Which empire in history do you consider to be the most interesting?

Sep 2017
757
United States
The Venetian empire (it can certainly be called that in hindsight, even though I don't believe it was called such a thing at the time) is definitely something I find very interesting as well. When one thinks of Venice, they immediately think of the beautiful lagoon-city and their unique government structure, but rarely do people realise that for centuries this tiny city-state ruled lands as far-flung and diverse as the Balkans, Greece and Crete. It's interesting reading about an empire that was fueled and motivated not by either dynastic shenanigans like the rest of Medieval Europe, or religious propagation like in the Middle East, but simply to make money and protect their trade routes. It's a distinctly proto-modern and secular conception of empire, strange to find it so early in European history.
I find it’s founding pretty interesting too. From what I understand Venice was born from Roman refugees fleeing Germanic and Hunnic invasion. For much of its early history it was directly tribute to Byzantium too.
 
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Jan 2017
783
UK
The election process for the Doge of Venice looks pretty Byzantine...

The Great Council came together and put in an urn the ballots of all the councilors who were older than 30. The youngest councilor went to St Mark's Square and chose the first boy he met who drew from the urn a ballot for each councillor and only those 30 who got the word ‘elector' remained in the room. The 30 ballots were then placed back in the box and only 9 contained a ticket, so the 30 were reduced to 9, who gathered in a sort of conclave, during which, with the favourable vote of at least seven of them, they had to indicate the name of 40 councillors.

With the system of ballots containing a ticket, the 40 were reduced to 12; these, with the favourable vote of at least 9 of them, elected 25 others, which were reduced again to 9 who would elect another 45 with at least 7 votes in favour. The 45, again at random, were reduced to 11, who with at least nine votes in favour elected another 41 that finally would be the real electors of Doge.

These 41 gathered in a special room where each one cast a piece of paper into an urn with a name. One of them was extracted at random. Voters could then make their objections, if any, and charges against the chosen one, who was then called to respond and provide any justification. After listening to him, they preceded to a new election, if the candidate obtained the favourable vote of at least 25 votes out of 41, he was proclaimed Doge, if they were unable to obtain these votes a new extraction took place until the outcome was positive.
 
Oct 2010
404
Glasgow
I have to say I am and always will be fascinated by the Roman Empire of all periods which most certainly includes the Eastern Empire of late antiquity and the Medieval Empire centred on Constantinople. Though I am also fascinated by the Hittites, Achaemenid Persia, Alexanders Makedonian Empire and his successors. The Aztec Empire, Napoleonic France and The British Empire amongst others. However, to me none are more fascinating than Rome.
 
Sep 2017
757
United States
I have to say I am and always will be fascinated by the Roman Empire of all periods which most certainly includes the Eastern Empire of late antiquity and the Medieval Empire centred on Constantinople. Though I am also fascinated by the Hittites, Achaemenid Persia, Alexanders Makedonian Empire and his successors. The Aztec Empire, Napoleonic France and The British Empire amongst others. However, to me none are more fascinating than Rome.
What period of the Empire would you say is your favorite?
 
Feb 2019
863
Serbia
I will say the British Empire. I've always found it fascinating how Britain, a nation on an island which is not particularly special in terms of resources and population compared to their rivals managed to build the largest Empire in human history. I find the military history of the Empire to be insanely rich, especially during the Napoleonic Wars. The history of this empire is also filled with dozens of individuals and events at every part of its history.

The Napoleonic French Empire is kind of predictable due to my interest in the Napoleonic Wars. Not only is it fascinating to learn about, I also find the period as a whole to have some sort of romanticism to it with a rich military and political history, great individuals and memorable personalities and the sheer amount of diversity in all fields in the Napoleonic Period and the legacy it left which is still felt to this day.

The Habsburg Monarchy is my secondary interest and due to it being rather hated in my country due to WWI and the late 19th century events I always wanted to see the Austrian side of the story and the reasons why they are demonised. It surprised me that under that idea of an evil, oppressive tyranny which is pushed here there is a fascinating, unique Empire with a really rich history. My interest in Austria also fueled my disdain towards Serbian and Balkan historiography once I looked at non-Serbian sources.
 
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Jun 2013
502
Connecticut
The Ottoman Empire.
Most of us have lived through the cold war. The West versus the Soviet menace in the East. Before that previous generations witnessed the Nazis. There's ALWAYS been those that want to destroy the West, whether the threat came internally or externally.
The longest running threat has been the Ottomani. What? Nine centuries? Just to study one aspect, such as how they shaped European (Western) history, is fascinating enough.
And now today we have a war on terror, basically the East vs the West again. So this gives one a sense of how they lived with a threat for centuries - The Balkans, the eastern Mediterannean Sea, Eastern Europe.
Naturally they affected other areas such as N. Africa, Iran and India but my fascination is Europe vs Ottoman.
 
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