This article is a list of longest-lasting empires organized according to their length of existence. An empire is a state that extends dominion over populations distinct culturally and ethnically from the culture/ethnicity at the center of power. Existence of each empire calculated from when the culture/ethnicity of power took control until that same power lost control of its empire.

Some empires have the label conventially rather than as an indication of hegemony. They may "inherit" imperial status (the Nicean Empire, for example), or aspire to supra-royal status ( Haiti, Central African Empire).

One cannot always identify start- and end-dates for empires in a consistently objective manner: the details remain subject to scholarly debate. For example, according to the most generous interpretation one could argue that the Roman Empire began in the third century BC when Rome conquered substantial territories beyond the city and ended in the twentieth century AD when the Ottoman Empire, which claimed the Roman throne, was disbanded (most scholars, however, do not subscribe to this interpretation). In general some empires are assigned start dates beginning with when the state came into being according to some authority. Others begin not when the state emerges, but when the culture/ethnicity of power emerges. End-dates vary based on events as varied the conclusion of a key battle to a particular change in leadership. For the convenience of the reader, this article uses the date when the people at the center of power were no longer in formal control of the state due to being overthrown or placed in a position of vassalage to another authority. But even this specific definition remains open to some debate among scholars.


Empire Origin Duration in years From To Demise Note
First Mexican EmpireModern-day Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras, Costa Rica, and Southwestern United States.118221823Replaced by the Mexican First Republic See also First Mexican Empire
SerbianModern-day northern Vojvodina, Serbia1 15261527state of a mercenary, Jovan Nenad
HaitianNorth America218041806Jean-Jacques Dessalines declared himself Emperor
Central AfricanCentral African Republic3 19761979Jean-Bédel Bokassa declared himself Emperor Bokassa in 1976
Second Mexican EmpireModern-day Mexico3 18641867Established by French invasion and collapsed following their withdrawal; replaced by a restored RepublicSee also Second Mexican Empire
IrishIreland9 10051014Brian Boru, a High King, briefly conquered most of Ireland, but his "Empire" fragmented after his death.
First French EmpireFrance10 18041814
ColombianColombia12 18191831 see Gran Colombia
Third ReichGermany12 19331945Destroyed by invasion of Allied forces in WWIILike the Soviet Union, a de facto -- not a de jure -- empire.
KoreanKorean Peninsula13 18971910Annexed by JapanSee also Korean Empire
PalmyreneSyria (Roman province)13 years260273broke off the Roman Empire during the Crisis of the Third Century
GallicRhineland-Palatinate14 260274 In Latin, Imperium Galliarum
QinCentral China15 221 BC206 BC
Second French EmpireFrance18 18521870
SerbianSerbian Kingdom26 13451371fell into feudal disarray
Macedonian GreekGreece29 338 BC309 BCnever conquered, split into smaller empires after Alexander's death. Founded by Alexander the Great
RashidunSaudi Arabia29 632661
Armenianmodern day Armenia35 95 BC60 BC

Tigranes was named as the king of kings.

