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The Top Four Greatest Empires in History

Updated on December 15, 2015

The four greatest empires in history!

From the Roman Empire all the way to the Ottaman Empire so many other rulers have came to power. Some you may have heard of such as Suleiman the Magnificent, King Darius, or Chengiz Khan (aka. Temuchin). Today we are taking a closer look into their empires and how they came into power.

The Ancient Empires

Source

The Roman Empire - Rulers

The Rulers of the Roman Empire.

1. Julius Caesar - Although he is not an emperor of Rome, he does deserve the credit. If it wasn't for Julius Caesar, history would have taken a whole different route. He turned the Roman Republic into the powerful Roman Empire. Julius Caesar was born in Rome on 12 or 13 July 100 BC into the prestigious Julian clan. His family were closely connected with the Marian faction in Roman politics. In the Year 61-60 BC he served as governor of the Roman province of Spain. Back in Rome in 60, Caesar made a pact with Pompey and Crassus, who helped him to get elected as consul for 59 BC. He was later assassinated by the Senate in 44 B.C

2. Octavian - following the assassination of his great-uncle and adoptive father Julius Caesar. He shrewdly combined military might, institution-building and lawmaking to become Rome’s sole ruler, laying the foundations of the 200-year Pax Romana. He was the founder of the Roman Empire and its first Emperor until 14 A.D.

3. Tiberius - His ruling went from 14 A.D till 37 A.D. In 25 BC he already held his first post as an officer in Cantabria. By 20 BC he accompanied Augustus to the east to reclaim the standards lost to the Parthians by Crassus thirty-three years earlier. In 16 BC he was appointed governor of Gaul and by 13 BC he held his first consulship.

4. Caligula - As for Caligula he was the third son of Germanicus, his two elder brothers were both dead. Now 24yrs old, he was the sole contender to the throne. As the son of Germanicus he certainly had the support of the army.

The Roman Empire - 27 B.C - 393 A.D

Rome, from the smallest republic that is was, grew to a big empire which lasted around 600years. At it's peak the Roman Empire was from the city of London all the way down to the city of Baghdad and a huge army. But later when the Roman Empire was invaded and attacked, the fall came down very quickly. How did it happen?

Well, it is late in the 2nd century BC 100 years before the crucification of Christ and a decade before the birth of Julius Caesar, Rome is facing a great change that will alter it's fundamental character forever. But even when the Romans are carving up their place in the world, there's another whole side to this story. The republic faces a huge event that will eventually force the Romans to abandon the rule of the senate and vote for an emperor. This begins with the fist Barbarian war. By 113 B.C Rome has become the master of the entire Mediterranean lands. Those who didn't speak Greek or Latin were considered to be very different (Barbarian) and Rome considered them as less civilized. The soldiers would be wearing suits and armors which would weight around 60lbs and would have to march/ travel many distances to get to their destination! (That's so heavy!)

Back in the capital, it's the wealthy government officials that are getting the benefit. At this point Rome doesn't have an emperor and it's not an empire yet. It's still a senate. They have two high status people known as the "consul" in which their role was to lead the army because national security came first of course, and also setting the legend for politics. There was a bit of class issue as well during this time. The soldiers that went to war were just there to fight and win the war, they did not dare to dream of even achieving a position in the senate or becoming a consul. For the Romans, when they were going to war, they took hours to prepare before the arrival of their enemies so that they are fully equipped in order to launch the attack. Then in contrast the attack of the Barbarians is unpredictable and devastating to the Roman line, at this time it will be an execution.

There's one thing that always alarms the Romans - that was the women. To the Romans, the presence of women were a way of saying that this is an invasion, a settlement.

THE FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE - - -

The Fall of the Roman Empire was really tragic and unforgettable. There are certain reasons as to why rome fell. 1. Invasion of the Barbarians 2. Economic trouble and slave labor 3. Rise of the eastern Empires 4. Over expanding the military 5. Political instability 6. Christianity and the loss of traditions and values.

Buildings - Roman Empire

The Arch of Trajan were constructed by Emperors in Rome and its major cities to commemorate great military triumphs.
The Arch of Trajan were constructed by Emperors in Rome and its major cities to commemorate great military triumphs.
The foundation of temples was particularly important to Emperors. Religion and politics were very much allied in the Roman world.
The foundation of temples was particularly important to Emperors. Religion and politics were very much allied in the Roman world.
The most famous and grandest amphitheater was the Colosseum that was begun by the Emperor Vespasian in about 72 AD. It served as arenas in which the Roman staged spectacles that entertained the population.
The most famous and grandest amphitheater was the Colosseum that was begun by the Emperor Vespasian in about 72 AD. It served as arenas in which the Roman staged spectacles that entertained the population.

