Among the masters of the guild since the time of the great construction boom during the Gothic in northwestern Europe, circulated a saying – “Every brick wants to become a cathedral,” and this wisdom characterizes the Renaissance spirit, which will be followed over the centuries and will start to shape European civilization becoming a strong cultural agent, a synchronicity in building a universal European (and world view through colonialism) character, made up of an incredible mosaic of peoples and mentalities, but this time integrated through Christian faith and the newly discovered aesthetic and scientific values of antiquity, which all these cultures shared under the auspices of the millennial Roman Empire.
Now, in this fascinating “Cinquecento”, Europe and its most potent Kingdoms received unprecedented outlook, a chance to grow into empires.
“Every country wants to become an empire, every Duke – Emperor,” a paraphrase of the incredible capacities of political and conquest plan, which had been created for several European monarchies, primarily for those who had developed navigation, with which began to absorb under their power endless colonies in newly discovered continents thanks to technology and exploring, which in the 15th and 16th century made a step that until then the Europeans hadn’t done in their written history.
Suddenly, the panting and ambitious European civilization in the new spaces clashed with primitive communities, which seemed to have come from prehistoric times.
In the name of religion, and even more in the name of profit, European conquerors easily destroyed those natives who defended their territory and culture and owned unexpectedly large resources and spaces.
It is simply shocking how several European kingdoms synchronously developed into empires despite their mutual conflicts. England, Spain, Portugal, France and the Netherlands invaded such large spaces that geographically started to look like Egyptian, Persian, Macedonian or Roman empire.
Some of these super-developing kingdoms that territorially spread with such progress that even the leader of the Mongols, Genghis Khan would envy.
Еncountering no resistance from the people who were so far away from the power of the military technology of the European invaders, the white man began taking more and more, while until recently free natives saw the hell of slavery.
From the 15th until the 17th century, the new world brought immense wealth. The capitals of these new empires, from small towns with large cathedrals became rich megalopolises with hundreds of thousands or millions of people. In the Baroque era – the cultural style that reflected the European superiority and splendor, and which expanded in the colonies fertilizing the world with the cult of infinite hope of bright future, the Europeans with these empires began to model most of the world according to their paradigms.
These were real empires, political and economic systems that controlled tens of millions of square kilometers and hundreds of millions of inhabitants of the planet.
In the Victorian era, the enlightened time of Queen Victoria, the British Empire became so great that there was a saying that the sun never sets in this empire.
During that time the British Empire controlled territory of more than 44 million square kilometers, which would be almost a surface that could accommodate two surfaces of the subsequent communist empire – the Soviet Union, which before the fall of the regime of the Bolsheviks had about 22 million square kilometers and was incomparably the largest country in the world. But although the catastrophe of the USSR, which collapsed 25 years ago, resulted in territorial dissolution, Russia is still the largest country in size in the world with 18 million square kilometers.
Today we witness the existence of only three empires. Those the European colonial empires in the age of modernity after the two world wars have gone in the past. US, Russia and China are the three empires that today and in the foreseeable future will fight for their interests and dominance on the global geostrategic and geopolitical chessboard.
Although the ideological principles in all these countries overlap through the prism of liberal capitalism, they have great cultural and intellectual differences, so authentic and original that each of these empires actually radiates like a civilization – as said in the spirit of Huntington.
There were empires throughout the whole history of the world, from the mythological like the kingdom of Mu or Atlantis to the historical like the Egyptian, Assyrian and Babylonian, Persian, Macedonian, Chinese, Roman, Mongol, Byzantine (Eastern Roman Orthodox Empire), Russian, Turkish, British, Austro-Hungarian, French, Spanish, German (at the time of Hitler), communist (at the time of Lenin and Stalin, until Gorbachev), the US (liberal empire, which is still the most powerful in the world but at the stage of decline) and Japanese before the end of World War II when it was destroyed by atomic bombs by the US.
However, the most poetic and most sung for its grandeur and fascination is the Macedonian Empire, created by the greatest warrior of all time and, also, the most charismatic king in the history of mankind – Alexander III of Macedon, known as Alexander the Great.
That empire will last for three centuries, despite the short life of the king of the kings – Alexander the Great, who died aged 33 in Babylon, far from his native Macedonia. Although the world honors this incredible person which has inspired many artists, poets, historians and the biggest artists in the art of rock and roll like Jim Morrison, Robert Plant and David Bowie, why we, the Macedonians, who are his historical descendants would not honor and show respect for its historical grandeur, which is undoubtedly incomparable, even worldwide.