Top 10 Greatest Empires of All Time

The Top Ten
1 Roman Empire

The Romans were truly superior to any of the other civilizations listed here. Out of all of the civilizations listed here, the Romans spread their dominance the most, lasting 2000 something years without an major outside empire taking them out.

For their time, they were extremely advanced. This is something that most people here fail to remember. Why the people of the Germanic tribes and Brits were living in huts, and the Chinese and Japanese in Asia were living in houses made out of wood and partly of paper, and tile-roofed, the glorious Romans were living in architectural marvels.

All of the empires that succeeded the Roman Empire wouldn't have been possible if the Roman Empire hadn't fallen.

By far the most influential empire of all time. Also, the Roman Empire, for the most part, was very tolerant of other religions, customs, and traditions. No other empire in history has been studied, and emulated as much as Rome. Every empire since has followed in its footprints, taking lessons from its spectacular rise to its turbulent downfall. No other empire built up its provinces the way Rome did. At its peak, Rome was probably the most stable empire of all time. And it's the only empire whose fall came about, at least partly, by peoples who, instead of wanting to bring about the fall of the empire, wanted to join in its success.

Certainly the most intriguing Empire to me. An Empire born out of the structure of the city state, the earlier Greek model that is commonly recognized as the birth of "Western" civilization. The great advantage the Romans added was their own ability to assimilate other cultures ideas into their own. It's open mindedness, if you will, was it's greatest strength. For 400+ years, they ruled the greater portion of their known world, and that's pretty impressive. The fall of the Roman Empire plunged Europe into the Dark Ages, with many cultures reverting back to a technological age that existed prior to the Rise of Rome. Although the ideology lived on in Constantinople, the European landscape had changed forever.

The mighty Roman Empire is definite the best empire of all time. It inspired all the other western empires on this list and its effects are still felt today. They had running water in their cities hundreds of years before London became the first to have it too in the 1800s They even had a makeshift steam engine long before the Industrial Revolution. They also last more than millennium and inspired all Romance languages (French, Spanish, Italian). It's fall also kick started the age of discovery in which Columbus reached America.

2 British Colonial Empire

It was mostly a economic empire that was built on great (money, profit and black mail) that mad it a lot more powerful, so it could grow bigger, it is currently still the biggest empire to have ever lived. It was ruling 1/3 of the land and people, if it was not for the Nazi empire its likely it would still be around today and be even bigger than what it was. Nazi empire made empires to be identified as imperial and bad, by the end of ww2 and the end of Nazi empire the British empire lost its money (it was brock), needed to re-build and the British public felt like the British empire was all bad and needed to be tacking down (from the inside out). However it was not just public demand but knowing the British money problem could get worse, the empire die because the most powerful in the British empire did not want it to all end in violence and did leave peacefully as it desalinized itself. Some places still wanted to stay colones even today but British pubic did not want an empire so ...more

Technically speaking in terms of power no one can deny that the British empire dominates. It showed its might in the boar war, Napoleonic wars (both Naval and infantry), second Boar war, WW2, and the first world war. All of these wars were fought by the British empire and none destroyed it. The first world war is possibly the biggest example of their strength. They defeated the ottoman empire, dismembered the Austro- Hungarians and beat the other opposing force that was Germany's empire. They undoubtedly had the best navy which was shown in the blockade against Germany in the first world war and also survived the onslaught of the Nazis. For more than three centuries they were the biggest superpower ever and in comparison to the time the most powerful empire ever to have been in existent. They were also the reason for the united states being where it is today and during world war two Britain was stronger than America! They were the equivalent to China in terms of manufacturing during ...more

They are the backstabber of the world I must say. Hold on. Don't dislike. It's just an opinion but they ruined every chance of everlasting peace. Imagine if the central powers won by his support instead of supporting the weaker ones. The world would be more peaceful because Hitler doesn't have to worry about the great depression. He'll just become a soldier of the German army. But this guy ruined everything. But I'm so glad the queen of UK stopped this colonial empire and made peace.

