There is one dream that all rulers have had, and the dream is to take over the world. However, only a handful of them have been able to achieve this incredible feat and this cemented their names in the history books. Therefore, today we want to pay homage to some of the world’s most brilliant rulers and present the top 20 biggest and strongest empires that have ruled the world at some point in time.
20. The Turkic Khaganate
We are going to kick off our list with teh Turkic Khaganate. This used to be one of the world’s largest and most feared empires spanning on more than 2.32 million square miles at its peak. The Turkic Khaganate saw its demise after a civil war started in 557.
19. The Achaemenid Empire
History buffs will know that around 550 BC the Achaemenid Empire which is also known as the first Persian Empire was massive. At the height of the Empire, it occupied more than 2.12 million square miles of land.
18. The Macedonian Empire
You knew that the Macedonian Empire would be on our list thanks to its famed ruler, Alexander the Great. This Emperor covered almost 3.5% of the world and Alexander the Great was so famous that he was often presented as a demi-god.
17. The Akkadian Empire
The Akkadian Empire is another famous one and records show that this is the world’s first empire to manifest. The Akkadian Empire is also known for being the largest Empire from the dark ancient era (2250 BC).
16. The Roman Empire
Obviously, the Roman Empire deserves a spot on our list. This was one of the world’s most influential Empires and the war tactics that Roman Generals created are still being used to this day. This shows us just how cunning the people who ruled the Roman Empire were.
15. The Rashidun Caliphate
Even though the Rashidun Caliphate might not be as famous as the Roman Empire, we should never forget that the Rashidun Caliphate controlled nearly 6% of the Earth’s entire surface. Now, this is impressive.
14. The Han Imperial Dynasty
The Han Imperial Dynasty was a force not to be reckoned with spanning more than 2.51 million square miles at its peak. However, the Han Imperial Dynasty collapsed after multiple coups and revolutions.
13. The Maurya Empire
The Maurya Empire took over India and the surrounding lands after Alexander the Great passed away. This made the Maurya Empire the first and the biggest Indian Empire in history.
12. The Western Han Dynasty
This Chinese Dynasty used to occupy more than 2.32 million square miles of land and to make things even more impressive, a total of 57 million people lived under this Dynasty’s reign.
11. The Umayyad Caliphate
The Umayyad Caliphate is the fifth largest contiguous Empire to ever exist and what made it stand out from the rest is the fact that this Empire had one of the best administrations that the world ever has seen.
10. The Ming Dynasty
At its peak, the Ming Dynasty ruled over more than 2.51 million square miles. This happened back in 1450 and unfortunately, the Ming Dynasty collapsed because of an economic breakdown and multiple natural disasters.
9. The Sasanian Empire
Another massive Empire is the one ruled by the Sasanians. This empire spanned over 2.55 million square miles at its peak and it is known for being the last Iranian empire before the rise of Islam. It was conquered by the Islamic caliphate.
8. The Eastern Han Dynasty
We previously mentioned the Western Han Dynasty, now we want to talk about the Eastern one. This Dynasty survived for more than 200 years and what makes it different from all the others is that the Eastern Han Dynasty survived through multiple rulers and a difficult economic crisis.
7. The Rashidun Caliphate
The Rashidun Caliphate is known for being the world’s first Islamic Caliphate. The Rashidun Caliphate was founded back in 632 AD right after the prophet Muhammad’s death and it was used to lead the Muslim community through various wars.
6. The Russian Empire
The Russian Empire lasted from 1721 until 1917 when the Russian Revolution happened. The impressive thing about the Russian Empire is that at one point in time, it stretched from Eastern Europe, across Asia and into North America.
5. The Mongol Empire
The Mongol Empire started in the 13th century and it lasted until the 14th. The Empire was ruled by none other than Genghis Khan himself and it covered more than 22% of the Earth’s surface. The Mongol Empire was a force to be feared!
4. The Tibetan Empire
Back in 800 AD, the Tibetan Empire ruled over more than 3% of the Earth’s surface. One of the most impressive things about the Tibetan Empire is that thanks to the diplomatic knowledge of its rulers, the Empire survived for more than 200 years.
3. The Tang Dynasty
The Tang Dynasty ruled over more than 3.6% of the total world and it lasted for almost three centuries (619 – 907 AD). In addition, the Tang Dynasty encouraged art and poets such as Li Bai and Du Fu are believed to have lived under this Dynasty’s rule.
2. The British Empire
The British Empire covered 33.7 square kilometers back in 1922 and it had the biggest population of all Empires to ever exist. Not just that, but the British Empire was also very rich with a world GDP of 35.9% ($1,111 billion back in 1870).
1. The Ottoman Empire
First off, the Ottoman Empire ruled a large part of the world for seven centuries! The Ottoman Empire is known for things such as the legal system and also for organizing a local jurisprudence system. Although, the most impressive thing is that the Ottoman Empire spanned across three continents.