Greatest Civilizations of All Time


The Top Ten

1 Roman Empire (27 BC-1453 AD)

I'm Italian and from Roma, so maybe that's why I'm quite biased with my vote.

Rome is truly the Greatest Civilization! Oh yeah Roman-haters will say "But Rome copied Greek art & culture, they don't have their own arts blah blah blah", well I acknowledge the influences of Greek culture & art on Roman culture & art, but do not insult Rome because of this. Actually Rome has its own unique art, especially in architecture, sculpture & painting(wall-painting). Roman architecture is varied, and it is a unique mix of Etruscan and other Italic architectures and Greek architecture, Romans invented Domes, arches and vaults and many more architectural styles that became a trend in the ancient world/antiquity and even in the Renaissance and today! Renaissance architecture continued the Roman legacy in architecture, because Italy still admires her predecessor.
In sculpture, Rome is the best, though it was influenced greatly by greek art it is still unique. Roman sculpture were ...more

If Rome did not fall, we would be thousands of years more advanced. We probably would have had the industrial revolution around 500 AD.

Rome is truly one of the greatest examples of a great civilization. Their technological advancements and adeptness in conquering made them one of the most superior empires Europe (probably the world) has ever seen. It is truly a shame that Rome fell, one of the greatest tragedies in all of humanity. If Rome just didn't adopt Christianity and were somehow able to conquer the barbarians, we could have skipped the medieval and renaissance eras. We wouldn't have had the Black Plague in Europe, because Rome was already so advanced in medicine, that who knows how cleanly they would be in future years.

Though it is difficult not to compare Rome so easily to Greece, what with Greece's own artistic and scientific advancement as well as the great Macedonian empire, they were not nearly as influential or contiguous as the amazing and marveling ...more


The greatest empire of all time, the legacy of Rome still lingers to this day.

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2 Ancient Egypt (3150 BC - 30 BC)

Egypt was the first country to be unified and ruled by the law. Not only did their inventions help them to live, but some of them are still used to this day. Some of the oldest inventions return to 40000 years ago, when the first cups, forks, knives and spoons appeared, while some were just invented before the fall of the Roman Empire. Some of the inventions are known to be Egyptian such as papyrus paper, but there are some others which you'll be surprised to know that they are even that old.
One of the oldest and most important inventions was the twisted rope. It was invented about 19000 years ago. The twisted rope helped the ancient Egyptians make tools for farming and fighting in battles. The discovery of farming around the Nile Valley enabled the ancient people to settle in the area which is now Egypt. The ancient Egyptians also used the calendar, invented in the year 4236 B.C., to organize farming according to the Nile water level, this helped them to minimize crop losses when ...more

The ancient Egyptian civilization power didn't depend on its military power as most of all other ancient civilizations. A great advances in engineering, medicine, and astronomy were achieved by the ancient Egyptians. The enormous Giza pyramids standing in its place since 5000 years prove the superior ability of ancient Egyptians in engineering and astronomy. In addition, the ancient Egyptians showed an non-comparative mercy with their enemies compared with other civilizations in the ancient era.

I chose the Egyptian civilization because it is the best of all walks of life. For example, the ancient Egyptian had 42 denial of something bad before the court of the Spirit and he also has 42 proof of something good he did and one of these good things was the eyes of the blind and things that should not be done is I have not tortured a plant to forget that it is well watered, but it is not necessary to look at this robe even in dealing with the plant and not all that has been accomplished Egyptians are progressing in architecture where pyramids, temples and estates They even excelled in the work of the tombs Well, this is very few compared to what they have done, and we have not yet achieved how to do it, such as the mystery of embalming and the secret of the sun and the mystery of the sculpture, which excelled in it and mastered it so as to compete with everything that is imaginary for them

It is the greatest country or empire to have ever been build if the romans were the gteatest how come they didn't build the pyramid? the egyptians were the first to build dams fortress and other amazing builds

