List of medieval great powers

This is a list of great powers during the medieval period. The term "great power" has only been used in historiography and political science since the Congress of Vienna in 1815.[1] Lord Castlereagh, the British Foreign Secretary, first used the term in its diplomatic context in 1814. Use of the term in medieval historiography is therefore idiosyncratic to each author. In historiography of the pre-modern period, it is more typical to talk of empires (itself a poorly-defined term, see list of empires).

Muslim states

The Middle Ages proper begin with the collapse of the remnants of Late Antiquity in the 7th century due to the Islamic conquests. The Old World is largely dominated by Muslim caliphates during the mid-7th to 10th centuries.

Name Duration Notes and references
Rashidun Caliphate 632–661
Umayyad Caliphate 661–750
Abbasid Caliphate 750–1518
Fatimid Caliphate 909–1171
Ghaznavid Empire 10th c.


Great Seljuk Empire 1037–1194 [3]
Ayyubid Sultanate 1171–1250
Mamluk Sultanate of Egypt 1250–1518
Ilkhanate 1256-1353
Timurid Empire 1370–1507 [4]

Christian states

Eastern Christianity

Name Duration Notes and references
Byzantine Empire 4th.–13th c. The Byzantine Empire (Eastern Roman Empire) was the foremost Christian power in the early medieval period, but under pressure from the Islamic conquests and the Turkic expansion it declined in the high medieval period. It fell to Frankish conquest in 1204 and although restored in the 1260s it did not regain its former stature.
Bulgarian Empire 681–1018 and 1185–1396/1422, zenith in the 10th c. [5]
Kievan Rus' 882-1240
Grand Duchy of Moscow 13th–16th c.
Ethiopian Empire 12th–16th c.
Serbian Empire 1346-1371

Latin Christianity

Name Duration Notes and references
Frankish Empire/Carolingian Empire 8th/9th c.
North Sea Empire 11th c.
Kingdom of Germany/Holy Roman Empire 10th-16th c.
Kingdom of Hungary 10th-13th c.
Kingdom of Jerusalem/Crusader states 12th c.
Kingdom of France 12th-16th c.
Angevin Empire/Kingdom of England 12th-16th c.
Republic of Genoa 1099–1380
Republic of Venice 1204–1489
Crown of Castile 1230–1480
Crown of Aragon 1340s – 1480s
Poland-Lithuania 1386–1572
Papal States 14th/15th c.
Kalmar Union 1397–1523
Kingdom of Sicily 1130–1816
Kingdom of Portugal 12th–17th c.

Medieval China

Name Duration Notes and references
Sui dynasty 581–618
Tang dynasty 618–907
Liao dynasty 907–1125 Liao was initially named the Khitan State. Its name was changed to Liao in 947.
Song dynasty 960–1279
Jin dynasty 1115–1234
Yuan dynasty 1206–1368 The Mongol Empire was founded in 1206. Kublai Khan proclaimed it to be the Yuan dynasty in 1271.
Ming dynasty 1368–1644

Inner Asia and Mongolia

Name Duration Notes and references
Göktürk Turkic Khaganate 7th/8th c.
Uyghur Khaganate 8th c.
Qara Khitai 12th c.
Mongol Empire 1206–1368 The Mongol Empire was the largest contiguous empire in the history of the world.

Sub-Saharan Africa

Name Duration Notes and references
Ghana Empire 700-1240
Kanem-Bornu Empire 700–1380
Mali Empire 1300–1450
Kongo Empire 1390–1857
Songhai Empire 15th/16th c.

South and Southeast Asia

Name Duration Notes and references
Chola Empire 300-1279
Pandian Empire 300-1650
Chalukya Empire 543-753
Srivijaya Empire 650-1377
Pala Empire 750-1174
Rashtrakuta Empire 753-982
Khmer Empire 802-1431
Delhi Sultanate 1192-1506
Majapahit Empire 1293-1527
Bengal Sultanate 1352-1576
Bagan Empire 849-1297
Ava Kingdom 1364-1555

Pre-Columbian Americas

Name Duration Notes and references
Toltec Empire 674-1122
Maya Civilization (Classic period) 250–900
Wari Empire 6th-11th c.
Chimor 9th-1470 c.
Inca Empire 1438-1533
Aztec Empire 1430-1521
Tarascan state 1300-1530
Tlaxcala (Nahua state) 1348-1520
Tlatelolco (altepetl) 1337-1473

