The United States is the sole superpower of the world. But if you think she was the only one to ever achieve that status, think again. Presenting the fifteen superpowers of the ancient world that came before the United States.
The Akkadian Empire was centered on the City of Akkad. It is the first known nation that could be termed as a true Empire. There are others in this list that preceded this nation but no one until then had achieved the level of power and strength that the Akkadian Empire had. It first came into being in the 2300 BC.
The Achaemenid Empire was founded by Cyrus the Great and it encompassed a huge 8 million square kilometers of area. It stretched from Southeast Asia to Egypt and from the Black Sea to modern day Iran. It first came into being in 550 BC.
The Maurya Empire was the one among a long line of Indian Powers that dwarfed the subcontinent. It was the first national entity to unite the whole of India and also include parts of Iran and a large chunk of Southeast Asia. It was founded in 321 BC.
The Persian Empire saw many wars. It fought the Greco-Roman city-states in a war which you would better remember from the movie ‘300’. It was also found on the ideals of Cyrus the Great and established centralized administration as the norm of governance.
The Roman Empire was the outcome of a revolution within the Ancient Roman Civilization. Founded before 44 BC, the Roman Empire’s policies not only continue to influence politics and geopolitical interests even today but also happens to be a superpower in terms of military strength as well.
The Ummayad Caliphate was one of the four caliphates that ruled four parts of what collectively constituted the entire Muslim World at that period of time. The Ummayads had the best form of administration and at the height of its power, the Ummayad Caliphate’s reign is still considered as the Arab Golden Age.
The Chola Empire was founded in the 3rd Century BC and reached the height of its power during the time of Rajaraja Chola. The Chola Empire ruled most of southern India and huge chunks of Southeast Asia. The Chola Empire had the world’s most formidable naval force of their time.
Everyone must have heard the name Sparta. They first rose to prominence in the Greco-roman War, where they led the Pan-Hellenic army to victory against the numerically superior Persian forces. Sparta was just a city-state but its sole focus was on military strength and that is why it consecutively managed to defeat several great powers in succession.
The Byzantine Empire did not rule through force, but fear. It was formed after the disintegration of the Roman Empire in the 5th century AD. The Byzantine Empire was the foremost economic, military and political superpower throughout most f its existence.
If size does matter, then the Russian Empire is the one you bow down to. It stretched from the Baltic Sea to the Pacific Ocean from west to east and from the Arctic Ocean to Central Asia from north to South. It even had territories in North America. The Russian Empire was so large that even servants and peasants would be given arable land for free.
The Mongol Empire is the largest empire the world has ever seen. It stretched from Europe to Japan and from Russia to the Himalayas in the Indian Subcontinent. The Mongol was not just a military marvel but a technological superpower as well, introducing several new technologies to the world.
The Mughal Empire was an Islamic Imperialist Power that reached the height of its power under the rule of Akbar the Great. The Mughals introduced a taxation system, road connectivity, and exquisite architecture that stand testimony to Mughal supremacy to this day in the form of monuments like the Taj Mahal and the Qutab Minar. The Mughals were also patrons of science and India gave birth to a lot of Muslim Pioneers of science during that period.
The British Empire is the Empire where the sun never set. It contained portions of colonies in every continent. At the height of its power, the British Empire even occupied the whole of North America. It had a combined GDP of 690 Billion in 1938.
Founded in 1299, the Ottoman Empire benefitted from existing in two worlds at the same time. One part of it lied in Europe, which was making continuous strides in social and technological aspects and the other part lay in Asia, which was the epicenter of trade and commerce at that time. The Ottoman Empire was a military superpower but also a social model which introduced the concept of religious tolerance.
The Carthaginian Empire tops this list because it was so little and yet it trampled behemoths thrice its size and strength. Carthage was founded in 814 BC and was at the peak of its strength under the rule of Hannibal, the brilliant war strategist and tactician that led Carthage to victory against the Greco-Roman Empire. It stretched from the Northern African Coast to parts of Southern Iberia as well as a few parts of South-Western Europe and the Mediterranean islands around Italy.