Calling all empires

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AuthorTopic: Calling all empires
Electric Sheep One
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We haven't had a good pointless historical topic for a while, in fact since Alec let his last one peter out. So, the purpose of this thread is to collect empires. Throw in a few odd or cool factoids about each one, and, I dunno, make some sweeping statement about whether it was a Good Thing or not, or whatever.

If the mood strikes me I'll edit this post occasionally to update the list of what we have.

So, to start off:

The French First Empire
The original Napoleon, last name Bonaparte, was a brilliant general who managed to morph the First Republic, by stages, into an Empire with himself as Emperor. He gradually appointed most of his large family to be kings of various places he had conquered. He used bees as his personal heraldic symbols. Last I heard the consensus was that he died, in exile after his last defeat in 1815, from arsenic poisoning by one of his entourage.

The First Empire was cool for having all those Marshals and a guy whose bizarre first name became an adjective, but it was pretty bad, since Napoleon got enormous numbers of people killed in wars of megalomania.

The Second French Empire
Somehow I still find this story amazing, just because I knew all about Napoleon long before I had even heard of his successor.
The first Napoleon's only legitimate son died a quasi-prisoner in Vienna, but one of his nephews, a Charles Louis Napoleon Bonaparte, became the first and last elected President of the Second French Republic. As the end of his term approached, in 1850, he ditched the constitution, got himself elected Emperor, and ruled france for twenty years as Napoleon III. The color magenta was named after his victory over the Austrians near the northern Italian town of Magenta (those were the early years of artificial dyes, and new colors came out regularly). His regime collapsed when it failed to repel the Prussian invasion of France in 1870. His only legitimate child went to Sandhurst, hung out with the British army, and was killed by Zulus.

The Second Empire had far better style than most military dictatorships, and only a couple of megalomaniacal wars. It had the distinction of directly spawning two other empires. Still, it was mostly a vanity project for one old guy with a famous name. That's no way to run a country.

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The Byzantine Empire

It was the Roman Empire that lasted. The Turks ended up cushing it, but for the amount of abuse it took it lasted pretty long. It lasted like 1000 years and was attacked by the Ottoman Empire, the Seljuk Turks and Crusaders to name a few of its enemies.

The Tullegolar Empire

The worst empire in history, it consisted of two backstabbing followers and one corrupt Emperor.
( :P )

[ Wednesday, February 07, 2007 16:04: Message edited by: Kyrek ]
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quote:
The worst empire in history, it consisted of ...
Should be consists, as the reign continues ;)

The Inca Empire began in or around 1197, originating in upper Peru. It's greatest period of expansion was between 1438 and 1533 when, by means of military might and political persuasion, it expanded to include Peru, Bolivia, large parts of Equador, Chile, Argentina and into Colombia.

Important inventions/advances associated with the Inca include terraced farming, freeze drying of foods, intricate work with stone, textiles and gold, Aqueducts and accurate calendars and systems of measurement. They were at the forefront of specialized labor, using engineers, stonemasons, runners (communication system) and political rulers.

In 1526 Spanish conquistadors led by Pizarro entered Inca territory, returning in 1532 to begin conquest with just 180 men, 1 cannon and only 27 horses. Aided by smallpox devastation, a war of succession and uprisings in newly conquered territories the last Inca stonghold fell in 1552.

[ Wednesday, February 07, 2007 13:32: Message edited by: Trolling for Karma ]

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Ok.

The Tullegolar Empire

The worst empire in history, it consisted of two backstabbing followers and one corrupt Emperor. It currently only consists of one corrupt Emperor.
( :P )

[ Wednesday, February 07, 2007 16:03: Message edited by: Kyrek ]
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Kyrek is far from the fist to spell my name "Tullegor." I wonder why that is such a common mistake, it's never really misspelled any other way.

Chinese Empire:
Though they have many mythical and semi-historical emperors dating back thousands of years (some with magical powers) the one that is generally seen as the founder of the Chinese Empire was Qin Shi Huang, who united China into one Empire after the Warring States Period.

Though the Chinese Empire lasted thousands of years, it's reign was hardly unbroken. The scholar Luo Guanzhong once said "the country, long united, must divide; long divided, must unite." This is a decent paraphrase of the history of the Chinese Empire. A particular dynasty would rule for a few hundred years, for example, the Han Dynasty. Then, after a few weak emperors, the land would spit, and local warlords would declare themselves emperors, such as in the Three Kingdoms Period. Eventually, one warlord would defeat the rest, and the Empire would move on.

