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List of largest empires

An empire involves the extension of a state's sovereignty over external territories. For example, first the Spanish Empire and then the British Empire were called "the empires on which the sun never sets", because of their territories and possessions around the globe. This article provides a list of the largest empires in world history.

There are various notions of size that can be applied; for each of these notions it is the case that for most historical empires only estimates can be given for the maximal value in time attained for that particular notion of size, and usually there is furthermore no clear consensus among historians regarding the best estimate if only because there is often no unambiguous information about an empire's historical boundaries. Thus, the values given here should generally be interpreted as being only indicative, and not as determining a precise ranking.

Contents


Measurement

The calculation of the land area of a particular empire is controversial. In general, the list centers on the side of including any land area that was explored and explicitly claimed, even if the areas were populated very sparsely or not at all. For example, a large portion of Northern Siberia is included in the size of the Russian Empire but not the Mongol Empire. The Mongol Empire's northern border was somewhat ill-defined, but in most places it was simply the natural border between the steppe and the taiga. At the time the majority of the taiga and tundra were unexplored and uninhabited. This area was only very sparsely populated by the Russian Empire, but it had been explicitly claimed by the Russian Empire by the 17th century, and its extent had been entirely explored by the late 19th century. Similarly, the northernmost Canadian islands such as Ellesmere Island were explored and claimed by the British Empire by the mid-19th century (virtually the entire mainland was at least sparsely populated well before that).

The only claims on mainland Antarctica are included in the area of the British Empire.

Due to the historical trend of increasing population and GDP, the list of largest empires in these categories is highly dependent on which relatively recent political entities are defined as empires. The measures of population and GDP as a percentage of the world total take into account this historical growth, although decent GDP data is only available for the last few centuries, accurate only for the last decades.

Debates regarding definition of imperial domains

Compilations of history s largest empires (in both geographical size and population) often vary due to differing definitions of imperial borders throughout history and across distinct historical traditions. Imperial domains have been variously defined in terms of direct administrative rule from a common ruling authority, military presence, colonization and settlement, collection of tribute, economic dependence, or even incorporation into a common trading or ideological network. Many imperial domains have therefore enjoyed varying degrees of autonomy, self-rule, or even outright independence (though sometimes with a dependent or protectorate relationship to a stronger power). Some regions claimed by an imperial authority have been large, yet arid and very sparsely populated lands without much administrative control whatsoever. Therefore, empires can vary in size according to these designations, often quite significantly.

For example in India, which experienced varying levels of European contact and imperial forays since Vasco da Gama s expeditions in 1497-1498, French, Dutch, Portuguese and especially British authorities claimed authority over increasing portions of the Indian Subcontinent. This process culminated in the period of the British Raj (and its smaller French and Portuguese counterparts) after 1857. Nevertheless, even then approximately half of Indian territory consisted of Princely States under de facto and de jure rule of local rajas and maharajas. While the Indian princes often sought protection and mediation from the European maritime powers, they minted their own coins, issued their own edicts, and otherwise ruled of their own accord; furthermore, the Indian independence Act, which ended the British presence by 1948, did not apply to the Princely States, which required separate negotiations with the new Indian nation as independent states in themselves. Thus, although many European maps showed nearly the whole of India as a predominantly British colony in the late 19th century, close to 50% was functionally independent.

Another issue is that many of history s empires have ruled over vast and mostly uninhabited territorial expanses, sparsely populated by largely autonomous tribes, and with little in the way of direct administration or settlement by an imperial power. For example, various Mongol khanates from the 13th century established dominion over arid steppes in Central Asia and Siberia that were difficult to control from a central authority, as was the case with the expansionist Tsardom of Russia empires from the 17th century, which established control in the same regions. In both cases, administrative structures and settlements were gradually introduced into the regions with Russian settlers, for example, initiating forts and frontier cities in the 19th century in particular and so the size of each empire in any given decade would depend on how strict one s criteria are in regard to the presence of true settlement and administration. Likewise, in more recent history, almost half the land expanse that is often regarded as part of the British Empire (and also much of the historical French Empire in North America), consisted of essentially barren and uninhabitable terrain in Canada and the interior of Australia, which was often difficult to even map, let alone settle and administer. Even today, the population of those regions (particularly in Nunavut and the Northwest Territories of Canada) consists largely of sparse settlements of self-governing indigenous peoples, with little in the way of submission to a central ruling authority.

