Longest Lasting Empires

Name the empires with official durations for 400 years or greater, according to Wikipedia.
*allegedly. Few records/evidence exist prior to 1000 CE
**some dispute over whether or not these count as empires
Quiz by kalbahamut
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Last updated: July 1, 2014
First submittedJanuary 14, 2013
Times taken3,404
Rating3.83
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Hint
Answer
2000 BCE* to 1540 CE
Mayan Empire
350 BCE to 1279 CE
Chola Dynasty
50 CE to 1350 CE
Pandyan Empire
330 BCE to 1453 CE
Byzantine Empire
962 CE to 1806 CE
Holy Roman Empire
1137 CE to 1974 CE
Ethiopian Empire
150 CE to 940 CE
Aksumite Empire
37 BCE to 668 CE
Goguryeo Empire
250 CE to 950 CE
Frankish Empire
700 CE to 1387 CE
Kanem Empire
802 CE to 1431 CE
Khmer Empire
1299 CE to 1922 CE
Ottoman Empire
190 BCE to 428 CE
Armenian Empire
683 CE to 1293 CE
Srivijaya Empire
300 BCE to 300 CE
Chera Dynasty
1350 CE to 1953 CE
Danish Colonial Empire
500 CE to 1100 CE**
Wari Empire
1415 CE to 1999 CE
Portuguese Empire
Hint
Answer
1402 CE to 1975 CE
Spanish Empire
1387 CE to 1893 CE
Bornu Empire
1400 CE to 1905 CE
Oyo Empire
650 BCE to 146 BCE
Carthaginian Empire
27 BCE to 476 CE
Roman Empire
1570 BCE to 1070 BCE
Egyptian Empire
1000 CE to 1500 CE**
Micronesian Empire
918 CE to 1392 CE
Goryeo Empire
247 BCE to 224 CE
Parthian Empire
1225 CE to 1687 CE
Chagatai Khanate
790 CE to 1240 CE
Ghana Empire
230 BCE to 220 CE
Satavahana Dynasty
1534 CE to 1980 CE
French Colonial Empire
224 CE to 651 CE
Sassanid Dynasty
206 BCE to 220 CE
Han Dynasty
750 CE to 1174 CE
Pala Empire
1568 CE to 1975 CE
Dutch Empire
+1
Level 79
Jan 12, 2013
Updated some of the answers to make it a little bit easier.
+1
Level 44
Aug 2, 2014
I find that funny, as I found this extremely hard. Not my strong suit clearly. I only got 9. But what I don't understand is why 70% got the Chagatai Khanate (never heard of it) and only 36% got the Mayans (everyone knows them).
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Level 79
Aug 2, 2014
The Mongol Empire broke up into many different Khanates. The Chagatai lasted the longest. Just typing in "Mongol" will get you that answer.
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Level 79
Jan 29, 2013
Tips for anyone trying to ace this quiz: Tamil, Telugu, and Bengal will be accepted for the major Indian empires (you have to enter all three), German will be accepted for Holy Roman, Ethiopian will be accepted for Ethiopian and Aksumite, Korean will be accepted for Goryeo and Gogoryeo, Cambodian will be accepted for Khmer, Turkish will be accepted for Ottoman, Peruvian for Wari, Nigerian for both Bornu and Oyo, Persian for both Parthian and Sassanid, Mongol for the Chagatai Khanate, Sumatran for Satavahana, and Chinese will work in place of Han. The less known ones you'll just have to remember include the Frankish Empire, Armenian Empire, Micronesian Empire, Kanem Empire, and the Ghana Empire. And Carthage seems to elude most people as well, though that one is pretty well known so I don't know why.
+2
Level 40
Feb 16, 2013
Surprising not to see the Assyrian, Babylonian, British and Aztec, Olmec and Inca Empires in there. Pretty tough quiz when my 15/35 beats 90% of people. Shoulda got Frankish though.
+1
Level 79
Feb 16, 2013
Good job! :) and thanks for all the comments. Feedback is nice. It IS a tough quiz. and I thought it was interesting for that reason. When people think of great empires, they usually don't think of many of these. Even those that lasted 1,000 years I'm sure some have never heard of. Incidentally the British Empire missed out on being included by *just* a hair, having an official duration of 394 years. I made the cut-off 400 years, in part because it was a nice round number, and in part because dropping it much lower would raise the question of whether or not I should include the USA and I didn't feel like getting in to the argument of whether or not America was an empire, since I probably would have included them.
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Level 79
Feb 16, 2013
btw, Assyrian: 325 years. Babylonian: 300 years. Aztec: 93 years. The Olmec civilization we have scant information about, we don't know how long it really lasted, and it is not usually classified as an empire. However, the Mayan Empire which grew out of Olmec culture is on this list as the longest-lasting empire ever. We're not even 100% sure how long that one lasted, though, because of the very spotty historical records that remain.