During it’s height, the Chinese Empire was the most powerful entity in the world, easily. However, many circumstances that would take too long to explain here saw the Empire reduced to a secondary power in the shadow of the growing European empires.

The Chinese Emperor had a somewhat divine status to his people. He was considered as ruling by a 'mandate of heaven' and was refered to as the 'son of heaven.' But really, if someone wanted to overthrow him and was successful, that would simply be considered the will of heaven as well, so Chinese emperors did not hide behind religion the way European rulers did.

The Chinese Empire fell, sadly, to the forces communism. The last emperor lived out his life as a peasant, and died childless.

[ Wednesday, February 07, 2007 13:34: Message edited by: Emperor Tullegolar ]

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Oh, and I would become a follower just to become a backstabbber. :D

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Bah, my attempt to make fun of ET was screwed up typos.

The Aztec Empire

It was a large empire and probably the most dangerous one in the new world. It was a very violent empire that controled most of Mexico.It was the only empire that had the strength to stand up to the explorers, well atleast until they were hit by small pox. They wouldn't of been abe to stand up to the full might of the Spanish, but they did pretty well to hold of Cortez.
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The Mayan Empire was a Good Thing.

It contributed vicious deities, conspiracy theorist legends, and a mysterious disappearance. And the artifacts are cool too. Just don't tell 'em where ya got it. ;)

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The Mongol Empire
The largest contiguous land empire in history. Ruled by one Genghis Khan in the early part of the thirteenth century, owing to his sucess at slaughtering 30 million people, only some of which actually attempted to fight him. At its peak, after Khan's death, the empire was home to more than 100 million people, and covered a total area of more than 30 million kilometres.

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The British Empire
Beginning in the 17th century, England began carving out huge swaths of "uncivilized lands" for itself. A series of wars with France in the 18th and early 19th centuries resulted in the acquisition of more colonies. At it's height, Britain had a presence in all six inhabited continents. Canada, Belize, the Bahamas, Jamaica, Bermuda, and probably a few islands I'm forgetting in North America, Guyana and the Falkland Islands in South America, Ireland in Europe, Egypt, Kenya, Tanzania, Madagascar, South Africa, an some others I'm forgetting in Africa, India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Hong Kong, Singapore, and some others, in Asia, and Australia. Starting in the late 19th century,and continuing into the mid-20th, these colonies started rebelling, and now the UK is a mere shadow of its former glory.

[ Wednesday, February 07, 2007 18:49: Message edited by: Tyranicus. ]

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The Empire
For more information, see Star Wars, Episodes I-VI.

[ Wednesday, February 07, 2007 18:02: Message edited by: Robinator is a Beefcake ]

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The Persian Empire
Opponents of the Romans/Greeks. Based in the Mesopotamian area and founded by someone with the coolest mane EVER. Cyrus the Great. Don't you just love how Cyrus sounds and is spelled? Famous for its heavy cavalry a cataphract.

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Dollop of Whipped Cream
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quote:
Originally written by Dahak:

The Persian Empire
Opponents of the Romans/Greeks.

The Persian Empire was long gone by the time Rome arrived on the scene. :P

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The Holy Roman Empire
Not really much of an empire. Also not particularly holy, and definitely not Roman. But see German Empire too!

—Alorael, who will leave that for someone else. Actually, you could get a lot of mileage out of various incarnations of that mid-European area's imperial aspirations (and successes).

[ Wednesday, February 07, 2007 21:08: Message edited by: Drakey is a talentless hack. ]
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quote:
Robinator is a Beefcake:
The Empire
For more information, see Star Wars, Episodes I-VI.
It's proper name is the Galactic Empire, otherwise you might confuse it with, say, the Avernum world's Empire. Also, you won't find it in Episodes I-II.

Russian Empire:

Peter the Great formally transformed Russia from a Tsardom into an Empire when he changed his title in order to mimic the Western World, which he was very fond of. Though that made his official title Emperor, he and his successors would still be commonly refered to as Tsars.

Though Peter was well aware of the backwardness of his country, his successors were not so enlightened. Russia would remain primarily serf oriented until the mid 1800s. Even after that, the country would fail to industrialize and would be peasant oriented until almost the the mid 1900s.

Eventually, starving peasants would peacefully protest their treatment by the emperor, and they would be massacred for it, on a day now refered to as Bloody Sunday. That, plus one of the most brutal conflicts the world has ever known (WWI) would pave the way for an all to easy communist revolution. The last emperor, along with his family, were shot and dumped into a pit of acid. And no, Anastasia did not escape that one.

