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List of empires

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List of empires

This is an alphabetical list of empires. The table may be resorted by other columns if your browser supports this function.


  • Empires and dynasties 1
  • Possible and informal empires 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5

Empires and dynasties

Empire Origin Capital From To Duration Note
Achaemenid Empire Persia Various, including Pasargadae, Ecbatana, Persepolis, Susa, Babylon 550 BC 330 BC 220 The first Persian Empire, and the largest one in Classical Antiquity, founded by Cyrus the Great.
Afsharid Dynasty Persia Mashhad 1736 1796 60
Akkadian Empire Sumer Akkad 2300 BC 2200 BC 100
Aksumite Empire Ethiopia Axum 150 940 790 Succeeded by the Ethiopian Empire.
Almohad Dynasty Morocco Marrakech, Seville 1121 1269 148
Almoravid Dynasty Morocco Aghmat (1040–1062), Marrakech (1062–1147) 1040 1147 107
Angevin Empire England, France No official capital. Court was generally held at Angers and Chinon 1154 1242 88
Armenian Empire Armenia Tigranakert 190 BC 428 618 Tigranes the Great took the title king of kings.
Ashanti Empire West Africa Kumasi 1670 1902 232
Austrian Empire Austria Vienna 1804 1867 63 Preceded by the Holy Roman Empire.
Austro-Hungarian Empire Austria, Hungary Vienna, Budapest 1867 1918 51 Preceded by the Austrian Empire.
Ayyubid Dynasty Middle East Cairo, Damascus, Hama 1171 1341 170 Founded by Saladin, See also List of Muslim empires and dynasties.
Aztec Empire Mesoamerica Tenochtitlan 1428 1521 93 The capital of Mexico, Mexico City, is built on the ruins of Tenochtitlan.
Babylonian Empire Mesopotamia Babylon 1900 BC 1600 BC 300 See also Neo-Babylonian Empire.
Balhae Northern part of Korean Peninsula, Manchuria Sanggyeong 698 926 228 Successor of the Goguryeo.
Belgian Colonial Empire Belgium Brussels 1901 1962 61 Overseas possessions were referred to as "the colonies" rather than an empire.
Benin Empire Nigeria Benin City 1440 1897 457
Bornu Empire Nigeria Ngazargamu 1387 1893 506 The continuation of the Kanem Empire.
Empire of Brazil Brazil Rio de Janeiro 1822 1889 67 Established after Pedro I of Brazil declared the independence of Brazil from Portugal.
Britannic Empire Britain Londinium 286 296 10 Was a break-away state of the Roman Empire. See also Carausian Revolt.
British Empire Britain London 1603 1997 394 The largest Empire in world history. Today it is known as the British Commonwealth.
British Raj Indian Subcontinent Calcutta (1858–1912), New Delhi (1912–1947) 1858 1947 89 Governed by the Crown and part of the British Empire. Queen Victoria was proclaimed Empress of India in 1876.
Bruneian Empire Borneo Not specified, possibly Kota Batu 600 1888 1288 Lasted until it became a British protectorate in 1888.
First Bulgarian Empire Balkans Pliska (680–893), Preslav (893–972), Skopie (972–992), Ohrid (992–1018) 680 1018 338 Founded by Khan Asparukh. Under Tsar Simeon I became the first powerful Slavic Empire. Falls to the Byzantine Empire under Emperor Basil II.
Second Bulgarian Empire Balkans Tarnovo 1185 1422 237 Successor of the First Bulgarian Empire. Under the Tsars Kaloyan and Ivan Asen II became the most powerful state in the Balkans.
Buyid Dynasty Persia Shiraz 934 1055 121
Byzantine Empire Eastern Roman Empire (Greece, Anatolia, Africa, Palestine, Syria, Italy) Constantinople 330 1453 1123 Term conventionally used since the 19th century to describe the Greek-speaking Roman Empire during the Middle Ages.
