This is a fairly subjective list based primarily on Modelski's data .
The globe mapping is courtesy of the outstanding D3.js.
Jericho has traces of human habitation dating back to 9000 ʙᴄ.
Çatalhöyük existed from approximately 7500 ʙᴄ to 5700 ʙᴄ.
Eridu was founded c.5400 ʙᴄ, abandoned for long periods, before it was finally deserted c.600 ʙᴄ.
Uruk was an ancient Sumerian walled city of 6 km², once rules over by Gilgamesh.
Ur was another Sumerian city which rose to prominence when its king defeated that of nearby Uruk.
Yinxu was the capital of China during the Shang dynasty (1766-1122 ʙᴄ), but only rediscovered in 1899 ᴀᴅ.
Pi-Ramesses was a new capital built by the Pharaoh Ramesses II (1279-1213 ʙᴄ) near the old site of Avaris.
It was abandoned c.1060 ʙᴄ when a Nile branch silted up, changed course and left the city without water.
Thebes, now known as Luxor, became the largest city after the decline of Pi-Ramesses.
Xi'an is the oldest of the Four Great Ancient Capitals of China (Beijing, Nanjing, Luoyang and Xi'an).
In 770 ʙᴄ, the capital was moved to Luoyang due to political unrest.
Babylon in ancient Mesopotamia was originally founded c.2300 ʙᴄ and finally abandoned c.1000 ᴀᴅ after the Muslim conquest of Persia.
Xiadu was one of the capitals of Yan during the Warring States period.
Carthage fell into decline as a result of the Punic Wars (264-146 ʙᴄ).
Alexandria became the largest city c.500 ʙᴄ with a population of 600,000.
It was the first city to reach one million inhabitants.
Rome surpassed Alexandria c.1 ᴀᴅ.
Constantinople became the largest city after the decline of the Roman Empire.
Xi'an (population 1,000,000 in 700 ᴀᴅ) is the only city on this list to reclaim the title of most populous.
Baghdad was founded in 762 ᴀᴅ as the new capital of the Abbasid Caliphate, just north of Ctesiphon and ancient Babylon.
Hangzhou grew as the result of commercial and administrative activities together with an influx of refugees from the Mongol invasion to the north.
Nanjing became the capital of the Ming dynasty in 1368 ᴀᴅ after the overthrow of the Mongol Yuan dynasty.
However, Beijing became the capital of a more unified China in 1420 ᴀᴅ.
Another contributory factor in the reduction in urban populations may have been outbreaks of plague.
Ayutthaya was founded in 1351 ᴀᴅ by King U-thong of Siam.
It was destroyed by the Burmese army in 1767 ᴀᴅ.
Beijing, previously Peking, has consistently been one of the largest cities in the world since the fifteen-century.
London become the first city to reach two million inhabitants.
New York was the first urban area to reach ten million inhabitants.
Tokyo was the first urban area to reach twenty and thirty million inhabitants.
It is also likely to be the first to forty million.