The largest empire in human history deserves to be at the top of this list due to population size of 400,000,000 people on every continent, for its 33,000,000 sqkm, and for maintaining its importance for more than 300 years. They defeated Germany twice in two world wars. They ruled over many populous countries such as India. They are the only European country to defeat China in warfare taking control of Hong Kong, shanghai, and other ports. The british empire was history's only hyperpower, a nation so powerful that they have complete dominance over every other nation on earth in every way.

3 Ottoman Empire

This state established in very difficult tume on Muslims.
This state ruled with justice and did not oppress the non-Muslims, but their rights were taken care of and the cities that were conquered were not destroyed but settled and included in development.

A great empire based on fairness and justice. It was a great country for immigrants and was already very diverse. It was strong and lasted for a long time for since 1299 to 1922 and sated strong until the 19th century. It had great rulers, much better than the British such as Mehmed the Conquerer and Suleiman the Magnificent. It showed the world some of it's wonders except the world didn't react to it the same way. The Russians weren't even a threat until the Turkish were weak. That doesn't mean that they are strong just because they beat someone weak. I'm telling you that none of these empires would be competition against the Ottoman Empire's golden age.

As a Turk, I cannot say Ottoman Empire was greatest. It lasted for 6 centuries, but its last 200 years is just about staying alive and losing lands and cities one by one. I am not saying anything before 1500-1600s, but after the Renaissance, Reform and Industrial Revolution of Europe, Ottoman Empire was stayed behind of modern and improved European countries such as France, Germany and Britain. Significance of lack of science in Ottoman was a huge deal. Printing machine came to this country 200 years later after its invention. There was no culture, science, art or anything productive. Just usage of occupied lands.

Ottoman Empire was a great empire in its half, its second half is just corrupted, unproductive country until Mustafa Kemal Atatürk came.

Not to sound too religious, but it brought peace, philosophy, technologies and colorful tradition to its highest peak to places where it once ruled. Same goes to the Ummayads, Mughals and abbasid's empire. They didn't brutalize people for their religion or cultural differences such as nazi's and the romans. They brought vast development to cities in europe where the rest of it was suffering from the dark ages. And the most unique of all was the intolerance between religions was exceptional in their empire. That's what Islam teaches.

4 Mongolian Empire

No other civilization in history saw as much success in combat as the Mongols. They are the greatest military force the world has ever seen. If you change the outcome of just one or two events they literally would have conquered the entire civilized world. No other civilization has had such a massive impact on the world in such a short period of time.

The biggest land empire ever. The mongols restored the silk road and improved the trade all over the world. Many inventings came from India, China, and Persia to Europe. Also Genghis Khan had religious freedom in his empire and left the people live their way.

- They would have taken the entire world if just the legacy of Genghis Khan had passed on to 1 person instead of 4.

- Largest contiguous empire ever known.

- Anhilated 11% of the world population

- Allowed people to be spared if the generals of the nations surrendered to Mongolia.

- No racism or discrimination.

- 0.5% of the people who live today are direct decsendants of Genghis.

- Brilliant millitary warfare. Masters at expanding their empire with low costs.

- Genghis did not loose a singe battle.

- Extremly feared and respected.

- Actually managed to conquer land by themselves by brute force and not do it internal, like the british did with India.

- Filthy rich.

38/100 longevity
10/10 size
10/10 variety of subjects
100/100 supremacy of law
100/100 power
68/100 culture
100/100 trade
62/100 science
100/100 Battle Strategy

You gotta admit that mongolian empire which conquered much of asia and europe is also remarkable due to its power and the influence on Asian culture on the other side, despite not lasting long.

5 Spanish Colonial Empire

The 4th biggest empire, behind the British, Mongols and the Russians. While it doesn't have a legacy close to the Roman Empire or the British Empire. It did hold a large influence in the New World as we know it. They weren't the first European in the New World, but they were the ones that made everyone in Europe aware of the existence of a new continent (meanwhile, the vikings thought they were somewhere in Greenland). There wouldn't have been global empires the way we know it without the Spanish and the Portuguese empires.