Caliphate of Córdoba Iberian Peninsula Córdoba 756 1031 275 See also Islamic Empire.
Carthaginian Empire North Africa Carthage 650 BC 146 BC 504
Chagatai Khanate Transoxania Almaliq, Qarshi 1225 1687 462 Division of the Mongol Empire.
Chalukya Dynasty India Badami 543 753 210
Chera Dynasty Southern India Vanchi Muthur 300 BC 300 600 A Tamil Empire.
Chola Dynasty Southern India Various, including Poompuhar, Urayur, Pazhaiyaarai, Thanjavur, Gangaikonda Cholapuram 350 BC 1279 1629 A Tamil Empire.
Danish colonial empire Denmark Copenhagen 1350 1953 600 See also List of former Danish colonies.
Delhi Sultanate Indian Subcontinent Delhi 1206 1527 321
Durrani Empire Afghanistan Kandahar, Kabul 1747 1823 76
Dutch Empire Netherlands Amsterdam 1568 1975 407 See also Dutch East India Company and Dutch West India Company.
Egyptian Empire Egypt Various, including Thebes, Akhetaten, Pi-Ramesses, Memphis 1570 BC 1070 BC 500 See also 18th Dynasty, 19th Dynasty & 20th Dynasty.
Ethiopian Empire Ethiopia Addis Ababa 1137 1974 837
Fatimid Caliphate Egypt Mahdia (909–969), Cairo (969–1171) 909 1171 262 See also Islamic Empire.
Second French Empire France Paris 1852 1870 18
French colonial empires France Paris 1534 1980 446 End of Empire was formally recognized with the end of French presence in condominium of Vanuatu (see New Hebrides).
Frankish Empire Western Europe Various, including Soissons, Paris, Reims, Orléans, Metz & Aachen 250 950 700
Gallic Empire Rhineland-Palatinate Colonia Agrippina 260 274 14 Broke off from the Roman Empire during the Crisis of the Third Century.
German Empire Germany Berlin 1871 1918 47 See also German Colonial Empire.
Ghana Empire Mauritania, and Western Mali Koumbi Saleh 790 1240 450 The Empire became known in Europe and Arabia as the "Ghana Empire" by the title of its ruler (meaning "Warrior King").
Ghaznavid Dynasty Afghanistan Ghazni later Lahore 963 1187 224
Ghurid Dynasty Afghanistan Firuzkuh 1148 1215 67
Goguryeo Northern part of Korean Peninsula, Manchuria Jolbon, Gungnae City, Pyongyang 37 BC 668 705 Predecessor of the Balhae.
Goryeo Korean Peninsula Gaegyeong, Ganghwa 918 1392 474 unification of the Korean Peninsula. State had maintain as empire between 918 and 1274.
Gorkha Empire Greater Nepal 1600 1850 474 unification of Greater Nepal. State had maintain as empire between 1600 and 1840.
Göktürk Khaganate Inner Asia Ötüken 552 747 195 552–603 First empire, 603–658 Double empire, 658–681 Dark age, 681–747 Second empire.
Golden Horde Central Asia Sarai Batu 1240 1502 260 Break-away state of the Mongol Empire.
Empire of Great Fulo Senegal Tekrur 1514 1776 262
Great Moravian Empire Central Europe Mikulčice-Valy 833 900 67 The word "Moravia" did not refer only to present-day Moravia.
Great Seljuq Empire Aral Sea, Asia Minor, Persia Nishapur and later on Rey 1037 1194 157 Turkish empire, Predecessor of the Sultanate of Rum.
Gurjara-Pratihara Indian Subcontinent Kannauj 600 1136 660 .founded by great king of Gujjars
Han Dynasty China Chang'an, Luoyang, Xuchang 206 BC 220 426
Empire of Harsha Northern India Kannauj 606 647 41 Founded by Harshavardhana, collapsed after his death.
Hephthalite Empire Afghanistan Kabul 420 567 147
Hittite Empire Anatolia Hattusa 1460 BC 1180 BC 280 See also Neo-Hittite.
