The key difference between dynasty and empire is that dynasty is a series of rulers who rules from the family line, whereas an empire is a large territory that can have more than one kingdom that is ruled by an emperor or an empress.
Dynasty and empire are words related to ruling and governing a country or an area, so both dynastical rulers and empires have the highest authority in the area.
What is a Dynasty?
A dynasty is simply a sequence of rulers who come from the same family. These rulers have one common ancestor. Dynasties are common in the feudal or monarchical system. In a dynasty, the head of the family passes the power to another member (often the eldest son) of the family. A new dynasty begins when a new person (someone who doesn’t belong to this family) takes control. In this method, the property, titles, and businesses are kept within the family and passed down from generation to generation.
House of Yamato is the oldest dynasty in the world. It is also known as the Imperial House of Japan. It began in 660 BC with emperor Jimmu. At present, this dynasty is headed by emperor Naruhito, who is the 126th emperor in the family.
In China, there were 13 dynasties altogether. The Zhou dynasty was the longest ruling dynasty, while the Qin dynasty was the shortest ruling. Meanwhile, there were six main dynasties in England, and out of them, the Windsors are the present ruling dynasty, which gained power in 1917.
What is an Empire?
An empire is a large territory with more than one kingdom ruled by an emperor or an empress. Various representatives assist in the governance process. The emperor or the empress ruling the country has the power to make rules and regulations, and the others obey them.
An empire may include various countries under its rule, and everything should be reported to the emperor or the empress. One famous empire is the British rule over the Indian subcontinent. This lasted for about 200 years, from 1858. Other longest empires in the world are the Roman, French, Spanish, and Russian empires. They all controlled large sections of the world. At present, the United States can be taken as an empire since it has political, military, and economic power around the world.
What is the Difference Between Dynasty and Empire?
The key difference between dynasty and empire is that a dynasty is a series of rulers who rules from the family line, while an empire is a large territory ruled by an emperor or an empress and has more than one kingdom. In other words, a dynasty has a series of rulers from the same family, whereas an empire is ruled by an empire or empress. In a dynasty, the power and position are inherited by birth, and the crown is inherited; however, in an empire, the empires do not necessarily have to be from the same dynasty.
The below infographic presents the differences between dynasty and empire in tabular form for side-by-side comparison.
Summary – Dynasty vs Empire
A dynasty is a sequence of rulers who come from the same family. They have a common ancestor, and the power is passed most often to the eldest son from the head of the family. In this way, the property, titles, and businesses are kept within the family. An empire is a large territory with more than one kingdom ruled by an emperor or an empress. The rulers of an empire are not necessarily from the same family. Thus, this is the summary of the difference between dynasty and empire.