HarshaIndia41 606647
AthenianAncient Greece46 477 BC431 BC Also known as Delian League. It was an association of Greek city-states
GermanGermany47 18711918
SikhPunjab region48 18011849 Preceded the British Empire in the Indian subcontinent
Austro-HungarianCentral Europe51 18671918 Replaced the Austrian Empire
MongolMongolia54 12061260Split into four empires (Yuan Dynasty, Ilkhanate, Chagatai Khanate and Golden Horde)
LatinAsia Minor57 12041261 See also Crusader states
NicaeanAnatolia57 12041261
ItalianModern day Italy58 18851943
BelgianBelgium61 19011962 overseas possessions were referred to as "the colonies" rather than as an empire
ZuluSouth Africa62 18171879 Powerful bantu kingdom founded by Shaka
AustrianModern day Austria63 18041867 Replaced the Holy Roman Empire
BrazilianBrazil67 18221889 Established by the Portuguese royal family went into exile in Brazil after Napoleonic occupation of Portugal
Great MoraviaMitteleuropa/Central Europe67 833900 The word "Moravia" did not refer only to present-day Moravia
SovietRussia69 19221991USSR dissolved in 1991 by RussiaLike Nazi Germany, a de facto -- not a de jure -- empire.
Japanese EmpireJapan77 18681945Terminated by U.S. occupation following its defeat in World War IIThe modern Japanese Empire dates from 1868, and is generally held to have ended with Japan's surrender at the close of World War II. Nevertheless, Japan is technically still ruled by an emperor, the only country in the world for which this is true; and moreover, the Japanese ruling house dates not from 1868 but from 660 BC, with an unbroken line of succession down to the current Emperor Akihito, making his the oldest ruling house in world history.
IncanPeru95 14381533
YuanNorth China97 12711368Overthrown by the Ming.One of four successor states to the Mongol Empire, ruling China. Kublai Khan was the greatest emperor of this dynasty, and Marco Polo visited him.
Ur IIISumer100 2100 BC2000 BC The dynasty/empire is also known as the Sumerian Renaissance
Hasmonean KingdomIsrael and Western Jordan103 140 BC37 BCHasmonean line broken by Herod the Great. Becomes Kingdom of Judea until annexed by Roman EmpireFounded by Maccabean Revolt against Antiochus IV
TimuridPersia and Central Asia105 14011506 Persianized form of the Mongolian word kürügän
AlmoravidSenegal107 10401147 See also Almohads
SwedishScandinavia107 16111718
Golden HordeCentral Asia124 13781502 One of four successor states of the Mongol Empire
HebrewIsrael130 1050 BC920 BCaka "United Kingdom of Israel and Judah" later divided to Kingdom of Israel until 720 BC and Kingdom of Judah until 586 BC.
Second Colonial FrenchFrance130 18301960 While a few overseas territories still have some French influence, French colonialism effectively ceased by around 1960[1]
MauryanAncient India136 321 BC185 BC Founded by Chandragupta Maurya. Ashoka the Great transformed it into the first Buddhist empire
MarathaIndian subcontinent144 16741818 Also known as the Maratha Confederacy.
AztecMesoamerica146 13751521Conquered by the Spanish EmpireThe capital of Mexico, Mexico City, is built on the ruins of Tenochtitlan.
AlmohadMorocco148 11211269 See also Almoravids
Seljuk Middle East, Turkey157 10371194Disintegrated into smaller Seljuk and atabeg states
TurkicMiddle Asia, Turkestan, Caucasus193 551744Replaced by Uygur Khanette in the Middle Asia and Khazar Khanette in the Caucasus.
RussianRussia196 17211917 formed from the powerful medieval state of Muscovy
First ColonialFrance198 16051803
AkkadianSumer200 2350 BC2150 BC
KhwarAfghanistan200 11th Century1220Conquered by the Mongol Empire
SonghaiWest Africa216 13751591 Former vassal of the Mali Empire which became one of the largest African empires in history.
AchaemenidPersia (Iran)220 550 BC330 BCConquered by Macedonian Empire (Alexander the Great)aka Persian Empire
Polish-Lithuanian EmpireKingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania222 15691791
Ghaznavid EmpireGreater Iran224 9631187 See also Persian Empire
MagadhanAncient India225 545 BC320 BC See also Mahajanapadas and Maurya Empire
Second Bulgarian EmpireVeliko Tarnovo237 11851422Conquered by the Ottoman EmpireSuccessor of the First Bulgarian Empire. Under the Tsars Kaloyan and Ivan Asen II became the most powerful state on the Balkans
Ramazanoğlu Anatolia256 13521608Joined the Ottoman EmpireSingle Family Heredity Manner Rule of 13 Emirs all descendants of Ramazan Bey of the Anatolian Turkish Beylik of Ramazanoğlu
TrebizondBlack Sea257 12041461 Successor state of the Byzantine Empire
FatimidEgypt261 9101171
SeleucidPersia (Iran)263 323 BC60 BC
MingChina276 13681644
QingChina276 16361912 Last dynasty of the Imperial Period
HittiteAnatolia280 1460 BC1180 BC See also Neo-Hittite
TangChina289 618907
AngevinEngland and France299 11541453Hundred Years war
AxumiteEthiopia300 c. 400 BCc. 100 BC
BabylonianMesopotamia300 1900 BC1600 BCConquered by the Persian EmpireSee also Neo-Babylonian Empire
MitanniSouthern Asia300 c. 1500 BCc. 1200 BC Founded by Indo-Aryans
Gupta EmpireIndian subcontinent310 240550
SongChina319 9601279
VijayanagaraSouth India324 13361660 The founding of the original kingdom was based on the principality of Anegondi
GhanaMauritania326 7501076 See also Wagadou Empire
MughalIndia,Pakistan331 15261857 Founded by Babur. "Mughal" is a Persian word for the Mongols
Neo-AssyrianMesopotamia334 943 BC609 BC Exact origin at Upper Tigris river
First Bulgarian EmpireDanube delta337 6811018 Founded by the Bulgar ruler Asparukh. Under Tsar Simeon I became the first powerful Slavic Empire. Falls to the Byzantine Empire under Basil the Bulgar-Slayer
DutchNetherlands352 16021954 See also Dutch East India Company
First PandyanIndia360 560920 Considered by contemporary historians as being the richest country in the world
MaliWest Africa375 12351610 A Mandinka empire founded by Sundiata Keita
HoysalaIndia400 10001400
TibetanTibet400 7th century11th century
BritishBritain414 15831997From the first landing in Newfoundland to the handover of Hong Kong, described as the "end of the empire" by Prince CharlesIt refers to economic and cultural influence, and holds many overseas territories. Largest Empire in world history
PalaBengal, India424 7501174
HanChina426 206 BC220 AD
CholaSouthern India429 c. 8501279 A Tamil empire
SatavahanaIndia429 230 BC199 Indian Middle Kingdoms Middle kingdoms of India
SassanidPersia (Iran)437 205651 Second Persian Empire
ParthianPersia471 247 BC224 AD See Persian Empire
GoryeoKorea474 9181392
SpanishIberian peninsula483 1492

