To Rule the Earth...

No one person has ever achieved rulership over the whole planet. Which states have come closest to this measure?

What follows is a table of the largest states and empires to have held sway over the earth at one time or another. They are organized based on "greatest extent" - that portion of their history in which they possessed the largest amount of territory at a given time; but note well, in many instances a larger number is given afterwards, reflecting regions held at other times. The figures are approximations for the most part - many of these states held only vague or ill-defined frontiers.

As a comparison to the land surface that is available, note that the habitable portion of the globe (i.e. excluding Antarctica) extends over roughly 52, 677,000 square miles (136,433,400 sq. km.): so, the largest of these entities reached about one quarter of the whole.


Rulers of the Earth





The British Empire and Commonwealth

The "greatest extent" of the British Empire was achieved between 1917 and 1922. The figures for "grand total" include the eastern seaboard of the United States, as well as other miscellaneous regions held by Britain, and subsequently lost or discarded bef

Greatest extent

14,157,000 sq. mi. (36,666,488 sq. km.)

Grand total, all eras

1,537,288 sq. mi. (3,981,561 sq. km.)


The Soviet Empire

The Communist states were never entirely under a single ruler, although Josef Stalin probably came closest 1948-53. The main division was between the Soviet Bloc, led by Russia, and the Eastern Bloc, led by China. The area given for the whole Communist wo

The entire Communist world

13,800,000 sq. mi. (35,741,862 sq. km.)

The Soviet Bloc (incl. Cuba)

9,883,591 sq. mi. (25,598,402 sq. km.)


The Mongol Empire

The greatest extent of the Mongol hegemony was reached in roughly 1238-68. Some historical maps show the Mongol Empire in control of all of Siberia, but this is not so - a branch of the Mongols, The White Horde, did penetrate considerable portions of west

12,800,000 sq. mi. (33,151,872 sq. km.)


The Spanish Colonial Empire

At its largest reach, roughly 1740-1790 Spain controlled about half of South America, more than a third of North America, and had significant holdings in the Pacific basin. It is sometimes asked: "Should not this figure be much higher, inasmuch as the Spa

7,500,000 sq. mi. (19,424,925 sq. km.)


The Russian Federation

Russia is, of course, a subunit and the core of the Soviet Empire noted above. Even in its reduced state, it is still by far the largest single state on the planet.

6,592,000 sq. mi. (17,073,214 sq. km.)


The Fascist Axis

The Axis powers of the World War II era were never under a single ruler, they were a group of three major powers and a handful of minor ones. Some of the lesser states were, in fact, only nominally associated with the Axis, owing to the needs of defence a

Japanese territory and conquests

2,864,000 sq. mi. (7,417,731 sq. km.)

German territory and conquests

1,505,000 sq. mi. (3,897,935 sq. km.)

Italian territory and conquests

1,451,066 sq. mi. (3,758,246 sq. km.)

Other Axis allies

249,800 sq. mi. (646,980 sq. km.)


6,069,866 sq. mi. (15,720,892 sq. km.)


The Caliphate

The early Caliphate was a remarkable thing - a vast stretch of territory spanning Spain, North Africa, the Middle East, Iran, and much of Central Asia: all of which absorbed by Arab conquerors from 632 to 712 CE. Too vast to be stable, it began to fragmen

5,100,000 sq. mi. (13,208,949 sq. km.)


The French Colonial Empire

The French colonial experience was primarily within Africa, although there were significant territories in Asia and the Americas as well. The "greatest extent" figures cover what was held by France from c. 1905 to 1960. The "grand total" adds to that the

Greatest extent

4,863,000 sq. mi. (12,595,121 sq. km.)

Grand total, all eras

5,750,000 sq. mi. (14,892,443 sq. km.)


The Chinese Empire

The "greatest extent" figures indicate the approximate size of the state governed by the Qing Emperors during the late 18th and early 19th centuries, which included Tibet, the Russian Far Eastern provinces, and Mongolia as dependencies. Grand Total includ

Greatest extent

4,620,000 sq. mi. (11,965,754 sq. km.)

Grand total, all eras

4,980,000 sq. mi. (12,898,150 sq. km.)


(The) United States of America

The United States greatest territorial extent was 1945-1946, when it occupied Japan, parts of Germany and Austria, and had not yet given independence to the Philippines. The grand total figures add various occupations and interventions in Latin America be

Greatest extent

3,917,731 sq. mi. (10,146,884 sq. km.)

Grand total, all eras

4,095,806 sq. mi. (10,608,097 sq. km.)