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3 Greek Empire (800 BC-600 AD)

Most if not all civilizations achieved their greatness mainly through power and suppression of others. Greece did so by the power of the mind and ideas. That is why the impact of its civilization is 'diachronico' diachronic as is the Greek language. The Roman Empire would not be nearly as important if not from its borrowings of artistic scientific and humanistic disciplines religion and mythology from Greece. Venus would not exist if not for Aphrodite. Roman children were taught by greek teachers and philosophers. Renaissance was an example of Greece's diachronic influence as was the Byzantine empire before that. The world would be very different if not for the fall off Byzantine Konstantinopole (the Greece of the Roman empire) that was plunged in to darkness by the Ottomans for more than five hundred years while the rest of Europe moved forward spearheaded by 'renaissance 'and the exploration of the 'new world' which unfortunately resulted in the total distraction of more than 80 ...more

Ancient Greece was the greatest civilization in history without a doubt. The proof is in the putting. Not only is it the basis for Western culture, it also formed the foundation for the Free World. Systems like a democracy and a republic all came from Hellenic freedom. It was also the first known civilization that embraced naturalism. The great pre-socratic philosophers debunked ancient myths and tried to explain everything without the need for superstition. It lead into the first real scientific golden era. You can't even begin to think about mathematics without thinking about the Greeks. Socrates gave us a method of critical thinking, which is indispensable. Plato changed politics forever, and Aristotle revolutionized education. There are almost endless examples of great ancient Greek thinkers, visionaries and heroes that changed the world. Not in the least Alexander the Great. I can go on and on about how enlightened and important ancient Greece was. But let me put it this way, a ...more

Russia is known as the third Rome but who was the second? The answer is of coarse the Byzantine empire(Greek part of the Roman empire). Although Byzantine was known as the second Rome it had nothing to do with how great and powerful the empire was. Just stop to think that if that was the case then Rome should have been known as the second Greece. In fact Byzantine was known as the second Rome because the emperors of Byzantine were the successors of the Roman emperors. Then the Chars of Russia were the successors of the Byzantine emperors.

Rome copied Greece a lot! But if they hadn't copied Greece then lots of Greek culture would have been lost.

The toughest warriors were Greek, the smartest philosophers, mathematicians, scientists, astronomers, inventors and play writes were Greek. Although we may not be the oldest or have concurred the most amount of land (we still concurred a tone) we made the most contributions to the world by far. The Latin alphabet comes from the ...more

boo rome

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4 Chinese Empire (221 BC-1912 AD)

It has a distinct culture from the west. I admit I am a Chinese. Many China-haters are influenced by PRC government and take a biased stand. In fact China is great. Westerners have medical knowledge from Egypt, philosophy and logical thinking from Greece, architect from Rome, fire powder revolution from Ottoman, age of sail by Spain, Bible from Jewish, industrial Revolution of Britain, Renaissance of Italy, enlighten movement from France.. The nowadays West attributes to these 8 cultures or even more. But China in thousands of years developed on its own. No another culture can enlighten us because we are isolated from other civilizations. But we still manage to make a great contribution to the world.

It is true that Rome, Egypt, Greece, and all the other empires mentioned contributed greatly to our world as a whole, but when it comes down to it China was one of the greatest civilizations of all time. If it were not for China, many of the inventions that made these other civilizations so great would never have been invented. For example, with out China our world would not have gunpowder, paper (way better than simple papyrus), printing, compasses, silk cultivation, and literally thousands inventions that changed our world dramatically. In addition, China is one of the oldest civilizations known, and it outlasted many of the civilizations listed above. When these characteristics are combined you get an empire that is hard to beat. Just pointing out the facts

Superpower for the longest period of time with an unsurpassed economy durability and culture. Facinating history with the highest range of great general, scientist, engineers, leaders, politicians, artists. Most importantly it is the longest Continous Civilization, making it the greatest humanity ever produced


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5 British Empire (1583 AD-present)