[2][3]||1975||From the landing of Columbus in the Americas to the abandonment of the last African colony of Western Sahara.||Was among the first truly global empires

KongoSouthwest Africa488 14001888BaKongo kingdom that dominated West Central Africa and included parts of modern day Angola, Republic of the Congo, and the western portion of the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Bornu Niger497 13961893 Second empire of the Sayfawa Dynasty
CheraSouthern India500 c. 300 BCc. 200 A Tamil empire
Egyptian EmpireEgypt, Africa500 1570 BC1070 BC
FrankishGaul500 5th century10th century
Western RomanModern Italy & Mediterranean region872 (territorial); 503 years (form of government)396 BC; 27 BC476 Territorial empire dated from conquest of Veii; Imperial form of government dated from Augustus' overthrow of the Republic (see also Roman Republic and Imperium). Note also that, if dated from the founding of Rome (753 BC), the Western empire lasted 1229 years, exclusive of the Eastern Roman Empire noted below.
AbbasidModern-day Iraq508 7501258Conquered by the Mongol EmpireSee also Umayyad Empire
JoseonKorea518 13921910Annexed by the JapaneseJoseon was known as the Korean Empire from 1897-1910, but the dynasty remained intact until full Japanese annexation in 1910.
Tu'i TonganTonga, Pacific Ocean550 9501500 See History of Tonga
SiamThailand564 13451909
HittiteTurkey570 1750 BC1180 BCDefeated by Sea people
PortuguesePortugal584 1415

[4]||1999||Was the longest lived of the colonial Western European empires. From the capture of Ceuta in 1415 to the hand over of Macau 1999.||Was one of the first truly global empires.

ChalukyaIndia600 6001200 see Chalukya dynasty
VedicIndia600 1200 BC600 BC See Kingdoms of ancient India and Mahajanapadas
OttomanTurkey, Near East, North Africa, Caucasus, Balkans and Hungary623 12991922Defeated in the First World War. replaced by the Turkish Republic.Capitals were Söğüt, Bursa, Edirne and İstanbul (after 1453).
KhmerNowadays Cambodia630 8021432 Seceded from the kingdom of Chenla
EthiopianEthiopia666 12701936
KanemChad676 7001376 First empire in one of the longest dynasties in African history
Holy RomanCentral Europe844 9621806Dissolved by Napoleon BonaparteAlso known as The Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation. See also Roman Empire
SillaKorea992 57 BC935
VenetianNortheast Italy1100 6971797Conquered by Napoleon BonaparteA de jure republic with a territorial empire. Also known as The Most Serene Republic of Venice
Eastern Roman (Byzantine)Byzantine Greece 1123 3301453Ceased after the conquest of Constantinople by the OttomansThe term "Byzantine Empire" has been used conventionally only since the 19th century, to describe the Greek-speaking Roman Empire during the Middle Ages. Total Roman Empire (East and West) 1849 years: 396 BC - 1453 AD.
KushSudan1420 1070 BC350Ended after its conquest by the Axumite EmpireAlso known as Meroitic Empire.
Roman (Western & Eastern)Modern Italy & Mediterranean region1849 (territorial); 1480 years (form of government)396 BC; 27 BC1453Ceased after the conquest of Constantinople by the OttomansTerritorial empire dated from conquest of Veii; Imperial form of government dated from Augustus' overthrow of the Republic (see also Roman Republic and Imperium). Late date includes the so-called Byzantine Empire, a term never used during the period. Note also that, if dated from the founding of Rome (753 BC) until the fall of Constantinople (1453), the Empire is history's longest-lasting at 2206 years.


See alsoEdit