The GREATEST Empires
in World History
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One definition of an empire is that it is a state which controls or dominates over areas and populations that have a different culture and / or ethnicity than its own. Dictionary.com defines it as a group of nations or peoples ruled over by an emperor, empress, or other powerful sovereign or government.
World empires, by their very nature, have come and gone since the first one began three thousand years ago and have used a wide variety of methods to rule. Examples of world powers in history include those centered in Assyria, Babylon, Greece, Rome, Egypt, Parthia and others.
The list of empires below includes land that an empire claimed was theirs even if such territorries had few if any people.
Additionally, it should be noted that GDP (Gross Domestic Product the total value of all goods and services produced in a year) data has only been available for a few centuries, with highly accurate data available only in the last few decades. Some well-known empires that are not in the top 10 for a particular category are also listed with their corresponding rank.
Rank of Greatest Empires based on Land Controlled
(unless specified all numbers are in the millions of square miles)
(the number in parenthesis is the year milestone reached)
1. British - 14.13 mi² (1922)
2. Mongol - 12.82 mi² (1268)
3. Russian - 8.8 mi² (1895)
4. Spanish - 7.33 mi² (1759-1788)
5. Umayyad Arab - 5.1 mi² (723-743)
6. French - 4.82 mi² (1938)