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Author Topic: Q of the Week - Greatest Empire?  (Read 7694 times)
Leon
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« on: 22 March 2010, 07:04:23 PM »

My question this week is simple (!):

Which was the greatest empire of all time?  Not just in military might, wealth, or size, but everything?
« Last Edit: 28 April 2010, 12:53:27 AM by Leon » Logged

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nikharwood
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« Reply #1 on: 22 March 2010, 07:52:38 PM »

Easy: The Empire...you know, the one that struck back  Tongue Cool
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Luddite
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« Reply #2 on: 22 March 2010, 08:04:36 PM »

As a political and secular body, all things considered, the British Empire.  Essentially created the modern world.


However as a 'cognitive empire', i'll pitch in with Charles Darwin and the Darwinian Empire of the mind.  He finally broke the regressive hold of western religious dogma.
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Nicofig
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« Reply #3 on: 22 March 2010, 08:18:05 PM »

Hum, this is an hard question. Shocked

Maybe the First Empire cause the Revolution's ideas (Human rights, Nation ... )  could be knows in the others european countries (Italy, Germany...).

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nikharwood
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« Reply #4 on: 22 March 2010, 08:41:57 PM »

Can't believe you're not satisfied with my first answer quite honestly  Wink

Quote
As a political and secular body, all things considered, the British Empire.  Essentially created the modern world.

Interesting: what about the Romans then? [cue obligatory Monty Python Life of Brian youtube excerpt  Cool]

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ExWfh6sGyso" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ExWfh6sGyso</a>
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Gunhit
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« Reply #5 on: 22 March 2010, 10:16:29 PM »

Python at its best... Grin
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lentulus
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« Reply #6 on: 23 March 2010, 12:40:21 AM »

Which was the greatest empire of all time?  Not just in military might, wealth, or size, but everything?

In terms of overall success, the Chinese Empire.  Long run, and I have the impression that the current government considers itself to have received the mandate of heaven as well, and seems to be doing all the standard Chinese Empire things.

The British Empire was impressive, but is was not around for long as such things go.
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Luddite
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« Reply #7 on: 23 March 2010, 01:01:26 AM »

Can't believe you're not satisfied with my first answer quite honestly  Wink

Quote
As a political and secular body, all things considered, the British Empire.  Essentially created the modern world.

Interesting: what about the Romans then? [cue obligatory Monty Python Life of Brian youtube excerpt  Cool]


What about them?

Dominant in there time but ultimately transient.

How many people today speak Latin as a first language?  How many people (outside Rome) consider themselves to be 'Roman', in the way one might consider oneself 'Anglo-Saxon?

And even in their time, was there ever really a 'unified Roman Empire'?  Debateable.

And what were its achievements...really?  Most of what we might point to were actually Greek/Etruscan innovations that the Romans appropriated.

In terms of overall success, the Chinese Empire.  Long run, and I have the impression that the current government considers itself to have received the mandate of heaven as well, and seems to be doing all the standard Chinese Empire things.

Thats an interesting suggestion.  2000 years of Imperial China in three phases is certainly impressive.  the question i'd ask is 'how far beyond its borders has 'China' extended?  What did it give to the world?
 
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The British Empire was impressive, but is was not around for long as such things go.

Indeed.  To misquote - 'The candle that burns twice as bright burns half as long; and the British Empire burned so very, very brightly'.  It lasted, what?  400 years.

The reason i think its the greatest is because of its legacy.  The modern (Western) world is essentially the product of the British Empire.  Secular democracy.  The Industrial revolution. Etc.  Etc.
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lentulus
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« Reply #8 on: 23 March 2010, 01:07:38 AM »

Thats an interesting suggestion.  2000 years of Imperial China in three phases is certainly impressive.  the question i'd ask is 'how far beyond its borders has 'China' extended?  What did it give to the world?

The core success of the Chinese empire is reflected in the fact that we tend to think of its greatest extent as being more-or-less its "natural" borders -- although lots of folks living inside them might beg to disagree.  And what did it give the world?  Sir, it is the world.  At least in its own mind, and what else matters for an Empire?  It's no crazier than Pax Britannica.
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Luddite
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« Reply #9 on: 23 March 2010, 06:36:17 PM »

Thats an interesting suggestion.  2000 years of Imperial China in three phases is certainly impressive.  the question i'd ask is 'how far beyond its borders has 'China' extended?  What did it give to the world?