During the Muslim conquests of the 7th and early 8th centuries, Rashidun armies established the Caliphate, or Islamic Empire, one of the largest empires ever. The 7th century saw the introduction of Islam in the Arabian Peninsula, where The Prophet Muhammad established a new unified political polity in the Arabian peninsula which under the subsequent Rashidun and Umayyad Caliphates saw a century of rapid expansion of Arab power well beyond the Arabian peninsula in the form of a vast Muslim Arab Empire with an area of influence that stretched from northwest India, across Central Asia, the Middle East, North Africa, southern Italy, and the Iberian Peninsula, to the Pyrenees. However, internal feuding among ruling figures in the empire led it to fragment into several states under separate administrations, such as the Umayyads (whose rule continued in Spain after it collapsed elsewhere), Abbasids, Ayyubids, Mamluks and many others. These were in addition to a variety of other Muslim states in Sudan, Indonesia and elsewhere that later arose outside of the main Islamic Empires, through trade and other contacts. Thus, the size of these empires vary depending on how membership in the empire is defined as being under a single administration, accepting a particular ruler or following the dictates of the Caliph (which technically, Sunni Muslims in general were expected to do).

Similarly, the Mongol Empire lost its unity upon the death of the Great Khan M ngke during fighting in China in 1259, with the Golden Horde s Berke Khan and the Il-Khanate s Hulegu Khan even taking up arms against each other and supporting rival factions for selection of the Great Khan. However, upon the death of Berke a Muslim the religious impetus for conflict among the khanates subsided, with the Mongols again supposedly loyal to the new Great Khan Kublai before fragmenting yet again later. If the khanates are considered to have been a unified Mongol Empire under Kublai stretching from Korea and China in the east through Siberia and Central Asia and into Persia and Eastern Europe in the west it would easily be the world s largest in terms of both land area and population (as a percentage of the world total). A related question arises with the granting of dominion and commonwealth statuses among former imperial domains, in which the domains acquire a high degree of self-rule, equivalent to independence in some estimations. For example, Australia attained dominion status in 1901 which may or may not have indicated a departure from the British Empire, depending on interpretation of the status.

Finally, many of history s empires have had unusual arrangements among multiple powers, such as joint rule by several authorities, layers of rule (with different powers assuming different levels of administrative authority), territorial division with blurred boundaries or other forms of empire without a single obvious central authority. For example, the Manchus, who established the Qing Dynasty in 17th-century China, also conquered nomadic lands to the north, including Mongolia. The Manchus increasingly merged with the Chinese population over the centuries, so that the administration took on both Manchu and Chinese features with no clear division among them. The Mongol chieftains of Outer Mongolia in particular, pledged loyalty to the Manchus but retained substantial autonomy, and when the Qing Dynasty collapsed in the early 20th century, the status of Outer Mongolia relative to the new Chinese state became unclear. Britain had a very complicated arrangement with Egypt and Sudan. Egyptian forces battled the British in the Alexandria Expedition in 1807, but in the wake of this, British officials exerted varying degrees of sway in Egypt especially by the late 19th century, with the French also assuming a role in the Suez Canal territory. Sudan, in turn, was technically a colony of the Egyptians, but the British exerted de facto sway on Sudan indirectly via Egypt. Thus, accounts vary on the imperial status (or lack thereof) of both Egypt and Sudan. Lastly, in the wake of the Bolshevik Revolution, many nations took on a Communist character and attached themselves to the global Communist center of the Soviet Union. Mongolia, North Korea, and China following Communist victory in the Chinese civil war, all took guidance from the Soviet Union especially in the years just after their Communist transformations. The Soviet Union also exercised varying control over Eastern Europe via the Warsaw Pact even though the Pact countries were formally independent, while Communist nations in Africa and Latin America also sought Soviet guidance. Therefore, the lists of largest empires below represent merely a sample of possible rankings depending on the specific criteria used to define an empire.

European colonial empires

The first global empires were a product of the European Age of Exploration that began with a race of exploration between the then most advanced maritime powers, Portugal and Spain, in the 15th century. The initial impulse behind these maritime empires and those that followed was trade, driven by the new ideas and the capitalism that grew out of the European Renaissance. Agreements were also reached to divide the world up between them in 1479, 1493, and 1494.