Largest empire in human history. The single most powerful nation in human history. The only country to overtake China in population. Ruled 1/4 of the worlds surface area for 200 years. The most influencial society in terms of language, innovation, technology, military, and morals. Everything that humanity charishes today was created by britain. England has contributed more to the world than any other sovereign state in human history. Knowledge of gravity, and modern physics, maths, science, literature, music, art, and independence. The british empire was not only able to rise up above all of the other continental superpowers in Europe, but were able to dominate other superpowers around the world such as India and China. It was because of this dominance and success that the small island of great britain became great, and they have continued to be great ever since. Now the empire still lives on in the commonwealth of nations, a peaceful collection of 53 countries that have gained ...more - Bturlik

Wake up! The empire is over a long time ago! The Commonwealth a country... you live in a dream

They should be like top 3 because of capitalism sciences from great luminaries like Sir Isaac Newton. Also the British started the industrial Revolution which led to economies all around the world today. Not to mention, they have brought the english language to the whole world as a revolutionary language. Although the language people commonly study around the world is American english, that was just a root that derived from the English. The British also have a great culture, which consists of literature with men like shakespeare, to art, to music with the Beatles, the greatest artists of all time, and punk rock bands like the sex pistols, no to mention queen, the rolling stones, genesis, and so on so forth. Without britain no us. Since much of the americans are cultured from the british and are of british, irish, or german descent living in a british colony.

In almost every standard it has broken the record for largest empire, except from largest continuous land empire ( record held by mongols), No other empire has influenced the world so dominantly since the roman empire. The British Empire was the last true Empire and finally sacrificed it' self during the WW1 and WW2, its legacy remains in it's golden age of exploration, science, philosophy, trade and language. She dominated the waves, and her armies showed courage not seen since Thermopylae or Pharsalus. Hey ways were as exemplary as Lycurgus' Sparta, Caesar's Rome or Shaka's Zulu's. Her wealth un-matched, her strength triumphant her intellect, unfathomable and her place in history set in stone as the Greatest Empire. Built by the Cannons of the Victory, the dominance of Nelson, the words Of Dickens, the ingenuity of Brunell and the Will of Churchill, she is above any list, and she is chiseled in the history of the world as the greatest empire.

A small island ended up ruling a third of the world at it's peak. It gave the world the only global language, and many of its institutions - giga

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6 The United States (1776 AD-Present)

Its not like I'm saying America is perfect or sits on the pedestal of highest success in all categories. It has and had its faults. The thing is we don't lead in any category other than defense spending, percent of incarcerated citizens and people who believe in christ. Other countries have followed our model and have the liberties and rights we proclaimed in our founding. We are not the freest nation on earth anymore. We like to regulate everything. So people can reasonably say we aren't the best. BUT. We are the States. Their is pride in being the 900 pound gorilla because we do have a FORCE of a military. Since our inception til the 70's we did nothing but advance in all fields. We are a very young nation, but we represent the democratic republic world. Other nations on here have failed and america isn't failing yet. We just aren't the undisputed best in the world right now. I vote america for the future could be bright with the right footing and the past is great.

"Other countries have followed our model and have the liberties" have you ever heard about the French revolution? Liberty, equality, fraternity... yes there is the source of the "model" the USA "created". You have a great country no only because of your army but you are far from been a CIVILIZATION not even close!

I believe a good indicator of how important america is as a civilization is to consider what the world would be like without it. First off it's a major possibility either Germany or Russia would rule most of the world with an iron fist after either side won work war 2. It was only because of Americas strength these nations were kept at bay. Secondly America may be smaller than past empires but that's by choice. America could easily conquer most of the world entirely on it's own apart from possibly Russia or China. Thirdly america has ushered in the digital age through smartphones, the internet, and entertainment the rest of the world still can't compete with. The invention and distribution of these things have influenced the world as deeply or more than the invention of anything else since the discovery of fire. Lastly, america isn't perfect or a world leader in almost any measurable scale but it is still the country where dreams come true. Anyone can become anything they want and ...more