The core success of the Chinese empire is reflected in the fact that we tend to think of its greatest extent as being more-or-less its "natural" borders -- although lots of folks living inside them might beg to disagree.  And what did it give the world?  Sir, it is the world.  At least in its own mind, and what else matters for an Empire?  It's no crazier than Pax Britannica.

But does a blinkered and inflated sense of its own importance really make the Chinese empire 'great'?
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"It is by tea alone i set my mind in motion.  It is by the juice of Typhoo my thoughs acquire speed the teeth acquire stains, the stains serve as a warning.  It is by tea alone i set my mind in motion."

"The secret we should never let the gamemasters know is that they don't need any rules." - Gary Gygax
"Maybe emu trampling created the desert?" - FierceKitty

2012 Painting Competition - Runner-Up!

"I have become inappropriately excited by the thought of a compendium of OOBs." FSN
lentulus
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« Reply #10 on: 23 March 2010, 06:45:35 PM »


But does a blinkered and inflated sense of its own importance really make the Chinese empire 'great'?


I believe that the list of empires that lack a "blinkered and inflated sense of its own importance" is a null set.  It takes arrogance to build an empire, and the firm belief that you are really doing it for "their" sake, whether they like it or not; or that "you" have a better claim to run their affairs than "they" do.

On the ground, day to day, empires are nasty pieces of work.
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Luddite
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« Reply #11 on: 23 March 2010, 10:29:14 PM »


But does a blinkered and inflated sense of its own importance really make the Chinese empire 'great'?


I believe that the list of empires that lack a "blinkered and inflated sense of its own importance" is a null set.  It takes arrogance to build an empire, and the firm belief that you are really doing it for "their" sake, whether they like it or not; or that "you" have a better claim to run their affairs than "they" do.

On the ground, day to day, empires are nasty pieces of work.




I agree, but what makes the Chinese Empire 'greater' than the British Empire?
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http://luddite1811.blogspot.co.uk/

"It is by tea alone i set my mind in motion.  It is by the juice of Typhoo my thoughs acquire speed the teeth acquire stains, the stains serve as a warning.  It is by tea alone i set my mind in motion."

"The secret we should never let the gamemasters know is that they don't need any rules." - Gary Gygax
"Maybe emu trampling created the desert?" - FierceKitty

2012 Painting Competition - Runner-Up!

"I have become inappropriately excited by the thought of a compendium of OOBs." FSN
lentulus
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« Reply #12 on: 23 March 2010, 11:20:31 PM »


I agree, but what makes the Chinese Empire 'greater' than the British Empire?

Durability, and the the fact (as many a Tibetan or eastern Kazakh would agree) that they are still in the the Empire business.  Britain held a significant empire from when?  Generously  1600-1960 - 360 years?   Heck, when I was born a Canadian Citizen was still a British subject; now even the Scots have their own Parliament.

The Mandate of Heaven may come from a book by Marx and a picture of Mao, but I don't think Democracy or National Self Determination are going to break out any time soon.
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Luddite
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« Reply #13 on: 23 March 2010, 11:23:19 PM »

Interesting.

So the greatness of an Empire is measured in its longevity rather than its achievements?
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http://luddite1811.blogspot.co.uk/

"It is by tea alone i set my mind in motion.  It is by the juice of Typhoo my thoughs acquire speed the teeth acquire stains, the stains serve as a warning.  It is by tea alone i set my mind in motion."

"The secret we should never let the gamemasters know is that they don't need any rules." - Gary Gygax
"Maybe emu trampling created the desert?" - FierceKitty

2012 Painting Competition - Runner-Up!

"I have become inappropriately excited by the thought of a compendium of OOBs." FSN
Leon
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« Reply #14 on: 24 March 2010, 02:50:29 AM »

Wasn't China conquered by the Mongols?  Whereas Britain has never been successfully invaded?
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