Dominion of Canada

Canada is a subunit of the British Commonwealth and, as an independent state, the second largest on earth at this time.

3,849,000 sq. mi. (9,968,872 sq. km.)


Peoples Republic of China

These figures reflect the current size of China, the 3rd largest state now in existence.

3,696,100 sq. mi. (9,572,862 sq. km.)


(The) United States of America

These figures reflect the current size of the United States (and possessions), the 4th largest state now in existence.

3,618,943 sq. mi. (9,373,026 sq. km.)


The Portuguese Colonial Empire

At it's greatest extent, 1815-1822, Portugal controlled major territories in South America and Africa. The figures for "grand total" reflect not only the full extent of Portuguese African possessions in the 20th century as well as all of Brazil, but also

Greatest extent

3,433,366 sq. mi. (8,892,384 sq. km.)

Grand total, all eras

4,151,150 sq. mi. (10,751,437 sq. km.)


Federative Republic of Brazil

Brazil is the major subunit of the Portuguese colonial empire, and remains today the fifth largest state in the world in terms of territory.

3,300,171 sq. mi. (8,547,410 sq. km.)


Commonwealth of Australia

This continent-sized land mass hosts but a single state, the 6th largest today, and one which is significantly larger than all the great empires of classical times. The greatest extent figures are for the period 1918-1975, when Australia administered Papu

Greatest extent

3,147,700 sq. mi. (8,152,512 sq. km.)

Current size

2,969,910 sq. mi. (7,692,037 sq. km.)


The Uighur Khaghanate

A vast, amorphous territory in southern Siberia, Mongolia, Manchuria, eastern Khazakhstan, and parts of Xinjiang, the Uighurs (an early Turkic people) ruled this region after the disintegration of the Gök Turks (#30) in 630 CE. The era of their greatest i

3,000,000 sq. mi. (7,769,970 sq. km.)


Japanese Empire

Repeated from #5 above, but it deserves a slot of it's own. Japan was for almost it's entire history confined to the Home Islands, but in the first half of the 20th Century a complicated interweaving of geopolitical circumstances precipitated a sudden exp

2,864,000 sq. mi. (7,417,731 sq. km.)


The Persian Empire

This is the oldest of the super-states listed herein - it is the vast empire successfully held off by the Greek city-states in the 5th century BCE.

2,382,000 sq. mi. (6,169,356 sq. km.)


The Seljuq Empire

The Seljuqs were a Turkish people who established a Middle Eastern Empire in the late 11th century CE. It swiftly fragmented into more localized spheres of influence, notably in Iran, Anatolia, and the Fertile Crescent region.

2,300,000 sq. mi. (5,956,977 sq. km.)


The Roman Empire

The Romans were at their greatest extent in the early 2nd century of the Common Era, when Trajan briefly annexed Mesopotamia. The Byzantine (East Roman) Empire should be regarded as a subset of this - they never expanded beyond the boundaries of the earli

2,200,000 sq. mi. (5,697,978 sq. km.)


The Ottoman Empire

The Osmanli Turks established a state in Bithynia which eventually grew to encompass Anatolia, the Levant, the Balkans, North Africa, Crimea, the Caucasus, and western Arabia as far south as Yemen.

2,160,000 sq. mi. (5,594,378 sq. km.)


The Macedonian Empire

Alexander the Great briefly established a vast empire on the carcase of the Persian super-state (#15); but it fragmented almost immediately after his death.

2,100,000 sq. mi. (5,438,979 sq. km.)



When Mexico became independent (first as an Empire and shortly thereafter a republic) in 1821, it inherited a vast stretch of former Spanish claims reaching from Nevada to Costa Rica. The figures are for the period 1821-23, after which Central America bro

1,890,983 sq. mi. (4,897,627 sq. km.)


European Union

Not an empire in the sense usually used by this page, the EU is a confederation of associate states, most of whom are members of a customs and monetary union, but nevertheless retain considerable autonomy, particularly in foreign affairs. Still, the EU is

1,669,807 sq. mi. (4,324,783 sq. km.)



Repeated from #5 above, but it deserves a slot of it's own. Nazi Germany expanded to include most of Europe and a slice of North Africa at one point. The peak was achieved Aug.-Sept. 1942. Also included as a separate entry is Germany's colonial empire of

Greatest extent (Sept. 1942)

1,505,000 sq. mi. (3,897,935 sq. km.)

Colonial Empire (c. 1902-1914)

1,271,000 sq. mi. (3,291,877 sq. km.)

