The history of mankind is a continuous struggle for territorial domination. Great empires appeared on the political map of the world, then disappeared from it. Some of them were destined to leave an indelible mark.
Egypt. 3000-30 BC
This Empire lasted three millennia - longer than any other. The state appeared, according to the latest data, more than 3000 years before the new era, and when there was a Union of Upper and Lower Egypt (2686-2181), the so-called Ancient Kingdom was formed. The whole life of the country was connected with the river Nile, with its fertile valley and Delta near the Mediterranean sea. Egypt was ruled by a Pharaoh (the word means a warehouse of food), governors and officials sat on the seats, and in General public life in the country was quite developed (see "Science and life" No. 1, 1997 - "The stone age is not over yet" - and # 5, 1997 - " Ancient Egypt. Pyramid of power"). Officers, scribes, surveyors, and local priests were among the elite of the society. The Pharaoh was considered a living deity, and all the most important sacrifices were performed by himself.
Egyptians fanatically believed in the afterlife, it was dedicated to cultural objects and magnificent buildings-pyramids and temples. The hieroglyphic walls of the burial chambers told more about the life of the ancient state than other archaeological finds.
The history of Egypt is divided into two periods. The first - from the Foundation until 332 BC, when the country was conquered by Alexander the great. And the second period - the reign of the Ptolemaic dynasty-descendants of one of the generals of Alexander the great. In 30 BC, Egypt was conquered by a younger and more powerful Empire, the Roman Empire.
Greece. 700-146 years BC
People settled the southern part of the Balkan Peninsula tens of thousands of years ago. But only since the seventh century BC can we speak of Greece as a large, culturally homogeneous entity, although with reservations: the country was a Union of city-States, United at the time of an external threat, as, for example, to repel Persian aggression.
Culture, religion, and above all language were the framework within which the history of this country took place. In 510 BC, most cities were freed from the monarchy of kings. In Athens, democracy soon began to rule, but only male citizens had the right to vote.
The state structure, culture, and science of Greece became a model and inexhaustible source of wisdom for almost all the later States of Europe. Already Greek scientists have asked about life and the Universe. It was in Greece that the foundations of such Sciences as medicine, mathematics, astronomy, and philosophy were laid. Greek culture ceased to develop when the country was invaded by the Romans. The decisive battle took place in 146 BC at the city of Corinth, when the troops of the Greek Achaean Union were defeated.
Persia. 600-331 years BC
In the seventh century before Christ, the nomadic tribes of the Iranian highlands revolted against Assyrian rule. The victors founded the state of media, which then, together with Babylonia and other neighboring countries, became a world power. By the end of the sixth century BC, it, led by Cyrus II and then his successors, who belonged to the Achaemenid dynasty, continued to conquer. In the West, the Empire's lands faced the Aegean sea, in the East its border ran along the Indus river, in the South, in Africa, the possessions reached the first rapids of the Nile. (Most of Greece was occupied during the Greco-Persian war by the troops of the Persian king Xerxes in 480 BC.)
The monarch was called the "King of kings", he was at the head of the army and was the Supreme judge. The domains were divided into 20 satraps, where the Viceroy of the king ruled in his name. The subjects spoke four languages: ancient Persian, Babylonian, Elamite, and Aramaic.
In 331 BC, Alexander the great defeated the hordes of Darius II, the last of the Achaemenid dynasty. Thus ended the history of this great Empire.
China. The years 221-210 BC
During the period called the Zhanyu in Chinese history, the long-term struggle waged by many small kingdoms brought victory to the Qin Kingdom. It United the conquered lands and in 221 BC formed the first Chinese Empire led by Qin Shi-Huangdi. The Emperor carried out reforms that strengthened the young state. The country was divided into districts, military garrisons were established to maintain order and tranquillity, a network of roads and canals was built, the same education was introduced for officials, and a single monetary system operated throughout the Kingdom. The monarch approved an order in which people were obliged to work where the interests and needs of the state demanded it. Even this curious law was introduced: all carts must have an equal distance between the wheels, so that they move along the same tracks. In the same reign, the Great wall of China was created: it connected separate sections of fortifications built earlier by the Northern kingdoms.
In 210, Qing Shi-Huangdi died. But subsequent dynasties left intact the foundations of the Empire laid by its founder. In any case, the last dynasty of Chinese emperors ceased to exist at the beginning of this century, and the borders of the state remain virtually unchanged to this day.
Rome. 509 BC - 330 ad
In 509 BC, the Romans expelled the Etruscan king Tarquinius the Proud from Rome. Rome became a Republic. By 264 BC, its troops had taken over the entire Appenine Peninsula. After that, expansion began in all directions of the world, and by 117 ad, the state stretched its borders from West to East - from the Atlantic ocean to the Caspian sea, and from South to North-from the rapids of the Nile and the coast of all North Africa to the borders with Scotland and along the lower reaches of the Danube.
For 500 years, Rome was governed by two annually elected consuls and a Senate in charge of state property and Finance, foreign policy, military Affairs, and religion.
In 30 BC, Rome becomes an Empire led by Caesar, and essentially a monarch. The first Caesar was Augustus. A large and well-trained army participated in the construction of a huge network of roads, their total length is more than 80,000 kilometers. Excellent roads made the army very mobile and allowed it to quickly reach the most remote corners of the Empire. The proconsuls appointed by Rome in the province-governors and officials loyal to Caesar - also helped to keep the country from disintegration. This was facilitated by the settlements of soldiers who served their service, located in the conquered lands.
The Roman state, unlike many other giants of the past, fully corresponded to the concept of "Empire". It also became a model for future contenders for world domination. European countries have inherited a lot from the culture of Rome, as well as the principles of building parliaments and political parties.
Revolts of peasants, slaves, and urban plebs, and the increasing pressure of German and other barbarian tribes from the North forced the Emperor Constantine I to move the capital of the state to the city of Byzantium, later called Constantinople. This happened in 330 ad. After Constantine, the Roman Empire was actually divided into two - the Western and Eastern, which were ruled by two emperors.