See also


  1. ^ Fueter, Eduard (1922). World history, 1815–1930. United States of America: Harcourt, Brace and Company. pp. 25–28, 36–44. ISBN 1-58477-077-5.
  2. ^ Meisami, Julie Scott, Persian Historiography to the End of the Twelfth Century, (Edinburgh University Press, 1999), 143. "Nizam al-Mulk also attempted to organise the Saljuq administration according to the Persianate Ghaznavid model." Encyclopaedia Iranica, Iran: Islamic Period – Ghaznavids, E. Yarshater Archived 2009-08-15 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Jean Paul Roux: Historie des Turcs (Trans:Prof Dr.Aykut Kazancıgil - Lale Arslan Özcan) Kabalcı yayınevi, İstanbul, 2007, ISBN 975-997-091-0, p.205–205
  4. ^ Encyclopædia Britannica article: Consolidation & expansion of the Indo-Timurids, Online Edition, 2007.
  5. ^ "Bulgaria - The Slavs and the Bulgars". Retrieved 5 October 2014.

External links

  • Cooper, F. (2008). Empires and Political Imagination in World History. Princeton [u.a.]: Princeton University Press.
  • Doyle, M. W. (1986). Empires. Ithaca, N.Y: Cornell University Press.
  • English, Edward D. ed. Encyclopedia Of The Medieval World (2 vol. 2004).
  • Farrington, K. (2003). Historical Atlas of Empires. London: Mercury.
  • Harrison, T., & J. Paul Getty Museum. (2009). The Great Empires of the Ancient World. Los Angeles, Calif: J. Paul Getty Museum.
  • Khan, A. (2004). A Historical Atlas of India. New York: Rosen Pub.
  • Jordan, William Chester. (1996) The Middle Ages: An Encyclopedia for Students (4 Volumes)
  • Labberton, R. H. (1884). An historical atlas: A chronological series of one hundred and twelve maps at successive periods. New York.
  • Litwin, H. (2016), Central European Superpower, BUM Magazine, October 2016.
  • Loyn, H. R. (1989) The Middle Ages: A Concise Encyclopedia. (1989)
  • Morris, I., & Scheidel, W. (2009). The Dynamics of Ancient Empires: State power from Assyria to Byzantium. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Pella, John & Erik Ringmar, History of International Relations Open Textbook Project, Cambridge: Open Book, forthcoming.
  • Petitjean, P., Jami, C., Moulin, A. M., & Equipe REHSEIS (Centre national de la recherche scientifique (France)). (1992). Science and Empires: Historical Studies about Scientific Development and European Expansion. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.
  • Shepherd, W. R., & C.S. Hammond & Company. (1911). Historical Atlas. New York: Henry Holt and Co.
  • Stearns, Peter N. ed. The Encyclopedia of World History (2001).
Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation

Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) is an inter-governmental forum for 21 Pacific Rim member economies that promotes free trade throughout the Asia-Pacific region. Inspired from the success of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)’s series of post-ministerial conferences launched in the mid-1980s, the APEC was established in 1989 in response to the growing interdependence of Asia-Pacific economies and the advent of regional trade blocs in other parts of the world; and to establish new markets for agricultural products and raw materials beyond Europe. Headquartered in Singapore, the APEC is recognised as one of the oldest forums and highest-level multilateral blocs in the Asia-Pacific region, and exerts a significant global influence.An annual APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting is attended by the heads of government of all APEC members except Republic of China (which is represented by a ministerial-level official under the name Taiwan as economic leader). The location of the meeting rotates annually among the member economies, and a famous tradition, followed for most (but not all) summits, involves the attending leaders dressing in a national costume of the host country. APEC has three official observers: the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Secretariat, the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council and the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat. APEC's Host Economy of the Year is considered to be invited in the first place for geographical representation to attend G20 meetings following G20 guidelines.

Bengal Sultanate

The Sultanate of Bengal (also known as the Bengal Sultanate; Bangalah (Persian: بنگاله‎ Bangālah, Bengali: বাঙ্গালা/বঙ্গালা) and Shahi Bangalah (Persian: شاهی بنگاله‎ Shāhī Bangālah, Bengali: শাহী বাঙ্গলা)) was an Islamic kingdom established in Bengal during the 14th century as part of the Muslim conquest of the Indian subcontinent. It was the first independent unified Bengali kingdom under Muslim rule. The region became widely known as Bangalah and Bengala under this kingdom. The two terms are precursors to the modern terms Bangla and Bengal.