Grand total, all eras

2,559,070 sq. mi. (6,627,966 sq. km.)


Almoravid Empire

The Almoravids were a western Berber folk who boiled out of Mauretania in the 11th century, to rapidly encompass all of northwestern Africa and about half of Spain-Portugal for a brief time. Establishing a radically puritanical sect of Islam, and founding

1,500,000 sq. mi. (3,884,985 sq. km.)


Italian Empire

Repeated from #5 above, but it deserves a slot of it's own. Italy never developed an extensive colonial empire in the manner of Great Britain or France, but in the 1930's it became expansionistic, and added to such overseas possessions as it had obtained

1,451,066 sq. mi. (3,758,246 sq. km.)


Timur's Empire

Timur the Lame was a tribal leader of Mongol extraction who set up a Middle Eastern empire centered around Transoxania and Iran in the period between 1380 and 1405.

1,445,000 sq. mi. (3,742,536 sq. km.)


The Mughal Empire

There have been large, centralized states on the Indian subcontinent for a very long while - the Mughal empire in the latter half of the 17th century probably achieved the greatest size, although the current republic isn't much smaller. Also given are fig

Mughal Empire, c. 1650

1,425,000 sq. mi. (3,690,736 sq. km.)

British Raj c. 1877-1948

1,661,571 sq. mi. (4,303,452 sq. km.)


The Golden Horde (Ulus Juchi)

This was the western Horde of the Mongols, which conquered most of Russia and the Ukraine, and penetrated central Europe. The two figures given reflect, first, the maximum size of the state after it had broken from the Imperial line but before it began to

Greatest extent (independent)

1,400,000 sq. mi. (3,625,986 sq. km.)

Greatest extent (as Mongol Imperial vassal)

1,565,000 sq. mi. (4,053,334 sq. km.)


The Seleucid Empire

The Seleucid state was a successor empire to Alexander's Macedonian Empire (#20). At it's greatest extent, it reached from western Anatolia to Afghanistan.

1,325,000 sq. mi. (3,431,737 sq. km.)


Chagatai Horde (Ulus Jagatay)

Emerging as a particular sub-horde under the Mongols, in 1227. They remained within Mongol hegemony until unity shattered c. 1335. Afterward, the Chagatai briefly held most of Xinjiang, about half of Khazakhstan, Kyrgystan, and much of Uzbekstan, before f

1,300,000 sq. mi. (3,366,987 sq. km.)


Republic of India

The modern Indian state, successor to the Mughals and the Raj, the 7th largest country in the world.

1,222,243 sq. mi. (3,165,597 sq. km.)


The Gök Turkiut

These were an early Siberian Horde, successors to the Juan-Juan (#36). They were the direct ancestors of subsequent and modern Turkic peoples, and ruled the southern Siberian and Mongolian Steppe in the late 5th, 6th, and early 7th centuries CE, before di

1,160,000 sq. mi. (3,004,388 sq. km.)


The Huns

The Huns were the western horde of a numerous group of Central Asians - in China they were called the Hsiung-Nu, and an Indian group was called the Hunas. The Western Huns migrated across the Volga in the 4th century and into the Ukraine, thence into Euro

1,100,000 sq. mi. (2,848,989 sq. km.)


Argentine Republic

Eighth largest modern state. Aside from the Andean highlands, Argentina encompasses all the southernmost reach of South America.

1,073,400 sq. mi. (2,780,095 sq. km.)


Republic of Kazakhstan

Ninth largest modern state. Kazakhstan is a vast semi-arid region of central Asia, and a subunit within the Soviet Empire up until its independence in 1991.

1,052,090 sq. mi. (2,724,903 sq. km.)


The Ghaznavid Empire

A Mediaeval state within what is now Afghanistan, Pakistan, portions of central Asia, and eastern Iran. It's greatest extent was in the early 11th century.

1,000,000 sq. mi. (2,589,990 sq. km.)


The Juan-Juan

This was a Siberian Horde of obscure ethnicity (they have been variously identified as proto-Turks, proto-Mongols, or even early Avars) whose greatest extent encompassed a reach of territory across much of Manchuria, Mongolia, and eastern Khazakhstan - th

982,000 sq. mi. (2,543,370 sq. km.)

Addenda - famous empires of smaller size:

The following are well-known states which, despite their notoriety, never reached the 1,000,000 sq. mile/2.500,000 sq. km. extent detailed just above. Included for comparison are all modern states in excess of 1.5 million sq. km., and the five largest American states.

