Talk:List of largest empires

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Why is Karkota Empire in the list?[edit]

I fail to see why Karkota Empire, a very small empire is in the list and at a very high position. The area of this empire is a mere 3km square and is mentioned in the article here: Karkoṭa Empire

Kindly make the changes and remove it from the list.— Preceding unsigned comment added by 122.248.163.3 (talk) 10:30, 17 June 2015‎ (UTC)

Add a paragraph: "Total empires and total areas by ethnic peoples"[edit]

You should add a paragraph which lists all empires created by a category of people and give the total area of these empires.

Example: Total empires from Turkic peoples: Göktürk Khaganate 6 Golden Horde Khanate 6 Ottoman Empire 5,2 Mughal Empire 5 Timurid Empire 4,4 Hunnic Empire 4 Eastern Turks Khanate 4 Western Turkic Khaganate 4 Great Seljuq Empire 3,9 Ilkhanate 3,75 Khwarazmian Empire 3,6 Chagatai Khanate 3,5 Safavid dynasty, Iran 3,5 Shaybanid Uzbek Dynasty 3,5 Ghaznavid Empire, Afghanistan 3,4 Uyghur Khaganate 3,1 Kara-Khanid Khanate 3 Khazar Khanate 3 Khilji dynasty 2,7 Avar Khaganate 1 Khanate of Kazan 0,7 Crimean Khanate 0,4

Total Area = 77,65 million km²


China: Ming dynasty 6,5 Han dynasty 6,5 Tang dynasty 5,5 Xin dynasty 4,7 Xiongnu Empire 4,03 Western Jin dynasty 3,5 Sui Dynasty 3,1 Eastern Jin dynasty 2,8 Liu Song dynasty 2,8 Qin dynasty 2,8 Later Zhao dynasty 2,5 Wei dynasty 2 Earlier Zhao dynasty 2 Former Qin dynasty 2 Wu Dynasty 1,5 Northern Zhou Dynasty 1,5 Liang Dynasty 1,3 Western Wei Dynasty 1,3 Later Liang 1,3 Later Tang 1,3 Shang Dynasty 1,25 Eastern Wei Dynasty 1

Total = 61,18

Arabic people: Abbasid Caliphate 11,1 Achaemenid Empire 8,5 Rashidun Caliphate 8,5 Fatimid Caliphate 4,1 Almoravid dynasty, Morocco 3,3 Bahriyya Mamluks 2,1 Burjiyya Mamluks 2,1 Almohad Caliphate 2 Mamluk Sultanate 1,6 Tulunids Emirate 1,5 Idrisid dynasty, Morocco 1,5

Total = 46,3

Persian: Sasanian Empire 6,6 Afsharid dynasty 5,3 Ghurids Sultanate 3,2 Samanid dynasty 2,85 Saffarid dynasty, Iran 2 Buyid Sultanate 1,6

Total = 21,55 — Preceding unsigned comment added by 88.183.23.239 (talk) 19:50, 23 May 2016 (UTC)

Dubious[edit]

The reference for the area of the Norwegian Empire says:

This number is found by adding up the areas of Jämtland, Härjedalen, Bohuslän, Iceland, the Faroe Islands, Greenland, Shetland and Orkney. The entire area of Greenland was not effectively controlled by anyone at the time; however it is today under the Crown of Denmark and therefore would have been under the Crown of Norway.

I'd argue that the second sentence (specifically the "not effectively controlled by anyone" part) makes a strong case against including the entirety of Greenland in the area. I'll note that the area of Denmark does not include Greenland (which is listed separately), and the area of Norway does not include Queen Maud Land.

As a side note, displaying one's calculations (in a comment, if nothing else) makes it easier to check for errors, update figures subject to change, and so on. TompaDompa (talk) 13:17, 31 July 2016 (UTC)

United States Missing Discussion[edit]

Like many, I think this article suffers from one HUGE missing country: the United States. As an imperialist power, is it not an empire? The idea what being a "republic" or a federation somehow limits it is just nonsense. The US started out as an oligarchy where only a few percentage points of the population could indirectly vote for certain leaders and it has expanded to the modern oligarchy we have today. Hardly much of a Republic. But I fail to see how it is relevant because it is still an empire.