Holy Roman Empire Central Europe no capital city 962 1806 844 Officially known as the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation from 1512 on.
Hotaki Dynasty Afghanistan Isfahan 1709 1738 29
Hoysala Empire India Belur, Halebidu 1026 1343 317
Hunnic Empire Eurasia Not specified 370 469 99
Ilkhanate Persia Maragheh, Tabriz, Soltaniyeh 1256 1335 79 Division of the Mongol Empire.
Imperial State of Iran Persia Tehran 1925 1979 54 Was the last Imperial dynasty of Iran.
Inca Empire (Tawantinsuyo) Andes (Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, parts of Chile, Argentina and Colombia) Cusco 1438 1533 95 The largest empire in pre-Columbian America.
Italian Colonial Empire Italy Rome 1885 1943 58 See also Imperial Italy (fascist).
Empire of Japan Japan Tokyo 1868 1947 79 Emperor's government took control of the country in 1868. Regional hegemony in East Asia ended in 1945. The new constitution of 1947 formally abolished the empire.[1]
Jin Dynasty (265–420) China Luoyang (265–311), Chang'an (312–316), Jiankang (317–420) 265 420 155 Subdivided into two dynasties. Western Jìn Dynasty, (265–316) Eastern Jìn Dynasty (317–420).
Jin dynasty (1115–1234) Northern China, Manchuria Huining, Zhongdu, Kaifeng 1115 1234 119 Also known as the Jurchens, were the ancestors of the Manchus who established the Qing Dynasty.
Kanem Empire Chad Njimi 700 1387 687
Kara-Khanid Khanate Turkistan Kashgar 840 1212 372 First Turkic dynasty to embrace Islam.
Khazar Khaganate Pontic steppe, North Caucasus Balanjar, later Atil 700 1000 300 Founded by Western Turks, the members of the royal family embraced Judaism.
Khmer Empire Cambodia Hariharalaya (802–889), Angkor (889–1431) 802 1431 629 Succeeded from the kingdom of Chenla.
Khilji Dynasty Afghanistan Kabul, Delhi 1290 1320 30
Khwarezmid Dynasty Persia Urgench 1077 1221 144
Korean Empire Korean Peninsula Hanseong 1897 1910 13 Was the last ruling Korean dynasties.
Kushan Empire Afghanistan Various, including Mathura, Peshawar, Begram, Taxila 30 345 315
Kushite Empire Egypt, Nubia Not specified 760 BC 656 BC 104
Latin Empire Thrace, Asia Minor Constantinople 1204 1261 57 See also Latinokratia.
Later Lê dynasty Vietnam Thang Long,Hanoi 1428 1789 361
Liao Dynasty China Shangjing 915 1125 210
Lodi Sultanate Afghanistan Delhi 1451 1526 75
Macedonian Empire Macedonian Kingdom Pella 334 BC 323 BC 11 Founded by Alexander the Great.
Majapahit Empire Malay Archipelago Majapahit, Wilwatikta 1293 1527 234
Mali Empire West Africa Niani, later Ka-ba 1235 1610 375 A Mandinka empire founded by Sundiata Keita.
Mamluk Sultanate Egypt, Syria Cairo 1250 1517 267 See also Islamic Empire.
Manchukuo Manchuria Hsinking 1932 1945 13 Created as a Puppet state of the Japanese Empire, with Emperor Puyi (the last emperor of the Qing Dynasty) installed as nominal regent and emperor.
Maratha Empire Indian Subcontinent Raigad, later Pune 1674 1818 144 Founded by Shivaji Maharaj, also known as the Maratha Confederacy.
Mauryan Empire Ancient India Pataliputra 321 BC 185 BC 136 Founded by Chandragupta Maurya. Ashoka the Great transformed it into the first Buddhist empire.
Median Empire Persia Ecbatana 625 BC 549 BC 76 First Persian Empire, Founded by Deioces.
First Mexican Empire Mexico Mexico City 1821 1823 2 Preceded the Second Mexican Empire which was short lived (1864–1867). See also Mexican Imperial Orders.
Second Mexican Empire Mexico Mexico City 1864 1867 3 Succeeded the First Mexican Empire which was short lived (1821–1823). See also Mexican Imperial Orders.
