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One is the time period – the Ancient Era (3rd millennium BCE-7th century CE) or the Middle Ages (7th-19th centuries CE).  The other is size –  multinational empires (ruling several nationalities and large territories) or regional kingdoms (ruling few nationalities and small territories).  

I have selected twelve pre-industrial empires – Egypt’s New Kingdom (16th-11th c. BCE), Iran’s Achaemenid Persian Empire (6th-4th c. BCE), China’s Han Dynasty (3rd c. BCE-3rd c. CE), Ethiopia’s Kingdom of Axum (2nd c. BCE -7th c. CE), Syria’s Eastern Roman Empire (1st c. BCE-7th c. CE), India’s Gupta Kingdom (4th-6th c.), China’s Tang Dynasty (7th-10th c.), Cambodia’s Khmer Kingdom (9th-15th c.), Burma’s Pagan Kingdom (11th-14th c.), Mali’s Kingdoms of Mali and Songhai (13th-16th c.), Turkey’s Ottoman Empire (14th-20th c.), and India’s Mughal Empire (16th-18th c.) – for inclusion in this comparative study.