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Unit 1: Redefining World Society and Culture

Lesson C: Rise and Fall of the Classical and Medieval World

Opening: Classical and Medieval Empires

There have been many empires in history. Some you have probably heard of might include the Egyptian Empire, the Persian Empire, the Roman Empire, the Aztec Empire, and the British Empire. Some empires you might not be familiar with such as the Tang Empire, the Gupta Empire, and the Songhai Empire. Take a moment to examine the empires of the Classical and Medieval Periods.

Empire Location Date Marking the "Rise" of the Empire Date Marking the "Fall" of the Empire Years in Existence
Mauryan Empire India/South Asia 322 BCE 185 BCE 137 years
Han Empire China/East Asia 206 BCE 220 CE 426 years
Roman Empire Europe/North Africa/Southwest Asia 27 BCE 476 CE 503 years
Mayan Empire Central America 250 CE 900 CE 650 years
Gupta Empire India/South Asia 320 CE 600 CE 280 years
Byzantine Empire South & Southeast Europe/North Africa/Southwest Asia 330 CE 1453 CE 1123 years
Tang Empire China/East Asia 618 CE 907 CE 289 years
Song Empire China/East Asia 960 CE 1279 CE 319 years
Mongol Empire South, Central, Southeast, East Asia/East Europe 1206 CE 1368 CE 162 years
Mali Empire West Africa 1230 CE 1600 CE 370 years
Songhai Empire West Africa 1340 CE 1591 CE 251 years
Aztec Empire Mexico/Southern North America 1428 CE 1519 CE 91 years
Incan Empire Peru & Chile/South America 1438 CE 1533 CE 95 years


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Classroom Activity - Classical and Medieval Empires

Discussion Icon Discussion

Directions: Prepare a response to the discussion question(s) below. Follow your teacher's directions to participate in your class discussion.

  • What patterns did you see in the chart? Did certain regions of the world have more empires than others?
  • What do you already know about empires in general? What do you already know about these particular empires?
  • Why do you think some empires were in existence longer than others?
  • How and why do you think these empires fell?
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Select the link to review the Discussion Scoring Tool (pdf).


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