[ Wednesday, February 07, 2007 21:32: Message edited by: Emperor Tullegolar ]

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quote:
Originally written by Robinator is a Beefcake:

The Empire
For more information, see Avernum, Episodes I-IV.

Fix'd. :P

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Ottoman Empire (1299 to 1922) was a Turkish state, which at the height of its power (16th - 17th centuries) spanned three continents (see: extent of Ottoman territories) controlling much of Southeastern Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, stretching from the Strait of Gibraltar (and in 1553 the Atlantic coast of North Africa beyond Gibraltar) in the west to the Caspian Sea and Persian Gulf in the east, from the edge of Austria and Slovakia and the hinterland beyond Ukraine in the north to Sudan and Yemen in the south. Ottomans began to see themselves as the rulers of a "Universal Empire" and heirs to both Roman and Islamic traditions, hence "unification of cultures".
The Galactic Empire is the regime established by Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, to replace the Galactic Republic. The Galactic Empire is a totalitarian, galaxy-spanning regime.
The Empire is the largest nation on the surface of Ermarian, and has been the only known one throughout most of the history of the planet. Spanning all four continents at the Present Day, its size is unparalleled.
In its history, the Empire has once been refounded. To distinguish, the first Empire is sometimes referred to as the Aizoan Empire, while the second is the Pralgadian Empire. However, both refer (or referred, in the case of the former) to themselves as simply "The Empire". Since the Aizoan Empire collapsed nearly a thousand years ago, the information below is concerned entirely with the one in Pralgad.
All of the above were copied from an encyclopedia.
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quote:
Originally written by Tyranicus.:

quote:
Originally written by Dahak:

The Persian Empire
Opponents of the Romans/Greeks.

The Persian Empire was long gone by the time Rome arrived on the scene. :P

Well, the Achaemenids were gone, but the Parthians and the Sassanids were definitely contemporaneous with the Romans (and the Parthians were definitely a major opponent during the late Republic/early Empire, cf. Crassus's eagles).

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Electric Sheep One
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Excellent. So far we have, in some sort of rough chronological order:

Galactic Empire

Chinese Empire
Persian Empire
Byzantine Empire
Holy Roman Empire
Incan Empire
Mayan Empire (could use a bit more info on this one)
Mongol Empire
Ottoman Empire
Russian Empire
French First Empire
French Second Empire
British Empire (when did Victoria become Ind. Imp. ?)
German Empire (could use some more info here too)

There's a lot more though, folks. Keep them coming.

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I'll go with the Akkadian Empire, founded by the infamous Sargon, which existed for about 200 years in the late 3rd millenium BCE and spanned from Mesopotamia to the Mediterrean.

Linguistically, it brings a tear to my eye -- well, as much as anything does linguistically -- as Sargon's empire brought with it the replacement of the wonderful agglutinative isolate language of Sumerian with Akkadian.

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What, nothing from the African Continent (the misnamed Dark Continent)?

My nomination is the Ghana Empire of the Soninke, who spoke Mande and lived on the edge of the Sahara. The State was originally founded by the Berbers (who would later cause their downfall) after the Punic Wars (fourth century). Its capital was located at Kumbi Saleh and was strategically important as it was at the Southern terminus of Saharian trade routes. The Soninke grew to great wealth and power by controlling trade from western Africa east to Egypt and the Middle East. This trade primarily involved gold, salt, copper, and even human beings. The primary mode of transport were the desert ships, camels.

Islam swept through much of North Africa, converting the Berbers but not the Soninke. The Berbers, also know as Almoravids, engaged in a Holy War in 1075 against the Ghanian Empire and it ceased to be important as a commercial or military power around 1100. This end of the empire is controversial, and is now in dispute by several historians who argue it was a product of European Colonialism. What may have actually happened is that Islam was spreading by peaceful means, the Soninke allowed the Almoravids to settle, and they gradually gained political and religious influence, whereby they gradually usurped control of the empire. This too is disputed and the empire may have crumbled due to internal tensions, drought and loss of trade monopoly.

Other important notes: it was a matrilineal kingdom where the king's sister provided the heir to the throne.

Edit: for curious sake, I looked to Wiki after writing this, none of the debate over how the empire is ended is included. It's good to be wary of Wiki.

