10 Greatest Empires in the History of World

An empire involves the extension of a state’s sovereignty over external territories. the greatness of an empire is based on the extent, population, economy, duration and many other factors such as type of rule and government, satisfaction by its people etc. The calculation of the land area of a particular empire is controversial. In general, the sequence in list centers on all the aspects that make an empire mighty, strong and progressive and all the factors as mentioned that make a kingdom great.


10. Akkadian Empire (2300 BC–2200 BC)

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The Akkadian Empire (2334 BC to 2083 BC) was an empire centered in the city of Akkad and its surrounding region (in Ancient Iraq). The Akkadian state was the predecessor of the ethnic Akkadian states of Babylonia and Assyria; formed following centuries of Akkadian cultural synergy with others, it reached the height of its power between the 24th and 22nd centuries BC following the conquests of king Sargon of Akkad, and is sometimes regarded as the first manifestation of an empire in history.

  • It was the first empire to manifest on the earth.
  • It reached record breaking size of its time and is considered the largest empire of dark ancient era – 0.8 million km2 (2250 BC)


9. Achaemenid Empire (550 BC–330 BC)

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The Achaemenid Empire (ca. 550–330 BC), also known as the Persian Empire , was the successor state of the Median Empire, ruling over significant portions of what would become Greater Iran. The Persian and the Median Empire taken together are also known as the Medo-Persian Empire , which encompassed the combined territories of several earlier empires. The empire was forged by Cyrus the Great, and spanned three continents: Asia, Africa and Europe. At its greatest extent, the empire included the territories of Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan, parts of Central Asia, Asia Minor, Thrace and Macedonia, much of the Black Sea coastal regions, Iraq, northern Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Palestine, Israel, Lebanon, Syria, and all significant population centers of ancient Egypt as far west as Libya. It is noted in western history as the foe of the Greek city states during the Greco-Persian Wars, for emancipation of slaves including the Jews from their Babylonian captivity, and for instituting the usage of official languages throughout its territories. The Achaemenid Persian empire was invaded by Alexander III of Macedon, after which it collapsed and disintegrated in 330 BC into what later became the Ptolemaic Kingdom and Seleucid Empire, in addition to other minor territories which gained independence after its collapse.

  • It was the largest empire in ancient history. At the height of its power, the empire encompassed approximately 8 million km2
  • In universal history the role of the Persian empire founded by Cyrus the Great lies in their very successful model for centralized administration and a government working to the advantage and profit of all.


8. Roman Empire ( 27 BC–AD 476/1453)

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The Roman Empire was the post-Republican phase of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean. The Roman Republic, which preceded it, had been weakened and subverted through several civil wars.Several events are commonly proposed to mark the transition from Republic to Empire, including Julius Caesar’s appointment as perpetual dictator (44 BC), the Battle of Actium (2 September 31 BC), and the Roman Senate’s granting to Octavian the honorific Augustus (4 January 27 BC). Roman expansion began in the days of the Republic, but reached its zenith under Emperor Trajan. At this territorial peak, the Roman Empire controlled approximately 6.5 million km² of land surface. Because of the Empire’s vast extent and long endurance, Roman influence upon the language, religion, architecture, philosophy, law, and government of nations around the world lasts to this day.

  • The powers of an emperor existed, in theory at least, by virtue of his “tribunician powers”  and his “proconsular powers”  In theory, the tribunician powers made the emperor’s person and office sacrosanct, and gave the emperor authority over Rome’s civil government, including the power to preside over and to control the Senate. The proconsular powers  gave him authority over the Roman army.
  • Roman Empire achieved great territorial gains in both the East and the West. It had one of the strongest armies recorded.
  • The enduring Roman influence is reflected pervasively in contemporary language, literature, legal codes, government, architecture, engineering, medicine, sports, arts, etc. Much of it is so deeply inbedded that we barely notice our debt to ancient Rome. Consider language, for example. Fewer and fewer people today claim to know Latin — and yet, go back to the first sentence in this paragraph. If we removed all the words drawn directly from Latin, that sentence would read; “The.”


7. Umayyad Caliphate (661–750)

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A caliphate is the Islamic form of government representing the political unity and leadership of the Muslim world. The Caliph’s position is based on the notion of a successor to Muhammad’s political authority. According to Sunnis, a Caliph can be any pious Muslim who is elected by the Muslims or their representatives; and according to Shia Islam, an Imam descended in a line from the Ahl al-Bayt.

The Umayyad Caliphate was the second of the four Islamic caliphates established after the death of Muhammad (PBUH). It was ruled by the Umayyad dynasty, whose name derives from Umayya ibn Abd Shams, the great-grandfather of the first Umayyad caliph. Although the Umayyad family originally came from the city of Mecca, Damascus was the capital of their Caliphate. Eventually, it would cover more than five million square miles, making it the largest empire the world had yet seen. The Umayyads established the largest Arab-Muslim state in history. From the time of prophet Muhammad until 1924, successive and contemporary caliphates were held by various dynasties, including the Rashidun Caliphate of the first four caliphs after Muhammad, the Umayyads based in Damascus and Córdoba, the Abbasids based in Baghdad & later in Cairo, the Fatimids based in Cairo, and finally the Turkish Ottoman Empire based in Istanbul.

  • Ummayads had the best administration system the world had yet seen. To assist the Caliph in administration there were six Boards at the Centre: Diwan al-Kharaj (the Board of Revenue), Diwan al-Rasa’il (the Board of Correspondence), Diwan al-Khatam (the Board of Signet), Diwan al-Barid (the Board of Posts), Diwan al-Qudat (Board of Justice) and Diwan al-Jund (the Military Board).
  • Fifth largest contiguous empire to ever exist.
  • Modern Arab nationalism regards the period of the Umayyads as part of the Arab Golden Age.


6. Qing Dynasty (1890–1912)

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The Qing Dynasty was the last ruling dynasty of China, ruling from 1644 to 1912 (with a brief, abortive restoration in 1917). It was preceded by the Ming Dynasty and followed by the Republic of China. The dynasty was founded by the Manchu clan Aisin Gioro in what is today northeast China, (also known as Manchuria). Starting in 1644 it expanded into China proper and its surrounding territories, establishing the Empire of the Great Qing. Complete pacification of China was accomplished around 1683.The Qing Dynasty was overthrown following the Xinhai Revolution, when the Empress Dowager Longyu abdicated on behalf of the last emperor, Puyi, on February 12, 1912.

  • During its reign the Qing Dynasty became highly integrated with Chinese culture.
  • The dynasty reached its height in the 18th century, during which both territory and population were increased.
  • It covered an immense area of  14.7 million km2 (1790) making it the 5th largest according to land mass.
  • It had the 4th largest %age of world’s GDP i.e 32.9% ($228.6 billion out of $694.4 billion in 1820)

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151 thoughts on “10 Greatest Empires in the History of World

  1. As seen in wikipedia (apparently your source).

    All empires at their greatest extent
    British Empire – 33.7 million km2 (1922)[2]
    Mongol Empire – 33.0 million km2 (1270 or 1309)[3][4]
    Russian Empire – 23.7 million km2 (1866)[3][4]
    Spanish Empire – 20.0 million km2 (ca. 1740-1790)[5]
    Qing Empire, China – 14.7 million km2 (1790)[3][4]
    Yuan Dynasty – 14.0 million km2 (1310)[4]
    Umayyad Caliphate – 13.0 million km2 (720 or 750)[6]
    Second French Colonial Empire – 12.3 million km2 (1938)[5]
    Abbasid Caliphate – 11.1 million km2 (750)[4]
    Portuguese Empire – 10.4 million km2 (1815)[5]

    Is there any reason to modify the list?

  2. The British empire is without doubt the biggest and best empire ever founded and should not be classed below any other.

  3. For some reason I feel like I need to disagree that the U.S. is not an empire. In terms of this list you’re correct (ie geographic conquests) but the U.S. asserts an authority over the rest of the world at present that has never existed before.

    Obviously we are in a different times than when these empires existed, and I argue that the definition of a global empire needs revision.

    Geographically and even Militarily the U.S. may not be a dominant global force (the latter may be in question) but diplomatically and economically the U.S. wields considerably more power than any other nation on the planet.

    One might argue that China wields more economic power than the U.S. solely on the basis of economic activity, and while China is an emerging manufacturing force, the U.S. remains the premier global financial center for better or for worse.

    I argue that the U.S. is the newest in a long line of global empires, but that they fulfill a definition very different from empires past.

  4. Exactly because the greatness of an empire is multifactorial, the Byzantine Empire should be in the list. The reason? Not only it was large, powerful and of enormous influence to the area it covered, it also was the longest standing empire ever. From the formation of the Eastern Roman Empire till Contantinople fell to the Ottomans, 1000 years passed. So please, reconsider…

  5. isn’t it the east roman empire which ended in 1453 when istanbul had conquered by fatih sultan mehmet (Ottoman Empire)?

  6. The British Empire created the modern world. The Industrial Revolution began in Great Britain and through it’s empire spread across the globe. I would create a different list looking like this: 1. British Empire 2. Alexandrian Empire 3. Akkadian Empire 4. Abbasid Caliphate 5. Roman Empire 6. Gupta Empire 7. Egyptian Old Kingdom 8. Portuguese Empire 9. Han Dynasty 10. Mongol Empire

  7. The American empire is the largest in the modern age. Not with their armies but by their cultural influence through internet over all nations and societies. They have subdued individuals families societies etc etc. Modern empire is not an empire lands and territories but of power over minds and money. Dimensions of concepts are changing.

  8. I think drawing up such a list is difficult, but clearly the British Empire is the ‘greatest’ and, like all empires, was carried out with cruelty and sacrifice. It was only in its later years that those in power began to see it was wrong morally. However, it is, far and away, the greatest empire the world has ever seen because of its worldwide spread. It’s influence carries on today even.

    As for the comments on the US ’empire’ I’m afraid some people aren’t thinking straight. The US isn’t an ’empire’, but it does have considerable influence across the world. However, I wouldn’t say this is “cultural” but based on something less tangible, such as technology and politics.

  9. U cant give the whole credit of Industrial revolution to Great Britain.It was part of Renaissance which covered larger geography and varied reason behind it.Thought I’m not denying the positive attributes of British but you have take into consideration that British were sadistic despot who treated their subjects worse than a person treats his/her animals.And in that context British Empire does not fit into the top position u r mentioning.