Alright clearly this goes by nationality, this is all wrong guys. The French empire was not even comparable to the Russian, british or Spanish empire! It was one of the least influencial empires seen in Europe, even the portuguese have considerably larger and more useful empire than France ever did. The Spanish Empire started the whole colony system guys, and the superpower of Europe from the 1500-1700 with nearly undefeated armies during that time. It is extremely underrated in my opinion, mainly by people who just do not want to recognize for the strength it posed (immature). Anyways it deserves to be at least in the top 6 guys, go Google about it a while guys and discover the roots of over sea empires. Hope I didn't sound like an ass but it is true guys, it was extremely powerful and has had a huge impact in the whole world like the result lf the 30 year war or the ear of jenkins war.
PS: The French empire was puny, I don't see how it made it up there guys, really.

How is the Spanish Colonial Empire behind France Colonial Empire Spain was the first to claim land if it wasn't for the Spanish it could have taken the New World a long time to be found and one thing like this could change another thing. Spread Catholicism and was a World Power until it influenced the French and English to do the same thing.

Most spoken language globally and 2nd most spoken overall (with the first being Mandarin, which is chiefly spoken solely in China). 360 million people speak English; over 400 million speak Spanish. The first true global empire.

6 Soviet Union

Lots of people praise the Roman Empire and the Ottoman Empire for being one of the biggest civilizations in history. However, did you ever stop to think about what impact they had on their people? The Soviet Union industrialized Russia and advanced the Red Army with guns, missiles, and nuclear weapons. The Romans can't compete with this unstoppable force of Communism, and the Ottomans would easily surrender after 2 nuclear weapons are launched against them.

20th century communist superpower with lots of land. In 1945 it raided Berlin and ended WWII in europe. After WWII it created many important technologies such as AK47 which revolutionized assult rifles, the sattelite, and send the first man to ever be in space Yuri Gagarin and it also started building nuclear arms which made it a superpower.

The first and only empire ruled through dictatorship of the proletariat! The working man was emperor here. Very glorious.

Even though I hate communism, the Soviet Union was the first to practice the system.

7 French Colonial Empire

Napoleon threw the country away when he attacked Russia though

8 Russian Empire

From the Baltic to the bearing sea from Asia to the plains of Europe the Russian Empire was vast and mighty it was only from the incompetence of her leaders and bad luck that she should fall.

The Russian empire was great and it was a oppressive nation. Perhaps lenin was right but I think the Tsars of Russia were the true heros in Russian history.

Russia produced amazing literature, showing its culture. Russia was and is one of the largest nations on earth, and the elite of the Romanov dynasty had unimaginable wealth.

One of the largest, and one of the greatest (to some). Russia also became a European Power back in it's Imperial Dynasty,

9 United States

America is the best country ever it has the biggest Air Force and Navy. Are troops will smash anything and everthing but our people suck cause they don't won't to get their hands dirty. 50000 thousand deaths and it's the end of the world. If we didn't get in world war 1 and 2 everybody would be speaking in German. The only thing keeping us back from smash Russia and China is Russia nuclear bombs but if Russia us their bombs we got 7000 coming back at you. So for you haters quit going by news and look up the facts.

Greatest nation that has ever existed having she'd more treasure & blood to alleviate suffering around the world than all other nations & empires in world history. Too bad the internet is filled with anti American trolls that reflexively crap on this wonderful bastion of freedom & liberty. God bless America.

You can argue about America's moral status all day.. What you cannot deny is the US is an incredibly powerful nation both militarily and economically. The US has obtained a level of unchallenged power that maybe no one has ever had before.

The United States, I have to admit, is most likely the most powerful country in the history of this world. The only problem is that people refer to army in stating that it is the reason it is the "greatest nation". I have to admit though, without america, we most likely would've lost ww1 and ww2.