Only nation to put a man on the moon and they did it in 1969. Meanwhile in other places that have existed for thousands of years, folks are still wiping their butts with their hands. 30 years later, computer scientists are hard at work in California USA pinging computers for the first time in which would be the beginning of computer networking and eventually lead to the creation of the internet where you can come here and ask, hmm whats the greatest civilization that ever existed? And people can vote for the roman empire or Persians or some other empire that is now GONE.. think about it. The USA isn't perfect but as far as cultural impact goes, from media, sports, movies, entertainment, the USA is the hub. Elected officials, protected rights of citizens and many more things make the United States a model for democracy. The country itself would be in better shape if the citiziens would spend more time paying attention to their elected officials and less time on stupid crap like keep up ...more

Trump rules and Putin drools

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7 Islamic Golden Age (750 AD - 1257 AD)

Not only was this one of the greatest civilizations in human history but was also accepted as the 'first universal civilization' due to the diversity of ethnicities, cultures, religions, etc.

The previous civilizations like Ancient Greece, Rome, China were also great civilizations however they were only regional civilizations but the Muslim Civilization not only preserved each of these previous civilizations but they also made inventions and innovations of their own.

I also think it is one of the most underrated civilizations and has been undermined by Euro-centric historiography. The Islamic Golden Age also paved the way for the European Renaissance and Enlightenment and had this Great Muslim Civilization had not declined and fallen and had kept united with each other; we would have most likely had modern science and technology eight hundred years ago rather than in the 21st Century.

Stanley Lane-Poole states in the back of his book called "The Story of the Moors ...more

One of the greatest and most underrated civilizations of all time. They made great contributions in science, math, astronomy and much more. Without people like Ibn al Haytham or Abu Nasr Al-Farabi and many more, the world would not be half as advanced as it is today. A lot of people try to undermine them because they started off translating and learning from older civilizations, making false accusations of "plagiarism", but that's how everybody learns from past knowledge, even Sir Isaac Newton said "If I have seen further than others, it's by standing on the shoulders of giants." And they made their own contributions as well which is what the jealous haters like to leave out. Anyway, haters gonna hate. I'm proud of what my ancestors have done.

This is the greatest civilisation and the largest empire as the people of its time had invented time, algebra and any other thing that was needed to make the world that we live in. This is so underrated as Muslims nowadays are tend to prejudiced as terrorists and barbaric people whilst these people are only a minority when the majority are regent people like us but are discriminated against in societies in the west.

Other civilization based on region and nationality (you cannot choose where you want to be born), but this one based on religion (it's completely freedom of choice).

The fact that the number of its follower is increasing (showing relatively their interest), and their believe that one day it will rise once for all, will put this civilization in this list twice.

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8 Mayan Empire (2000 BC-1540 AD)

It had some of the most intricate pyramids in the world and may not be as large as the Egyptians but they are definitely more refined in detail. Also, the Maya made history in their religion, mathematics, science, astronomy, and more.

I'm only saying Mayan because Greek and Aztec are not on here. They had great achievements in all fields.

Just on their knowledge of math and astronomy alone makes them the greatest. Even their calender was even more accurate than our atomic clock! - westofohio

The Maya built the first aqueduct system, ad had more advanced astronomy than today!

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9 Mongol Empire (1206 AD - 1368 AD)

The Mongols might have been barbaric-like people, but their power during their rule and their influence even today is astounding. They were essential in the development and improvement of trade, for example reopening the Silk Road. They also encouraged migration and moved people around their empire to help advance it. It was the first real experiment of interconnection and a 'global village' which allowed modern globalisation to take place. They also helped to spread ideas, culture and inventions, such as Chinese gunpowder to Europe. In fact, they are so influential that their effects can even be seen now. 1 in 200 people are descended from Genghis Khan. You don't see that anywhere else.