Portugal began establishing the first global trade network and empire under the leadership of Henry the Navigator. Portugal would eventually establish colonial domains from Brazil, in South America, to several colonies in Africa (namely Portuguese Guinea, Cape Verde, S o Tom and Pr ncipe, Angola and Mozambique), in Portuguese India (most importantly Bombay and Goa), in China (Macau), and Oceania (most importantly Timor, namely East Timor), amongst many other smaller or short-lived possessions (see Evolution of the Portuguese Empire).

During its peak, the Spanish Empire had possession of the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Belgium, most of Italy, parts of Germany, parts of France, and many colonies in the Americas, Africa, Asia and Oceania. With the conquest of inland Mexico, Peru, and the Philippines in the 16th century, Spain established overseas dominions on a scale and world distribution that had never been approached by its predecessors (the Mongol Empire had been larger but was restricted to Eurasia). Possessions in Europe, Africa, the Atlantic Ocean, the Americas, the Pacific Ocean, and the Far East qualified the Spanish Empire as attaining a global presence in this sense.

From 1580 to 1640 the Portuguese Empire and the Spanish Empire were conjoined in a personal union of its Habsburg monarchs, during the period of the Iberian Union, though the empires continued to be administered separately.

Subsequent global empires included the French, Dutch, and British empires. The latter, consolidated during the period of British maritime hegemony in the 19th century, became the largest of all empires by virtue of the improved transportation technologies of the time. At its height, the British Empire covered a quarter of the Earth's land area and comprised a quarter of its population. Germany and Italy were unified later than the other major European countries and so they joined other European powers in establishing colonies overseas only during the "Scramble for Africa" in the 19th century. By the 1860s, the Russian Empire — continued as the Soviet Union — became the largest contiguous state in the world. Russia continues this distinction, despite having "lost" its Soviet periphery (Russia today includes slightly over half the world's longitudes).

File:Portugal Imp rio total.png|Anachronous map of the Portuguese Empire File:Spanish Empire Anachronous 0.PNG|Anachronous map of the overseas Spanish Empire File:Dutch Empire35.PNG|Anachronous map of the Dutch Empire File:BritishEmpire1919.png|Map of the British Empire in 1919 File:Map_Anachronous_of_the_All_French_Empire_(1534_-1970).png|Anachronous map of the French Empire File:German colonial.PNG|Map of the German Empire in 1914 File:Italy and Posessions September 1939.png|Map of the Italian Colonial Empire in 1939 File:The Russian Empire-en.png| A map of the Russian Empire

Largest empires by land area and population

For context, note that the total land area of the Earth is .[1]