  10. depending on how you define empire ( generally one government who expands its territory by economic and military means, controls protectorates and territories, uses it’s governmental style to push itself onto others, et cetera) then, yes the USA is considered an empire. This article’s first sentence even includes it : “An empire involves the extension of a state’s sovereignty over external territories.”

  11. This “influence” arguement you see left wingers use to make people think the US = empire. Why not just include The Beatles? Weren’t they more popular then Jesus?

    An Empire CANNOT describe a Constitutional Republic by definition, sheesh…

    Funny that liberal professors hate making the same argument for this lovely piece of history because they believed in it. However, sorry Stalin, communistic goverments like USSR…not an empire either!

    What about the Holy Roman CC??? Sorry no empire. They do not follow hereditary rule for their “single polity” and follow an Episcopal structure.

  12. It’s my opinion that the British empire was by far the greatest of all. Not only for the extent of their holdings, but also because they brought the modern world upon us and pioneered the industrial revolution.
    But also, no Spain, no Portugal, no Macedonian (Greek – Alexander)????
    This list needs serious review..

  13. You make a very good point. Our concepts of world power need to be changed. It isn’t so much about actual land territory or population like it was 100 years ago. Nowadays, the half the world eats burgers, drinks coke and watches Dr Phil. No one can say that the United States doesn’t push it’s cultural influence across the globe.

  14. I tottaly agree that Macedonian empire if not bigest is indeed one of the biggest, having Filip II of Macedon and Alexander as kings should definitely be on the list.

  15. Ottoman empire existed in the darkest ages of Europe. Christians and Jews were living freely in their religion and nationality under Ottoman rule meanwhile even Chirstians were suffering under the rule of church in europe(when peope were being killed without judging if they were not Christian or if they say something church don’t like for church’s benefits). i mean Ottoman empire fits perfectly to number one for the multifactoria reasons of this page.

  16. Portuguese empire

    -It was the 10th-largest empire ever.
    -It was one of the longest, with more than 500 years (1415-1999)
    -It was the very first oversea empire.
    -The country still exists nowadays and is the 5th oldest country in the world.
    It’s one of the most politically stable nations of all time (no major changes in the constitution, form of government, civil wars, rebellions, etc.);
    -Have whit Spain the oldest unchanged land border ever (since 1817 after the French invasion)

  17. the spanish empire wasnt shown becuase size was its only ” special feature”. economically, culturally, and politically it was all backwards. Cuklturally it was middle age based. Politicall it wa feudal based. Its cultural backwardsneess of a sole religion chased away most jews and islamic people, which were the backbone of iberia economically and empirically. After that , it went into a dark age just like the rest of europe after the fall of the roman empire. after the fall of the Caliphate, iberia went backwards in advancement. The sole purpose why spain was so huge was becuase they found a people who were surprisely far less technologically inferior

  18. Great documentary of the Ottoman Empire from the History Channel. Offers a pretty balanced view. Even though I object to it’s outlook of the tragic event of 1915 which it calls “Armenian genocide” it does state afterward, that “though it was a genocide, in no way should the Ottoman Empire be defined by this incident.” It states that the Ottoman Empire was incredibly tolerant of people of different cultural and religious backgrounds. It also states that after the decline of the Ottoman Empire, those who gained from its decline (France, England and Russia) went on a huge anti Ottoman/Turk campaign to aid their own political agendas of gaining control of the new lands. This unfortunate political strategy fueled by hatred has resulted in much conflict and tainted much of the western worlds view of Turks and Muslims.


  19. The Roman Empire was also a great one but don’t underplay the significance of the Ottoman Empire, read up on your history.

  20. No Babylonian Empire? It was the longest running and far greater than the Medo-Persian. For wealth, it was hard to beat.

  21. and largest Mongol Empire ,not British never could control their colonize all same time and also Australian desert , Canadian ice or Antarctica how many people lives there ?????

  22. As a IR professional, I think the best would be to evaluate greatness of the empires to certain criterions. My criterion would be an empire who made the greatest material and non-material influence all over the world(rather than than sheer area criterion) and left permenant institutions and a cultural heritage. Although I am from a non-British empire nation which is widely debated here , I would say that British Empire was all time greatest empire far from all controversions. Thanks to its preeminet maritime power status, the British managed to have felt its existence all over the world from the Far East to Latin America. Withstanding its being a colonial power, it brougt permenant institutions to the territories controlled by itself,such as the application Common Law. It made its language lingua franca among its colonies and as a result Commonwealth still continues to exist even if is remains on paper. British achieved to utilize from technology and managed to spread its civilization to the most remote places in the world like Fiji.No doubt,we are talking about empires and every empire means blood.

  23. ”The Ottoman Empire was, in principle, tolerant towards Christians and Jews.”

    Because of this, the Ottoman Empire lasted for long time, otherwise you can’t keep lots of nations under one empire for that long time. Leave your prejudice at the door.

  24. In Africa, there is a saying. they say “when white people (Britons) came here, they had Bibles in their hands and we had our land. they wanted us to close our eyes and when we opened our eyes, we had Bible in our hands and they had our land”.

  25. First off I think who ever decided to put Ottomans as number one should read up on this.



    There is plenty in these articles to depose the Ottomans from what you have presented above.

    I think this is one of the most subjective and prejudiced subjects you could ever discuss. What ever the result is it will be idiocentric. In this case it’s written by an American your only shallow conclusion was to look upon your former British masters and creators with denigration. This is evident from your wording. I won’t Nitpick your viewpoints as it will take far too long.

    I think it is an entirely fair viewpoint to classify the Americans as an empire due to the huge number of intangible and tangible qualifiers that they meet or would meet on the subject. At the very least Superpower which no American would deny they are is synonymous with the concept of “empire” the two are just nouns they have no meaning apart from whatever connotation YOU apply to it.

    In conclusion my view is that no “empire” is “number 1” so all that is left is to classify according to total land mass assimilated, cultural and lexical projection & legacy and total number of people ruled so at the very least you have no choice but to classify the Chinese, Spanish English and Arabic as the biggest influences on the modern world.

    Every empire in history has dished out its lashings of brutality to subjugate the people they annex or to fuel the growth of their respective objectives. So you shouldn’t take that into account.

    “There is no king who has not had a slave among his ancestors, and no slave who has not had a king among his.” – Helen Keller.

  26. Hard to agree with the Ottoman empire being the biggest in history. The British Empire still exists actually. The Queen is the head of state in many countries around the world and you could probably argue that the british (cultural) torch was past to the Americans in recent times. I personally consider the American “empire” to be the ultimate ancestor of the Greek empire… which was astonishingly not on the list. The Greek empire was picked up by the Romans which moved to Western Europe via the Catholic church, which evolved into the British Empire which created America. It’s difficult to compare the American “empire” in the same terms as the others because it’s so young and hasn’t expanded its physical boundaries. However it is undoubtedly the largest culturally dominate empire the world has ever seen… for better or worse :)

  27. The Greek empire was never one of the greatest because Alexander didn’t create an empire, he conquered one that was already existed and was created hundreds of years earlier by Cyrus the Great of Persia. Upon Alexander’s death in his early 30’s after many military conquests, the Greeks fell apart into different kingdoms rather than a unified well run empire. So the Greeks didn’t create or even teach the world how to create or run a world empire. The others on this list did in fact stand the test of time. Greek culture was more important contribution than their empire. Alexander was a great military conqueror but was not revered as an empire builder or ruler.

  28. Yes, what you say is true, but it was at the cost of many lives and happiness. The British Empire certainly did not have a happy reign over it’s countries and reduced them all to shambles when they were forced to leave. The consequence is still evident today.

  29. All great empires fall , we are now at the beginning of the end of the American empire ,Read “Confessions of an economic Hitman ” By John Perkins , Economic hit men (EHMs) are highly-paid professionals who cheat countries around the globe out of trillions of dollars. They funnel money from the World Bank, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and other foreign “aid” organizations into the coffers of huge corporations and the pockets of a few wealthy families who control the planet’s natural resources. Their tools included fraudulent financial reports, rigged elections, payoffs, extortion, sex, and murder. They play a game as old as empire, but one that has taken on new and terrifying dimensions during this time of globalization.

  30. Our main mistake in considiration is TIME,and we as human have only 70-80 year life time.Closing the events in this respect is nonethless.The other issue please kindly evaluate the wars between Ottomans and Europe.All European Countries clusters together to destroy Ottomans in all wars ,but in most of the wars especially west European sides Ottomans used only one nation?Their origins .And they never employed the Arabs,Africans for their Europe wars.But there were so many Arab and african scientist flourished.If you evaluate the history with non prejudice you would surprise so much.And Ottomans has the advanced Juridical and Social ,and Technical progress in their time. And also advanced democracy.Today if you visit Istanbul you would see Sinegogs,Churchs,and mosques with together.And every nation were the part of Ottomans not slaves.You may not convinced but that is the reality.

  31. HA. The ottomans were only around for 7 centuries. Well the Romans were on the globe for over 2000 years, ending with the fall of the Byzantines. Rome should be no.1 without a doubt.

  32. The persians were the first people to establish an empire. Their empire lasted the longest and was the biggest…most importantly, they were the first ones to do it. The stupid ottomans and the romans copied it. The ottomans took their empire from the arabs.

  33. Is that order just a ramdom order or what he thinks the order of which was most powerfull if so british empire should be no.1 since it was the greatest empire throughout history and nobody has compared to it british empire covered over quater of the worlds land a population a lot more than the ottoman empire

  34. Now Hoooooldon.
    If it weren’t for the roman empire we all would be seriously short on alot of things.
    Language is a good example Tons of Words and languages are based off latin.
    And Medical science thats quite the story too. the instruments were Greek, but the surgery was Roman.
    Heck Roman surgeons did anything as long as you had the money.
    and what about Concrete? The Romans practically made the stuff famous. heck they even invented reinforced concrete too.
    Then we have the aquaducts seriously they are still around after some of them have been standing close to 2000 years.
    So anyone here calling the Roman Empire Bad?
    Also take this into consideration: How many people lived on the planet when the Romans ruled compared to when for instance the Ottoman empire stood? let me do the math. In 117AD the roman empire contained at an estimate 88 million people while the ottoman empire contained at it’s most in 1856 an estimated amount of 35 million 350 thousand people. Now that’s alot of people for the Romans to keep under controll and that with only about 150 thousand legionaries
    So the Roman empire really should be way higher up on that list at least under the British one.