[ Thursday, February 08, 2007 06:31: Message edited by: Trolling for Karma ]

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quote:
Originally written by Trolling for Karma:

for curious sake, I looked to Wiki
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/16/Don%27t_abbreviate_as_Wiki.png

[ Thursday, February 08, 2007 14:28: Message edited by: Cryptozoology ]

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quote:
Originally written by Student of Trinity:



The Second French Empire

His regime collapsed when it failed to repel the Prussian invasion of France in 1870. His only legitimate child went to Sandhurst, hung out with the British army, and was killed by Zulus.

The Second Empire had far better style than most military dictatorships, and only a couple of megalomaniacal wars. It had the distinction of directly spawning two other empires. Still, it was mostly a vanity project for one old guy with a famous name. That's no way to run a country.

The Emperor and Empress Eugenie were painted rather well by Winterhalter, who did a great job with unpromising material.

IMAGE(http://sandstead.com/images/metropolitan/WINTERHALTER_Empress_Eugenie_1854_Met_LS_d2h_01.jpg)

IMAGE(http://comtessedesegur.ifrance.com/images/winterhalter.jpg)

Both Napoleon and Eugenie are buried in the nondescript town in southern England where my parents live, together with the Prince Imperial. It's a great way of confusing French visitors.

[ Friday, February 09, 2007 00:15: Message edited by: saunders ]

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quote:
Originally written by Emperor Tullegolar:

During it’s height, the Chinese Empire was the most powerful entity in the world, easily. However, many circumstances that would take too long to explain here saw the Empire reduced to a secondary power in the shadow of the growing European empires.
I can understand why 'opium and heavy flooding' might tax Tully's ability to explain.

quote:
The Chinese Emperor had a somewhat divine status to his people. He was considered as ruling by a 'mandate of heaven' and was refered to as the 'son of heaven.' But really, if someone wanted to overthrow him and was successful, that would simply be considered the will of heaven as well, so Chinese emperors did not hide behind religion the way European rulers did.
The 'mandate of heaven' simply meant that God favored the biggest divisions. The Europeans believed that too; the divine right of kings boiled down to much the same thing, because European kings had the same origin and there ain't exactly many dukes or princes ruling globe-spanning empires in the annals of history.

quote:
The Chinese Empire fell, sadly, to the forces communism. The last emperor lived out his life as a peasant, and died childless.
Tullegolar apparently considers being molly-coddled by the Japanese Empire - the most terrifyingly efficient political engine ever conceived by man to brutalize man - as puppet emperor of Manchukuo 'life as a peasant'.

...

Empires are systems designed so that one person, or a small group thereof, can oppress as many people as possible. They're specifically such systems once they've passed a critical mass and that one person no longer retains control of the entire operation, or is even a major oppressor any more. The blood on Britain's hands is on Victoria's hands only metonymically; private initiative was what kicked the Opium War off and the decision to invade China was largely foisted on the (admittedly reactionary-inclined) Japanese monarchy by a ruthless, vampiric economic aristocracy. (No contradiction here: the Japanese industrialist tended to be from a well-established house.)

The American empire does the like of Bush and Cheney plenty of good, but it's beyond the point that it's just to their benefit. There's a whole peanut gallery of imperial exploiters ready to play puppetmaster on every corner of the Earth. Once an empire is compelled to let go of - or, usually far worse, finishes with - one place, it goes after another without even a pause for breath.

Calling something an 'empire' because it is ruled by an Emperor is pretty asinine, but I guess that's what one can expect from Geneforge fans, period-costume enthusiasts, and similar mouth-breathers.

quote:
Originally written by Tyranicus.:

quote:
Originally written by Dahak:

The Persian Empire
Opponents of the Romans/Greeks.

The Persian Empire was long gone by the time Rome arrived on the scene. :P

I'd call you a flouncing idiot for ignoring the Parthian Empire, but given who else is active here, I don't think it'd exactly be fair.

[ Friday, February 09, 2007 00:19: Message edited by: Protocols of the Elders of Zion ]
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Shaper
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quote:
Originally written by Mr. Tl'dr:

I can understand why 'opium and heavy flooding' might tax Tully's ability to explain.
The Chinese Empire was well past it's high point and well into decline by that time. Those things only brought about the endgame.
quote:
Tullegolar apparently considers being molly-coddled by the Japanese Empire - the most terrifyingly efficient political engine ever conceived by man to brutalize man - as puppet emperor of Manchukuo 'life as a peasant'.
I was, of course, refering to his life after deposition. The man worked as a gardener under Mao.

I know these things, I'm the Emperor.

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