All empires at their greatest extent

Empire Max Land area (million km2) Max Land area (million mi2) % of world land area Era Max Population (million) % of world population
11a 0 a -9999 0 0
British Empire 33.7 13.01 22.63% 1922[2] 458.0 (in 1938)[3] 20.00% (458 million out of 2.295 billion in 1938)[3]
Mongol Empire 24.0[4] 09.27 16.11% 1270 or 1309[5] 110.0 (in the 13th century)[6] 25.60% (110.0 million out of 429 million[7] in the 13th century)
Russian Empire 23.7 09.15 15.31% 1866 176.4 in 1913 09.80% (176.4 million out of 1.791 billion[8] in 1913)
Spanish Empire 20.0 07.72 13.43% 1740-1790 approx[9] 68.2[10] 12.30% (68.2 million out of 556 million[8] in the 17th century)
Qing Dynasty, China 14.7 05.68 09.87% 1790[4][11] 432.2 in 1851.[12] 36.60% (381.0 million out of 1.041 billion in 1820)[8]
Yuan Dynasty, China 14.0 05.41 09.40% 1310[11] 59.8 in 1291.[13][14] 17.10% (59.8 million out of 350 million in 1290)
Second French Colonial Empire 13.0 05.02 08.73% 1938[9] 112.9 in 1938 05.10% (112.9 million out of 2.295 billion in 1938)
Abbasid Caliphate 11.1 04.29 07.45% 750-850[11] 50.0 (in 850) 20.00% (50.0 million out of 250 million in 850)[8]
Tang Dynasty, China 11.0 04.29 07.45% 663AD 80.0 (in the 8th century) 29.50% (80.0 million out of 210 million[15] in the 8th century AD)
Umayyad Caliphate 10.5 04.05 07.05% 661-750 62.0 (in the 7th century) 28.80% (62.0 million out of 208 million in the 7th century)
Portuguese Empire 10.4 04.02 06.98% 1815[9]
Rashidun Caliphate 09.0 03.48 06.04% 654[11][16] 19.10% (40.3 million out of 210 million in 7th century)
Achaemenid Empire 08.75 03.42 05.85% BC 480[17] 50.0 (in 480 BC)[18] 44.5% (50.0 million out of 112.4 million[19] in 480 BC)[20]
Empire of Brazil 08.5 03.28 05.71% 1880, similar to the Federative Republic of Brazil of today[9]
First French Colonial Empire 08.1 03.13 05.44% 1754[21] 50.0 09.00%
Japanese Empire 07.4 02.86 04.97% 1942[9] 134.8 in 1938 05.90% (134.8 million out of 2.295 billion[8] in 1938)
Ming Dynasty, China 06.5 02.51 04.36% 1450[4][11] 110.0 in 1600.[22][23] 28.80% (160.0 million out of 556.2 million in 1600)[8]
Han Dynasty, China 06.5 02.51 04.36% 100[24] 74.0 in 2[13][25] 26.00% (59.6 million out of 230 million[8] in 2 AD)
Roman Empire 06.5 02.51 04.36% 117[26] 65.0 to 88.0 (in 2nd century AD)[27][28][29] 29.20% to 39.50% (out of 223 million[27] in the 2nd century AD)
Nazi Germany 06.4 02.47 04.30% 1942 75.4 million out of 2.295 billion in 1938
G kt rk Khaganate 06.0 02.32 04.03% 557[4][24]
Golden Horde Khanate 06.0 02.32 04.03% 1310[4][11]
Macedonian Empire 05.2 02.01 03.49% BC 323[4][30]
Ottoman Empire 05.2 02.01 03.49% 1683[4][11] 39.0 (in the 17th century) 07.10% (39.0 million out of 556 million[8] in the 17th century)
Mauryan Empire, India 05.0 01.93 03.36% BC 250[4] 50.0 in the 2nd century BC 33.30% (50.0 million out of 150 million in the 2nd century BC[31])
Northern Yuan Dynasty, Mongolia 05.0 01.93 03.36% 1550[11]
First Mexican Empire 04.9 01.89 03.29% 1822
Xin Dynasty, China 04.7 01.82 03.16% 10[24]
Tibetan Empire 04.6 01.78 03.09% 800[4][11]
Timurid Empire 04.4 01.70 02.95% 1405[4][11]
Fatimid Caliphate 04.1 01.58 02.75% 969[4][11]
Mughal Empire, India 04.0 01.54 02.69% 1690[4][11] 175.0 in 1700 29.20% (175.0 million out of 600 million[32] in 1700)