The kingdom was formed after governors of the Delhi Sultanate declared independence in the region. Shamsuddin Ilyas Shah united the region's states into a single government headed by an imperial Sultan. The kingdom was ruled by five dynasties. At the height of its territorial empire, the kingdom ruled over areas in Eastern South Asia and Southeast Asia. It re-established diplomatic relations between China and the Indian subcontinent. It permitted the creation of the Portuguese settlement in Chittagong, the first European enclave in Bengal. The kingdom looked west for cultural inspiration, particularly from Persianate cultures. Its rulers sponsored the construction of colleges in Mecca and Medina, which host the holiest sites of Islam. Literature was fostered in Persian and Bengali, with strong Sufi influences. Bengali architecture evolved significantly during this period, with several external influences. The kingdom had an influential Hindu minority, which included aristocrats, military officers and bureaucrats. It assisted the Buddhist king of Arakan to regain control of his country from the Burmese.

The kingdom began to disintegrate in the 16th century, in the aftermath of Sher Shah Suri's conquests. The Mughal Empire began to absorb Bengal under its first emperor, Babur. The second Mughal emperor Humayun occupied the Bengali capital of Gaurh. In 1576, the armed forces of emperor Akbar defeated the last reigning Sultan, Daud Khan Karrani. The region later became Mughal Bengal.


A civilization or civilisation (see English spelling differences) is any complex society characterized by urban development, social stratification imposed by a cultural elite, symbolic systems of communication (for example, writing systems), and a perceived separation from and domination over the natural environment.Civilizations are intimately associated with and often further defined by other socio-politico-economic characteristics, including centralization, the domestication of both humans and other organisms, specialization of labour, culturally ingrained ideologies of progress and supremacism, monumental architecture, taxation, societal dependence upon farming and expansionism. Historically, civilization has often been understood as a larger and "more advanced" culture, in contrast to smaller, supposedly primitive cultures. Similarly, some scholars have described civilization as being necessarily multicultural. In this broad sense, a civilization contrasts with non-centralized tribal societies, including the cultures of nomadic pastoralists, Neolithic societies or hunter-gatherers, but it also contrasts with the cultures found within civilizations themselves. As an uncountable noun, "civilization" also refers to the process of a society developing into a centralized, urbanized, stratified structure. Civilizations are organized in densely populated settlements divided into hierarchical social classes with a ruling elite and subordinate urban and rural populations, which engage in intensive agriculture, mining, small-scale manufacture and trade. Civilization concentrates power, extending human control over the rest of nature, including over other human beings.Civilization, as its etymology (below) suggests, is a concept originally linked to towns and cities. The earliest emergence of civilizations is generally associated with the final stages of the Neolithic Revolution, culminating in the relatively rapid process of urban revolution and state formation, a political development associated with the appearance of a governing elite.

Eurasian Economic Union

The Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) is an economic union of states located in central and northern Asia and Eastern Europe. The Treaty on the Eurasian Economic Union was signed on 29 May 2014 by the leaders of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia, and came into force on 1 January 2015. Treaties aiming for Armenia's and Kyrgyzstan's accession to the Eurasian Economic Union were signed on 9 October and 23 December 2014, respectively. Armenia's accession treaty came into force on 2 January 2015. Kyrgyzstan's accession treaty came into effect on 6 August 2015. It participated in the EAEU from the day of its establishment as an acceding state.The Eurasian Economic Union has an integrated single market of 183 million people and a gross domestic product of over 4 trillion U.S. dollars (PPP). The EAEU introduces the free movement of goods, capital, services and people and provides for common policies in the macroeconomic sphere, transport, industry and agriculture, energy, foreign trade and investment, customs, technical regulation, competition and antitrust regulation. Provisions for a single currency and greater integration are envisioned in future. The union operates through supranational and intergovernmental institutions. The Supreme Eurasian Economic Council is the supreme body of the Union, consisting of the Heads of the Member States. The second level of intergovernmental institutions is represented by the Eurasian Intergovernmental Council (consisting of the Heads of the governments of member states). The day-to-day work of the EAEU is done through the Eurasian Economic Commission, the executive body of the Union. There is also a judicial body – the Court of the EAEU.

