Which was the greatest ancient empire?

Discussion in 'History' started by Eradius Lore, May 10, 2005.

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    Eradius Lore

    Eradius Lore Science fiction fantasy

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    which in your opinion was the greatest empire (real empire not the preditor empire) and why you thought so.
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    Winters_Sorrow

    Winters_Sorrow Unreg. Mutant Moderator Staff Member

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    no doubt there will be many to champion the cause of Rome, etc but my personal 'favourite' empire has to be the first Han dynasty of China - circa 200 B.C. Main achievements, creation of a writing system, discovery of porcelain and a credible system of government with a set code of laws. I have a soft spot for the British Empire too obviously. Guilty of 'taking over' half the world and exploiting them as people will no doubt point out, it was also briefly, a centre for innovation which led to many of the discoveries in medicine etc which we still have today.

    btw I'm assuming the term empire is just a generic term for a conglomerate of 2 or more different kingdoms, not merely those run by a Emperor.
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    Eradius Lore

    Eradius Lore Science fiction fantasy

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    I love the fact that we the British with this now dingy little country at one point controlled a large part of the world when in those days America was just a colony and Canada too and we also had an unbeatable army of disciplined and drilled soldiers

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    Winters_Sorrow

    Winters_Sorrow Unreg. Mutant Moderator Staff Member

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    hardly 'unbeatable" but yes, the mighty have fallen and landed hard - America, take note!
    You reap what you sow

    plus, we're far from alone in this. Egypt, Mongolia, Macedonia and, much more recently, Germany prior to World War 1 had a much larger size than currently.
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    Tsujigiri

    Tsujigiri Waiting at the Crossroads

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    I will second the Han Dynasty.
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    Eradius Lore

    Eradius Lore Science fiction fantasy

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    Don’t get me wrong I love the British Empire but I have to say that the Chinese and Japanese empires where indeed the most advanced of there time. (200b.c-1700a.d) Or something around that period of history.
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    Leto

    Leto Outside

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    I have to stay true to my ancestors and state the Roman Empire, although most empires around the ancient world (that's BC for you) had their pros and cons.
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    Brian Turner

    Brian Turner Brian G. Turner Staff Member

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    Roman Empire, without fail - but that's simply because as a certified Romanophile I'm biased. :)

    Ghenghis Khan seems under-rated, though - shame I missed the progran on TV before.

    As for the Han dynasty - interesting - thought it may have been Qin that was favoured.
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    Lacedaemonian

    Lacedaemonian A Plume of Smoke

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    The Macedonian Empire. Though it achieved nothing, created nothing and lasted for no time what so ever.
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    Stalker

    Stalker Seeker of Sense

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    Won't be original.

    M. Aurelius' Roman Empire of 2 cent. AD, Hun's China and Chandragupta's (Maurya) Indian Empire - cannot distinguish any, ll were great and all fell because of being Empires.
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    kaneda

    kaneda Did you not know?

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    :D
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    evanescentdream

    evanescentdream Tahveli

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    There are two empires I would place here: Macedonia and Egypt.

    Of course, Macedonia was a blip on the Greek timescale. Its rise to power was shortlived. But it is amazing to think that in his thirty-some short years Alexander the Great expanded his small corner of Greece across the map, conquering even the mighty Persian empire. It is said that Caesar, in his forties, came across a statue of Alexander and felt immeasurably jealous that he had not accomplished the same in the same time.

    Egypt has always been a favorite of mine. No other culture could entrance me so. A kingdom that went from a branching polytheistic religion to the worship of a single Sun god and then back to the old ways? Amazing. Plus, one cannot forget the great pharoahs such as Tutankhamen (who is given more attention than merited, but is still fascinating); Amenhotep IV, who introduced into the ancient world a true system of monotheism (Israel did not invent it, for it was itself polytheistic for many years before the chief god, Yaweh, overruled the others); and Ramses the Great, builder of many monuments.
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    WarlikeMenelaos

    WarlikeMenelaos New Member

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    I agree with you that Egypt was an amazing civilisation although I absolutely hate Tutankhamen. He was nothing, the only reason we remember him is because his tomb wasn't robbed. Whoever had his tomb built obviously wanted to limit the power and memory of Tut cause his tomb was actually designed more like a Princes tomb or something more similar to one found for a woman.