Xiongnu Empire 04.03 01.56 02.71% BC 176[33]
Pala Empire 04.0 01.54 02.69% 850 24.00% (60.0 million out of 250 million in 850)[8]
Hunnic Empire 04.0 01.54 02.69% 441[24]
Hephtalite Empire 04.0 01.54 02.69% 490[24]
Eastern Turks Khanate 04.0 01.54 02.69% 624[24]
Afsharid Dynasty, Persia 04.0 01.54 02.69% 1747
Western Turks Khanate 04.0 01.54 02.69% 630[24]
Rouran Khaganate Juan-juan 04.0 01.54 02.69% 405[4][24]
Karkota Dynasty, Kashmir, India 04.0 01.54 02.69% 750[4][11]
Great Seljuq Empire 03.9 01.51 02.62% 1080[4][11]
Italian Empire 03.8 01.47 02.55% 1940 51.9 in 1938 02.30% (51.9 million out of 2.295 billion in 1938)
Kushan Empire 03.8 01.47 02.55% 200[24] 19.00% (42.37 million out of 223 million in 140)[8]
Ilkhanate 03.75 01.45 02.52% 1310[4][11]
Dutch Empire 03.7 01.43 02.48% 1940 60.0 in 1940. 03.50% (60.0 million out of 1.700 billion in 1907)
Chola Dynasty, India 03.6 01.39 02.42% 1050[34][35]
Khwarazmian Empire 03.6 01.39 02.42% 1218[11]
Gupta Empire 03.5 01.35 02.35% 400[4] 26.36% (58.0 million out of 220 million in 400 AD)[3]
Chagatai Khanate 03.5 01.35 02.35% 1310 or 1350[4][11]
Safavid Dynasty, Persia 03.5 01.35 02.35% 1512
German Colonial Empire 03.5 01.35 02.35% 1914 64.9 in 1914 03.70% (64.9 million out of 1.753 billion in 1910)
Western Jin Dynasty, China 03.5 01.35 02.35% 300[24] 48.0 in 1195.[13][36]
Shaybanid Uzbek Dynasty 03.5 01.35 02.35% 1510[11]
Byzantine Empire 03.5 01.35 02.35% 555[24]
Northern Song Dynasty, China 03.5 01.35 02.35% 1100[4][11] 123.0 in 1103[13][37] 22.00% (59.0 million out of 268 million in 1000)[8]
Sassanid Empire 03.5 01.35 02.35% 550[4] 25.0 (in the 7th century AD) 12.00% (25.0 million out of 210 million[15] in the 7th century AD)
Ghaznavid Empire 03.4 01.31 02.28% 1029[4][11]
Almoravid Caliphate 03.3 01.27 02.22% 1147[11]
Tughlaq Dynasty, India 03.2 01.24 02.15% 1320[11] 18.91% (70.0 million out of 370 million in 1330)[8]
Ghurids Sultanate, Persia 03.2 01.24 02.15% 1200[11]
Parthian Empire 03.1 01.08 01.88% 1[4][30]
Median Empire 03.1 01.08 01.88% BC 585[4][30]
Sui Dynasty, China 03.1 01.20 02.08% 610[11] 53.0 in 606[13][38]
Uyghur Khaganate 03.1 01.20 02.08% 800[4][11]
Seleucid Empire 03.0 01.51 02.62% BC 301[4][30]
Khazar Khanate 03.0 01.16 02.01% 850[4]
Kalmar Union 03.0 01.16 02.01% 1397
Kievan Rus' 02.1 00.81 01.41% 1000[4][11]
Kara-Khanid Khanate 03.0 01.16 02.01% 1025[11]
Qajar Dynasty, Persia 03.0 01.16 02.01% 1796
Danish Colonial Empire 03.0 01.16 02.01% 1800
Grand Duchy of Moscow 03.0 01.16 02.01% 1505
Maratha Empire 02.80 01.75 2% 1674-1838
Samanid Dynasty, Persia 02.85 01.10 01.91% 928[4][11]
Qin Dynasty, China 02.8 01.08 01.88% BC 206[24]
Eastern Jin Dynasty, China 02.8 01.08 01.88% 347[24]
Liu Song Dynasty, China 02.8 01.08 01.88% 420[24]
Khilji Dynasty, India 02.7 01.04 01.81% 1312 or 1320[4][11]
Ayyubid Caliphate 02.0 01.04 00.77% 1190[4]
Majapahit Empire 02.7 01.04 01.81% 1389[24]
Liao Dynasty, China 02.6 01.00 01.75% 947[4][11]
Indo-Greek Yavana Kingdom 02.5 00.97 01.68% BC 150[24]
Bactrian Empire 02.5 00.97 01.68% BC 184[24]
Later Zhao Dynasty, China 02.5 00.97 01.68% 329[24]
Maratha Empire 02.5 00.97 01.68% 1760[4]
Belgian Empire 02.5 00.97 01.68% 1914