List of ancient great powers

Recognized great powers came about first in Europe during the post-Napoleonic era. The formalization of the division between small powers and great powers came about with the signing of the Treaty of Chaumont in 1814. A great power is a nation or state that, through its great economic, political and military strength, is able to exert power and influence over not only its own region of the world, but beyond to others.

The historical terms "Great Nation", a distinguished aggregate of people inhabiting a particular country or territory, and "Great Empire", a considerable group of states or countries under a single supreme authority, are colloquial conversations (historical jargon).

List of largest empires

The following is a list of the largest empires in world history. Rein Taagepera has defined an empire as "any relatively large sovereign political entity whose components are not sovereign" and its size as the area over which the empire has some undisputed military and taxation prerogatives, and these are the definitions used by this list.

List of modern great powers

A great power is a nation or state that, through its great economic, political and military strength, is able to exert power and influence not only over its own region of the world, but beyond to others.

In a modern context, recognized great powers first arose in Europe during the post-Napoleonic era. The formalization of the division between small powers and great powers came about with the signing of the Treaty of Chaumont in 1814.

The historical terms "Great Nation", a distinguished aggregate of people inhabiting a particular country or territory, and "Great Empire", a considerable group of states or countries under a single supreme authority, are colloquial; their use is seen in ordinary historical conversations (historical jargon).

List of states during Late Antiquity

Late Antiquity is a historiographical term for the historical period from c. 200 AD to c. 700 AD, which marks the transition from Classical Antiquity to the Middle Ages. Precise boundaries for the period are a matter of debate, but historian Peter Brown proposed a period between the 2nd and 8th centuries. While generally, it can be thought of as from the end of the Roman Empire's Crisis of the Third Century (c. 235 – 284) to the re-organization of the Eastern Roman Empire under Heraclius and the Muslim conquests in the mid-7th century, for the purposes of this page it will be considered the period 200 to 700 AD.

This list's the main types state that existed in Africa, Americas, Central Asia, East Asia, Europe, Eurasian Steppe, South Asia, and West Asia.

Melanesian Spearhead Group

The Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) is an intergovernmental organization, composed of the four Melanesian states of Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, and the Kanak and Socialist National Liberation Front of New Caledonia. In June 2015, Indonesia was recognized as an associate member.It was founded as a political gathering in 1986. On 23 March 2007, members signed the Agreement Establishing the Melanesian Spearhead Group, formalizing the group under international law. It is headquartered in Port Vila, Vanuatu. A secretariat building was constructed by the People's Republic of China and handed over to the MSG in November 2007. The first Director General of the MSG Secretariat was Rima Ravusiro of Papua New Guinea. Since April 2016, Amena Yauvoli of Fiji heads the MSG Secretariat.

Middle Empire

Middle Empire may refer to:

Middle Empire, see names of China

Middle Eastern empires have existed in the Middle East at various periods between 5000 BCE and 1924 CE

Middle Assyrian Empire, a period in the history of Assyria after the fall of the Old Assyrian Empire in the 1300s BC

Middle power

In international relations, a middle power is a sovereign state that is not a superpower nor a great power, but still has large or moderate influence and international recognition. The concept of the "middle power" dates back to the origins of the European state system. In the late 16th century, Italian political thinker Giovanni Botero divided the world into three types of states – grandissime (empires), mezano (middle powers) and piccioli (small powers). According to Botero, a mezano or middle power "...has sufficient strength and authority to stand on its own without the need of help from others."

South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation

The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) is the regional intergovernmental organization and geopolitical union of nations in South Asia. Its member states include Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, the Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. SAARC comprises 3% of the world's area, 21% of the world's population and 3.8% (US$2.9 trillion) of the global economy, as of 2015.

SAARC was founded in Dhaka on 8 December 1985. Its secretariat is based in Kathmandu, Nepal. The organization promotes development of economic and regional integration. It launched the South Asian Free Trade Area in 2006. SAARC maintains permanent diplomatic relations at the United Nations as an observer and has developed links with multilateral entities, including the European Union.

Superpower collapse

Superpower collapse is the political collapse of a superpower nation state; the term is most often used to describe the dissolution of the Soviet Union but also can be applied to the loss of the British Empire's superpower status.


Tuyuhun (Chinese: 吐谷渾) (Tibetan: ‘A-zha) was a powerful kingdom established by nomadic peoples related to the Xianbei in the Qilian Mountains and upper Yellow River valley.


This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.