  35. Theres to be strong
    to be smart
    to be almost immortal

    İf you have all of those your no1

    Romans were almost immortal but got killed by strength,So Ottomans, Romans made everything around us today but not alone,They copied other cultures and putted it to one, The Ottomans came from far away dealing with Chinese Russians and arabs, The strongest races of the world, Romans didn’t migrate ever and fixed their wars in political ways, That’s how Ottoman empire didn’t finish the Roman empire right after 1300s, But in 1450’s, Romans were smart, Ottomans were strong.

  36. Lol ottomasn, really?? i mean they were strong but have nothing to do against Romans, guess a turkass made this list
    S.P.Q.R. !!!!!!

  37. Sorry guys, but you have to consider the circumstances the empires were founded in. Nearly every inch of Roman empire was obtained through blood, sweat, or intellectual ingenuity. The ottomans simply built off of earlier Muslim empires. They were a strong empire no doubt, but they should be around number 9, and Rome should be number 1, honestly. And the Muslim caliphates had veeerrrryy loose control over their large empires (also Mongols) while Rome kept a firm hand and imposed order and law on all their empire until their decline

  38. This list is completely wrong.
    1-Roman Empire
    2-Mongol Empire
    3-British Empire
    4-Russian Empire
    5-Persian Empire
    6-Mughal Empire
    7-Ottoman Empire
    8-Holy Roman Empire
    9-Umayyad Caliphate
    10- French Empire

  39. Qing Dynasty? For real? You skip the Han and the Tang and the Ming, but go with the Qing? The guys who defunded China’s world class navy, opening the door to European dominance of the Asian seas?

  40. just wondering if anyone here ever heard of the Portuguese empire???? you know… the ones that discovered the Americas??? wiki is our friend guys… :))

  41. French Empire?? Such an empire really existed in history??never heard of it

    Here is my list:
    1- Roman Empire (alone in her category, a real dominant empire)
    2- British Empire (ruled globally)
    3- Ottoman Empire (lasted more than 6 centuries, not as easy as it sounds)
    4- Russian Empire (because they really made ottomans and europeans suffer)
    5- Persian Empire (because it only lasted 200 years)

    don’t care the rest..

  42. I disagree with the list. What about the Macedonian Empire under the the legendary Alexander the Great?? He conquered the KNOWN world in 13 years!!!! I think he should be at least be in the top 10.

  43. 1.The first empire was built in China. Qinshihuang, a Chinese first called himself emperor in human history.
    2.The biggest empire was built in China.
    3.The longest-time of empire was also in East Asia.
    4.2000 years ago, Han(traditional Chinese) people fought with each other with millions of army, while Roman Empire, same period, has 50,000 army at most.
    5. for 2000 years, there are always an empire in east Asian built by Chinese. And chinese was only totally defeated 2 times by Ethnic minorities which was Qing dynasty and Mongol dynasty.
    6. The map of Mongol Empire is wrong. The biggest empire’s name was Yuan dynasty. You can google this.

    Your list has only 2 ethnic minorities of China, nothing to do with Chinese Han people? That’s ridiculous. China went down in recent 2 hundred years, but before this time, you can google : Zhou dynasty, Qin dynasty, Tang Dynasty, Yuan dynasty, Song dynast, Qing dynasty, Ming dynasty.

  44. A well done list, but unfortunately both points are wrong.

    1. The Ottoman’s control over many parts of their empire, especially at the extremities, consisted of a handful of Turkish taxmen, Turkish merchants, and Turkish slave-soldiers. It was not as dissimilar from British control as you might think.

    2. When the Ottoman Empire was crumbling during World War II, Turkish forces massacred millions of their Bulgarian, Greek, Assyrian, Arab, and Armenian subjects. I realize that you are Turkish and this was probably not taught in your school.

    No empire in world history has a guiltless record: the Brits have the Peterloo Massacre, the Americans have Kent State, and the Romans their own share. But the Turkish Empire was a purely military empire that took its heritage from the Mongols and was therefore based on exploitation through threat of force. That is why, despite its longevity, it did not have nearly the impact on global culture as did the Roman, Han, Umayyad, or British empires.

  45. If Great Alexander was in the same period with the Suleyman the Magnificent( just read why he is…), he would pray for him instead of sculptures.

    True story

  46. but anyway i guess you are right roman empire should be at least top five but you know its not so easy but you should be thankfully about that et least it is in top ten

  47. by the way to my opinion The Hun Empire should be no.1 without a doubt. and romes are definetaly should be in top 100 biggest empires without a doubt

  48. totally agree

    “Theres to be strong
    to be smart
    to be almost immortal

    İf you have all of those your no1

    Romans were almost immortal but got killed by strength,So Ottomans, Romans made everything around us today but not alone,They copied other cultures and putted it to one, The Ottomans came from far away dealing with Chinese Russians and arabs, The strongest races of the world, Romans didn’t migrate ever and fixed their wars in political ways, That’s how Ottoman empire didn’t finish the Roman empire right after 1300s, But in 1450′s, Romans were smart, Ottomans were strong.”

  49. You can say what you want. The purpose of any moslim empire was the spread of peace . you can beleive all the non-sense you hear, it is historic that christians have always hated moslims, no body was as ruthless as christians were when it came to war, the crusaders had always had a problem with moslims, always wanted to kill them and whenever they crusaded they were visious, merciless animals complete animals that were thirsty for blood. no empire brought as much knowledge, mercy and good way of living like the moslim empires did. some fell later and in a shorter time because they did not implement islamic law to its extent. however, best trade, commerce, law, knowledge, fabric, art and just an overall great way of life only came from the moslim empire. everyone else that nourished in education after only did so because the moslims started it and encouraged. enough doing injustice to islam, it is god’s religion, it was brought to save people, read things better before you judge this mercilessly. islam needs to be examined and studied first before you run off and use all the stupid assumptions that are purposely out there to hurt islam.
    islam is a way of life and a great one, look no further than the achievements of the moslim empires to realize what islam’s purpose and teachings were.

  50. If you look in to History correctly, Ottoman empire was taken from the Arabs. It was made up of several Turkish Tribes around the anatolian area. The most powerful was the osmanogullari family.

  51. mughal empire and the persians and de ottoman where real empires look at the lands whats british take sudan and look at the ottoman byzzatanym and mughal everything british french spain almost only had weak lands ottman was the best 6/7 centuries long they ruled with power and they where nice to cristin and jews its not easy as it sounds believe me to be nice to jews and the mongol where so strong the cinees made a freakin wall more than 1000 km then dont come with england and compare it with these empires and im not turkish im english

  52. the persians and de ottoman where real empires look at the lands whats british take sudan and look at the ottoman byzzatanym and mughal everything british french spain almost only had weak lands ottman was the best 6/7 centuries long they ruled with power and they where nice to cristin and jews its not easy as it sounds believe me to be nice to jews and the mongol where so strong the cinees made a freakin wall more than 1000 km then dont come with england and compare it with these empires and im english

  53. So many jalious people. Ottomans will always be n1 because they combined the best of everything. Arabs and other mussies try to steal turkish history. Don’t fall for that. We all see in what condition Jarabs are.

  54. You forget the Spanish empire, I will not say the greatest historical level because it would be very difficult to say but one of the largest, not only was America, also part of africa, south pacific, south-east of France, the Netherlands large part of Italy, and was the first world power to global level. He fronts while war with England-France-Italy-Inca-Maya-Turks.


  55. but ottoman empire take the most importent city of the world for a long time jeruzalem and constantinapool crossroads of the world and dont forget ummayad chapilate empire and ruled with peace over his land you can be jew moslim and cristus and in england you cant be what you want onl cristen and put al the weak countries away from the british empire then you see how little it was
    and the greece empire still where strong
    england people are bad people look now tho all tht counrties that they used (afrikan lands ) and them come talk

  56. Not ordered, as its silly to rank entities spanning nearly 4 thousand years. Rome, britain, han, ottoman, akkadian, Abbasid caliph, spanish, russian, ming, macedonian/mongol (im tempted to leave the last two out due to both barely outliving their “founder”, when they died soon their great empires split. Han was not an empire but was the destruction of it. Of course there is a ridiculous amount of biases on this page, “theyre greedy” they were this, and we ruled with unimpeachable piety and divinity”. To create an empire you must break moral axioms, there is no example otherwise.

  57. The Mongol Empire is the greatest empire in world history. It should be No.1
    It introduced so many new inventions that we use today. Also, the Mughal Empire is from the Mongol Empire and also the turks came from the Mongols therefore, the Ottoman Empire, and Mughal Empire both belong to the Mongol Empire.

  58. The Roman Army, though great at its peak, had a nasty habbit of tearing itself apart…..Any empire that goes through 3 emperors in a singal year sure as hell isnt smart.
    Personally I would say that his list is fairly accrate but it is all down to pesonal opinion…..

  59. ottoman empire .. is great. A great empire ruled 3 continents. Sultan Suleyman, Mehmed II .. I admire the Ottoman Empire..

  60. What the hell are you on about. Go check the history of wars between the Greeks and the Turks. You will find there has been ALOT of wars which most have been won by Turks.
    Your also forgetting in World War 1. It was Turks against 7 other countries, and all were eventually defeated and kicked out of the country. Why do you think Ataturk is so popular in Turkey???

    Tell me what will happen to Britain or any other country if it got attacked by 7 different powers?

    Who do you think is the victor now?

    The Ottoman Turks has always fought again multiple enemies. The British and Roman empires would always get a helping hand by their neighbors. But the Turks always go at it alone. The whole world heard of and was afraid of Suleyman the magnificent. The Magnificent name being given by others not himself or his people.

    This list is fairly accurate. Those who complain have no idea about the history of empires,and nag about their history being the greatest because of one simple example which stands out.

    A great empire is an empire which you can give many examples of. But I’m not going to give everyone a history lesson here. Go and read about the Ottomans before you sit there and cry about why it’s the greatest empire in the world.