Kara-Khitan Khanate Western Liao 02.5 00.97 01.68% 1210[4]
Jurchen J n Dynasty, China 02.3 00.89 01.54% 1126[4][11]
Southern Qi Dynasty, China 02.3 00.89 01.54% 502[24]
Southern Song Dynasty, China 02.1 00.81 01.41% 1127[11] 73.0 in 1193.[13][39]
Bahriyya Mamluks, Egypt 02.1 00.81 01.41% 1300[11]
Burjiyya Mamluks, Egypt 02.1 00.81 01.41% 1400[4]
First French Empire 02.1 00.81 01.41% 1813[11]
Wei Dynasty, China 02.0 00.77 01.34% 263[24]
Earlier Zhao Dynasty, China 02.0 00.77 01.34% 316[24] 64 in 156[13][40]
Former Qin Dynasty, China 02.0 00.77 01.34% 376[24]
Western Roman Empire 02.0 00.77 01.34% 395[24]
Northern Wei Dynasty, China 02.0 00.77 01.34% 450[24]
Saffarid Dynasty, Persia 02.0 00.77 01.34% 900
Almohad Caliphate 02.0 00.77 01.34% 1200[4]
Satavahana Empire 02.0 00.77 01.34% 90 AD[24]
Inca Empire 02.0 00.77 01.34% 1527[4][11]
Second Mexican Empire 02.0 00.77 01.34% 1864, similar to the United Mexican States of today[41]
Gurjara Pratihara Dynasty, India 01.8 00.69 01.21% 860[11]
Sibir Khanate 01.8 00.69 01.21% 1520[11]
Rashtrakuta Dynasty, India 01.7 00.66 01.41% 805
Buyid Sultanate, Persia 01.6 00.62 01.07% 980[4][11]
Mamluk Sultanate, India 01.6 00.62 01.07% 1228[11]
Indo-Parthian Kingdom 01.5 00.58 01.01% 50[24]
Wu Dynasty, China 01.5 00.58 01.01% 221[24]
Northern Zhou Dynasty, China 01.5 00.58 01.01% 577[24]
Nanda Dynasty, India 01.5 00.58 01.01% BC 350 or 321[24][42]
Indo-Scythian Kingdom 01.5 00.58 01.01% BC 100[30]
Tulunids Emirate 01.5 00.58 01.01% 900[24]
Idrisid Dynasty, Morocco 01.5 00.58 01.01% 828[4]
Suri Dynasty, India 01.5 00.58 01.01% 1545 AD[4][11]
Neo-Assyrian Empire 01.4 00.54 00.940% BC 670[4][30]
Songhai Empire 01.4 00.54 00.940% 1500[43]
Empire of Harsha 01.35 00.52 00.906% 625 or 648[4][11]
Liang Dynasty, China 01.3 00.50 00.873% 502 or 549[4][24]
Western Wei Dynasty, China 01.3 00.50 00.873% 557[24]
Later Liang Dynasty, China 01.3 00.50 00.873% 923[11]
Later Tang Dynasty, China 01.3 00.50 00.873% 923[11]
Mali Empire 01.29 00.50 00.866% 1312[44] 10.00% (45.0 million out of 450 million[45] in the mid-15th century)
Shang Dynasty, China 01.25 00.48 00.839% BC 1122[4][30]
Western Zhou Dynasty, China 01.25 00.48 00.839% BC 1122[30]
Aksumite Empire 01.25 00.48 00.839% 350[4]
Carolingian Dynasty, Francia 01.2 00.46 00.806% 814[4][11]
Srivijaya Empire 01.2 00.46 00.806% 1200[4]
Sunga Empire 01.2 00.46 00.806% BC 150[4]
Kingdom of Kush 01.2 00.46 00.806% BC 700[4]
Thai Empire 01.12 00.43 00.752% 1782
Chalukya Dynasty, India 01.1 00.42 00.739% 636
Swedish Empire 01.1 00.42 00.739% 1658
Lodhi Dynasty, India 01.1 00.42 00.739% 1517
Polish-Lithuanian Empire 01.0[46] 00.39 00.671% 1619[47][48] ca. 12.0 (in 1619) 02.07% to 02.41% (avg. 02.2%)[19]
18th Dynasty, Egypt 01.0 00.39 00.671% BC 1450[30]
New Kingdom, Egypt 01.0 00.39 00.671% BC 1300[4][30]
Ptolemaic Dynasty, Egypt 01.0 00.39 00.671% BC 301[30]
Eastern Wei Dynasty, China 01.0 00.39 00.671% 550[24]
Northern Qi Dynasty, China 01.0 00.39 00.671% 550[24]
Tahirid Dynasty, Persia 01.0 00.39 00.671% 800[11]
Kalachuri Dynasty, India 01.0 00.39 00.671% 1050[4][11]
Holy Roman Empire 01.0 00.39 00.671% 1050[11]
Western Xia Dynasty, China 01.0 00.39 00.671% 1100[4]
Western Chalukya Empire 01.0 00.39 00.671% 1121
Khmer Empire 01.0 00.39 00.671% 1290[4][11]