Ming Dynasty China Nanjing (1368–1421), Beijing (1421–1644) 1368 1644 276
Mongol Empire Mongolia Karakorum 1206 1368 162 Split into four empires (Yuan Dynasty, Ilkhanate, Chagatai Khanate and Golden Horde).
Mughal Empire India Agra, Delhi 1526 1858 332 Founded by Babur. "Mughal" is a Persian word for the Mongols.
Nanda Empire Indian Subcontinent Pataliputra 450 BC 350 BC 100 Dravidian Empire.
Neo-Assyrian Empire Mesopotamia Assur, later Nineveh 934 BC 609 BC 325 See also Assyrian Empire.
Neo-Babylonian Empire Mesopotamia Babylon 626 BC 539 BC 87 See also Babylonian Empire.
Nguyễn Dynasty Vietnam Phú Xuân 1802 1945 143 Was the last ruling Vietnamese Dynasty.
Empire of Nicaea Bithynia Nicaea 1204 1261 57 Successor state of the Byzantine Empire.
Northern Yuan Dynasty Mongolia Shangdu, Yingchang, Karakorum 1368 1635 267 Created after the expulsion of the Yuan Dynasty from China in 1368.
Omani Empire Oman Muscat 1698 1958 260 See Oman.
Ottoman Empire Anatolia Söğüt, Bursa, Edirne, Constantinople 1299 1922 623 Predecessor of the Republic of Turkey.
Oyo Empire Southwestern Nigeria Oyo-Ile 1400 1905 505
Pala Empire Bengal, East India Pataliputra 750 1174 424
Palmyrene Empire Syria Palmyra 260 273 13 Broke off from the Roman Empire during the Crisis of the Third Century.
Pandyan Empire Southern India Madurai . Also Tirunelveli , Korkai for few years 500 BC 1350 1850 A Tamil Empire. Considered by contemporary historians as being the richest country in the world.
Parthian Empire Persia Various, including Asaak, Hecatompylos, Ecbatana, Ctesiphon, Nisa 247 BC 224 471 -
Pontic Empire Pontus Amaseia, Sinope 120 BC 47 BC 73 Mithridates VI had the title: King of Kings.
Portuguese Empire Portugal Lisbon, Rio de Janeiro (1815–1821) 1415 1999 584 Was the earliest and longest lived of the colonial Western European empires. See also United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves.
Ptolemaic Empire Egypt Alexandria 305 BC 30 BC 275 See also Diadochi.
Qajar Dynasty Persia Tehran 1794 1925 131
Qin Dynasty China Xianyang 221 BC 206 BC 15 First dynasty of the Imperial Period.
Qing Dynasty China Shenyang, Beijing 1644 1912 268 Last dynasty of the Imperial Period.
Rashidun Caliphate Saudi Arabia Medina, Kufa 632 661 29 Predecessor of the Umayyad Caliphate, See also Islamic Empire.
Rashtrakuta Dynasty India Manyakheta 753 982 229
Roman Empire Italy Rome 27 BC 476 503
Rouran Khaganate Inner China Not specified 330 555 225
Russian Empire (Romanov) Russia Saint Petersburg 1721 1917 196 Successor state of the Tsardom of Russia.
Safavid Dynasty Persia Tabriz, Qazvin, Esfahan 1501 1736 235
Saffarid Dynasty Afghanistan Zaranj 867 1002 135
Sassanid Dynasty Persia Ctesiphon 224 651 427 Fourth Persian Empire.
Satavahana Dynasty India Amaravathi village, Guntur district Dharanikota 230 BC 220 450 An Andhra Dynasty which preceded the Vengi Dynasty of Andhra.
Samanid Dynasty Persia Balkh, Bukhara 819 999 180
North Sea Empire Denmark Ribe 1016 1035 19 See also Viking expansion.
Seleucid Empire Persia, Mesopotamia, Syria Seleucia, Antioch 312 BC 63 BC 249 See also Diadochi.
Serbian Empire Serbia Skopje, Prizren 1346 1371 25 Founded by Stephen Uroš IV (Dušan the Mighty), fell into feudal disarray after his death.
Shu Han China Chengdu 221 263 42 See also Three Kingdoms.
Siam Empire Thailand Bangkok 1782 1932 150