10 Persian Empire

You have no idea how large and powerful as well as culturally diverse this empire was. The only force that could stop this vast empire was the Mongolian army and the Islamic Arab Army during the Islamic Conquest of Persia COMBINED! Had one of those armies stood back the Persian empire could still be standing strong right now.

Achaemenid persia was the world's first superpower and held the largest population figure of any empire (44 percent of the world's population) the highest figure of any empire. The first person to bear the title "the great" was the persian king cyrus the great. the persians laid the ground work for the modern world by introducing the never before seen ideas of freedom of religion, free will, and were the first to outlaw slavery. their empire was somewhere in the neighborhood of 8,500,000 kilometers

Ya. I am agree with you there are many eventual evidence that the PERSIAN (IRANIAN) empire was, is and will be the biggest empire of the world. The border was from INDIA to EGYPT. That was a big continent

I think all of you guys that just voted here need to go and check the history book that you have been reading before than I think maybe you can understand who the hell is the best.
I'm truly sorry for you guys. You guys can go... Yourself

The Contenders
11 Mughal Empire

The Mughal Empire was an Islamic Empire that had the greatest territorial rule over India, ruling over today's Pakistan, Afghanistan and most of Subcontinental India, then known as Hindustan, between 1526 and 1707. The Empire was founded by its first leader, the Timurid leader Babur in 1526 when he defeated Ibrahim Lodi, the last of the Delhi Sultans at the first battle of Panipat. The word"Mughal" is the Persian word for"Mongol" The Mughal Empire was an Islamic Religious Empire.

12 Egyptian Empire

There were many innovations courtesy of the Egyptian empire. From inventing the world's first ships and navy to science, maths, architecture, medicine, pyramids, engineering and many many more. Many civilizations around the world hired Egyptian physicians and teachers and most of these civilizations would send their princes to schools in Egypt. Egyptian empire was vast at that time. Heck, the Mesopotamians were even liable to the Egyptian empire in the form of treaties. These jet black Africans created the best empire at its time. The architecture of Egypt was widely copied and the empire had its captals being the largest in the world at that time.

Oldest empire on earth. Oldest depiction of military training. Oldest known peace treaty. Invented forts and castles. Oldest record of a battle. Largest empire at its time. Invented the navy and warships. They survived the earliest recorded ambush. Oldest iron daggers. Thutmose had over 350 cities captured. Capitals of the empire, Thebes and Pi Ramesses were the largest cities on earth at that time. Need I say more.

To say the least -- it lasted for thousands of years - invented engineering, math, and religions. You may argue all you want.

If Negroids did not build this achievement then all the ones at the top 10 would not have existed. enough said.

13 Macedonian Empire

Macedonia was Hellenistic, but not Greek, they literally were looked down on as savages by the Greek City states... Until Phillip II and Alexander."

Macedonia is not Greek. But it s nice to know some people know that.

Persian empire is the biggest empire in the history!

A mighty empire forged in a little over a decade by the greatest warrior king of all time - Alexandros Philipou Makedonon.

14 Qing Dynasty China

Qing dynasty is a empire that covered the whole of China, partly of Vietnam, Laos, Russia, Mongolia, kygrystan and India.
China is the best warfighter country in Asia (better than Japan) it won that much land starting from only the city peking.

The Qing Empire was so populous that at its relative height it contained over a third of the world population.

All hail the motherland, ching chong ching chong.

15 First French Empire

This empire, set up by Napoleon Bonaparte has conquered powerful countries all over Europe: Prussia, Austria, Poland, the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal and the Italian peninsula! It was ruled by an Emperor, only one, Napoleon. Unlike say the Romans, who conquered barbarians, Napoleonic France conquered powerful countries (but not Great Britain). It also invited allies such as Denmark-Norway, the Ottoman Empire and for a point in time, Russia, Sweden, Prussia, Austria, Persia, Spain and the US.