Avars Empire 01.0 00.39 00.671% 600[24]
Kanem Empire 01.0 00.39 00.671% 1200[11]
Bruneian Empire 00.95 00.37 00.653% 1524 AD[4][30]
Maha-Meghavahana Dynasty, India 00.9 00.35 00.604% BC 10[30]
Konbaung Dynasty, Burma 00.9 00.35 00.604% 1800 AD
Volga Bulgars Khanate 00.9 00.35 00.604% 1100[4][11]
Akkadian Empire 00.8 00.31 00.537% BC 2250[30]
Later Jin Dynasty, China 00.8 00.31 00.537% 936[11]
Ghana Empire 00.8 00.31 00.537% 1067[24]
Pagan Kingdom 00.8 00.31 00.537% 1200[11]
Western Satraps Dynasty, India 00.8 00.31 00.537% 100[24]
Himyarite Kingdom 00.8 00.31 00.537% 400 AD[30]
Balhae Kingdom 00.8 00.31 00.537% 830[4]
Khanate of Kazan 00.7 00.27 00.470% 1540[11]
Merovingian Dynasty, Francia 00.7 00.27 00.470% 558[11]
Bulgarian Empire 00.7 00.27 00.470% 900
Shu Dynasty, China 00.7 00.27 00.470% 221[24]
Yadava Gauli Kingdom 00.7 00.27 00.470% 1250[11]
Paramara Dynasty, India 00.7 00.27 00.470% 1050[24]
Kingdom of Dali 00.7 00.27 00.470% 1200
Vijayanagara Empire 00.7 00.27 00.470% 1529 05.00% (25.0 million out of 500 million[8] in the 16th century)
Kingdom of Nanzhao 00.7 00.27 00.470% 830[11]
Austro-Hungarian Empire 00.676615 00.26 00.454% 52.8 in 1914 02.90% (51.3 million out of 1.753 billion in 1910)
15th Dynasty, Egypt 00.65 00.25 00.436% BC 1650[30]
26th Dynasty, Egypt 00.65 00.25 00.436% BC 550[30]
Vakataka Kingdom 00.65 00.25 00.436% 450 AD[30]
Visigothic Kingdom 00.6 00.23 00.403% 580[24]
Caliphate of C rdoba 00.6 00.23 00.403% 1000[11]
Rai Dynasty, Sindh, India 00.6 00.23 00.403% 675 AD[24]
Maukhari Kannauj Dynasty, India 00.6 00.23 00.403% 600 AD[11]
Bahmani Sultanate, India 00.6 00.23 00.403% 1470 AD[11]
Nizams Dynasty, India 00.6 00.23 00.403% 1740 AD
Sikh Empire 00.5609 00.22 00.377% 1845
Middle Kingdom, Egypt 00.5 00.19 00.336% BC 1850[30]
Lydian Empire 00.5 00.19 00.336% BC 585[30]
Neo-Babylonian Empire 00.5 00.19 00.336% BC 562[30]
Kosala Dynasty, India 00.5 00.19 00.336% BC 543[24]
Shishunaga Dynasty, India 00.5 00.19 00.336% BC 510[24]
Chu Dynasty, China 00.5 00.19 00.336% BC 350[24]
Pandyan Dynasty, India 00.5 00.19 00.336% 1251
Later Han Dynasty, China 00.5 00.19 00.336% 947[11]
Kangju Empire 00.5 00.19 00.336% BC 100[24]
Ostrogothic Kingdom 00.5 00.19 00.336% 510 AD[11]
Goguryeo Kingdom 00.45 00.17 00.302% 476[30]
Xia Dynasty, China; (possible) 00.45 00.17 00.302% BC 1800[30]
Polish Piast State 00.4 00.15 00.269% 1003[47][49] ca. 2 (in 1003)[46][50] 0.58% to 0.79% (avg. 0.7%)[19]
Crimean Khanate 00.4 00.15 00.269% 1500[11]
Armenian Empire 00.4 00.15 00.269% BC 83[24]
Old Kingdom, Egypt 00.4 00.15 00.269% BC 2400[30]
Middle Kingdom, Assyria 00.4 00.15 00.269% BC 1080[30]
Latin Empire 00.35 00.14 00.235% 1204[24]
Mitanni Empire 00.3 00.12 00.201% BC 1450[30]
Carthaginian Empire 00.3 00.12 00.201% BC 220[30]
1st Dynasty, Babylon 00.25 00.10 00.168% BC 1690[30]
Serbian Empire 00.25 00.10 00.168% 1350
Aztec Empire 00.22 00.08 00.148% 1520[11]
Middle Elamite 00.2 00.08 00.134% BC 1160[30]
2nd Dynasty, Isin 00.2 00.08 00.134% BC 1130[30]
Urartu Empire 00.2 00.08 00.134% BC 800[30]
Amorian Dynasty, Byzantium 00.2 00.08 00.134% BC 750[30]
Old Kingdom, Assyria 00.15 00.06 00.101% BC 1730[30]
Eastern Zhou Dynasty, China 00.15 00.06 00.101% BC 770[30]
z 999 z 9999 9999 99