  61. a cultural heritage of the Ottoman Empire’s friend jon says no
    I ask him to protect the Chinese empire, made ​​in china, which seddini
    There is even now a hero, or you know a vampire named Dracula, ie Dracula which was born thanks to the actual name of the empire, and he piled vayvodadır reputation was only thanks to the Ottoman Empire, Ottoman Empire, only the fear that even if she has inherited from you france or order of a single 100-year ban on dancing, for example is it possible, yes it did ottoman
    leaving only a few words of your King got the crown.
    in god and pray that the kingdom of England played a game that so-called bi spy Lawrence tore the Ottomans
    ha .. As for your troubles, and many others say that even now people tell me you kill people without killing Look at the Israeli gov Have countries worldwide networks, but every day at every opportunity, he will kill me did the genocide the Palestinians and you are not only for Muslim genocide Israel is doing it why not say no, because the sound of those killed were Muslim extraction.
    you say you are not taught in schools to know what you are doing at the moment, this discrimination

  62. Definition of Empire: An extensive group of states or countries of various ethnicities under a single supreme authority, an emperor, empress or dynasty.
    Their span is defined by: The point of expansion until the point of major territorial loss or division, or declaration of dissolution.

    Rome itself was founded according to legend in 753 BC, it later became a republic in 509 BC. Rome conquers all of Italy in 264 BC. However, the Roman Empire wasn’t founded until Emperor Augustus 31 BC ~ 14 AD. Previously to this it was still a Republic, even though it had expanded into much of Europe and the Mediterranean. This empire is ruled until 395 AD, after the death of Theodosius, when it permanently split into two completely new and separate empires;
    The Western Roman Empire, which continued losing territory to the Goths until the emperor was dethroned in 476 AD.
    And The Eastern Roman Empire which is also known as the Byzantine Empire, which by 563 AD had reconquered much of the territory lost by the fall of the Western Roman Empire. However, over the next 200 years it would decline from conquests by the Avars, Persians, Lombards & Arabs.
    The Western Empire was reborn in 756 AD by Pepin and then ruled by his son, Charles the Great (Charlemagne), as The Holy Roman Empire, until his death in 814 AD. The empire continued in decline until its end circa 924 AD.
    The conquest of Italy in 962 by Otto I, King of Germany forced the Pope to crown him emperor, thus reviving the Western Roman Empire as the 2nd Holy Roman Empire.
    The Byzantium Empire also recovered much of it’s lost territory from 960 ~ 1040 AD under the generals Nicephorus II Phocas, & John I Tzimisces who became the empires rulers.
    After 1040 AD the Byzantine Empire started falling apart. The 2nd Holy Roman Empire and other papal states under instruction from the Pope began the First Crusade in 1097 AD, which recaptured the Byzantine Empire under the 2nd Holy Roman Empire’s control. Territory was then successively lost and won until the Fourth Crusade in 1204 AD where the crusaders replaced the Byzantine Empire completely by placing themselves on the throne of Constantinople.
    From 1183 til 1282 AD the conquered territories of the 2nd Holy Roman Empire declared independence, until the empire ceased to exist.

    In effect the “Roman Empire” was in fact five separate empires; The Roman Empire (31 BC ~ 395 AD), The Western Roman Empire (395 ~ 476 AD), Eastern Roman Empire or Byzantine Empire (ruled by the Byzantines, 395 ~ 1204 AD), the Holy Roman Empire (ruled by the French, 756 ~ 924 AD), & the 2nd Holy Roman Empire (ruled by the Germans, 962 ~ 1282 AD).
    The longest spaning empire being the Byzantine Empire 809 years, which itself could be broken down into multiple smaller empires over the history of its conquests and declines.

  63. Roman empire territory 5.000.000 km² (1.930.511 sq mi) and ottoman territory 5,200,000 km2 (2,007,731 sq mi)

  64. I don’t know who has made this list but guys listen. Im sure that this list doesnt show only the territory or the centuries or the militarystrength..

    Check these things below:

    -The Ottoman Empire was always organized around a system of local jurisprudence.
    -The Ottoman Empire was, in principle, tolerant towards Christians and Jews.
    -Numerous traditions and cultural traits of this previous empire (in fields such as architecture, cuisine, music, leisure and government)

    . Some guys here saying that the Ottomans ‘copied’ the Arab and dont know what else. The Arabs are the mastermind in the early centuries I TOTALLY AGREE! So also the Romans, and the other took over the technology knowledge and science from them. We could compare this with the Renaissance. This was also a model for Europe. Its the same comparison.

  65. I have found something new. Apparentley the Ottomans, Jannisary’s were actually Christians captured during the crusade. They were tortured into Jannisary’s and doing the emperors bidding. Therefore, as we can see, the Ottomans were very nasty to their captives. Savage is what I call it! Savage! Who would do thta to a person!?

  66. you do realise the ottoman empire lasted for 618 years. plus they defeated the roman empire and byzantine empire

  67. i agree ! but you the Chandragupta of Mauryan Empire had defeated him not by war but by his strategies .

  68. I agree With ‘men in black’ How can you make a list of world empires and leave out most of the European empires.
    Even the Portuguese empire was larger than the roman empire.

    british empire:33 000 000 000 k spanish empire: .french empire:12 000 000 000 .portuguese empire:10 000 000 000

  69. Ottoman Empire was not imperialism.
    brought peace to the world in this way.
    a new movie comes out.
    axplain in the conquest of Constantinople.
    Everyone treats the film is biased.
    fragmanı güzele benziyor.
    fragment looks nicer.
    conquest 1453

  70. I think you are onto something here. I’m no expert, but I’m always trying to keep an eye on key empires throughout history, and especially ones noted in the bible like Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, etc. The power of Latin is absolutely unmistakable, even aside from the Roman empire that scholars talk about. It is a key part of Catholicism (Latin mass), and although it is not being used in it’s original form, it was used to form many key languages in use today like Italian, Spanish, French, etc. I would say that ‘Latin’ is a force to be reckoned with! One element of powerful world empires worthy of being called powerful is always a dominant foundational language. No questions asked.

  71. If that’s your argument, then you’re saying the Roman empire lasted 1500 years, and therefore most enduring and greatest.

  72. The world’s most powerful empire, the Ottoman Empire. Was not as strong as any of his empire. Because the Austrian empire, the Byzantine empire, Safavid empire, the Serbian empire, Spanish empire, Gold army state, the Roman empire, Russian empire, the French empire, Aghgoyunlu state, the Crimean khanate, the Libyan state, the Egyptian state, the Umayyad caliphate, Alger has conquered states.

  73. Africa has the greatest empires by far, and all nations came afterwards. There were Black Emperors in Rome, African deities in Greece. The second most powerful person in the Ottoman empire was a Black man by tradition known as the “KIZLAR AGASSI”, who sometimes superseeded the Sultans power’s, by being an envoy between the Sultan and the Grand Vizier (prime Minister) and the liason between the sultan and his momma. He was the governor of the most sacred Muslim holy cities of Medina and Mecca, and he was “PRINCE OF THE OTTAMON EMPIRE” for approx. 700 year’s. By tradition, he usually came from either Egypt, Ethiopia or Sudan. Furthermore, WEST African ruler’s (Olmec’s),mother culture of Meso-america were building stone head images of themselves thousands of year’s before Europeans knew that the american continent existed 1492. Black Royalty and civilization is deeply embedded in the foundatioin of so-called WESTERN CULTURE.

  74. From the original people of Thailand (mani’s), Malaysia (orang-asli), Philipines (Aetes), Australia (aborigines), to the Indonesia. melanesia, Fiji etc etc, it is well documented that black world ancient traveller’s had navigated the world while the rest of the world was restricted in knowledge to travel to far away places. Romes Black dynasty known as the “Severan Dynasty”, founded by Septimus Severus in 193 a.d. ruled for nearly half a century, followed by his two sons, Caracalla and Gaeta, as well as Egalabalas and Severus Alexander. It would be comfortable to say that Emperor Severus was the first real king of England, since he lived and died there in 211 a.d.. Queen Lizzi’s great great great great grandmother Queen Charlotte Sophia was a Black lady who was married to Georgie boy the III (Google her name and photo for verification in this matter). The Blackamoor’s ruled spain for 700 year’s until they were finally expelled in the mid 15th century,same as whites were expelled from leadership of the South African government.

  75. Empires come and go, and thats the name of the game. Greece is considered the mother of WESTERN CULTURE, yet, today it is one of the most brokest countries on the face of the earth, and can not pay it’s government worker’s. The question must be asked, why did Greece go backwards unstead of forward?? How did England go from being a very poor nation with a gnp worth of $180,000.usd in 1066 a.d., controlled by France as a Vassal territory from Normandy France, to becoming an empire so large by 1750 a.d. that the sun could not set on it’s territory, to back to being a nation and not an empire. Like all empires, they all think that they will have super power forever. I wonder is the U.S.A. thinking the same way as Ethiopia, Egypt, Nubia etc etc, that those dumb European’s will never be more powerful than us, and are the Europeans thinking that the African’s who seemingly cn not get it together, will not return to “Glory Day’s”. Well, one thing that we know for sure, and that is that the African’s before was very wrong. Now, I wonder will the European’s and other nations be p[roven wrong in a few hundred year’s when most or all living flesh and blood thing’s will be long gone from this planet that we call earth.

  76. Hey bro. You are right, we Brits pretty much went noob hunting, taking over tribes carrying nothing but spears and bows. The Turks were the real deal, these people were nomads, in harmony with nature. Unlike us. That is why they were more tolerant toward world religions. I’ve lived in Istanbul, I can honestly say it’s one of the few places were Christians, Muslims and Jews live in the same neighbourhood like family. It’s not weird to see a Muslim child hugging a guy he calls Dimitri Amca ( uncle Dimitri ) or Jewish children visiting the Muslim elders of the neigbourhood when it’s Eid ( moslim holiday at end of Ramadan) to kiss their hand and receive lokum or candy. If a good Turk would rule the world today, everything would change. If a Good Brit would rule the world today, oh wait…

  77. 1)Army was mostly build from Turks in all Turkish countries. But the being a Turk was not a aristocratic thing in Turkish countries. Far opposite, Ottomans weren’t any bit Turkish nationalist, and see Turks as secondary citizens that are in the pocket. So always gave more rights and opportunuties to the other nations than Turks. In Ottoman Palace it was hard to find Turkish origined person even in the Harem and mother of the Kings. So being non english in any english colony could make you secondary, but being non Turkish is not like that in Ottoman countries.
    2)In before WW1 during the Balkan Wars between Russia and Turkey and during the WW1, Armenians and Bulgarians made same massacred to Turks and Muslims. Russians and the christians that are supported by russians has killed hundred thsouands of muslim in east europe. Also that ethnic cleaning was still going on on 1990’s by Serbians against muslim Bosnians. Also Armenians were doing the same, provocated by Russians and when Ottoman Army was in war and all proper men were in the army, Armenian terrorist attacked to the Muslim villages and killed more than hundred thousands of Muslims which they don’t teach you at school Jon. So the reaction of the Ottomans were against the betrayal of Armenians when the country was in war. Also it was not a conscious ethnic cleaning. Ottomans decided to forcefully emigrate the Armenian population to other parts of the empire where they can’t organise and make terror. In this process because of the war conditions hundreds thousands of Armenians died because of sickness and hunger. Also some of the Armenians has been tortured and killed by the Turkish officers even they are not ordered for that. In few years 95 Turkish soldier and officers judged because of the loss of Armenians and send to death penalty by Ottoman goverment. So it was not a genocide. It was a forcefull emigration.

