What country rivaled the Roman empire?

What country rivaled the Roman empire?

For a rival in terms of scope of territory and authority of the central government, China is the usual comparison to Rome.

Both founded empires which lasted centuries. Both aggressively conquered or made into vassal states neighboring territories. Both developed centralized authority and bureaucracy in order to administer the ever expanding empire. Both also succumbed to periodic invasions by outsiders (barbarians).

China though is a far older civilization. The first Chinese dynasty was founded around 1122 BCE, Rome (the city, it wouldn’t gain prominence as an empire for around another 750 years) was founded in 753 BCE.

Aside from being the older civilization, China also lasted longer as a dynastic power. The Western Roman Empire retained some vestige of power until 476 CE while the Eastern Roman Empire stood until 1453 CE. China’s last dynasty though came to power in around 1650 CE and continued (with its authority ever weakening from challenges from the West and Japan) until the early 20th century.

Sources: North Asia Timeline and Europe Timeline at Circa

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