  • Belgian Colonial Empire [938,050 sq. miles / 2,429,540 sq. km.] Between 1908 and 1960, Belgium held three overseas territories, Rwanda and Burundi, each quite close to Belgium in size... and the Congo, nearly 77 times the size of Belgium.
  • Algeria (919,595 sq. miles / 2,381,741 sq. km.) 10th largest modern state.
  • Congo (905,354 sq. miles / 2,344,858 sq. km.) 11th largest modern state
  • Saudi Arabia (868,000 sq. miles / 2,248,000 sq. km.) 12th largest modern state
  • Denmark [853,509 sq. miles / 2,210,581 sq. km.] An unexpected entry, perhaps, but quite real - Denmark, by virtue of its authority in Greenland (and, be it remembered, the Faeroe Islands), holds a realm that comes narrowly close to being included in the primary listing above.
  • Dutch Colonial Empire [822,345 sq. miles / 2,129,873 sq. km. : Netherlands, all eras 842,750 / 2,182,722 sq. km.] Not quite as large as the other European colonial establishments listed above, but certainly as wealthy and influential. The Netherlands controlled all of Indonesia and Suriname between about 1900 and 1949. The "all eras" figures reflect other Dutch possessions prior to 1900, including Belgium, Luxembourg, Capetown, New York City (Nieuw Amsterdam) and the Hudson Valley, the Netherlands Antilles, stations in India, and various expeditions in Angola, Brazil, and elsewhere.
  • Mexico (756,066 sq. miles / 1,958,201 sq. km.) 13th largest modern state
  • Tiwantinsuya (Incan Empire) [c. 750,000 sq. miles / c. 1,942,500 sq. km.] At its height, the Incan Empire controlled most of the Pacific coast of South America, inland as far as the spine of the Andes Mountains. See a more detailed analysis below.
  • Indonesia (742,308 sq. miles / 1,922,570 sq. km.) 14th largest modern state.
  • Sudan (720,557 sq. miles / 1,866,235 sq. km.) 15th largest modern state. From 1956 to 2011, the Sudan encompassed 966,757 sq. miles / 2,503,890 sq. km. as a "greatest extent", ranking at 10th largest modern state before being partitioned by the Juba government in South Sudan. Aside from that, the region is important historically - there have been empires and kingdoms here, along the Nile and to the west in Darfur, for nearly as long as civilization itself. The Nubian and Cushite states of the Dagu, Napata, MeroĂ«, and Sennar have largely been overshadowed by the glories of Egypt and Abyssinia, but are still of great significance.
  • Libya (678,400 sq. miles / 1,757,000 sq. km.) 16th largest modern state
  • Iran (630,830 sq. miles / 1,633,841 sq. km.) 17th largest modern state
  • Egypt (Mediaeval) [c. 612,500 sq. miles / 1,586,375 sq. km.] Ancient Egypt was tiny by modern standards, since it encompassed only the Nile Valley and the Delta. As time moved forward though, more surrounding area was penetrated and settled to one degree or another, and by the Middle Ages a considerable amount of what is considered modern Egypt had been absorbed. The figures detail the extent of the Ayyubid dynasty at the height of its power, c. 1175-c. 1225; Saladin and his immediate successors controlled much of Egypt, northeastern Libya, the Levant, northern Iraq, the Hejaz (western Arabia including Mecca), and much of southeastern Anatolia.
  • Mongolia (603,909 sq. miles / 1,564,116 sq. km.) 18th largest modern state.
  • Alaska (591,004 sq. miles / 1,530,693 sq. km.) Largest, by far, of the American states.
  • Frankish Empire [c. 575,000 sq. miles / c. 1,489,250 sq. km.] Western Europe exclusive of the British Isles, most of Iberia, and Scandinavia. This realm was created by the merger of the old Merovingian kingdoms of Neustria and Austrasia, together with the subsequent conquests of Charlemage. It endured until internecine war tore it asunder in 843. See a more detailed analysis below.
  • Assyria [c. 525,000 sq. miles / c. 1,360,000 sq. km.] The Assyrians are an ancient people, originally nomadic herders and raiders living in roughly what is now Kurdistan - northern Iraq and southeastern Anatolia. For ages they constituted a northern barbarian threat to Mesopotamian states; in the latter 8th century BCE, Tiglath-Pileser III dramatically increased his empire, he and his immediate successors engulfing all the Fertile Crescent, northern Arabia, and Lower Egypt. The realm was destroyed in 609 BCE, the resurgent Babylonians taking over much of it. The Assyrians still remained as a distinct ethnic group and, in fact, still exist today.
  • Poland [c. 484,465 sq. miles / c. 1,254,750 sq. km.] Re-emerging in the 14th century out of the welter of partition duchies that the old kingdom had devolved into, the later kingdom of Poland united with Lithuania to form a vast (by European standards) and powerful state in the late Middle Ages. At its height it comprised most of modern Poland, Lithuania, Belarus, the Ukraine, and portions of eastern Russia. In 1569, Poland was converted from a hereditary to an elective monarchy, and in fact the state was self-described as a rzeczpospolita, a republic, although the chief executive retained the title of krol, king. Although Poland was powerful enough to vie for control of Muscovy in the early 17th century, progressive legislative calcification ensured that the state became increasingly helpless against its enemies, and by the end of the 18th century it had disappeared entirely once more.
  • Babylon [c. 430,000 sq. miles / c. 1,113,750 sq. km.] The later Babylonian Empire emerged after the disintigration of the Assyrian Empire in 609 BCE, and came to control most, but not all of the old Assyrian realm. It was conquered by the Persian Empire in 539.
  • Union of Kalmar [c. 414,000 sq. miles / c. 1,072,250 sq. km.] This entity comprised a ramshackle union of the kingdoms of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, together with Iceland and much of modern Finland. It emerged in the 1380's as a dynastic union, but a series of weak successors insured that it began to crumble by the 1450's - it shattered entirely when Sweden left permanently in 1523.
  • Khazaria [c. 365,000 sq. miles / c. 946,000 sq. km.] An amorphous region in the eastern steppes north of the Caucasus Mountains, east and northeast of the Black Sea, north of the Caspian Sea, and northwest of the Aral Sea, extending northward toward Kiev to the northwest and Volgan Bulgaria to the northeast. The Khazars were a vaguely Turkic tribe who grew to establish a successful civilization in this unlikely region, controlling the destinies of many of the steppe peoples of the era. They took the unusual step of converting to Judiasm as a way of deflecting control by either the Caliphs or the Byzantines. They were at their zenith in the first third of the 8th century CE, but lost cohesion from being surrounded by too many enemies, and had effectively disappeared by the early 11th century CE
  • Texas (266,807 sq. miles / 691,027 sq. km.) Largest of the "Lower 48" American states.
  • Syriac Empire [c. 250,000 sq. miles / c. 647,500 sq. km.] Southern Greece, about half of Anatolia, Cyprus, and the Levant. The Syriac state is often referred to as the Antigonid Empire; it was an ephemeral state emerging out of the chaos following the death of Alexander the Great, being the territory controlled by one of his generals, Antigonus One-eye, effectively from 321, officially from 305; he was killed at the "Battle of the Kings" (Ipsos) in 301, most of his realm being seized thereafter by the Seleucids.
  • California (158,706 sq. miles /411,407 sq. km.) 3rd largest American state.
  • Montana (147,046 sq. miles / 380,847 sq. km.) 4th largest American state.
  • New Mexico (121,593 sq. miles / 314,924 sq. km.) 5th largest American state.
  • Tenochtitlan (Aztec Empire) [c. 117,500 sq. miles / c. 304,325 sq. km.] Central and southern Mexico; a feudal state controlling directly or by local proxies a wide number of tribes in the region between c. 1420 and 1520.