    You can see even those things are not teached well Turkish schools that we caused a tragedic event, also your official history is not telling everything objectively. You believe that Turks made massacred, but you don’t know how it happened and why it happened. You don’t know the meaning of genocide in international laws and the conditions to identify the genocide. Your mind can be manipulated by Armenian friendly media. Because information is a product in our age, and Murderer Turks product sells very good. Also Armenians use this genocide lie to exist. Because they don’t have any national conscious and motivation except the genocide lie.

  78. are you sure you know what Empire means?
    Empire is a copier. Doesn’t matter persian, ottoman, roman…
    Empire take a land with it’s culture and used everything inside. Persians used the culture and system of other nations.
    Roman empire used culture and system of other nations.
    Ottomans did the same.
    Empire take a land then if it likes and see usefull, then it consider the food of that land as own cuisine, music of that land as own art, goverment system of that land as it’s own goverment system.
    Sometimes it’s funny to make comments about something that you don’t know much.

  79. Ofcourse comparing the ratio of total population under control against to whole population is acceptable. But also Roman Empire didn’t have any proper competitors. They weren’t fight with proper countries that has strong army tradition and goverment tradition. They could collect the weak and divived countries one by one. But Atilla and Hunnic Turks was a pain for them. Mongols, Turks, Persians… They couldn’t dominate the strong Asian nations like Persians, Turks or Mongols. Also when Asians (Turks) started to walk through west that was the end of Roman Empire.
    I guess Roman Empire wasn’t number one because it was not one solid empire like Ottomans. They had several levels, and even it looks they lasts too long, it was not the same country, it was reshaped countries even we call them Roman.

  80. Ottomans were strong, Romans and British were smart. British politicians can win in diplomacy even they loose in battlefield.
    Ottmans could loose in diplomacy even they win in the battlefield.
    Also the mighty Greeks are a damn stupid legend. Because in all history Greeks lost against Asian nations. They just write shiny history with their history tellers. But the reality is Greeks always lost when Mongols and Turks seriously started to walk to the west.
    And if Greeks couldn’t take the help of Russian and British support, they even couldn’t win their freedom from Turks.

  81. Don’t make me laugh my friend. Portugeese? French? The lands they conquered were not countries. They fight against not organised Africans, and American native tribes without proper army.
    Ottomans fight against and dominate Arabs, Persians, Russians, Byzantine, Germens, Mongols, Egyptians…

  82. Inca and Maya? you see them as a proper nation with proper armies? And also Spain didn’t dominate French English and Italian armies more than 50 years. But Ottomans dominate all Slavic countries, All arabas, Persians, Greeks more than 400 years.

  83. HAHAHHA YES OFCOURS MAN LOL infact you know nothing dont try to lye to yourself so much that you nd others belive it. infact i think iran is the best aand morroco of muuslikmslands hands down. but turkey haave infact raped iran in war…FACT!! FINISHED. i know every thing and my friends salways say that to me. yeah lol russian killed the turkeys.. search:russian-turkey war. and search italy-turkey war it was to easy for them.. and the largest empire is infact britain search :List of largest empires and even tiny napoleon killed it. killed all in his past to the pyramids and turkey did have the best friend in the whole world!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! on his side…………….. you wont believe it——————- GERMANY. AND TURKEYS ARE POOR AND I WILL RAPE A LITTLE TURKEYGUY IF I WANT AND THEY KNOWS IT TO.FINISHED AND EVERYBODY HAS THE ANSWER. have a nice day<3

  84. you lost me when you said roman empire no.8. they are the greatest ever in terms of time spent in power and change in modern day culture

  85. I agree with William. Also the majority of those ruled by the British were satisfied. Eg the Gurkha’s and so on. B

  86. I disagree with alot, for one Britain should be #1 because it was not only the largest empire in history; but also because it has left an influence larger than even Rome.

    #2 The Russian empire should not be on this list. They rules over mostly inhospitable land and the few large population centers they had (including Muscovy, the original kingdom) had the most cruel form of a feudal society and its tsars did nothing to increase the populations literacy or well being, as well as they gave their subjects no freedom or no votes. They were all tyrants.

    #3 Where is the Spanish Empire? If i recall right they were the first global empire and were the dominant power from the late 1400s until the 1600s meaning they ruled over the world for longer than even the british.

    #4 The ottomans, really? The ottomans performed many acts of ethnic cleansing and the only thing you can give them about connecting the east and west is that they made the portugese (and ultimately all of europe) want to go around them and thus the age of discovery was born.

  87. Yup I agree with Joe and William. I looked around on a few sites and the British empire was the largest.

  88. I have to point out that the British were never an empire they were either a republic or a kingdom. The Russian empire was a lot smaller than the picture shows up there thee picture you have is of Russia during the 1800s when it was not an empire. Therefore your information and sources are obviously wrong.

  89. You are wrong the ottomans should be highest on the list because some of the areas that the ottomans controlled are some of the most prosperous areas in the world such as Istanbul, the 2010 European capital of culture. London however is known for its fish and chips, might I point out that cod tasted like beer battered rubber. In addition to that London smells AWFUL. Plus you talk about bias, however if you do just a little research you will find that William is a British name coincidence, I think not.

  90. mauryan empire in 3rd century BCE is larger than mughal empire. mauryan empire is 5million sq. km^2 in area. the kingdom was very large which included india, nepal, bangladesh, pakistan, afghanistan and some parts of china and iran. which streched from kashmir in the north to north tamil nadu in the south and east iran in the west to assam in the east. so fairly it must be 3rd.

  91. my good boy mauryan empire is larger than your spanish empire it is as large as a continent.(500000 km^2)

  92. So the Russian Empire earns the spot at no. 5 and yet the Greek empire doesn’t receive a spot at all? No way.

  93. Dylan serious?
    The first global empire was the Portuguese not the Spanish..
    Portugal existed way before Spain and England.
    Portugal discovered America, Africa, the rout to India, first europeans to have contact with Japan and China for example.
    We were the first and last global empire of the World..

    Get your facts right.

    It’s sad how the longest empire of history isn’t on the list..

  94. the most powerfull alexander was not to win chandragupta maurya.what are u talking about british empire.this not a big field race . this is race ,who is power full empire friend!

  95. british was not empire they are a company.british empire are not powerfull he was a clever ”thieves”!!!!!!!!okkk..

  96. I think Ottomans deserve to be in number 1. firstly they have ruled the europe near 200 years. secondly around 1800’s the ottomans took tribute from the us more than 15 years. and lastly 350 years ago nobody could compare their power with the ottomans

  97. What of the first and second french colonial empires? The french language is extremely widespread and whilst I don’t have sources to hand I am sure they spread much more than their language.

    The Roman empire deserves to be higher in the list. In my opinion it should be a contender for number 1. The culture/way of life they spread changed all of Europe and beyond.

    Selecting a number 1 is difficult because every empire is different. In my opinion the way to judge it would be to look at the world now and see which empire had a lasting effect and which empire gave the most to it’s subjects.

    I can’t believe the Portuguese and the Spanish empires don’t get a mention and perhaps the Dutch… the Dutch empire may have been pretty small in terms of landmass but was similar to the British empire in the way it operated. I personally feel number 1 should be the Romans, closely followed by the Spanish and then the British and then the French. Let me explain why…

    The Romans gave so much to the world in terms of culture, technology and the way people lived their lives. They were pivotal in the development of educated/cultured people all over their empire. They were ready to incorporate other cultures into their own and were prepared to give “citizenship” to those who could earn it.

    The Spanish discovered the Americas.. although Columbus wasn’t Spanish himself his voyages were paid for by Spain. This alone gives them 2nd place. They were also a major player on the world stage despite what happened 1588.

    The British did it properly and in the latter stages of their empire they fueled the industrial revolution which resulted in the rest of the world becoming industrialized! They made a lot of money and managed to successfully De-imperialize without a major national change (the french didn’t do so well, nor did the Russians or the Spanish or the moguls etc etc etc).

    The French hassled the British in fact I am pretty sure these two nations are natural enemies. The British colonized north America… the French did the same. in-fact conflict between the french and British can be traced right from 11th century to 19th century. War breeds technological advancement and you could argue that the British empire wouldn’t have been what it was because of their conflict with France and the french colonial empire wouldn’t have been what it was because of their conflict with the British. Of course there were many other parties involved including the dutch and Spanish etc. But to miss out the French and indeed the Spanish is stupid.

    Many seem to be mentioning the Mauryan Dynasty… Not needed for this list. Ashoka ruled only the Indian region and by all accounts ruled it well but it isn’t big enough an area and doesn’t involve any overseas areas. I think having overseas areas is a crucial requirement for an empire to be on this list as it must have expanded beyond its own cultural/racial region. After his death his empire pretty much died. For an empire to be on this list it needs to have survived many different leaders and the Roman empire is the best example of expanding into different cultural/racial areas and surviving many different emperors.

    An Interesting topic and very difficult to say which empires were the best as we never actually lived within any of them. Our opinion is of course retrospective and educated. I would love to live through each empire on the list at its peak to see what they were like!