Sikh Empire Punjab region, India Amritsar 1733 1849 116 Preceded the British Empire in the Indian subcontinent.
Song Dynasty China Bianjing (960–1127), Lin'an (1127–1279) 960 1279 319
Songhai Empire West Africa Gao 1340 1591 251 Former vassal of the Mali Empire which became one of the largest African empires in history.
Spanish Empire Iberian Peninsula Madrid 1402 1975 573 Was founded with the conquer of the Canary Islands. It was one of the first global empires.
Srivijaya Empire Malay Archipelago Palembang, Mataram 683 1293 610 was a powerful ancient thalassocratic Malay empire based on the island of Sumatra, then based on Mataram (Medang Kingdom) under Sailendra's Dynasty
Sui Dynasty China Chang'an 581 618 37
Shunga Empire Indian Subcontinent Pataliputra, Vidisa 185 BC 73 BC 112 Magadha dynasty that controlled North-central and Eastern India.
Swedish Empire Scandinavia Stockholm 1611 1718 107 See also Swedish overseas colonies.
Tahirid Dynasty Persia Nishapur 821 873 52
Tang Dynasty China Chang'an (618–904), Luoyang (904–907) 618 907 289 Founded By Li Yuan (aka. Emperor Gaozu of Tang).
Tay Son Dynasty Vietnam Phú Xuân 1778 1802 24
Empire of Thessalonica Epirus, Kingdom of Thessalonica Thessaloniki 1224 1246 42 Evolved from the Despotate of Epirus.
Third Reich Germany Berlin (1933–1945), Flensburg (1945) 1933 1945 12 Nazi Germany signed a treaty (Tripartite Pact) with the Japanese and Italian Empires.
Tibetan Empire Tibet Lhasa 755 870 115
Timurid Empire Persia and Central Asia Samarkand, Herat 1370 1526 156 Persianized form of the Mongolian word kürügän, Turko-Mongol Empire.
Tlemcen Algeria Tlemcen 1235 1556 321 Zayyanid dynasty
Empire of Trebizond Pontus Trebizond 1204 1461 257 Successor state of the Byzantine Empire.
Toltec Empire Mesoamerica Tollan-Xicocotitlan 496 1122 626
Tu'i Tonga Empire Tonga, Pacific Ocean Mu'a 450 1865 1415 See History of Tonga.
Turgesh Khaganate Turkistan Balasagun 699 766 67 Founded as a successor of West Turkish empire.
Umayyad Caliphate Syria Damascus, Córdoba (Capital-in-exile) 661 750 89 Successor of the Rashidun Caliphate, See also Islamic Empire.
Uyunid dynasty Arabian Al-Hasa, Qatif 1076 1253 163 The Uyunids, were a Sunni Arab dynasty that ruled Bahrain for 163 years, from the 11th to the 13th centuries.
Uyghur Khaganate Central Asia Ordubaliq 742 848 106 742–848 Founded as a successor of Göktürk Khaganate, 848–1036 Gansu state, 856–1209 Turfan state.
Vijayanagara Empire South India Vijayanagara 1336 1646 310 The founding of the original kingdom was based on the principality of Anegondi.
Wari Empire Peru, Bolivia Huari/Tiwanaku 500 1100 600 It is a matter of conflict as to whether it was a real organized state that could be called an empire. If so, it would be considered the first empire in the Americas.
Wei Empire China Luoyang 220 265 45 See also Three Kingdoms.
Western Chalukya Empire South India Manyakheta, Basavakalyan 973 1189 216
Western Roman Empire Italy Mediolanum, Ravenna 395 476 81 The western half of the Roman Empire.
Eastern Wu China Wuchang, Jianye 229 280 51 See also Three Kingdoms.
Western Xia Dynasty China Xingqing 1038 1227 189 Also called the Tangut Dynasty.
Xin Dynasty China Chang'an 9 23 14 The Xin Dynasty had only one ruling Emperor.
Yuan Dynasty China, Mongolia Dadu 1271 1368 97 Division of the Mongol Empire. The Yuan emperors had nominal supremacy over western khanates.
Zand Dynasty Persia Shiraz 1750 1794 44
Zulu Empire South Africa KwaBulawayo, Ulundi 1818 1897 79

