Top 10 Greatest Empires of All Time

The Top Ten
1 Roman Empire The Roman Empire was a post-Republican period of ancient Rome that lasted from 27 BC to 476 AD. It was characterized by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe, North Africa, and parts of Asia. The Roman legal system and Latin language have had a lasting impact on the Western world. At its height, the empire was one of the most powerful economic, cultural, and military forces in the world.

Easily the greatest empire of all time. The Romans were the first and only empire to conquer the entire culturally diverse Mediterranean Sea. There society left such a profound impact on human history that we still sea their influence today in architecture, art, music, theatre, language, technology, science, medicine, and so much more.

It is the first state that comes to mind when it comes to empire. They brought civilization to the people it ruled. The war tactics were good. It cannot be compared with other colonial and invading states.The empire lasted for many years.

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.

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

In his heyday, he had the upper hand against all his enemies in the east, west and south. He defeated all the troops created by fighting alone. He took civilization to the places he ruled for 600 years. He never exploited. It is the best empire after the Roman empire. It can never be compared with other colonial and invading states. They are not the Empire.

I believe it is the worst empire in history as it was extremely oppressive. My great grandmother and grandfather were refugees from the Turkish genocides of 1915.

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.

4 Mongolian Empire

They are the best warriors in history. They had genius commanders. Their war strategy was invincible. Maybe they didn't live up to the name of the Empire, but they were the best warriors.

Largest contiguous land empire the world has ever seen. Genghis Khan and his descendants had a monumental impact in shaping human history (Yuan China, the Golden Horde, the Timurids, the Mughals).

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.

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 French Colonial Empire

Napoleon threw the country away when he attacked Russia though

7 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,

8 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.

9 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

10 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.

The Contenders
11 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.

12 Macedonian Empire

It is the country of Alexander the Great, one of the greatest people in history. They became the best warriors of their time with their war tactics. The only shortcoming is the Empire did not live long. They were weak in state administration.

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!

13 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.

14 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.

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 Byzantine Empire

Tried to rebuild the Roman Empire. But failed.

Should be higher than Nazi empire.

17 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.

18 Second French Colonial Empire
19 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.

20 Holy Roman Empire
21 Japanese Empire

I'm only voting this to correct whomever posted the fourth comment on this country. Whomever posted: "Japan was the most powerful single nation."... "US soldiers were actually afraid of the Japanese and were losing the war in the Pacific" needs to read up on their history.
1. Japan was BRIEFLY winning the war in the pacific after they launched a cowardly sneak attack on Pearl Harbor.
2. Japan launched the attack because the US cut off their oil, and they had no means of getting more. I feel that "the single most powerful nation" should be able to supply their own natural resources.
3. After the Battle of Midway, it was all downhill for the Japanese. After all, the U.S.-winning battles of Leyte Gulf, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa were fought as a means of setting up the invasion of Japan. Once Okinawa was captured, Japan would have been invaded from there.
4. The U.S. did not drop the atomic bombs because they were scared. Japan had pretty much lost the war by now. The U.S. dropped ...more

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?!

22 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.

23 Austro-Hungarian Empire

This is my favorite Empire in history. I think it is interesting that the emperors of Austria-Hungary used royal marriages to increase relations with other countries and to become the Emperor of that country.

Austrian empire superior

24 Ming Dynasty
25 Dutch Empire

The Dutch Empire is one of the most underestimated empires in history. They had territories that include: Indonesia, Belgium, Luxembourg, Brazil, parts of India, Taiwan, Sri Lanka, South Africa(Afrikaans is very similar to Dutch)and many more. They entirely controlled the US states of Delaware, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Connecticut and also controlled and founded modern day New York City whose Boroughs still bear names derived from Dutch words and named(and actually used to be called New Amsterdam).

They had Indonesia, New Amsterdam (New York), Suriname, parts of Africa and ruled the seas for a decade.

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