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Level 40
Feb 20, 2013
Very interesting. So you fudged around the whole 'America as an empire' thing, huh? LOL
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Level 79
Feb 21, 2013
Not sure what you mean. I agree with many historians that America is an empire in every sense except name, but, I didn't include them on the quiz because whether you believe that or not, the duration of their empire has not been more than 400 years.
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Level 40
Mar 17, 2013
Sorry, just joking. I think an empire is a little tough to define sometimes. If you asked the Greeks they'd be talking about Athenian, Spartan, Macedonian and Ptolemeyic empires. But maybe we see things differently.
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Level 79
Mar 18, 2013
? I wasn't mad, I got that you were joking, I guess I was just too dense to see exactly what the joke was. I agree, definition of empire is a pretty amorphous one. I think it's funny that people IN the United States resist the term empire because it has negative connotations there that they don't want to be associated with. People outisde of the the USA resist calling the US an empire because of the bitterness/resentment/inferiority complex thing and they don't want to afford the US the same status that their own country had at one point in history, as a point of pride. So Americans often take the label as an insult and resist it for this reason while outsiders see it as praise and resist it for this reason. Personally I would definitely count the US as an empire, even though in composition and organization it is very different from classical empires. I say that's just a sign of the fact that times have changed, though.
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Level 79
Mar 18, 2013
The US has extended its sphere of influence over the entire world, militarily, politically, economically, and culturally. What the Romans did with garrisons and roads the United States has done with McDonald's franchises and the internet. Not to say that the US hasn't set up more than its share of military bases. Even take all those away and you've still got Guam, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, etc. Take those away and you still have the fact that the Europeans who inhabited the original 13 colonies began expanding their territorial control almost immediately over the rest of the continent, over indigenous people who were not at first included in the empire. Now all of those people are part of it. They're all American. But the Romans also granted citizenship to the people they had conquered and we still count them as a proper empire. The only sense really in which America isn't an empire is that it has nobody with the title emperor, unless you count the "drug czar."
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Level 79
Mar 18, 2013
but anyway you were right if you were saying what I think you were saying- and yeah.. I put the cap where it was for 3 reasons. 1) it was a nice round number. 2) just happened to be barely high enough to exlude the British. 3) to avoid the question of whether or not to include the USA.
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Level 40
Mar 23, 2013
Interesting stuff. Yeah, culturally, politically and militerally the US is still very powerful. Economically... less so. Actually, I've heard lots of people call the US an empire though personally I don't think it is. Yet at least. Comparisons to the Roman are good. Actually, apparently the US partly modeled itself on Republican Rome... so that fits.
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Level 79
Mar 24, 2013
huh? You picked economics as the one area that the US is weak in? Bizarre. Usually that's the one everybody agrees that they dominate. I mean the size of the US economy is still equal to the next 3 largest combined, it's GDP per capita is still 8th in the world and the only countries above it are small countries with tiny populations- it still has a massive lead versus any country with a comparable population size. And what I see as cultural dominance (omnipresent American movies, food, style) I've seen many Europeans try to write off as purely commercial, as if advertising forces everyone to want to watch Hollywood movies, wear Converse hi-tops and drink Starbucks coffee. So.... that's an interesting point of view. :) Certainly the US is not as dominant now as it was in the late 90s after the fall of the Soviet Union. Other powers are rising and the US has started to decline- but I see the decline in all of those areas I mentioned not just economics.
+1
Level 40
Mar 25, 2013
Well yes, the US is in decline. Though it's all relative. I mean, look how long the Romans were in decline. And the US decline may not be terminal. I picked out economics primarily because of US debt. They're in hock to the Chinese and Arabs for err... the technical term is gazillions I believe. They're economy is weak. Big... but weak. As to the US cultural dominance.... a dominance is a dominance regardless of the 'quality' of America's cultural contributions. Still, it's not all late night tv preachers, maccy ds, celebrity gossip and mall-culture. There's the odd The Wire and Nirvana highlight in there every now and then.
+1
Level 79
Mar 26, 2013
eh... I don't think the debt is as big a deal as some make it out to be. Compare the debt as a percentage of GDP for the US versus other countries. Maybe I'll make a quiz. Comparatively speaking the US economy is still very strong but you're right it's all relative.
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Level 36
Feb 11, 2014
22/35 first try isn't too bad.. Is it?
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Level 79
Feb 11, 2014
95th percentile or so, so, I'd say that's pretty good.
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Level 80
Apr 10, 2014
The date of the beginning of the roman empire bothers me... -27 is a modern convention that refers to the roman political regime rather than to their international politics. They called their territory "imperium romanum" long before Augustus became the first princeps. It's hard to give an appropriate number though... they began to show an imperial behaviour around 150BCE, when they destroyed Carthage, dominated Greece and "pacified" Spain.
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Level 79
Apr 11, 2014
Yes, true.
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Level 56
Jun 30, 2014
Please accept Abyssinia for Ethiopian Empire And Axumite for Aksumite
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Level 79
Jul 1, 2014
Axumite is already accepted. I'll add Abyssinia. Though if you just type in "Ethiopian" you get both.
