25 Largest Empires In History

Conquering nations and relentlessly expanding their territories has always been a favorite past time of those in power. Whether it was the Romans, Greeks, or Ottomans, it seems that amassing resources, nations, and the pursuit of a powerful legacy played a huge role in the rise and fall of their empires. Although today we no longer see borders shifting back and forth so rapidly, the art of imperialism is still alive and well. Here are the 25 largest empires in history.

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Göktürk Khaganate

20 Göktürk KhaganateGöktürk Khaganate

In 552, the First Turkish or Türk Empire was founded by Bumin Qaghan and his sons. This nomadic confederation had extensive interaction with other kingdoms or dynasties from the northern part of China. Fifty years after the collapse of the First Turkish Empire, the Second Turk Empire was established and controlled the eastern part of the previous kingdom. The Orkhon inscriptions that have been preserved and still exist until today were produced during that time.


Nazi Germany

19 Nazi GermanyNazi Germany

Adolf Hitler is perhaps one of the most infamous figures of the twentieth century. As he controlled the government of the Third Reich, he also transformed it from a republic to a dictatorship employing the process of Gleichschaltung. Although the Nazi government survived quite well and was even flourishing during the Great Depression when the world was in dire straits, it’s infamy arose to even more incredible heights due to their advocacy on racism, specifically antisemitism, causing the ruthless bloodshed that eventually came to be known as the Holocaust.


Han Dynasty

18 Han EmpireHan Empire

Spanning over four centuries, the period of the Han Dynasty is considered a golden age in Chinese history. To this day, China’s majority ethnic group refers to itself as the “Han people” and the Chinese script is referred to as “Han characters”.


Roman Empire

17 Roman EmpireRoman Empire

Many fundamental components of the modern world were influenced by the Roman Empire which should come as no surprise considering that it was around for nearly 1,500 years. It had a profound and lasting influence on the development of language, religion, architecture, philosophy, law, and forms of government in the territory it governed, particularly Europe, and by means of European expansionism, the rest of the modern world.


Ming Dynasty

16 Ming DynastyMing Dynasty

The Empire of the Great Ming is the second to last Imperial era in Chinese history. It is popularly described as “one of the greatest eras of orderly government and social stability in human history”. It is also the last dynasty that was ruled by the ethnic Han Chinese. Due to natural and man-made catastrophes, the Ming fell and paved the way for the last imperial dynasty, the Qing.

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