a dynasty, an empire, a neo-??? empire, a kingdom, a shahdom, a sultanate, a caliphat

Nov 2011
118
In this head
What are key differences between a dynasty, an empire, a neo-??? empire, a kingdom, a shahdom, a sultanate, a caliphate, a civilization, a period, ... I know that caliphate muslim religion related but is there any other key differences?

The reason is that I am trying to learn about the Babylonian empires and Assyrian empires and I just hear different things from different sources on timelines, the substance of their civilization etc.

I see the Kassite dynasty and then I see the Kassite empire and I see the Kassite kingdom then I see the Kassite period and I see the Kassite city-state and I see the Kassite civilization? wth i'm confused.

I thought I knew this but apparantly i was wrong... I thought a kingdom was ruled by a king, an empire was ruled by an emperor, etc...
but then I hear that KING Nubachadnezzar ruled the Chaldean EMPIRE(which is apparantly also called the Neo-babylonian EMPIRE)...why is there two names for it none of which are called a kingdom..what does the neo mean..it is so confusing. When does a kingdom become an empire?

then this...
Please correct me if I am wrong but I think a "period and a dynasty" are a period of time that a specific "empire or kingdom or civilization or whatever you want to call it ruled"....but then again I see the Kassite dynasty and then the Kassite period. wth?? When is it appropriate to use dynasty vs period is it just a cultural preference or it there more to it? The Kassites were an [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancient_Near_East"]ancient Near Eastern[/ame] people who gained control of [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Babylonia"]Babylonia[/ame] after the fall of the [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Babylonian_Empire"]Old Babylonian Empire[/ame] ...time of the Kassite empire.. ca. 1531 BC to ca. 1155 BC . So did they become a empire immediately after gaining control of Babylonia or were they considered something different for period of time(aka kingdom, city-state, etc) after gaining control of Babylonia? Also, there is the confusion is again...I see Babylon, Babylonia, the Babylonian Empire, the Babylon empire, and the Chaldean Empire. In what way are these different? Is Babylonia the same thing as Babylon(the city) or is Babylonia the same thing as the Babylon Empire or is Babylonia referring to the Babylon empire + the Babylonian period(aka empire space+ empire time = babylonia empiredynastyperiodkingdomcity-statewthisthis???)

Further sources said that the Kassites grew from a city-state to an empire but I've seen the Kassites called a Kassite kingdom also. I'm thoroughly confused
 
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Shaheen

Ad Honorem
May 2011
2,569
Sweden
I suppose "Empire" denotes a certain amount of power. And going down this hierarchy of power you would then have "kingdom", and then city state etc. An Empire in my understanding is one that spans several "Kingdoms" e.g. Serbia used to be a Kingdom, but then Stephen Dusan conquered Greece, and Serbia then became an "Empire".

Kingdom of Serbia (medieval) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
Oct 2011
17
Brazil
There is no single definition, for example, after brazilian independence from portugal, it was called the brazilian empire, so it would be different from the portuguese kingdom
 

Frank81

Ad Honorem
Feb 2010
5,177
Canary Islands-Spain
What are key differences between a dynasty, an empire, a neo-??? empire, a kingdom, a shahdom, a sultanate, a caliphate, a civilization, a period, ... I know that caliphate muslim religion related but is there any other key differences?

*Civilization: recently we've had a full discussion on this. The most common explanation is a stage in human societies were the following elemets are present: urbanism, agriculture, public organization and complex culture (including technology, writing...). But Civilizations are usually considered an area where such advances took place: the Chinese civilization, the Mesoamerican civilization...


*Dynasty: is a line of rulers of the same family. Sometimes, historians consider a dynasty a group of rulers of the same Ethnic stock, including people related in some way to a core ruling family or ethnic group. For example the Macedonian Dynasty of Bizantyum, most of them Armenians and not all of them related by blood. Or the Chaldean dynasty.

*Kingdom: the state ruled by a King, a man who has the supreme power, a man who have inherited such position because of his (or her) family. If the man with such supreme power didn't inherited it or didn't passed it to relatives, he is usually considered by historians as a mere Dictator.

*Shahdom: the Persian name for King or Emperor, it can be translated in both ways.

*Empire: at first it wasn't the name of a political entity, but it was a political-military title, Imperator, that who has the power to give orders, the power of Imperium. He was the man who gave orders to the troops. As such, Augustus claimed to be sole man with Imperium in Rome and after him only one man had such Power. So he's cosidered the father of the Roman Empire.

Only three political entities could claimed to be the true direct inheritors of such institution, the Emperor of Byzantium, the Emperor of the Frankish Empire and the Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. These are the true Empires, and for the most part of the European history after the year 1000, western eruopeans have recognized as Emperor only to one man, the Emperor of the HRE. Most of the other kings in the western world that claimed to be emperors hadn't such right actually, though they always tried to link them to the Roman Emperors.

Because of the word Empire being related to such magnificient states as the Roman Empire and the HRE, the word empire became associated to magnificients and very powerful states: the Assirian Empire, the French Empire, the Spanish Empire, even the American Empire. Due to this association to extensive and diverse states, the word Empire as we know today is defined by the state composed by a great diversity of peoples over whom one group of people have the power. In this way, the Macedonian Kingdom, a relativelly homogenic state, is refered as Macedonian Empire after the campaigns of Alexander the Great, who annexed to the original kingdom vast lands and diverse peoples.