Napoleon Simply started small from captain to General dictator to emperor. France had a huge army and even conquered quite a bit of russia and took moscow for like a day. This was Frances greatest period

16 Tang Dynasty

The most influential period in Chinese civilization when tons of scholars from Japan, Tibet and Korea came and adopt the Chinese characters and architecture.

Chinese dynasties are underrated, the Tang at its peak covered over 10 million km squared, one of the largest empires in history.

17 Han Dynasty

If you're familiar with not only the world history but also Chinese history, you'll agree with that Han Dynasty has the most overwhelming dominance position ever in the world while powerful Rome Empire during the same period is totally unmatched.

Put the Han dynasty against Rome and it will easily destroy it and enslave their empire even though slavery was illegal in China.

They have the most skillful man and have many smart people living in that time.

It is the strongest dynasty in China.

18 Byzantine Empire

Tried to rebuild the Roman Empire. But failed.

Should be higher than Nazi empire.

19 Maurya Empire

Don't think so it is an infamous or weak empire. An mighty empire stretching from Gandhar (modern day Afghanistan) to Bengal and Kashmir to the south of Tamil Nadu. The most important is that a world conqueror Alexander whom people call great, his military(after his death) was even afraid to fight with the might of Chandragupta Maurya. People say Indians never conquered anyone else but just think about its extent. Even today the people of China and Japan are Buddhist because of Ashoka, He also propagated it to Malaysia and Indonesia.

The main thing is knowledge, under Chanakya India was the richest and had the best economic system. Even today the whole world is following the economic methods invented by Chanakya. That was the might of this empire for which many empires could not even think of fighting it. Alexander's military general Secules was even defeated by Chandragupta. That's correct that in absence of Alexander his army was weak but still you can't tell Secules was weak ...more

20 German Empire

I kinda feel bad for them. Every other country blamed Germany for a war that Austria-Hungary had done. And then they blame Austria for when Germany really started WW2.

One of the strongest empires in the world before WW1. It was technologically ahead and it had one of the biggest armies of the world.

I hope that the German empire reunites. All hail Otto Von Bismarck and the German Empire.

The Empire united by Bismarck that defeated France and Austria while being puny.

21 Second French Colonial Empire
22 Ming Dynasty
23 Nazi Empire

They had a terrible leader, but still conquered Europe in only a decade. Highly organized, had te most powerful military of their time. Again, don't like Hitler, but their quick rise to power is impressive.

Well he (Herr Hitler) did transform a poor, backward indebted country into a world superpower in under 10 years, I think that deserves a vote!

Don't think, Germany is weak after Hitler, they are still able to be dangerous for whole Europe and the USA.

Adolf herr Hitler made a poor ruined Weak country into a War machine and World threat in UNDER 10 YEARS. should be a smart (but evil) man.

24 Holy Roman Empire
25 Japanese Empire

Japan was the most powerful country in Asia after the Meiji Revolution. To avoid becoming a colony, they created an Empire that includes most of the countries in Eastern and South-east Asia. No country could defeat in during the second world war until America came along.

It began in 1946 or anywhere in WWII destroying Korea then the Japanese empire started the same way I asked at the beginning.

Part Japanese and proud (50%)
So, I can be a sushi ninja too mom!

Fear the power of the great Japanese Empire, no one gives them enough credit for their power, I mean, the US isn't and has never been an empire, so why is it even ON here?!

Japan Was what Most POWERFUL Single NATION. JAPAN Defeated the Russians and captured them 80000 alive over 2 years of War. Again Japan defeated the British capturing 1,40,000 alive in Singapore and then Hongkong. It was British Largest Surrender in History. Actually nowadays People don't have Enough Imformation about The Ancient Japan.Remember it took Us To Atomb Bomb 2times.Honestly the US soldiers were actually afraid of Japanese and were losing the war in the Pacific. Just Search Wars in Wikipedia about The GREAT JAPAN!

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