, during the time of those (ie the Roman) kings, God would establish a kingdom which would never fall. This is the coming of the kingdom which occurred at Pentecost (Acts 2). So the entire prophecy was fulfilled in astonishing agreement with the dream given by God to Nebuchadnezzar and interpreted by Daniel. All this is found, by the way, in my book Daniel, Prophet to the Nations, available at www.ipibooks.com.
John Oakes, PhD