Possible and informal empires

These governments, confederations and other entities have sometimes been informally referred to as "empires". Some did not fit the modern definition of empire (e.g. the Delian League), some were self-proclaimed by their first and often last ruler, others were short-lived attempts to turn an existing government into an empire, and there are also instances of the word "empire" being used to refer to unofficial spheres of influence which do not consider themselves empires.

"Empire" Origin Capital From To Duration Note
American Empire United States Washington, D.C. 1776 Present 239–240 and counting The concept of an American Empire was first popularized during the presidency of James K. Polk who led the United States into the Mexican–American War of 1846. In recent times the concept has been revived to refer to the sphere of influence of the United States by critics of the United States.
Athenian Empire (Delian League) Ancient Greece Delos island 478 BC 404 BC 74 Also known as Delian League. It was an association of Greek city-states.
Second Athenian Empire Ancient Greece Athens 378 BC 355 BC 23 Second Athenian Empire, headed by Athens primarily for self-defense against the growth of Sparta and the Persian Empire.
Central African Empire Central African Republic Bangui 1976 1979 3 President Jean-Bédel Bokassa declared himself Emperor Bokassa I.
Empire of China China Beijing 1915 1916 1 Was a short-lived attempt by Yuan Shikai to reinstate the Imperial Monarchy.
First Empire of Haiti North America Port-au-Prince 1804 1806 2 First Haitian Empire, Jean-Jacques Dessalines declared himself Emperor Jacques I.
Second Empire of Haiti North America Port-au-Prince 1849 1859 10 Second Haitian Empire, Faustin Soulouque is proclaimed Emperor Faustin I.
Grand Duchy of Lithuania Lithuania Vilnius 1200 1569 369 It was the largest state in Europe in the 15th century.
Mayan Empire Central America Not specified 250 900 650
Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth Poland, Lithuania Kraków 1569 1795 226 It was formed by the Union of Lublin in 1569, between the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. It was one of the largest and one of the most populous countries of 16th and 17th-century Europe, with some 390,000 square miles (1,000,000 km2) and a multi-ethnic population of 11 million at its peak in the early 17th century.[2][3]
Soviet Empire Soviet Union Moscow 1922 1991 69 A political term for the sphere of influence of the Soviet Union used by its critics.
Ur III Empire Sumer Ur 2100 BC 2000 BC 100 The dynasty/empire is also known as the Sumerian Renaissance.
Empire of Vietnam Vietnam Huế 1945 1945 0.45 A short-lived (March 11 – August 23) puppet state of the Japanese Empire.

See also


  1. ^ "Chronological table 5 1 December 1946 – 23 June 1947".  
  2. ^ Norman Davies, Europe: A History, Pimlico 1997, p. 554: Poland-Lithuania was another country which experienced its 'Golden Age' during the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. The realm of the last Jagiellons was absolutely the largest state in Europe
  3. ^ Piotr Stefan Wandycz (2001). The price of freedom: a history of East Central Europe from the Middle Ages to the present. Psychology Press. p. 66.  

External links

  • Pella, John & Erik Ringmar, History of International Relations Open Textbook Project, Cambridge: Open Book, forthcoming.
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