Greatest Empires in History of the World

History is filled with Empires, Kings, Politics, and Lessons to learn from them. One can start by reading about some of the greatest empires world has ever seen.

World Map

Countless empires have passed in history, but there are very few of them that can be called the greatest empires because they were so influential during their reign, and even centuries after, formidable enough to effectively change the course of history. You must be wondering how large those empires were and how would they look on the map, well I have curated this list of largest empires not only on the basis of the area but also about what that empire meant to the world around it at that point and what they represented.

Greatest Empires in History of the World


British Empire

greatest empire
Image: Wikipedia

We all saw it coming, the great British Empire is the largest empire that the world has ever seen. It had a countless number of colonies and territories under its control and ruled the world between the 16th to 18th centuries.
British Empire covered 412 million of the population which was 23% of the whole world population at the time. The land area under the rue was 35 million square km (13.1 million square mi) which is 24% of the total earth land area. And we all know the phrase “the empire on which the sun never sets”.

Mongol Empire

Greatest empire
Mongol Empire over the years Image: Wikipedia

The second on the list is also the largest empire of the world if we consider contiguous land area only. Mongols rose to power under Genghis Khan at the beginning 13th century and in no time they conquered most of China and Central Asia.
They are well known in history for their brutality and killing sprees. Mongols showed little mercy and would destroy everything in their subordinate territories when they entered cities as victors.
The empire had a total land area of 24 million square km (9.3 million square mi) at its extent in 1309. After that, the Mongol empire was officially divided into four Khanates with different Mongol Rulers ruling them separately.

Roman Empire

Strongest Empire
Roman Empire at its largest extent
Image: Wikipedia

Roman Empire may not be considered as the largest empire in terms of land area but they were the pioneers of military science, technology, and philosophy of the era and hence are on the list of greatest empires of the world. It covered land in Europe, Africa, and Asia, with a land area of 5 million square km (1.9 million square mi) at its greatest extent in 117 AD.
The Roman empire had a very long-lasting effect on the upcoming European empires as they developed the basics of the language, religion, art, architecture, law, and government models. They were the most advanced empire of Medieval times.

Umayyad and Abbasid Caliphate

Largest Empire
Abbasid Caliphate at its extent
Image: Wikipedia

The Umayyad dynasty succeeded Rashidun Caliphate, which itself was very successful in spreading new faith, Islam, in Arab and Persia while Umayyads just followed in the footsteps. They expanded the Islamic empire to its greatest lengths.
Umayyads were part of the First and Second Islamic Civil War and they retained their caliphate, nonetheless. It was established after the first Islamic civil war in 661 AD and ruled till 750 AD. They expanded Islamic territory from 2 million square miles under Rashidun Caliphate to 4.3 million square miles.
The Caliphate was then succeeded by Abbasid Caliphate after the Abbasid Revolution when they got all the land area from Umayyad Caliphate. Abbasid Caliphate went on to exist until 1517 even though their power and capital of Baghdad were practically suppressed in 1258.

Ottoman Empire

Greatest Empire
The Ottoman Empire at its greatest extent
Image: Wikipedia

Ottoman empire is one of the greatest and most modern empires in history. They started with Osman Bey in 1299 and went on to dominate the European and Middle Eastern peninsula till the end of World War I in 1922.
This Caliphate was established by a group of Turkish nomads under the flag of the Kayi Tribe of Anatolia. These Turkish tribes lived under the Seljuk empire for almost 250 years but when Mongols attacked and weaken the Seljuk Empire and it became only a vessel for Mongols, these tribes decided to defend themselves on their own.
This decision came on to be one of the biggest decisions in history and for the Muslim world. Ottoman Empire ruled over a land area of 5.2 million square km (2 million square mi) and extended its lengths in central Asia, Europe, and Africa.


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