I have sometimes been asked why these figures apparently don't reflect Antarctic claims. I'll admit it straight out, I am deliberately ignoring Antarctica. My reasons for doing so are twofold:

  1. Although several nations have advanced territorial claims to the continent - in fact, several of these claims overlap considerably - all participants have agreed not to directly pursue such claims until such time as a conference should be organized to settle the matter. Thus, all claims are now, and have been for quite some time, not precisely in limbo, but at least in abeyance for the time being. Indeed, there is a considerable wedge of Antarctica which remains unclaimed by all, the last region of genuinely unclaimed land (well, land of a sort...) left on Earth (but don't you and your closest friends run out and buy an icebreaker and a flagpole - because the question of territorial claims is being held in suspension at the moment, the Antarctic participant governments have agreed not to recognize, or permit, any further claims being made).
  2. There is virtually nobody there. The "To Rule The Earth" file records the widest-reaching systems of governance achieved by mankind, and I feel that "governance" requires a governed, a stable and permanent population dwelling in the regions referred to. Although there have been a few births in Antartica - at least ten since 1978 - it still has no "native" population. And, there cannot at this time be a native population - without massive and ubiquitous infrastructure, the place is completely uninhabitable. Everyone there is scientific or military personnel assigned to the place for a tour of duty. Thus, the place resembles more a spaceship or a naval vessel than it does a potentially habitable landmass.