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Level 49
Mar 16, 2016
Was there actually no 'Greek Empire'? Was that just separated into smaller little Empirelettes?
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Level 79
Mar 16, 2016
Well... if you are referring to the massive land empire founded by Alexander the Great, that one broke up almost immediately following the man's death in his early 30s. The fragments of this empire became several different Hellenistic (Greek-like) kingdoms, some of which lasted centuries. The Parthian and Sassanid Empires, both of which make this list, are considered Persian empires but they were both heavily influenced by Alexander, especially the Parthian Empire where Greek was the official state language. Greek was also a language of administration in the Sassanid Empire though the official language was Middle Persian. The Roman Empire, to a very large extent, was also heavily influenced by Greek culture, and when it split into Eastern and Western halves, the Eastern half, centered around Byzantium (Constantinople) was a Greek-speaking Empire and it lasted 1000 years. Bear in mind Greek as an ethnicity or nationality didn't really exist until the late 1800s.
+2
Level 67
Mar 21, 2016
Please allow the noun forms of things. For example I typed in Persia and Denmark, but these were not accepted as I didn't make adjectives out of them.
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Level 79
Apr 27, 2016
I've grown less fond of this quiz over the years but if I ever get around to it I'll loosen up the type-ins a bit.
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Level 24
Apr 27, 2016
When you write 'Ethiopia' it answers both the 'Ethiopian Empire' and the 'Aksumite Empire'!! I got 100% anyway but I just wanted to point that out!! Nice Quiz!! 5 Stars!!
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Level 79
Apr 27, 2016
That's intentional. Aksum is a city in Ethiopia.
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Level 30
Apr 30, 2016
Very difficult quiz. My score is 14/35, while i miss three others, i knew. I am not used to complete nor even know less then half of the quiz. Many of the names are really strange - those are really the most commonly used in historiography (i mean the ones such as Srivijaya, Goguryeo and similar)? How it came, there is nothing like Babylon, Assyria, Mesopotamia, Akkad or Sumer? This region is birthplace of civilization and i hope at least some of them were longstanding.
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Level 79
May 1, 2016
Those last empires you list were influential (except for Mesopotamia, which is a region, not an empire), but comparatively short-lived.

Gogoryeo was one of the ancient Korean empires. These empires aren't studied very much in the West and if they are they're typically just referred to as Korea. Korean is an acceptable type-in. Srivijaya was one of the many different Indian empires. Again... not studied much in the West. And then usually all crudely lumped together as Indian, as if this was a meaningful identity prior to British colonization.
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Level 39
Sep 14, 2016
Byzantine should start at 330CE, not BCE
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Level 79
Sep 14, 2016
you're right
+2
Level 71
Jun 1, 2017
I'm pretty sure a few Chinese dynasties are missing. According to this page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dynasties_in_Chinese_history Xia: 470 years Shang: 554 years Eastern Zhou: 515 years
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Level 67
Mar 11, 2018
I'm a bit iffy on the Byzantine issue. After all, the Byzantine Empire was a name coined to separate it from the Roman Empire and legitimise the Holy Roman Empire, while the Emperors of Constantinople always held themselves to be a continuation of Rome. You could say that the Roman Empire lasted for nearly 2,000 years.
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Level 79
Mar 11, 2018
Interesting; I didn't know it was coined by Germans so long ago. I was under the impression it was first used by historians much later on that wished to differentiate the Eastern and Western Roman Empires.
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Level 79
Mar 11, 2018
and, yes, there's a valid and easy case to be made for the Byzantine and Roman empires to be considered one and the same.
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Level 61
Mar 17, 2018
Not Quite Sure. But I believe the Abbasid Caliphate should be on here, considering it lasted over 500 years.
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Level 58
Aug 25, 2018
Hi, the Byzantine Empire was created in 330 CE not BCE!
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Level 65
Nov 7, 2018
Great quiz, but why did you put the end date of the French colonial empire as 1980 (the year the most recent French territory, Vanuatu, gained independence) - there are current French overseas territories that have a higher population than Vanuatu, including RĂ©union, Guadeloupe, Martinique, French Guiana and New Caledonia. If you consider that you could say the French colonial empire still exists! Also the Dutch colonial empire says to have ended in 1975 (when Suriname gained independence), while the Dutch West Indies still exist.
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Level 79
Nov 7, 2018
That's a good question. I was just going by the list I found on Wikipedia.
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Level 58
Jun 2, 2019
What about Poland-Lithuania?
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Level 54
Jul 25, 2019
Only 410 years in personal union and almost 300 as an "empire"
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Level 69
Jul 25, 2019
Given you make the end dates for the Spanish and other Empires the date they lost their last overseas possession, then the British and French and Dutch Empires as still ongoing. What start date would you be using for the British Empire? Because it will have to be included soon enough!