The Persian Empire - Symbol

Farvahar
Farvahar

Kings (Shahs) Of Persia

Achaemenid dynasty (550–330 BC)

1 - Cyrus The Great - 600–530 BC (Kourush e Kabir)

2 - Cambyses II - ? - 521 BC (Kambujiye Dovom)

3. Darius I - 550–486 BC (Darayavah/ Dariush)

4. Xerxes I - 519–465 BC (Khashayar Shah)

5. Artaxerxes I - ?–424 BC (Ardesheer e aval)

Sasanian dynasty (224–651)

1. Ardeshir I - SHAHANSHAH

2. Shahpur I - SHAHANSHAH

3. Hormizd I - SHAHANSHAH/ ARMANANSHAH

5. Bahram I - SHAHANSHAH/ GILANSHAN

Pahlavi dynasty (1925–1979)

1. Reza Shah - 1878–1944 - He was the son of Abbas Ali

2. Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi - 1919–1980 - He was the son to Reza Shah and the last ruler/king of Persia

The Persian Empire

The Persians were the more important and largest empire during their time. The origin of the Persian Empire can be attributed to the leadership of one man called Cyrus the Great (Kuroush e Kabir - In farsi). A brilliant and powerful Persian king, Cyrus’ strategy for enlarging the Persian kingdom was to conquer nearby lands and then unite them into one empire. Cyrus was a skillful and very kind ruler. He adopted a policy of toleration toward the people he conquered. For example, he allowed them to speak their own languages, practice their own religions, and follow their own ways of life. He also declared the first Charter of Human Rights. Engraved on a clay cylinder, this charter set forth Cyrus’ goals and policies. It is known as the Cyrus Cylinder which currently sits at the British Museum in London.

After the death of his father in 530 BC, Cambyses became sole king. Before he set out on his expedition to battle and his long journey, he killed his brother Bardiya, whom his father Cyrus had appointed governor of the eastern provinces. In the decisive battle at Pelusium the Egyptian army was defeated, and shortly afterwards Memphis was taken. Cambyses sent an army to threaten the Oracle of Amun at the Oasis. The army of 50,000 men was halfway across the desert when a massive sandstorm sprang up, burying them all one by one - alive. According to his successor Darius I, Cambyses felt that victory was impossible and committed suicide.

The real unification of the Persian empire was accomplished under the emperor Darius I, who ruled from 522 B.C. to 486 B.C. Darius set up a bureaucracy and subdivisions administered by officials who follow set rules. The Persian bureaucracy became a model for later rulers. Darius divided the empire into provinces, each called a satrapy and headed by a governor called a satrap. Each satrapy had to pay taxes based on its resources and wealth. Special officials visited each satrapy to check on the satraps. Darius created an efficient and successful government structure that was not under the everyday control of the king. Darius adapted laws from the peoples he conquered and, like Hammurabi, drew up a single code of laws for the empire. To encourage unity, he had hundreds of miles of roads built or repaired. Roads made it easier to communicate with different parts of the empire.

Royal Wedding of Mohammad Reza shah & Farah Diba

The Persian Empire - Buildings

Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi - The Last King Of Persia
Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi - The Last King Of Persia

Sultan Suleiyman The Magnificent

Sultan Suleiyman
Sultan Suleiyman

The Ottman Empire

Rise of the Ottoman Empire (1299–1453)

With the termination of the Seljuk Sultanate (c. 1300), Anatolia was divided into different work of independent states, called Ghazi emirates. By 1300, the weakened Byzantine Empire had lost most of its Anatolian provinces to ten Ghazi principalities. One of the Ghazi emirates was led by Osman I (from which the name Ottoman is derived), son of Ertugrul, around western Anatolia. Osman I extended the frontiers of Ottoman settlement toward the edge of the Byzantine Empire. He moved the Ottoman capital to Bursa, and shaped the early political development of the nation. In this period, a formal Ottoman government was created whose institutions would change drastically over the life of the empire. The government used the legal entity known as the millet, under which religious and ethnic minorities were allowed to manage their own affairs with basic independence from central control. The Battle of Nicopolis in 1396. In the century after the death of Osman I.

One of the well known emperors (Sultans) of the Ottman Empire is Sultan Suleiyman. His father was Sultan Selim I and his mother was Hafsa Sultan. After Sultan Selim I ascended to the throne in 1512, Shehzade (Prince) Suleiyman was invited to Istanbul as the regent of his father who was dealing with throne struggles with his brothers. At the same time he was the governor of the Saruhan province. After Selim I had passed away, Suleiyman succeeded him without any rejection as everbody knew he was a very serious and confident man. He never hesitated and never broken the commands he gave. He had four wives: Gulfehm Sultan, Mahidevran Sultan and Hurrem Sultan. He also had 8 children: Selim II, Bayezid, Mustafa, Abdulla, Murad, Mehmed, Cahangir , Mahmud and on top of that 2 daughter: Mahriman Sultan and Raziye Sultan. He had 1 sister named Hediceh Sultan and his mother Ayshe Sultan.

He ruled the Ottoman Empire for 46 years between 1520 - 1566 and doubled his territory in size. This was a rising period for Istanbul, as it was for the whole Empire. Many valuable buildings were constructed during this period which survived until our days with no or little damage thanks to the great architect Sinan. The city was restored with a better plan including new dams, fountains, theological schools, caravanserai, Turkish baths, botanical gardens and bridges.