The mongols had pure skill on horseback and archery, not to mention the ability to adapt in siege, adding mobile towers and other siege weapons to their arsenal. They established and maintained a great trading system and the silk road. They almost conquered half of the world. It took Rome 200 years to reach their peak, which Mongolia did in 25. They deserve the #1 spot in my opinion.

The Mongolian Empire is one of the best empires in the history of the world. as said earlier hey reached their peak in 25 years, Rome took 200, and the Mongolian empire was much larger. They have the best cavalry in the history of the world, and a group of 10,000 scouts took out a crusade, which is basically all of Europe's military forces in one place. The first crusade had 600,000 people in it, so basically it was a 60 to one fight and the crusaders still lost, Mongolia is the best and deserves to be recognized for it

During a siege they asked to go into an enemy's fortress to measure their well, the pole they used to "measure" the well was poisoned, true military tactics.

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10 Persian Empire (550 BC - 651 AD)

One of the most successful empires. Made many technological advancements, they made many inventions that influenced modern inventions and life. Without them, humanity would be almost nothing.

By the way, I am Persian, so no surprise I voted on this. - floridiancat

The Persians made many advancements, they invented anesthesia and the pill, they were the first to start training people to be doctors, they invented the brick and the windmill, and most of all: they were the first to establish human rights.

Please read more about Persian civilization!

This should be the first!

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The Contenders

11 Chola Dynasty (350 BC-1279 AD)

The Cholas represented an outward looking power rather than insular inward looking like regimes before it's advent. It spread it's writ and influence deep into South East Asia and built magnificent temples. Well deserving of being among the greatest civilizations the world has seen.

One of the greatest Tamil-Hindu empires from India. Their contributions made Tamil one of the greatest, oldest languages and gave birth to Malayalam, Kannada and influenced the creation of Telugu languages. The cholas made Tamil Nadu and South India, the land of a million temples

As the people who found the better science and a better way of living without hurting others this is definitely the greatest empire...

One of the biggest empires in the world

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12 Ottoman Empire (1299 AD - 1923 AD)

The one and only empire to show that Islam can be unified with Western values. Furtermore, an empire which had control over the Middle East and Eastern Europe, despite being in constant proxy war with the greatest nations, empires etc. such as the British Empire, The Italian Empire, France, The Russian Empire. I would call the Ottoman Empire the only dynasty which could bring a lasting order and peace in Europe and Middle East. What a shame the Ottoman Empire ended in such manner when it had a great potential and was good at diplomatic relations.

Commanded mighty military might along with great advances in military tactics/technology. First civilization to arm all solders with firearms.

One of the monsters of world history, took Egypt, Greece, the Middle East, etc. These nations are on the Top Ten List, yet the one who took them aren't

WWI was not the end of Ottoman turkey. it just became really weak. turkey was a world power but not during WWI. they were allied with germany and were more focust on territory then their econemy at home. that may be one of the reasons they fell. also they were founded in 1209.

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13 Mughal Empire (1526 AD - 1857 AD)

Yeah yeah, cause some sell their own country, some build Taj Mahal for his beloved wife. And has other wives. While people die for food. Some plan to kill their own king. - zxm

They had almost all of Pakistan and India

The mugal empire was an empire of culture... Heritage.. Art... And many more royal things. Infact Akbar the mugal emperor united the 2 distinct religions and conquered almost all parts of India... Alas it was a great dynasty as it evolved in less than a few decade to good quality weapons... Architecture like TAJ MAHAL... And prospered in every possible way...


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14 Assyrian Empire (1920 BC-1311 AD)

Beautiful civilisation and always was and will be!

The Empire that built the first Library and University, also thought of the Pythagoras Theorem truly the empire of Knowledge.

Haha beautiful, they were awesome NOT because they were majestic and calm but majestic in killing people. 100+ respect

Assyrian civilization as Olmsted quoted was and is the light,which guides next generations of Empire's advances in to the future...

