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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
5. Russian Empire (1721–1917)
The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia, and the predecessor of the Soviet Union. At one point in 1866, it stretched from eastern Europe, across Asia, and into North America. At the beginning of the 19th century, Russia was the largest country in the world, extending from the Arctic Ocean to the north to the Black Sea on the south, from the Baltic Sea on the west to the Pacific Ocean on the east.
- It was the second largest contiguous empire the world has ever seen, surpassed only by the Mongol Empire, and the third largest empire the world has ever seen, surpassed only by the British Empire and the Mongol Empire .
- The household servants or dependents attached to the personal service were merely set free, while the landed peasants received their houses and orchards, and allotments of arable land.