Maps

Ancient empires

File:Persian Empire, 490 BC.png|Achaemenid Empire around 490 BC shortly before its greatest extent.

File:MacedonEmpire.jpg|Macedonian Empire at its greatest extent. File:RomanEmpire 117.svg|The Roman Empire at its peak in 117 AD File:Maurya Dynasty in 265 BCE.jpg|Maurya Empire at its greatest extent.

Medieval empires

File:Mongol Empireaccuratefinal.png|Mongol Empire at its greatest extent. File:Age-of-caliphs.png|The expansion of the Caliphate. File: .png| Tang Dynasty greatest extent. file:Sassanid-empire-610CE.png|Sassanid Empire at its greatest extent.

Modern empires

File:BritishEmpire1919.png|British Empire at its greatest extent. File:The Russian Empire-en.png|Russian Empire at its greatest extent. File:Spanish Empire Anachronous 0.PNG|Spanish Empire at its greatest extent. File:Italy and Posessions September 1939.png|Map of the Italian Colonial Empire in 1939 File:Anachronous map of the All French Empire (1534 -1970).png|All territories and spheres of influence ever held by the French Empire. File:German colonial.PNG|Map of the German Empire in 1914 File:Portugal Imp rio total.png|Anachronous map of the Portuguese Empire. File:Qing Dynasty map.png|Qing Empire at its greatest extent File:Ottoman empire.svg|Ottoman territories acquired between 1481 and 1683 (See: list of territories) File:Japanese empire.png|Japanese empire at its greatest extent.

Largest empires by economy

GDP estimates in the following list are mostly given for empires in modern times, from the 18th to 20th centuries. All dollar amounts are in 1990 USD.

GDP size

  1. British Empire - $918.7 billion (in 1938)[3]
  2. Nazi German Empire - $375.6 billion (in 1938)[3]
  3. Japanese Empire - $260.7 billion (in 1938)[3]
  4. Russian Empire - $257.7 billion (in 1913)[8]
  5. Qing Empire, China - $241.3 billion (GDP decline to 1912, immediately before its downfall)[8]
  6. French Empire - $234.1 billion (in 1938)[3]
  7. Italian Empire - $143.4 billion (in 1938)[3]
  8. Indian Empire (British Raj) - $134.9 billion (in 1870)[8]
  9. Afsharid Empire, Persia - $119.85 billion (in 1740)[8]
  10. Austro-Hungarian Empire - $100.5 billion (in 1913)[51]
  11. Mughal Empire, India - $90.8 billion (GDP decline in 1700)[8]
  12. Dutch Empire - $60 billion (in 1900)
  13. Ottoman Empire - $26.4 billion (in 1913)[52]
  14. Portuguese Empire - $12.6 billion (in 1913)[51]

See also

Notes and references

     

Bibliography

External links

ba: es:Anexo:Imperios por superficie fa: hr:Najve a carstva svijeta id:Daftar imperium terbesar he: ms:Senarai empayar terbesar pl:Lista najwi kszych imperi w w historii pt:Anexo:Lista dos maiores imp rios ru: sv:Lista ver imperier i storleksordning yo: k j w n il bal ay t t bij l






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