    Ramses II....simply amazing! Is is just me or is there a total lack of documentaries about probably the greatest Pharoah of all time? I mean I was all hyped about a documentary on Ramses the Great and it turned into a 'quest to find proof of the Biblical myth of the exodus' That really annoyed me. One of the greatest Pharoahs of all time and they turned it into a religious thing. If someone wanted to prove biblical myths they need to look for records of loads of people leaving Egypt, a huge group of people leaving would be recorded somewhere!

    Anyway, Tuthmosis is also overlooked and so are many of the earlier Pharoahs. Personally I find Egypt much more interesting than Rome and only slightly more interesting than Greece (of the Mycenean age)
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    Brian Turner

    Brian Turner Brian G. Turner Staff Member

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    I'm sure there must be plenty of documentation on Ramases II - isn't he the one who inflicted a glorious "draw" on the Hittites when they moved into Palestine??

    As for Tutankamun - the great thing about that Pharoah is two-fold - one, the only extant ancient pharaonic tomb; and two, his direct relationship with [size=-1]Amenhotep[/size] IV, aka Akhenaten, possibly the most enigmatic pharaoh of all.
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    NSMike

    NSMike Tsurani Great One

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    The Roman empire has to be my personal favorite. Partially because they just rocked the world for a loooooong time, and partially because I took Latin in high school, which ended up being a course about the Roman empire rather than learning the language (which is a shame because I took Latin just to know something very few other people did, and I don't remember the very little we actually learned anymore). The Romans mastered military technique, and actually used what is still considered one of the most viscious close-combat weapons - the Spanish short sword (aka the "Gladius"). They also had impressive social programs not seen before, as well as plumbing and architecture advancements, and inventing concrete. Plus, they really knew how to build roads - not like the crap we build today. They dug down three feet to lay the foundation for their roads, and guess what - the Appian Way is still in Rome today! And as far as I know, no potholes.
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    WarlikeMenelaos

    WarlikeMenelaos New Member

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    I, Brian - you're right, he is the Pharoah who drew with the Hittites at Kadesh (Qadesh) I saw that battle on a documentary called 'Descive Battles' in which famous battles throughout history were recreated using computer gaming technology. However, at least on Sky TV there isn't much about his life, his wife Nefertari or anything which I find strange considering he is the greatest Pharoah of all time.

    There even seems to be a growing lack of good documentaries about the ancient world anymore, I guess the ancient world isn't a ratings winner (which is sad) I'm alright with it though since my best friend studies Classical history and Egyptology at Uni, I'm self taught and somehow manage to keep up with him in conversations (mainly cause I steal his books...'The Twelve Caesers' will be the next one I borrow)
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    cleasterwood

    cleasterwood Ra's Warrio

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    For me, if Atlantis is real, then I chose it. But for sake of saving a debate, I'm saying Egypt. Not only did they introduce us to the mysterious origins of the true pyramid, but they made advances in Medicine, architecture, a stable cultural society (they were the first civilization to allow women equal rights), and military advancements. They also created underwear. :) Egypt survived many a cataclysm when other cultures like the Hitties, the Mycenaean Greeks, Troy, and Babylon simply disappeared. Their temples still stand homage to the gods of yesterday and this culture has truely stood the test of time by not fading into the history books like most ancient socities that became legends and myths.
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    Tikal

    Tikal Icefyre

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    For me its got to be Egypt. They have so many ideas, beliefs, gods and rulers that can' get enough of it. Its amazing how much of what they created is still here today, compared to some other cultures which we know little about.
    A few years ago I went to Egypt and I remember being amazed at everyting I saw, the pyramids, abu simbel, it was brilliant.

    I do like the idea of Atlantis, the idea of a sunken city has a very mysterous appeal to it. The Mayan' are also qiute interesting with the crysatl skulls.
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    WarlikeMenelaos

    WarlikeMenelaos New Member

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    I've recently been reading a book about Sparta and I must say that those guys were amazing! They are really interesting and full of unique traits that set them apart from everyone else. I still prefer Egypt but books on Sparta are worth looking at!
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    Stalker

    Stalker Seeker of Sense

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    What was their greatness? The fact that they made excellent soldiers trained from early childhood? Their aversion of democracy and preferance of a totalitarianism? Well, Licurgus laws were wise in a way but only in spartan (non-democratic) way. Spartans failed to spread their influence across the whole Greece.

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