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Top 10 Greatest Empires in History

by AaronAhmadi   July 13, 2011 at 7:00AM  |  Views: 70,996

5. Ottoman Empire

Image: Dorling Kindersley/Getty Images

With Constantinople as its capital city, the Ottoman Empire started in 1299 and ended in 1923. This Muslim state ruled not only over much of the Middle East, but also parts of North Africa and Europe as well. For 600 years this empire was known as the only one that allowed its citizens to retain their religious, cultural, and ethnic identities. Unfortunately it was this very attitude towards multiculturalism that led to the fall of the empire and the creation of dozens of new countries.

4. Macedonian Empire

Image: Michel Setboun/Getty Images

What can you say about a tiny state in the northeastern part of the Greek peninsula that Alexander the Great took and made into a full-blown kingdom? Alexander's conquests seized so much territory that at the time the Macedonian Empire was the strongest empire on the planet. He even managed to take over much of the territory of the Persian Empire. In 323 B.C. when Alexander died, no leader was left in charge so the land was split up.

3. British Empire

Image: Todd Davidson/Getty Images

The world has never known such a massive empire like the British Empire – in fact it was the first and foremost global empire. This empire grew not only by wars being waged, but also by a fierce competition for resources and markets. Almost a quarter of the Earth's land mass was covered by this gigantic force, spanning 33,700,000 square kilometers altogether.

2. Mongol Empire

Image: Sergio Momo/Getty Images

Sure Alexander the Great won numerous battles and conquered so much territory, but the Mongol Empire at its peak was five times the size of Alexander's Empire. World Conquest was Genghis Khan's goal, and in just a short period of time he claimed land from the Yellow Sea to the Caspian Sea, taking over parts of Persia and China. Genghis Khan died of battle wounds in 1227, but that didn't stop his successors from conquering parts of Eastern Europe. What makes this empire so great is that it was the largest contiguous empire in history, but that's also the reason why it fell, as unity was lost among its people. The bigger they are, the harder they fall.

1. Roman Empire

Image: Dorling Kindersley/Getty Images

No one can deny the influence of the Roman Empire. From military weapons to political systems, this empire is without a doubt the greatest of all time. Founded in 27 B.C, Julius Caesar was an integral part of turning the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire when he was appointed as perpetual dictator. Ancient Rome has made tremendous contributions to history, not just in war, also in art, literature, religion, architecture, and politics.