Suleiyman's 3rd and last wife Hurrem Sultan, was originally a foreign girl, named Aleksandra, born in Rohatyn city of the Kingdom of Poland back then which is in Ukraine today. She was abducted as a slave girl after one of Suleiyman's expeditions in the 1520's. Soon after she entered the Harem, she routed her competition for Suleiyman's affections, and persuaded him to marry, after which her influence grew increasingly. She was the first women to create a mosque, a beautiful fountain, a school and a women's hospital near the women's slave market. On top of that she commissioned a bath house called "Hurrem Sultan Hamami" and a public soup kitchen to feed the poor and the needy. When she died in 1558, she was buried in a large mausoleum next to her husband. Let's not forget that she had a daughter named Mahriman Sultan. She was the most educated and smartest of the children. She actually designed hospitals and schools; however she is most known for the “Mihrimah Sultan mosque”.

Suleymaniye Mosque

The Ottman Empire

Suleiymaniye Mosque - Located in Turkey - Built by Sultan Suleiyman
Suleiymaniye Mosque - Located in Turkey - Built by Sultan Suleiyman
Map of the Empire
Map of the Empire

Chenghiz Khan -Temujin

The Mongol Empire

Chenghiz Khan (aka. Temujin) is the worlds most greatest known emperor. He was the son of the great Khan Yesugei Baghatur. He was a major chief of the Khamag Mongol confederation (Very high ranking.) It was during the 13th century that a military phenomenon arose in central Asia and provided the first instance in history of what was virtually a world war.

From a young age his father Yesugei trained Temujin to be a tough, strong warrior. By the time he was 8 years old his father told him to chose a bride from the village of his friend. He was asked to 1. Look at the legs of the girls - to see how built they were 2. Her eyes needed to be more narrow and 3. She needed to be a fierce warrior. And so Temujin did choose the daughter of the chief (The chief was Yesugei's friend). After their stay, they traveled out of the village, Temujin said goodbye to his bride Borte and told her to wait for him. (AND SHE SURE DID). While on the way his father, another little tribe was taking a rest, as a sign of respect the 2 khans exchanged milk and bread - but little did Yesugei know that the milk given to him was poisoned. During his journey, his fell off of his horse and was dead. Now it was up to Temujin to fulfill his father's wishes.

When Temuchin accepted the title of Chenghiz Khan in 1206, his strategic needs changed - from fiercely independent nomads to impressing them by demonstrating his power against the agriculture-based civilizations that bordered their lands. The first of these enemies lay nearby in China and, at that time, China was split under a number of different rulers whose distrust of one another made the prospect of their conquest look that much easier.

As for the army, which Genghis Khan had achieved supreme power among his own people was shortly to be unleashed upon their neighbors. The lighter Mongol cavalrymen wore sheepskin coats over their ordinary clothes, but recent study and some very valuable archaeological finds, has stated that a Mongol army would have consisted of a large number of heavy cavalrymen in addition to light cavalrymen. As an alternative, a heavy coat could be reinforced using metal plates. A coat was worn under the suit of armour, and heavy leather boots were worn on the feet, due to the heavy and cold freezing snow that would hit the land. The helmet, was made from a number of larger iron pieces, was roughly in the shape of a rounded cone, and had the added protective feature of a neck guard of iron plates. The Mongol heavy cavalry rode horses that also enjoyed the protection of lamellar armour. Bows, swords and maces were the main offensive weapons.

After Temujin's death in 1227, the Mongol Empire which is still far from the full extent that it would eventually reach began to show cracks and started to fall apart as the Great Khan's three surviving sons (plus the grandson of his firstborn son), and their descendants, fought for power. I don't know a whole lot about how Mongol rule was overthrown on the western end of the empire, but in China, beginning in the mid 14th century and culminating in the establishment of the Ming Dynasty by Zhu Yuan zhang in 1368. He mentioned when he was dying that he wanted to be buried in a place where no one would ever find his body, and to this day still, it has not been found.

The Mongol Empire

Map of the Mongol empire
Map of the Mongol empire
Flag of the Mongol Empire
Flag of the Mongol Empire
Statue of Temujin - Chengiz Khan- At the bank of the Tuul River at Tsonjin Boldog
Statue of Temujin - Chengiz Khan- At the bank of the Tuul River at Tsonjin Boldog

The Four Greatest Empires

5 out of 5 stars from 2 ratings of top 4 greatest empires

© 2015 Mahsa S

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    • profile image

      James 23 months ago

      I never knew this much information about any of these empires. Its nice to see this and to be able to know the difference between each of these. Thank you for the article.

    • mahsa setareh profile image
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      Mahsa S 2 years ago

      Thank you very much Jennifer I'm glad that this article help You to learn about the history of these empires. Please let me know what other kinds of hubs you would like to read

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      jennifer 2 years ago

      thank you, I learned a lot of stuff that I didn't know about the history of these empires.

    • mahsa setareh profile image
      Author

      Mahsa S 2 years ago

      I'm glad that this article helped :) It's very good to know the history of all these empires and places and who the first rulers were.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thank you for the historical review of these world rulers. I am as unfamiliar with the information on the Ottoman and Mongul Empires as I am familiar with the Roman and Persian, so I learned some new facts. Good read!