What If The Roman Empire Reunited Today? This is an image of the Roman Empire at the height of her power in the year 117 AD.
History was cruel to the Empire, however, and over the centuries, she gradually lost power and eventually disappeared altogether.
But what would a country with the same borders as the old Empire look like today in the 21st century?
What if all of the territories of the Roman Empire suddenly united tomorrow and recreated the country in a modern form?
Let me start by saying that this is outrageously impossible.
There is no way that you could possibly convince Spain, England, Turkey, and Syria into the same country.
Crimea would get a little more awkward than it already is, too.
But let us suspend our disbelief for a moment and just imagine what it would actually look like and what living in it would be like.
So first off, this is a modern map and these are the borders of the Roman Empire, would look like were it to come back into existence.
In total, 53 different countries would lose all or some of their territory to the Empire, which would span over six million square
kilometers in size.
This sounds very impressive, but the Empire would actually only be the seventh-largest country in the world by size.
It would be just bigger than India, but it would be smaller than Australia and Brazil.
And Russia, meanwhile, would be nearly three times the size of the Empire.
But size isn’t necessarily everything.
If we examine the population of this hypothetical empire, it would be roughly 711 million people or about 10% of the total global population.
The original Roman Empire in antiquity had 10 times fewer citizens at about 70 million people.
But back then, that was 21% of the entire global population.
The modern Empire’s population would be enough to place it in third place in terms of population size, but both India
and China would retain higher populations.
The Empire would, however, have more than double the population of the United States and would boast some very impressive cities.
If we were to speculate on a hypothetical capital for this Empire, we would probably come across Istanbul, which was a historic capital of the Empire back when it was known as Constantinople.
Today, the population of Istanbul is sitting around 14.6 million people, making it by far the largest city in this Empire.
At the height of the city during the actual empire in 580, the population was 450,000.
But even earlier in 180 AD, however, the city of Rome was the very first city in the world to reach a population of one million people.
Even though today Rome has a population of well over two million, there would still be much bigger cities within the borders
of the Empire today, like Cairo, London, Baghdad, and Alexandria.
At first thought, it might seem like such a huge country would be an economic powerhouse.
And while that would be true, it wouldn’t be exactly what you think.
All of this territory combined would give the modern Roman Empire a GDP of $15.99 trillion US, which would mean that the empire
would only be the world’s second-largest economy.
Despite having a population that would be less than half of the modern Empire’s, the United States would actually still have a larger GDP, at around $18 trillion.
The differences in per capita income, however, would be even more shocking.
The modern Roman Empire would have territory in wealthier areas, like England, France, and Germany, but also in more impoverished areas like Iraq, Armenia, and Libya.
For this reason, the average income of citizens within the empire would be around $24,623.
And this is a pretty low value.
The Empire would be placed 52nd in the world in terms of how much money the average citizen was earning, just ahead of Kazakhstan but behind Latvia.
With a large GDP and population, however, the Empire would have a very large standing army.
Averaging all of the active military personnel in the territories within the empire would mean the Empire’s standing military would be at around 2,771,000, which would make the Roman military the largest standing force in the world currently.
The final two big questions we have left to examine with this country are, one, what would be the dominant languages and, two, what would be the dominant religions.
To begin, the most widely spoken language within the country would certainly be Arabic, which 32% of the population would be speaking.
French would be the second most spoken language, with about 14% of the population understanding it, while Turkish would be
third at about 9.5%, followed by Italian and English to collectively form the top five most spoken languages within the modern Empire.
And finally, we need to explore what the religious make-up of such a vast country would look like.
Basically, Muslims would be the largest religious group inside the modern Empire, making up 44.6% of the total population.
42.2% of that value would be Sunni Muslims, while just 2.4% would be Shia Muslims.
Interestingly, this would make the modern Roman Empire the largest Muslim country in the world.
Christians would be the second-largest group collectively, forming 39.3% of the population.
Of that, Catholics would comprise 25.2% of the total population, while Orthodox Christians would be 8.2% and Protestants would be 5.6%.
Also interestingly, these numbers would mean that the modern Roman Empire would also be the world’s largest Christian nation.
Jews would form only about 1% of the total population, while atheists, agnostics, or non-religious would form 10.5% of the country.
It’s really fascinating to think what a country like this would look like in the modern world and with modern technology and with modern ideas.
Could it possibly ever survive and what would daily life be like living within it?
These are questions for another time.
But please leave your comments.
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