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15 Aztec Empire (1428 AD - 1521 AD)

When the Aztecs arrived on Tenochtitlan island it was unsustainable as a settlement. They built a series of dams that we still do not understand, which allowed them to control the level of the lakes water. This allowed them to build a great irrigation system. With which they reclaimed the no longer flooded marshland and built farms. They invented a water filtration system that provided perfectly safe nourishment. They lowered the water level and dammed previously underwater land. They designed a complex system of canals across the Island, floating agricultural colonies, a fertilization system and finished it up with magnificent public architecture. After the Spanish destroyed this system IT TOOK UNTIL THE 1920s BEFORE SCIENTISTS SOLVED THE CITIES FLOODING PROBLEM. And only by draining the entire lake.

This is without a doubt the most powerful, organized, sophisticated, and religious civilization to exist from the Americas. You have to consider they were able to overcome many obstacles that other civilizations did not face, all in only 60 years.

They started in an inhospitable swamp, and with a highly efficient Chinampa system built a huge city that exceeded in it's population that of any other in the Americas, or even the western world.

Not to mention all sorts of elaborate and monstrous stone architecture without metal tools, machinery, and animals. A highly advanced administrative system, they could keep up to 150 city states centered from their capital which hosted incredible commerce and trade across the empire unparalleled across the ancient world. An interesting fact, they were masters of life sciences, hosting advanced agriculture, medicine, ecology recycling, zoology, and were equally prominent with an extremely accurate, elaborate calendar system based on ...more

When you consider the adversities resolved in so little amount of time, this civilization vastly surpasses all others. I wonder what else had they accomplished, given, let's say, an extra century without the spaniards arriving in Mexico.

This is a terrible list :( 2/10

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16 Soviet Union (1917 AD - 1991 AD)

Might have been cruel and oppressive, but was extremely smart and advanced. It was number one in everything. This country literally ruled the world until it fell. But I am not saying that I supported it!

The USSR should be in the top ten. It's impact on the 20th Century is still felt to this day.

Development of space technology and socio-economic thought were, quite literally, revolutionary; and for half a century it had control over almost half the globe.

FDR was really optomistic about making soviet Russia our ally. unfortuneatly Mr. Truman destroyed that alliance. the korean war, Vietnam war, cuban missle crisis, and the invasion of afghanastan would not have happened had the cold war not started. tjey truly were a great world power though. and there remains Russia still is.

17 Kingdom of Scotland (843 - 1707 AD)

From Lauren Perry:
Even vegetarian haggis is delicious.
Highland cows (or coos, if you will). look them up.
Sexy Accents
Ever been to Edinburgh?
Loch Ness
Isle of Skye
All of the Highlands, as a matter of fact
Men in Kilts (bam)
The tomb of Robert the Bruce
Scotch Whisky.

18 Phoenicia (1200 BC - 539 BC)

They invented a practical alphabet which was the mother to the vast majority of modern alphabets around the world. The Phoenicians also invented the boat and were the first to navigate around Africa.

Phoenician were the wheel of civilization.

We would not have our alphabet if it weren't for the Phoenicians. They were also a massive maritime trading empire that heavily influenced the Greeks

19 Qing Dynasty (1644 AD - 1912 AD)
20 Pandyan Empire (50 AD-1350 AD)

One of the greatest Tamil empires... the classical Tamil, the oldest and still continuously spoken language in the world developed under the Pandyan patrons. Long Live Divine Classical Tamil!

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Top Remixes (22)

1. British Empire (1583 AD-present)
2. The United States (1776 AD-Present)
3. Chinese Empire (221 BC-1912 AD)
1. Ancient Egypt (3150 BC - 30 BC)
2. Chinese Empire (221 BC-1912 AD)
3. Greek Empire (800 BC-600 AD)
1. Mongol Empire (1206 AD - 1368 AD)
2. Roman Empire (27 BC-1453 AD)
3. British Empire (1583 AD-present)

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