The way that the British counts yet the American does not just makes no sense. I'm really not sure how to count land in the US empire but even today, the US has control over dozens of countries all around the world. An actual puppet counts more than, say, some odd formality that would count the queen of England as the queen of Canada. 184.58.100.105 (talk) 16:35, 23 August 2016 (UTC)

"An empire involves the extension of a state's sovereignty over external territories and variety of different ethnic groups. The term "empire" in this context (not necessarily a state ruled by an emperor) does not have a precise definition, but is generally applied to political entities that are considered to be especially large by the standards of their time and that have acquired a significant part of their territory by conquest." That is the definition that the article gives for an empire, the United States does not meet that definition now, whether it did pre-mid 20th century, is up for debate I guess, although its territory controlled really wouldn't be considered "especially large." As for your forum-like arguments about "American imperialism", those don't qualify it for inclusion based upon the article's definition of an empire. - SantiLak (talk) 10:57, 25 August 2016 (UTC)

Not that I look forward to another discussion on American imperialism, but what do you mean when claiming that the United States do not control an "especially large" area? Their current total area is estimated to 9,833,517 square kilometers. The Roman Empire at its largest extent (c. 117 AD) only covered 5,000,000 square kilometers.

The States seem huge, and the only current states with a wider area are Russia, Canada, and China. Dimadick (talk) 12:17, 26 August 2016 (UTC)

Almost all of that land mass is in States. The largest exception today is Puerto Rico.--Work permit (talk) 08:40, 28 August 2016 (UTC)

Largest empires by economy[edit]

After a cleanup of this section, this is what remains of the table. It's incomplete (the percentage column is completely empty, for one thing), and in all likelihood inaccurate (with regards to the year the GDP was the largest for each individual empire, as that's not what the sources set out to investigate).

The WP:Editing policy (as quoted by WP:Inaccuracy) states that "on Wikipedia a lack of information is better than misleading or false information". I contend that the table below is inarguably misleading, and have consequently elected to remove the section from the article.

In accordance with WP:FIXTHEPROBLEM, I have brought it here to discuss whether it's possible to improve it to a satisfactory quality, and how to do so if it is possible. To my mind, the only proper way of doing it would be to use a source that has systematically assessed most or all of the largest economies at any given time over an extensive period of time (analogous to what Rein Taagepera has done with regards to land area).

The best such source I have found is Angus Maddison (see Angus Maddison statistics of the ten largest economies by GDP (PPP) and their other publications). There are a number of issues, such as the at times poor temporal resolution, though. By far the biggest issue is the fact that Maddison does not deal with polities, but with regions (for instance, Maddison does not evaluate the GDP of the British Empire, but does evaluate the GDP of both the United Kingdom and the British Raj – though the latter is called "India"). While we are allowed to add numbers together by WP:CALC, in order to do so we would have to decide what figures and therefore regions to include ourselves – in essence define the boundaries of the empire in question, in clear violation of WP:OR/WP:SYNTH.

Thoughts? TompaDompa (talk) 00:29, 28 August 2016 (UTC)

Empire GDP (billions of 1990 Int'l.$.) % of world total
British Empire 918.7 (in 1938)[1]
Nazi Germany 375.6 (in 1938)[1]
Empire of Japan 260.7 (in 1938)[1]
French Empire 234.1 (in 1938)[1]
Italian Empire 143.4 (in 1938)[1]
Austria-Hungary 100.5 (in 1918)[2][page needed]
  1. ^ a b c d e Harrison (1998, pp. 3,7).
  2. ^ Broadberry and Harrison (2005).
  • Stephen Broadberry and Mark Harrison (2005). The Economics of World War I. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-85212-9.
  • Mark Harrison (1998). The Economics of World War II: Six Great Powers in International Comparison.

Portuguese Empire vs Brazilian on this list[edit]

How can be possible, if Brazil was part of Portuguese Empire in 1820, on this list Brazilian Empire is bigger tha


FerreiraBorges (talk) 21:34, 30 August 2016 (UTC)

Largest empires by population[edit]

After a cleanup of this section, this is what remains of the table. It's incomplete (the percentage column has quite a few gaps), contradictory, and of questionable accuracy (the percentages in particular are dubious, as they're calculated by different people who may be using different methods).

The WP:Editing policy (as quoted by WP:Inaccuracy) states that "on Wikipedia a lack of information is better than misleading or false information". I contend that the table below is misleading for the reasons outlined above (and may be so for other reasons as well), and have consequently elected to remove the section from the article.