    It is also exciting to think that most empires of the European region were mostly built on discovery. For example in 1491 nobody in Europe knew of the Americas. It is even more exciting to think that in 1769 nobody in Europe knew of Australia! We take for granted these days that we know our planet… what next… we can only look to the stars to quench our exploratory urges!

  98. Absolutly Right Bro … Mauryan Empire was a Vaster as well as Powerfull Empire Of ancient World…. I think these stupid Europians Not know about Mauryan Empire….they are know about islamics empire and europians wmpire , these empire created by whole country not by a individual Person….But Maurya Empire created by Two mens, Chanakya and Chandragupta Maurya….. chandragupta’s army was b/w 7-9 lakh in that time + 9-12 thousends elephants + 25-30 thousends Cavelory…..
    thats why Mauryan Empire is ever time Powerfull Political Power, powerfull Empire and Chandragupta Maurya is Evar time Greatest Emperor of the World Bcz he Started his way From Zeero and get a Highest Way.. …Anybody can’t reach this Highest Point…

  99. history should be rewritten with reference from chola kingdom in submerged lumuria. It was greatest empire in human history ruled by godssssssssssssssssssssssss.

  100. Okay, 1) Ottoman Empire did NOT riule Eureop
    2) Ottoman Empire did NOT get tribute from the US
    3) The roman Empire lasted for more than 1000 years, if you count the Byzantine era.

  101. British Empire does not deserve to be number 1.
    Yes, there is still the Commonwealth and the widespread use of English however the British showed no consideration for the people they conquered,(they were very ignorant of the different cultures) were brutal, violent (think of 1916 Irish rebellion) gained profit from a horrendous slave triangle. The Biritsh brutually massacred Aboriginals in Australia and hunted them for ‘sport.’ When India gained its independence from Britain,(15th August 1947) they pulled down the statues of of British rulers that had been erected.

  102. its true british were strong empires but they never considered anything about caring for people who lived there the only empire in this world which was large and showed consideration for its people was the the ottoman EMPIRE

  103. No, you are wrong. The greatest empire is and will always be Rome. They completely influenced the evolution of Western civilization and without them there would be no british, spanish, or ottoman empire. Rome, while having a smaller territory than other empires on the list was able to last for a much longer amount of time. Your reason for the Ottoman empire being the greatest is pathetic. It did not influence the world greatly at its peak. If it did, than a majority of the population would be speaking their turkish language. Rome however deserves to be number one. No other empire can ever match up to the achievements of Rome.

  104. I think that the Mauryan Empire, while still having many lasting achievements wasn’t influential enough on a whole-world scale. It didn’t influence the Europeans in anyway except for trading with them for spices. I think that the Romans however deserve to be number one. They ruled almost every single ethnicity in the ancient world or had some kind of authority over them: Gauls, Latins, Egyptians, Mesopotamians, Persians, Jews, Christians, Arabians, Hispans, Carthaginians, etc. Rome really had a stronghold over all of the ancient world and their influence on law, architecture, philosophy, government, military, and art had been felt by all major empires after Rome. The Mongol Empire is replaced ridiculously high for being a bunch of idiotic savages who ruled over a large amount of land, didn’t even have the power to govern it, and lost all of it within a short amount of time. The fact that this empire placed so high in the top five discredits this list entirely. The mongol empire was not great at all. Also, why is the Mughal empire on here? This is ridiculous. They were also just savage kings who were ruthless to the people they ruled. They didn’t even last for a very long time. Anyway, Rome should be number one; the Ottoman empire was not great enough to be more influential than the Roman empire and british empire; the Umayyad Caliphate should be much higher on the list at number three after roman and british because it too was very influential in many aspects of science, religion, and culture; the Mongol Empire shouldn’t be on the list or at least be number ten. The base language of the world, the language most people use to communicate to each other with if they don’t understand either language being spoken, is English (British empire at no. 2) which directly came from Latin (Roman Empire at no. 1).

  105. The british left a larger influence than Rome? This is absolutely wrong. The Brits strived to be Rome and without the Roman empire the British empire wouldn’t have existed.

  106. Absolutely not. They didn’t do anything to the world outside of India. The mauryan empire only lasted a pathetic 450 years when compared to the 2,000 years Rome lasted.

  107. Correction, Rome lasted for more than 2,000 years if you count the Byzantine Era. started in 753 B.C., ended in 1453 A.D.

  108. If you are under the false delusion that the Spanish discovered the Americas, think again. There seemed to be people there already.

    Plus, China and the Vikings both came over several hundred years before that wacky Chris kid.

    The first European/American war was fought in 1493 on Chris’s second voyage on the island of St. Croix in the Virgin Islands where the Carib Natives decimated Chris’s landing party.

    The Americans won that fight but eventually lost. It seems like history is written by rapists and looters.

    So. If the Americas were deserted and no one was here, then I would say that they were “discovered”.

    But, oh snap. It seems like the Xiongnu had already walked here and settled in quite comfortably.

  109. I think Mauryan Empire was greatest in all. as you see there time era they were in existence 250BC which was way back than all above empires and they covered nearly 43% of world population which is also much higher than all above empire.

    At this time there was no existence of US or any other country, Europe was still in there dark era.. so No one can compare any empire with Great Mauryan..

  110. Roman only 8? British only 2? No French, Spanish and Portuguese? I’m sorry to say that but that list are kinda mediocre.

  111. all these empires are great like the ottomans 1600-1800 the romans 2000 years ago etc.

  112. i have been to the capital of most these empires like rome and istanbul they are great i think it sould be roman ottoman
    and brithish joint 1st and spaninsh 2nd. i am not sure about the rest.

  113. I’m not going to discuss the ranking because it does not make too much sense. However, I mostly agree with the ranking above. First, if you ask a guy from South America, his ranking will surely be different (Maya, Aztec…).
    Roman empire could have indeed be no 1. Yet, the rank of the ottoman empire makes sense. Some comments point out that people living in their territories do not speak turkish. This is because the ottoman empre did not forced these population to speak turkish. Indeed, except the very last decades of its existence, the ottoman empire gave quite freedom to its subjects. Other says there were ethnic cleansing. Again, such event happened during or just before WWI (and one should know that this was reciprocal). The ottoman empire is very unknown to us; yet they stood up 7 century, this is incredible. And yes, they had a lot of influence (culture, science, politics and military).
    We are still living under the effect of the British empire (including USA). So it is not really easy to judge. European colonial empires didn’t allow so much freedom that we may think they did. Language was imposed and we killed almost all native population of “the new world”. If this is having influence, it might be the wrong way.
    The language spoken throughout Europe in the 19th century was French. In less then 1 century it changed to English. This is why I’m being careful judging the British Empire. Yes, it was the biggest, but having a large empire in the 19th and 20th century is easier than in the time of the roman empire.
    For me, a european, I would say at equal importance Roman, Ottoman, British (and mention that I’m amazed by Egyptian civilization – all the math and so on).

  114. No mention of the American empire? How can this be? The American empire has 900 overseas military bases in 130 nations! They have the first “world reserve currency” in history forcing other nations to use their currency, and stealing their wealth every time they print money. They have the Cocaine Importers of America instigating insurgency in foreign nations to empower rulers friendly to their global corporate interestes. The US has the largest military in history, but gone are the days of measuring empire by invasion and obvious occupation. America has invisible occupation over a most of the globe. Read “Confessions of an Economic Hitman” and “Secret History of the American Empire” both by John Perkins. I’d date the American Empire 1944 (Bretton Woods, plus military bases established forever in Asia and Germany resulting from WWII) to 2015-2025. I’m sure it will collapse by 2025, maybe sooner.

  115. well you are wrong both, the world great empire was ottoman empire why, the reason why is the greatest empire is because it rule the whole entire empire before him starting from egypt, assyria, babylon(iraq) medo persia(iran) greece (turkey) rome (sicily) and their rule russia and china too ask google of ottoman empire for the bible for told of this great empire in book of daniel 7

  116. 2. mehmet 600 000 km2 – 2 000 000 + (constantinople)
    yavuz 2 100 000 – 6 000 000 km2 (8 years)
    great suleyman 6 000 000 km2 – 19 000 000 km2

    this map small

  117. the list looks right. First we have to think what the list is about, it is about the greatest empire not the largest or the most famous. A great empire defines an empire where it brought people happiness , a great reform of development and a peaceful cultural living throughout the empire. The ottomans , Umayyad and mughals brought colorful traditions to the states they once ruled. They weren’t famous for brutalizing or forcing the people to different religion such as the romans or the nazi’s. i personally admire Mongols ruling but they weren’t good at administration so they had to quickly deform. Alexanders empire ended very shortly but made huge influences on places where he once ruled.

  118. If you rail against American imperialism… you must concede that it is an empire… dominating militarily, technologically, economically, exporting its culture on a global scale.

    Your better argument would be to regard America and Canada as parts of the British empire (similar cultures and kindred blood).

    But either way – if you think we’ve peaked… I would suspect you’re rooting for such an outcome.

  119. #1 should be ottoman because they ruled the world for 800 years. Ottoman gave fridom of choose to other cultures. Because of this reason they did not have to learn Turkish, but ottom spread the Islam all over the world. Ottom gave respect to other religions and diffrent ethnics groups: on the other hand Romans and British chopped and slaved their own people.

