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

Jun 2015
5,716
UK
#61
Rome. It had a level of organisation and adminstration that Europe could only rival by the early modern period.
Medieval states couldn't afford standing armies, nor had as comprehensive taxation and record-keeping.
 

Theodoric

Ad Honorem
Mar 2012
2,746
#63
I have no favourite, it changes frequently.
Right now the Inca Empire and the related Mapuche. It's not a new interest, my first Inca kick was probably before the age of 10. I have often come back to them.
If I'd answered even two weeks ago, it would have been the Aztecs and their Mesoamerican relatives in and around the Lake Texcoco region.
Next will probably be the Iroquois nation, which I have been reading up on for their political system.

No matter what I am studying, they generally become my favourite at the time.

The one which is most commonly my favourite would be the Roman Empire, the Western Roman Empire, the East Germanic Kingdoms (Vandals and Goths), the Umayyad, Cordoba, and Abbasid Empires (especially in the earlier period). I'm also a big fan of primarily Asian Empires: the Achaemenid, Mongols, Song, But I'd find it difficult to settle on just one. Any Scandinavian Empires I'm a fan of as well.

My favourite of all time? I can't say.
 

MAGolding

Ad Honorem
Aug 2015
2,808
Chalfont, Pennsylvania
#66
Byzantine Empire - enemy of Christian states? :eek: They were Christian, just Orthodox. That means, just more mystic than in the Western Christianity.
But they had a lot of Christian enemies at various times. Like Sicily, Bulgaria, Serbia, Armenia, Georgia, the crusader states, the Fourth Crusade, the "Latin Empire of Constantinople".
 

MAGolding

Ad Honorem
Aug 2015
2,808
Chalfont, Pennsylvania
#67
My favorites are the Roman-"Byzantine"-Holy Roman-empire(s), a number of Chinese dynasties, the Mughal empire, the Iranian empires of the Achaemenid, Arsacid, and Sassanid dynasties.

Among groups of colonial possessions I guess the Spanish, British, and French.
Add the Austrian Empire and the Inca Empire.
 
#68
I could be wrong here, as I don't know that much about religion, but i thought Christian Orthodox was more conservative than Roman Catholicism, nothing to do with Mysticism? I know it takes some doing to be more conservative than the Roman Cathlic faith but there you go.
I was under the impression that they are more conservative in some respects, but not others. For example, the Orthodox church is more flexible on the matter of clerical celibacy.
 

Kirialax

Ad Honorem
Dec 2009
4,753
Blachernai
#69
I was under the impression that they are more conservative in some respects, but not others. For example, the Orthodox church is more flexible on the matter of clerical celibacy.
I think this argument owes its origins to the late church debates, in which the "mystical" hesychasts ultimately won out against the humanists. This is the view from Europe: humanists like Barlaam of Calabria or Nikephoros Gregoras get shoved aside by the Athonite mystical tradition, which is somewhat anti-intellectual. In Byzantium, this was part of a much longer and more complicated struggle over what sort of monasticism is best, the respective authorities of the Hagia Sophia clergy and Mt Athos, and the imperial willingess to engage in church union with the Latins. There was plenty of mysticism in medieval Latin Christianity, and no shortage of it was mainstream or on the acceptable edges: Francis of Assisi, Beguines, Catherine of Siena, Julian of Norwich.