Out of the European contest, the word is difficult to translate. But those states where a highly powerful monarch reign over huge domains, the title Emperor is applied, like the Emperors of China, India or Persia. Sometimes isn't need to have an extensive empire: if the monarch is highly regarded, like the one of Japan (Tenno) who was a God in Earth, such monarch is considered an Emperor, a monarch that surpass kings in consideration.

*Neo Empire: Historians use to name in this way empires that are very similar in nature and territory to a previous one. For example, the Old and New Babylonian empires.


*Sultanate: a Sultan was the man who had the military power in the Muslim world, and then the political one. But not the religious one. At first, the power of the Islamic world was in the hands of the Caliph, the ruler of the Islamic community. As time passed, the Caliph was considered a religious figure only, with Sultans being the true political and military rulers of each territory.



I see the Kassite dynasty and then I see the Kassite empire and I see the Kassite kingdom then I see the Kassite period and I see the Kassite city-state and I see the Kassite civilization? wth i'm confused.
Up to the 19th century, and even later, the domains of the Kings were confused with those of the State, in fact, some states were originated around the domains of the king, like France. Due to this, the Kingdom was confused with the Dynasty of rulers. Because of the Kassite kings being the most important historical elements of their age, that period of history is named Kassite.



I thought I knew this but apparantly i was wrong... I thought a kingdom was ruled by a king, an empire was ruled by an emperor, etc...
but then I hear that KING Nubachadnezzar ruled the Chaldean EMPIRE(which is apparantly also called the Neo-babylonian EMPIRE)...why is there two names for it none of which are called a kingdom..what does the neo mean..it is so confusing. When does a kingdom become an empire?
That's the historians fault. They interchange all those concepts without care: kingdom, dynasty, empire...

then this...
Please correct me if I am wrong but I think a "period and a dynasty" are a period of time that a specific "empire or kingdom or civilization or whatever you want to call it ruled"....but then again I see the Kassite dynasty and then the Kassite period. wth?? When is it appropriate to use dynasty vs period is it just a cultural preference or it there more to it? The Kassites were an ancient Near Eastern people who gained control of Babylonia after the fall of the Old Babylonian Empire ...time of the Kassite empire.. ca. 1531 BC to ca. 1155 BC . So did they become a empire immediately after gaining control of Babylonia or were they considered something different for period of time(aka kingdom, city-state, etc) after gaining control of Babylonia? Also, there is the confusion is again...I see Babylon, Babylonia, the Babylonian Empire, the Babylon empire, and the Chaldean Empire. In what way are these different? Is Babylonia the same thing as Babylon(the city) or is Babylonia the same thing as the Babylon Empire or is Babylonia referring to the Babylon empire + the Babylonian period(aka empire space+ empire time = babylonia empiredynastyperiodkingdomcity-statewthisthis???)
1. Yes is common to name a period after an important Dynasty.
2. Babylon=Babylonia, Chaldean refer to the dynasty that ruled Babylon in 620-539 BC. At first they were an ethnic group in the Arabian desert, and later they gave their name to the area of central Mesopotamia and its people. But i's an olfashioned name.

Further sources said that the Kassites grew from a city-state to an empire but I've seen the Kassites called a Kassite kingdom also. I'm thoroughly confused
Of course, now you shall to take the initiative: choose the terms that you think are correct, put apart in your writings the terms that you consider to be wrong. Try to follow authors that you like.
 
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Lucius

Forum Staff
Jan 2007
16,363
Nebraska
What are key differences between a dynasty, an empire, a neo-??? empire, a kingdom, a shahdom, a sultanate, a caliphate, a civilization, a period, ... I know that caliphate muslim religion related but is there any other key differences? ... I'm thoroughly confused
There's no hard and fast rule about such usages. One must memorize the style in each individual case. It's part of the fun!
 
Jul 2017
294
Srpska
Isidore of Seville, Etimologies, IX, iii, 14, Emperor: "For the Romans, the title imperator was at first given only to those on whom supremacy in military affairs was settled, and therefore the imperatores were so called from ‘commanding’ (imperare) the army. But although generals held command for a long time with the title of imperator, the senate decreed that this was the name of Augustus Caesar only, and he would be distinguished by this title from other ‘kings’ of nations. "

Isidore of Seville, Etimologies, IX, iii, 4, King: "Kings are so called from governing, and as priests (sacerdos) are named from ‘sacrificing’ (sacrificare), so kings (rex, gen.regis) from governing (regere, also meaning “keep straight, lead correctly”). But he does not govern who does not correct (corrigere); therefore the name of king is held by one behaving rightly (recte), and lost by one doing wrong. Hence among the ancients such was the proverb: “You will be king (rex) if you behave rightly (recte); if you do not, you will not.” The royal virtues are these two especially: justice and mercy – but mercy is more praised in kings, because justice in itself is harsh. "

Isidore of Seville, Etimologies, IX, iii, 23, Monarchy: "Monarchs (monarcha) are those who wield supreme power alone, like Alexander among the Greeks and Julius among the Romans. From this term also derives the word ‘monarchy’ (monarchia). In Greek monas is “singleness” and arhi is “governing power.” "