List of largest empires
An empire involves the extension of a state's sovereignty over external territories and variety of different ethnic groups. The term "empire" in this context (not necessarily a state ruled by an emperor) does not have a precise definition, but is generally applied to political entities that are considered to be especially large by the standards of their time and that have acquired a significant part of their territory by conquest. This article provides a list of the largest empires in world history, but the list is not and cannot be definitive since the decision about which entities to consider as "empires" is difficult and fraught with controversy.
Both what constitutes an empire and the calculation of the land area of a particular empire are controversial subjects. Taagepera defines an empire as "any relatively large sovereign political entity whose components are not sovereign" and its size as the area over which the empire has some undisputed military and taxation prerogatives.
Largest empires by land area
Empires at their greatest extent
|Empire||Max. land area (million km2)||Max. land area (million mi2)||% of world land area||Year|
|Mongol Empire||24.0||9.27||16.11%||1270 or 1309|
|Second French colonial empire||11.5||4.44||7.72%||1920|
|Xiongnu Empire||9.0||3.47||6.04%||176 BC|
|Empire of Brazil||8.337||3.22||5.6%||1889|
|Eastern Han Dynasty||6.5||2.51||4.36%||100|
|Golden Horde Khanate||6.0||2.32||4.03%||1310|
|Western Han Dynasty||6.0||2.32||4.03%||50 BC|
|Achaemenid Empire||5.5||2.12||3.69%||500 BC|
|Macedonian Empire||5.2||2.01||3.49%||323 BC|
|Maurya Empire||5.0||1.93||3.36%||250 BC|
|Eastern Turkic Khaganate||4.0||1.54||2.69%||624|
|Great Seljuq Empire||3.9||1.51||2.62%||1080|
|Seleucid Empire||3.9||1.51||2.62%||301 BC|
|Chagatai Khanate||3.5||1.35||2.35%||1310 or 1350|
|Western Turkic Khaganate||3.5||1.35||2.35%||630|
|First French colonial empire||3.4||1.31||2.28%||1670|
|German colonial empire||3.199||1.24||2.15%||1912|
|Western Jin dynasty||3.1||1.2||2.08%||280|
- List of empires
- List of former transcontinental countries
- List of former sovereign states
- Colonial empire
- The empire on which the sun never sets
- List of Copper Age states
- List of Bronze Age states
- List of Iron Age states
- List of Classical Age states
- List of states during Late Antiquity
- List of states during the Middle Ages
- List of medieval great powers
- List of political and geographic subdivisions by total area
- List of sovereign states and dependencies by area
Notes and references
- Taagepera, Rein (1979). "Size and Duration of Empires: Growth-Decline Curves, 600 B.C. to 600 A.D.". Social Science History. 3 (3/4): 117. doi:10.2307/1170959. JSTOR 1170959.
- CIA – The World Factbook
- Rein Taagepera (September 1997). "Expansion and Contraction Patterns of Large Polities: Context for Russia". International Studies Quarterly. 41 (3): 492–502. doi:10.1111/0020-8833.00053. JSTOR 2600793.
- Turchin, Peter; Adams, Jonathan M.; Hall, Thomas D (December 2006). "East-West Orientation of Historical Empires". Journal of world-systems research. 12 (2): 222–223. ISSN 1076-156X. Retrieved 25 August 2016.
- 宋, 岩. 中国历史上几个朝代的疆域面积估算. p. 150.
The table in the URL was a page from the book. It lists the Chinese dynasties' names in the first column, the start and end date in the next two column, the year of their height in the third column, and the area in the last column. If you scroll down to 唐 (Tang), you can see that the table from the book says that it lasted from 618-907, with its height at 669 and with an area of 1076 万平方公里, or 10.76 million square kilometers
- Brzezinski, Zbigniew (2013). Strategic Vision: America and the Crisis of Global Power. New York: Basic Books. p. 10. ISBN 9780465061815.
- Taagepera, Rein (1979). "Size and Duration of Empires: Growth-Decline Curves, 600 B.C. to 600 A.D.". Social Science History. 3 (3/4): 121–122, 124–125, 127–129, 132–133. doi:10.2307/1170959. JSTOR 1170959.
- "Área Territorial Brasileira". www.ibge.gov.br (in Portuguese). Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
A primeira estimativa oficial para a extensão superficial do território brasileiro data de 1889. O valor de 8.337.218km2 foi obtido a partir de medições e cálculos efetuados sobre as folhas básicas da Carta do Império do Brasil, publicada em 1883. [The first official estimate of the surface area of the Brazilian territory dates from 1889. A value of 8,337,218km2 was obtained from measurements and calculations made on drafts of the Map of the Empire of Brazil, published in 1883.]
- Harrison, Mark (2000). The Economics of World War II: Six Great Powers in International Comparison. Cambridge University Press. p. 3. ISBN 9780521785037. Retrieved 2 October 2016.
- "Encyclopedia Britannica: Germany from 1871 to 1918". Retrieved 29 September 2016.
At its birth Germany occupied an area of 208,825 square miles (540,854 square km) and had a population of more than 41 million, which was to grow to 67 million by 1914.
- "Statistische Angaben zu den deutschen Kolonien". www.dhm.de (in German). Deutsches Historisches Museum. Retrieved 29 September 2016.
Sofern nicht anders vermerkt, beziehen sich alle Angaben auf das Jahr 1912.[Except where otherwise noted, all figures relate to the year 1912.]