  120. In terms of size the Russian Empire and British Empire do deserve to be up there even though the brits did rule in many continents. The Ottomans might of had the great city of Constantinople but we have to remember who rebuilt Byzantanium to the great city it is today. I really think Persia and the Romans should be higher, and Rome even first because it established dominance over all of the Mediterranean and almost all of Europe not counting northern England in which their conquest failed. Asoka’s Empire doesn’t deserve to be up there at all

  121. Here is a list of the worlds largest Empires
    All empires
    1. British Empire – 36.6 million km� (under George V of the United Kingdom in 1922)
    2. Mongol Empire – 33.2 million km�[1] (under Kublai Khan in 1268)
    3. Russian Empire – 24.8 million km� (under Alexander II in 1866) – including Alaska[4]
    4. Spanish Empire – 16 million km� (under King Charles III r. 1759-1788)
    5. Hispanic Monarchy – 14 million km (under Philip II of Spain r. 1556-1598, it not includes claimed regions as Amazonia, and also counts Colombia,Perú…as a half or a quarter)
    6. Umayyad Arab Caliphate – 13.2 million km� (under Hisham ibn Abd al-Malik r. 723-743)
    7. Qing Empire – 13 million km� (under Emperor Qianlong)
    8. French Empire – 12.5 million km� (under President Albert Lebrun in 1938)
    9. Portuguese Empire – 12.4 million km�
    10. United States of America – 10 million km� (1898-1934)
    11. Rashidun Arab caliphate – 9 million km� (under Caliph Uthman Ibn Affan r. 644-656)[2]
    12. Empire of Brazil – 8.1 million km�[4]
    13. Achaemenid Persian Empire – 7.5 million km�[7] (under Darius the Great)
    14. Japanese Empire – 7.4 million km�[4] (during World War II, under the Showa Emperor)
    15. Ming Empire – 6.5 million km� (under the Jingtai Emperor in 1450)
    16. Han Empire – 6 million km�
    17. Roman Empire – 5.9 million km� (under Emperor Trajan)
    18. Ottoman Empire – 5.5 million km� (under Mehmed IV in 1680)
    19. Macedonian Empire – 5.4 million km� (under Alexander the Great)
    20. Tang Empire – 5.4 million km� (under the Xuanzong Emperor in 715)
    21. Maurya Empire – 5 million km� (under Ashoka the Great)
    22. Mughal Empire – 5 million km� (under Aurangzeb in 1690)
    23. Byzantine Empire (under Justinian I) – 4.5 million km�
    24. Timurid Empire – 4.4 million km�
    25. Hunnic Empire – 4 million km�[1] (under Attila the Hun in 441)
    26. Mexican Empire – 4 million km�
    27. Seljuq Empire – 3.9 million km�
    28. Seleucid Empire – 3.9 million km�
    29. Italian Empire – 3.8 million km� (during World War II)
    30. Dutch Empire – 3.7 million km�[4]
    31. Nazi German Empire – 3.6 million km� (during World War II)
    32. German Empire – 3.5 million km� (under Wilhelm II before WWI)
    33. Gupta Empire – 3.5 million km� (under Chandragupta II in 400)
    34. Sassanid Persian Empire – 3.5 million km� (under Khosrau II in 626)
    35. Ghaznavid Empire – 3.4 million km�
    36. Afsharid Empire – 3.23 million km� (under Nadir Shah)
    37. Pala Empire – 3.2 million km� (under Devapala)
    38. Delhi Sultanate – 3.2 million km�[1]
    39. Khazar Empire – 3 million km�[1]
    40. Safavid Empire – 2.85 million km�
    41. Parthian Empire – 2.84 million km� (Under Mithridates II 123–88 BCE)
    42. Median Empire – 2.8 million km�[1]
    43. Chola Empire – 2.6 million km�[8] (under Rajendra Chola I)
    44. Denmark-Norway – 2.6 million km�
    45. Belgian Empire – 2.5 million km�[1]
    46. Qajar Empire – 2.3 million km�
    47. Incan Empire – 2 million km� (Under Atahualpa in 1532)
    48. Songhai Empire – 1.4 million km� (in 1500)[9]
    49. Neo-Assyrian Empire – 1.4 million km�[1]
    50. Aksumite Empire – 1.25 million km�[1]
    51. Srivijaya Empire – 1.2 million km�[1]
    52. Frankish Empire – 1.2 million km�[1]
    53. Thai Empire – 1.12 million km� (under Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke in 1782)
    54. Mali Empire – 1.1 million km�[1]
    55. Swedish Empire – 1.1 million km�
    56. Maratha Empire- 1 million km�
    57. Harsha Empire – 1 million km�[1] (under Harsha Vardhana in 648)
    58. Egyptian Empire – 1 million km�
    59. Almoravid Empire – 1 million km�
    60. Khmer Empire – 1 million km�
    61. Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth – 990,000 km� (under Sigismund III in 1619)
    62. Grand Duchy of Lithuania – 930,000 km� (under Vytautas the Great in 1430)
    63. Bulgarian Empire – 700,000 km� (under Tsar Simeon I)
    64. Austro-Hungarian Empire – 676,615 km�
    65. Akkadian Empire – 650,000 km�
    66. Hittite Empire – 610,000 km�
    67. Durrani Empire – 600,000 km�
    68. Neo-Babylonian Empire – 500,000 km�[
    69. Armenian Empire – 400,000 km�
    70. Vijayanagara Empire – 360,000 km�
    71. Serbian Empire – 200,000 km�

  122. Everyone, perhaps you should refer to the wikipedia list of greatest Empires. It uses a scientific method for assessing criteria, not the authors personal feelings on the matter. When viewed objectively the British Empire was indeed the largest Empire of all time. As for the feelings of the people that were ruled over in this Empire? Irrelevant. Can the author truly say that all of the peoples within the conquered areas of the other Empires were “happy” with their own state of affairs? Furthermore if “happiness” with the empire they are conquered by is a prerequisite for this lists author then why is the Mongol Empire not Number 1? After all those that weren’t happy being part of the Mongol empire didn’t retain their status as living people for very long…as for what the British Empire did for the world? Commentards here are reminding me of the Monty Python sketch “what did the Romans ever do for us?.” in the British Empires case how about 1) Democracy, 2) Banning Slavery 3) Enabling trade between nations by ending rampant sea piracy? 4) introducing a common language (itself a mixture of hundreds of languages and dialects) to facilitate communication between disparate peoples. Be down on my country all you want but don’t forget you are doing so on the WWW, developed by a British Scientist, on machines that were built and pioneered from inception by British engineers, in a language that was introduced to your nation by that Empire.

  123. Try to understand, Mauryan empire was bigger then that of Mughals, it covered full part of India, outside India it covered , afganisthan, persia,
    babylone, antolia, bactria etc, Asoka extended the empire till pamir knots.
    his army was known as the army of devils at middle east and europe.Chandragupta 2nd or Arya Vikramaditya, defeated the han dynasty of china,
    after capturing, mongolia, turks iran baylon entire Arabsthan, he led his
    army to Russia, the russians agreed to pay tribute to the Indian king, so now I think you all understood,How superpowerful India was at that time?

  124. The Romans deforested Europe and built most of the roads still in use today ( in the meaning of direction and geographic location) this has speed up commerce and interconnection between people in the continent.

    The Roman invented the legal figures of the; Judge, barister, wrote codes and jurisprudence most of wich still in use today (The Greek used the ostracism system)
    They invented the currency in terms of coin and notes, still used today. Before roman times they used to exchange good and animals or gold and other precious material in exchange for primary goods.
    The first empire to build structure in cement, still used today
    They named the days of the weeks , which we still use today
    They named the months of the year witch we still use today
    The copied the Argentarii systems from the Greeks (banks) and take it to the next level
    They copied a lot from Greek art and architecture, but again took it to another level.
    They introduced Christianity into Europe and invented the Church as an institution
    They invented Christmas holiday. It was a pagan wine festival of November, later adapted as nativity of Jesus.
    First Empire to use a passport ‘’Cives Romanus’’
    The Roam destroy all the scrolls relative to the true account of Jesus life, with profound consequences
    They came up first with the idea of franchising lots of shops with the same name and products have been excavated throughout the empire (Europe)
    They invented glass windows and double glasses
    They invented the Sauna as we know it
    They created new countries like Lidia and Syria.
    They expelled the Jew from their Land changing the course of their history forever
    They built higher than anyone else ever did before ten storey high
    With the failing to conquer Eastern Europe they condemned those countries to be a thousand year back of the west, with all the relative wars and dictatorial regimes that succeeded in the next two thousand years.
    They studied Greek philosophy but unfortunately did not produce better philosophic thoughts then Greeks did, but thanks to them the world was aware of the Hellenistic literature treasures.

    They did not invade India, but protected the country for hundreds of years from foreign invasion, because they could buy goods, precious metal and spices cheap without occupation of this huge continent. By protecting India from foreign attacks they indirectly changed their history. I do not know if in positive or negative.
    They did business with China a and practically invented drown the silk way route (hundreds of years later claimed by Marco Polo
    Today African counties like North Morocco and Tunisia get most of their money from tourists visiting Roman Ruins
    Most of the European Languages comes from Latin
    Most European cities were founded by the Romans
    Theyr Medicine were advanced as our today
    Roman appartments lloked better than today suites in any capital of the world
    There were no racism in rome, it was about rich and poor, a coloured african could become emperor.
    The above is roughly 10% of their achievements. So who is arguing that we are not living in a Roman World?

  125. Yes everyone but with 14 colonies the British empire still exists and is the best so eat your hats gentlemen because the Ottoman Empire is old news.

    I say this because I respect my country or sorry empire

  126. mongol empire – russian empire -soil too, but people do not. 100 years
    but ottoman empire – destroyed large countries –
    had advanced cities in the world with exception of roma –
    paris london city was not even – After the world’s most advanced city of Istanbul Jerusalem

  127. As usual there are embellishments and misconceptions on several sides, but chiefly with the British Empire- it’s a point of a lot of irritation for us from Australia due to the still-ongoing arguments regarding WWI and our sense of national identity, but it goes well beyond us.

    The British Empire was no-where near the largest, and it did not rule a quarter of the world, not even close in terms of land or population- unbelievable that this doltish myth still gets so much attention. This statement has always depended on specious and ludicrous exaggerations by Pom historians who even today continue with their overstatements.

    For example British Empire boosters constantly trot out claims that large-landmass countries like Afghanistan, Tibet, Persia, Egypt and Sudan were within the British Empire. No, they absolutely were not. The Poms for example TRIED to conquer Afghanistan several times in the 1800’s and annex it to the British raj in India but got taken to the cleaners, in fact the Afghans defeated the British so severely and completely in the First Anglo-Afghan War- around 1840- that the British lost AN ENTIRE ARMY of close to 20,000 depending on specific estimates. Only the British army surgeon Brydon rode back through the Afghan siege. The British tried again around 1880 but were routed at Maiwand. Afghanistan was not a part of the British Empire, at all.

    Tibet and Persia also, were not part of the British Empire, ever. Yes, Henry McMahon was heavily involved in Tibet and yes, there were oil interests and other reasons for installations in Persia, but they were never British colonies.

    Nor were Egypt and Sudan. Egypt also rubbished a British invasion around 1804 or so- the Alexandra expedition, and whilst Egypt wasn’t in right good shape in the late 1800’s, it was nobody’s colony. British affairs with Egypt even after 1881 were run from the foreign bureau not the colonial bureau, and as far as spheres of influence, Egypt was more in a kind of power-balancing situation. The French also held massive sway over Egypt, for example it was a Frenchman who built the Suez Canal and it was French officials who kept closest watch over it, plus other European powers maintained their own spheres.