In accordance with WP:FIXTHEPROBLEM, I have brought it here to discuss whether it's possible to improve it to a satisfactory quality, and how to do so if it is possible. To my mind, the only proper way of doing it would be to use a source that has systematically assessed the populations of both the largest empires and the world as a whole over an extensive period of time (analogous to what Rein Taagepera has done with regards to land area).

For lack of such a source, this section has been removed in its entirety. Feel free to add it back upon locating a source like that, but until then it doesn't really live up to the standards of a Wikipedia article.

Thoughts? TompaDompa (talk) 17:25, 5 September 2016 (UTC)

Empire Max. population (million)  % of world population
British Empire 533.0 (in 1938)[1][contradictory] 20.00% (458 million out of 2.295 billion in 1938)[1][contradictory]
Qing dynasty 432.2 (in 1851)[2]
Mughal Empire 150.0 (in 1700) 24.8% (150.0 million out of 610 million[3])[when?]
Northern Song Dynasty 123.0 (in 1103)[4][5]
Mongol Empire 110.0 (in the 13th century)[6] 25.60% (110.0 million out of 429 million[7] in the 13th century)
Ming dynasty 110.0 (in 1600)[8][9]
Southern Song dynasty 73.0 (in 1193).[4][10]
Roman Empire 70.0 (in the 2nd century AD)[11][12][13] 21.00% (70 million in 150 AD)[14]
Earlier Zhao dynasty 64 (in 156)[4][15]
Yuan dynasty 59.8 (in 1291)[4][16] 17.10% (59.8 million out of 350 million in 1290)[citation needed]
Gupta Empire 58 (in 400 AD)[1] 26.36% (58.0 million out of 220 million in 400 AD)[1]
Han dynasty 58.0 (in 2 AD)[4][17]
Sui Dynasty 53.0 (in 606)[4][18]
Achaemenid Empire 50.0 (in 480 BC)[19] 44.48% (50 million out of 112.4 million in 480 BC)[20][21]
Maurya Empire 50–60 (in the 2nd century BC) 33%–40% (50–60 million out of 150 million in the 2nd century BC.[22][23]
  1. ^ a b c d Harrison (1998, pp. 3,7).
  2. ^ Recorded number of persons in 1851 is 432,164,047 according to Draft History of Qing.
  3. ^ Colin McEvedy and Richard Jones (1978), "Atlas of World Population History", Facts on File (p. 183, p. 342). New York.
  4. ^ a b c d e f (a) John D. Durand, 1960, "The Population Statistics of China, A.D. 2–1953", Population Studies Vol. 13 (No. 3), 209–256. (b) John D. Durand, 1974, "Historical Estimates of World Population: An Evaluation", University of Pennsylvania, Population Center, Analytical and Technical Reports, Number 10.
  5. ^ Recorded number of persons and households in 1103 are 45,981,845 and 20,524,065, respectively (Song Huiyao), while recorded peak number of persons and households are 46,734,784 and 20,882,438 in 1109, respectively (Song Huiyao).
  6. ^ The combined population of China and Korea in the 13th century was 83 in Biraben (2003[page needed]). The combined population of Eastern Europe, Russia, Central Asia, Iran, Iraq and Turkey was about 27 in Maddison (2006[page needed]).
  7. ^ Biraben, Jean-Noel (January 1979). "Essai sur l'evolution du nombre des hommes". Population (French Edition). Institut national d'études démographiques. 34 (1): 13–25. doi:10.2307/1531855. 
  8. ^ Jean-Noël Biraben, "The History of the Human Population From the First Beginnings to the Present" in Demography: Analysis and Synthesis: A Treatise in Population (Eds: Graziella Caselli, Jacques Vallin, Guillaume J. Wunsch), Vol. III, Chapter 66, pp 5–18, Academic Press:San Diego (2005).
  9. ^ Recorded number of persons and households in 1393 are 60,545,812 and 10,652,870, respectively (Ming Hui Dian), while recorded peak number of persons and households are 66,598,337 and 11,415,829 in 1403, respectively (Book of Ming).
  10. ^ Recorded number of persons and households in 1193 are 27,845,085 and 12,302,873, respectively (Wenxian Tongkao), while recorded peak number of persons and households are 28,320,085 and 12,670.801 in 1223, respectively (Wenxian Tongkao).
