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'The greatest empire'-how do we define 'greatest'?

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  Quote Doctaum Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: 'The greatest empire'-how do we define 'greatest'?
    Posted: 08-May-2011 at 14:35
Hi Everyone,
I'm doing a project with a title like : 'looking back at different empires how can we asses how great an empire is?' or 'by what criteria can we asses the 'greatness of an empire?'', so its a kind of 'what do you mean by greatest ?' question. Any help is welcome, but this is not a 'which empire do you think is the greatest'. I'm looking at things like the culture, legacy, size, time it lasted, economy,population and as many other things as possible, but please use empires as examples.I'm not much of a historian so please include as much detail as possible, so for example if you say something about how a high level of culture makes an empire more 'great', say why it is important/what it shows.

Thank you very much for any advice or info, it will be much appreciated.
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Nick1986 View Drop Down
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  Quote Nick1986 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-May-2011 at 14:38
How long it lasted and to what extent it improved the quality of life for its subjects. The British Empire brought much technological progress and wealth for the big businesses but the poor in the slums remained downtrodden
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  Quote medenaywe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-May-2011 at 14:44
According Wall Street and IMF,decides GDP:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gross_domestic_product 


Edited by medenaywe - 08-May-2011 at 23:16
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  Quote Vagos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-May-2011 at 18:35
Hallo to all...  I'm not sure if this question has an answear.  I say always about empires  that they are among the greatest empires (example Roman Empire, Han Dynasty , British Empire etc.). 

A good point for the start is the geographical area of the empire.   The GDP is also useful but it's also very relative.  Interesting would be also  the time that an empire survived in relation with the dangers and the hostility of the enviroment.

Another good point would be the culture ( not only the monuments etc. but basically the ethic culture of the empire)  .. I apologize for my bad english :D
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  Quote opuslola Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-May-2011 at 21:16
Empires, by its very definition, seem to require an "Emperor!", thus it seems we are restricted by the very nature of the question mentioned in the original post.

Ron
http://www.quotationspage.com/subjects/history/
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  Quote Baal Melqart Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-May-2011 at 17:44
Firstly, the empire must have provided a good life for its citizens as someone mentioned above. Secondly, you could also look at it from the perspective of how much they contributed to improving science and technology (ex: Romans were the first to build big aqueducts to fit the needs of large cities, they were the first to fully implement steel armour and weapons, they improved the Greek trireme into the well-known Corvus quiquereme, they invented the Ballista and Scorpio...). Many of these inventions were detrimental for the expansion and prevalence of Roman culture throughout the world. The third characteristic in my opinion is social, political and economical reformation. These can have a major impact on the first characteristic because the welfare of citizens depends on the system which rules them. A good example would be Cyrus the great and the Achaemenid empire which reformed the old Assyrian policy of displacing people to stave off rebellions. He gave people freedom to express their culture and religion alongside the one pertaining to the empire. I can't think of any other criteria that can be used to determine the greatness of an empire.
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  Quote ssnowhite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Jun-2011 at 19:43
For sure "culture" is the most important indicator which makes an empire a real empire. Yet, we should investigate the term of culture from a little different perspective. Besides the ethnic culture which secures the harmony between the empire's citizens, it is also quite important to create an "expansionist" form of culture which is supported by the globalization process. Doubtless, this expansionist form of culture attracts the non elements of the empire and will awake a great adoration for that empire.
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  Quote Guaporense Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Aug-2011 at 21:46
The greatness of an empire can be determined by it's impact on world history. That impact can be considered negative or positive, but it's greatness shouldn't be measured that way.


Edited by Guaporense - 03-Aug-2011 at 21:47
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  Quote TITAN_ Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Jul-2012 at 13:26
Greatest? Hmmm. The most populous or the largest empires should qualify.... Britain and Mongolia!
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  Quote opuslola Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-Dec-2013 at 00:41
It is obvious that if one is to consider that an "Empire" does not necessarily mean that there had/has to have an Emperor, then the USA is the best Empire the world has ever seen. We have offered either state-hood or freedom to all of the areas of the world where we had total dominion! And basically that included most all of Europe, and Asia at one time!

Regards, Ron

Edited by opuslola - 12-Dec-2013 at 00:43
http://www.quotationspage.com/subjects/history/
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