The term empire derives from the Latin imperium (power, authority). Politically, an empire is a geographically extensive group of states and peoples (ethnic groups) united and ruled either by a monarch (emperor, empress) or an oligarchy.
Aside from the traditional usage, the term empire can be used in an extended sense to denote a large-scale business enterprise (e.g. a transnational corporation), or a political organisation of either national-, regional- or city scale, controlled either by a person (a political boss) or a group authority (political bosses).
An imperial political structure is established and maintained in two ways: (i) as a territorial empire of direct conquest and control with force (direct, physical action to compel the emperor's goals), and (ii) as a coercive, hegemonic empire of indirect conquest and control with power (the perception that the emperor can physically enforce his desired goals). The former provides greater tribute and direct political control, yet limits further expansion because it absorbs military forces to fixed garrisons. The latter provides less tribute and indirect control, but avails military forces for further expansion. Territorial empires (e.g. the Mongol Empire, the Median Empire) tended to be contiguous areas. The term on occasion has been applied to maritime empires or thalassocracies, (e.g. the Athenian and British Empires) with looser structures and more scattered territories.
Other articles related to "empire":
... During the height of the Roman Empire, famous historians such as Polybius, Livy and Plutarch documented the rise of the Roman Republic, and the ... the foundation of the city of Rome in 753 BC to the fall of the Roman Empire or the beginning of the Middle Ages ... divided between his philosophical aspirations and the duty he felt to defend the Roman Empire from its external enemies through his various military campaigns ...
... The Mongol Empire swept through Central Asia, invaded Khwarezmian Empire and sacked the cities of Bukhara and Samarkand, looting and massacring people everywhere ...
... After the Persian Empire was defeated by Alexander the Great, Bactria, Sogdiana and Merv, being part of Persian Empire, had to defend themselves from new invaders ... with the Tocharians, (to whom they were closely related) created a Kushan Empire around 30 AD ...
... Under Andronikos the Byzantine Empire came closest to regaining a position of power in the Balkan Peninsula since the Fourth Crusade ... Although an energetic campaigner, the empire during this period was just too weak to defeat its enemies in Anatolia, Bulgaria and Serbia ... His loss of the empire's few remaining territories in Anatolia made the Ottoman Turks posed to expand into Europe as did its lack of strength following his ...
... The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (sometimes shortened to Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire) is a book of history written by the English historian Edward Gibbon, which traces the trajectory ... The work covers the history of the Roman Empire, Europe, and the Catholic Church from 98 to 1590 and discusses the decline of the Roman Empire in the East and West ...
Famous quotes containing the word empire:
“Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, This was their finest hour.”
—Winston Churchill (18741965)
“Keep our Empire undismembered
Guide our Forces by Thy Hand,
Gallant blacks from far Jamaica,
Honduras and Togoland;
Protect them Lord in all their fights,
And, even more, protect the whites.”
—Sir John Betjeman (19061984)
“Thy blood and virtue
Contend for empire in thee, and thy goodness
Share with thy birthright! Love all, trust a few,
Do wrong to none. Be able for thine enemy
Rather in power than use, and keep thy friend
Under thy own lifes key. Be checked for silence
But never taxed for speech.”
—William Shakespeare (15641616)