The Carolingian Empire

The Frankish people emerged out of the Dark Ages with a unified state, and a dynamic new dynasty. That family's most illustrious scion, Charlemagne, extended the reach of the Franks to include almost all of western Europe, from Hungary to Brittany and from Hamburg to Pamplona. Further, Charles fostered a rebirth of learning, and was thus instrumental in shaping, both politically and culturally, the beginning of the Mediaeval era from out of the crumbled wreckage of the Roman Empire in the West. Alas, western Europe simply isn't that vast in terms of area, and so this vitally significant empire doesn't even come close to the list above - Charlemagne at the height of his influence (c. 790-814) controlled no more than around 575,000 sq. miles (1,489,250 sq. km.), close but not quite the size of Alaska.

The Incan Empire

I am asked at fairly regular intervals about a possibly missing element in this list, namely, Tiwantinsuya, the Incan Empire of the later 15th and early 16th centuries. Correspondents will mention figures ranging anywhere from 2.5 million square miles (6.475 sq. km.) to 7.5 million square miles (19.425 sq. km.). Some writers have cited a book by Charles Mann called "1491", a description of the Western Hemisphere just before the arrival of Europeans) in support of their contention - apparently Mann alleges that the Inca controlled a region comparable in size to that of the Ottoman or Roman Empires.

I must disagree with Mr. Mann. Let's do the math - assume half of Peru (actually, historical maps that I've consulted usually give less than that, about 1/3 to 40 percent, but we'll assume half), that yields about 250,000 sq. miles. Assume all of Ecuador, another 100,000. Assume about 1/3 of Bolivia; that will give about 130,000. Add maybe half of Chile (most maps I've seen aren't as generous), another 150,000. And add perhaps the northern tip of Argentina, maybe 1/10 for another 100,000. Under these generous assumptions, the total comes to about 730,000. If you want to throw in some smidgens of Colombia, you could maybe push 750,000, very close to the size of modern Mexico. You would have to toss in all the rest of Peru just to reach 1 million, something historical works never do because the Inca aren't known to have penetrated to any significant extent into the Amazon Basin. As for the highest figures I've seen (7.5 million sq. miles), well, all of South America only comes to 6.89 million - the 7.5 million figure is about identical to the entirety of the Spanish colonial Empire at it's greatest extent (#4 above), from Patagonia to Utah; I'm certain the later Maya, the Aztecs, and the early Apache would be astonished to learn that they were subjects of Cuzco.

The simple fact of the matter is that the domain of the Inca wasn't enormous (the Aztec territory was even smaller) physically, albeit it's influence and power were great. But size isn't everything - consider the clout and influence of the Vatican as compared to it's physical area...

Most participation

An interesting question arises: which area of the globe has been a province in the largest number of these empires over the centuries? The answer will perhaps be not especially surprising: the Levant; specifically, that region of the eastern Mediterranean shore between Antioch and Sinai. Of the 47 empires listed, this region has been occupied by 13 of them, The British (in the Holy Land and Jordan - the French in Lebanon and Syria), the Caliphs, Persia, the Seljuqs, the Romans/Byzantines, the Ottoman Turks, Macedonia, the Seleucids, Assyria, Egypt, Babylon, and the Antigonid Empire. Truly, this region is the Over-Promised Land.

Methodology and Sources

This is my own work, compiled from a variety of secondary sources. I consulted various historical atlases and built up a list of major sovereign entities, and then calculated land area using almanacs and similar works; I calculated in provincial or district areas when frontiers were at variance with modern ones, and used applied geometry in instances where no comparative analysis was available otherwise. My most significant sources were:

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  • 〃  〃 The Penguin Atlas of African History Penguin Books Ltd., Harmondsworth, U.K., 1995 WorldCat logo
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  • 〃  〃 The Penguin Atlas of Modern History (to 1815) Penguin Books Ltd., Harmondsworth, U.K., 1972 WorldCat logo
  • 〃  〃 The Penguin Historical Atlas of the Pacific Penguin Books Ltd., Harmondsworth, U.K., 1998 WorldCat logo
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  • 〃  〃 Mitchell's School Atlas Thomas, Cowperthwait and Co., Philadelphia, 1847 WorldCat logo
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  • Encyclopedia Britannica

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