    By the same weak arguments the French could say that Egypt was their colony, which happily they don’t perhaps because they’re not as insecure as the Brits are about this. I don’t know what it is, perhaps the Poms can’t deal with how insignificant their has-been world power has become, so embellish their empire to try to compensate? They probably didn’t reach 1/8 of the world’s surface, maybe about 1/10th or so if being generous. Egypt for its part was nobody’s colony, nor was Sudan for similar reasons. The British tried to establish themselves in Iraq after WWI but got kicked out, on part due to the ongoing bungling of the situation by Churchill, an oft-repeated theme.

    Even the Subcontinent wasn’t British to nearly the extent the Poms like to pretend. Only about half of what’s now India and Pakistan were British-ruled, the other half was under Indian rajas, including the wealthiest parts of India like Hydarabad. Other portions of India were under French or Portuguese rule, and NW Pakistan was under nobody’s rule!

    Pom imperialists also exaggerate in North America, for example almost all of what’s now the United States was NOT PART OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE! The Midwest and Western USA, almost all of it except for the Pac NW, were never in the British Empire- they were in the French and Spanish or Russian Empires, and then annexed by the USA long after the Americans dismantled the British in the American Revolutionary war. To the extent that Canada was within the British Empire, most of it is an uninhabitable, largely unexplored ice-box anyway. But even then, a good stretch of Canada wasn’t British. Canada became independent in 1867, well before much of its landmass had been charted or administered by anybody, in fact Norway and others were embroiled in territorial disputes about Canadian claims well into the 1940’s, so these obviously weren’t British territories.

    There’s a lot of dispute about this for us in Australia, but we were self-governing by 1901 and thus independent from the British Crown. The Outback, the Bush and general core of Australia basically weren’t administered by anyone then, thus it’s a stretch at best to say that was British empire territory. We were not obligated to send our soldiers to fight in World War I, but it was thanks to our corrupt, idiotic twits pretending to be leaders, Cook and Fisher and, oh yes, a certain drunken British incompetent named Winston Churchill that a generation of Australian and New Zealander youth died in the disastrous failure at Gallipoli. Ironically, it’s only the fact that we were independent in 1914 that we blame our own leaders as well as the Brits for the Dardanelles, for using us as cannon fodder in one of the most imbecilic military operations of the 20th century.

    I’ve even seen some twits put up British Empire maps containing China and Thailand! CHINA WAS NEVER COLONISED! Not by any of the European powers! The Chinese did have a rough go of things after the Opium Wars, which in any case is an indictment of the Poms’ tiresome claims about theirs being the “better empire”- are we to suppose then that international drug trafficking to China, and causing mass famines to kill millions in India for the opium, are among those “British values” the Poms are always chest-beating about? And Thailand? How can any fool claim that Thailand was a British colony? There were special relations between Siam and the British at various points, but Thailand was nobody’s colony.

    The largest empire based on landmass by any calculation, was the Mongol Empire under Kubilai, not under Ghengis! Too many forget that it wasn’t under Ghengis that the Mongols reached their peak, it was his successors. And it included the bulk of Eurasia, from Korea all out to Asia minor to the fringe of Austria. By some estimates it got close to or surpassed 40 million sq km. And unlike the Poms, the Mongols truly administered the territory, it wasn’t a matter of some dolt in a ship getting drunk and lost behind the helm, starting a trading post and then calling it a part of the empire, as the Brits were always fond of doing.

    After this it depends on precisely how your defining the form of an empire. Many say it’s the Russians after 1950 or so who had the next biggest at least up to the spat with China, you had vast territories throughout Eurasia throughout almost all of E Europe, much of Africa and Latin America answering to the dictates of Moscow. Not as big as the Mongols but vast nonetheless. Then maybe the Spanish, I know less about them but there was apparently some marriage alliance between Spain and Portugal, so that any ships leaving from a Portuguese harbour for Brazil had allegiance to the Spanish king. Whenever precisely this was, combining the Spanish with the Portuguese lands would have been enormous, and it predated the British Empire by centuries. Yes, John Caboto under Henry VII started the first little bit of the British Empire in 1495 or so, but it wasn’t until around 1609 that anything else happened in the colonisation and not until the 1800’s and Napoloen’s fall that there was truly that much of a British Empire. The Ottoman Turks and the Abbisids with people all over swearing some allegiance to the caliphs- I guess maybe they were maybe up there too. But however you define it, there were several empires that far exceeded the British however you look at it.

    The Brits also never reached anything close to the feats in durability or cultural impact, or institutional contributions as many other recent or ancient Empires. Heck half of the former British Empire is a still bloody mess, look at Bangladesh, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Pakistan and Burma for just a few examples. And anyone who thinks the Poms had a light hand in their territories should ask someone from Ireland, or India with all the famines and mass killings of Indian villages after 1857 or so, or the indigenous peoples of many continents- see diseased blankets given to the American tribals, or bounties given for how many natives were shot- for an example.

    In terms of the greatest or most influential empires in history, I’d say that’s even more straightforward because then we’re talking about ancient empires, that have had a massive influence on a large collection of what are now modern countries. Then we’re talking about the Roman Empire, Alexander the Great’s Empire and the Chinese and I guess Asoka’s Maurya Empire in India though I know less about that. The Chinese Empire was huge, biggest GDP and economic productivity, lasted millennia and in a sense it’s intact today as a modern country. Alexander defined the culture of a massive region even today more or-less based on that.

    And the Romans? Almost certainly the greatest empire and the most influential empire with the only possible exception being the Chinese. The Romans helped to define civilisation for the West and even much of the world outside Europe. As Gae took note, the old Roman sites of north Africa are the basis of a lot of revenue even today, the very basis of laws, infrastructure and basics of civilisation in the West were invented by the Romans and still used today. Their empire was enormous and durable despite the fact that they didn’t have modern technology at their disposal. Certainly after Caesar Augustus the Roman territories were very well administered, and even in parts of England and south Germany people still use the old Roman aqueduct network and the roads. Also even the cultures of non-Roman regions like India, Persia and China were able to flourish in part as a result of indirect Roman protection and trade.

  128. I have to take my hat off to corbit. Anyone can see he certainly has issues with the British.

    All I can say on the matter is that according to the raw facts the British Empire is regarded as the biggest and most influential Empire of all time. We were so big after all we needed a whole continent to ship our thieves and prisoners to so Australia certainly did belong to the most powerful empire in history.

    Every Empire in history was created through thieving, criminal acts and war. The mongols were probably the most barbaric empire the world has ever known and yet they didnt come close to the british empire. We did what every large empire did in the past we just did it better and reaped more reward.

    There are people on here talking about influence and things. More parts of the world still speak english although i agree its not the most spoken language it is however the internationally agreed standard. We introduced the industrial revolution to the world. We invented more history changing items than any other country and we did it while we walked around the world planting flags and claiming countries.

    I am proud to be british, proud to fly the flag and proud to support our empire. I dont care what other countries have cllaimed to do or have claimed to own all the stats state, with the exception of total population of the world conqured, that the british empire was the largest, most powerful empire on which the sun never set.

    The exception, if you are wondering, is on the wiki page for empires http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_largest_empires where the % of world population we are about 4th in that list however no empire has ruled over more people than the britiish empire 458 million of them to quote wiki again.

    To close i will simply say Rule Britiannia…….shame we had to give it all back :)

  129. I know there are multiple factors that are considered when classifying any particular civilization as an “empire”, but the underlying prominent factor is any one civilization pushing their culture and will on another. In this aspect, the United States of America is and has been most dominant. Much of the world has been influenced by America culture and it’s military is imposed at will, even if unilaterally. Lands aren’t seized as in ancient empires due to American choice, not inability. If military presence was seen as territorial gains, than the United States would be the largest “empire” that ever existed. Oh yeah, even Britain has never wielded such military and economical power as the United States, and the U.S. accomplished it in less time.

  130. “but the underlying prominent factor is any one civilization pushing their culture and will on another. In this aspect, the United States of America is and has been most dominant. Much of the world has been influenced by America culture and it’s military is imposed at will, even if unilaterally”

    What absolute delusion. It is the British that have maintained their network of military bases around the globe for centuries, with the US only acquiring many during the mid 20th Century. Of course, it is the British Empire that was “most dominant”, in that all nations, including America, have been irreversibly and completely influencing by its culture, from language, legal code, sports, literature, music and much, much more.

    If military presence was seen as territorial gains, then the British Empire would be the largest that ever existed.

    “Oh yeah, even Britain has never wielded such military and economical power as the United States”

    Perhaps you should read a history book, that might be the problem here. It would go a long way to curing your delusions about the United States. It doesn’t have an empire.

  131. “If you rail against American imperialism… you must concede that it is an empire… dominating militarily, technologically, economically, exporting its culture on a global scale.”

    Not dominating, one of the major players on the world stage militarily, like the United Kingdom and Russia. It does not dominate anywhere technologically, not in space technology as of the 2010s, and being 70 trillion USD in debt does not allow for any “Economic dominance”. What culture is that? The English language? The Beatles? Wrong country again.

  132. The Portuguese empire was truly the world’s first global empire.

    Spain only looked bigger than what it really was because from 1580 – 1640 the Spanish and Portuguese crowns were joined (Spain actually INVADED Portugal).
    So, all of Portugal’s global territories were usurped by Spain, and then they brag about how big their empire was. Without Portugal’s oversees possessions Spain would have been nothing. Even today, if you look at a map Portuguese is spoken officially right across the globe (i.e., S. Europe, America, Africa, Asia, Oceania), whereas, Spanish is only spoken officially in 1/2 of S. America and Central America. Giant Brazil is HALF of S. America where Portuguese is spoken officially, and it is also spoken officially in 6 African countries, Macau, China, East Timor.

  133. Okay I keep reading people saying that Persia. Empire lasted for only.200 years but most fail to realize Persian empire consists of many empires.( dynasties.)all these stuff u read here is about the first Persian empire and the caliphate doesn’t really count because they didn’t really have controlled over countries for instance Persians had their own dynasty while being Muslim at a time.

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