  11. ^ Taagepera, Rein (1 January 1979). "Size and Duration of Empires: Growth-Decline Curves, 600 B.C. to 600 A.D.". Social Science History. 3 (3/4): 115–138. doi:10.2307/1170959. Retrieved 25 August 2016. 
  12. ^ Mclynn Frank "Marcus Aurelius" p. 4. Published by The Bodley Head 2009
  13. ^ There are several different estimates for the Roman Empire. Scheidel (2006, p. 2) estimates 60. Goldsmith (1984, p. 263) estimates 55. Beloch (1886, p. 507) estimates 54. Maddison (2006, p. 51, 120) estimates 48. Roman Empire Population estimates 65 (while mentioning several other estimates between 55 and 120 ).
  14. ^ Scheidel, Walter; Friesen, Steven J. (Nov. 2009): "The Size of the Economy and the Distribution of Income in the Roman Empire", The Journal of Roman Studies, Vol. 99, pp. 61–91
  15. ^ Recorded number of persons and households in 156 are 56,486,856 and 10,677,960 respectively (Book of the Later Han).
  16. ^ Recorded number of persons and households in 1290 are 58,834,711 and 13,196,206, respectively (History of Yuan), while recorded peak number of persons and households are 59,848,964 and 13,430,322 in 1291, respectively (History of Yuan).
  17. ^ Recorded number of persons and households in AD 2 are 58,594,978 and 12,233,062, respectively (Book of Han).
  18. ^ Recorded number of persons and households are 46,019,956 and 8,907,546, respectively, in 606 (Tongdian) or 609 (Book of Sui).
  19. ^ While estimates for the Achaemenid Empire range from 10–80+ million, most prefer 40–50 million. Prevas (2009, p. 14) estimates 10 [1]. Langer (2001, p. 40) estimates around 16 2. McEvedy and Jones (2001, p. 50) estimates 17 3. Strauss (2004, p. 37) estimates about 20 4. Ward (2009, p. 16) estimates at 20 5. Aperghis (2007, p. 311) estimates 32 6. Scheidel (2009, p. 99) estimates 35 7. Zeinert (1996, p. 32) estimates 40 8. Rawlinson and Schauffler (1898, p. 270) estimates possibly 50 9. Astor (1899, p. 56) estimates almost 50 10. Lissner (1961, p. 111) estimates probably 50 11. Milns (1968, p. 51) estimates some 50 12. Hershlag (1980, p. 140) estimates nearly 50 13. Daniel (2001, p. 41) estimates at 50 15. Meyer and Andreades (2004, p. 58) estimates to 50 16. Pollack (2004, p. 7) estimates about 50 17. Jones (2004, p. 8) estimates over 50 18. Safire (2007, p. 627) estimates in 50 19. Dougherty (2009, p. 6) estimates about 70 20. Richard (2008, p. 34) estimates nearly 70 21. Mitchell (2004, p. 16) estimates over 70 22. Hanson (2001, p. 32) estimates almost 75 23. West (1913, p. 85) estimates about 75 24. Zenos (1889, p. 2) estimates exactly 75 25. Cowley (1999 and 2001, p. 17) estimates possibly 80 26. Cook (1904, p. 277) estimates exactly 80 27.
  20. ^ Yarshater (1996, p. 47)
  21. ^ «Five Empires That Were Close to World Domination». Joseph Kaminski. March 20, 2016. Retrieved August 16, 2016.
  22. ^ Boesche, Roger (2003-03-01). The First Great Political Realist: Kautilya and His Arthashastra. p. 11. ISBN 9780739106075. 
  23. ^ Demeny, Paul George; McNicoll, Geoffrey (May 2003). Encyclopedia of population. ISBN 9780028656793. 
  • J. Beloch (1886), Die Bevölkerung der griechisch–römischen Welt, Duncker and Humblot, Leipzig.
  • Jean-Noël Biraben (2003). "The rising numbers of humankind", Populations & Societies 394.
  • Roger Boesche (2003). "Kautilya's Arthashastra on War and Diplomacy in Ancient India", The Journal of Military History 67 (p. 9–38).
  • Raymond W. Goldsmith (1984), "An estimate of the size and structure of the national product of the Early Roman Empire", Journal of the International Association for Research in Income and Wealth 30
  • Mark Harrison (1998). The Economics of World War II: Six Great Powers in International Comparison.
  • Angus Maddison (2006). The Contours of the World Economy 1–2030 AD. Oxford University Press.
  • Colin McEvedy and Richard Jones (1978), "Atlas of World Population History", Facts on File (p. 342–351). New York.
  • Walter Scheidel (2006). Imperial state formation in Rome and China.[dead link] Stanford University.