The oldest nation state is considered to be Armenia, which dates back to 6500BC.

Some of the other ones can be seen below:

Ranking Year Country Explanation/Bio
14 681

AD

Bulgaria The First Bulgarian Empire was established by Asparuh, with Pliska as its capital. Some of its historical sites include the Rila Monastery and the Kazanuk Tomb.
13 486

AD

France There are many historical sites in this country which has projected a great amount of cultural and historical influence on the rest of Europe. It was first established by King Clovis, the first King of France. France also happens to be the country with the most successful military history, having won the most battles out of all countries, both past and present. The UK/Engand/Britain closely comes, but the third place (taked by the new United States), is hundreds of battles away. This military tradition, in addition to its cultural "soft" power, is perhaps what allows it to be one of the world's most influencial nations.
12 301

AD

San Marino This city state may be one of the smallest countries in the world, but it is also one of the oldest. In addition, it has the world’s oldest active constitution.
11 660

BC

Japan The Japanese nation is thought to have been started by its legendary first Emperor, Jimmu. The country is rich in history and continues to be a major player in East Asia after existing for thousands of years. While existence of this figure is often debated on, after reading about the topic I will place Japan in this position. Japan is also currently the only country that is officially and Empire, and has the longest continuously ruling dynasty, the Yamato Imperial family. Despite a "lost decade" resulting in Japanese economic stagnation and them losing their position as East Asia's leading power to China, there might be a new dawn for the rising sun, as many economists and geopolitics expertts speculate that Japan is on an optimistic path of recovery and growth. Recently, Japanese culture also saw a new wave of growth, with Japanese made products ranging from Anime to high tech machinery gaining demand globally, giving the country a lot of "soft" power.
10 678

BC

Iran The first Iranian state to ever exist was the Median Empire, which would later be replaced by the more famous Achaemenid Empire, was started by the unification of the local tribes by Medes. Iranian culture has managed to secure hegemony over a region of Asia and form many national identities. The country is also one of the most resilient civilizations (with the other being China), which has evolved at its own pace and managed to get back onto its feet after centuries of national disaster, either by fighting off or assimilating its invaders. Currently, they are a rising regional power in the Middle East.
9 753

BC

Italy The first Italian state to come into existance was none other than the Kingdom of Rome, founded by the two brothers Romulus and Remus. They had an argument over how the city would be named (or, by other sources, where it would be located), resulting in the death of Remus at the hands of Romulus, after which Romulus named the city after himself. This kingdom would later on become a Republic, and finally an Empire, which, arguably, was the most culturally significant nation to ever exist on Earth. Although the Greek Eastern Roman Empire carried the torch of Rome after the West's collapse in 476 AD, the Italian nation reemerged during a proccess called the Italian Unification, between 1848 and 1871 AD. It went on to become one of Europe's most powerful economies, and enjoys being a regional power in Southern Europe and the Mediterranean.
8 980

BC

Ethiopia The first known Ethiopian Kingdom was the Kingdom of D'mt, which rose to power around the 10th century BCE. Its capital was at Yeha, where a Sabaean style temple was built around 700 BCE.
7 1047

BC

Israel The United Monarchy is the name given to the Israelite kingdom of Israel and Judah, during the reigns of Saul, David and Solomon, as depicted in the Hebrew Bible. This is traditionally dated between 1047 BCE and 930 BCE. On the succession of Solomon's son, Rehoboam, around 930 BCE, the biblical account reports that the country split into two kingdoms: The Kingdom of Israel (including the cities of Shechem and Samaria) in the north and the Kingdom of Judah (containing Jerusalem) in the south. Following that, the area got conquered by many outside Empires. Despite that, the Jews still managed to survive in exile and regained control of their homeland in 1948.
6 2205

BC

China It is believed that the Xia Dynasty was the first in China as there is no evidence of an earlier one. Even though some historians disagree as to wether this dynasty actually existed due to the lack of evidence, I will still include it on this list, as even if the next one is mentioned China will retain its 6th position on the list, and I, after extensive research, personally believe that it did exist. Some of this country’s history can be experienced by a visit to The Great Wall of China.
5 2333

BC

Korea The first Korean country in recorded existence is Gojoseon, founded by the King Dangun. A similar figure to the first Chinese and Japanese Emperors, semi-mythical foundation appears to be popular in all ancient East Asian states. I am inclding this as Korea's foundation date for similar reasons as why im including China and Japan respectively. While the country's history is often overshadowed by the nearby Chinese history, due to its smaller size and cultural similarity, it is just as rich if not richer, considering that it appears to be older. Korean history can be experienced by visiting the beautiful Southern half of the country, eating Korean food or even learning the Korean language (which is also the world's most spoken lamguage isolate), who's script has marvelled linguists due to its original nature.
4 3300

BC

Greece Many people think of Greeks as founders of western civilization. The first Greek civilizations were the Minoan, Helladic and Cycladic ones, which thrived on the Aegean Island of Crete, the Peloponnesian and Naxos respectively. Although all are intertwined and often classified together as Aegean civilizations, the Cycladic one seems to be the oldest of the three, having started in 3300 BC, while the Helladic began in 3200 BC and Minoan in 3000 BC. The Greeks are one of the oldest nations in history and have flourished throughout the ages in many forms, from the ancient city states to the expansive Eastern Roman Empire.
3 3300

BC

India There has been multiple verified advanced civilization throughout the Indian subcontinent, such as Indus Valley Civilization, Tamil Civilization, both of which are at least several thousand years old. Bharat (the Sanskrit term for contemporary for India) as a county was mentioned many times in ancient Vedic texts.
2 3600

BC

Egypt Ancient Egypt was unified when the Kingdoms of Upper and Lower Egypt became one. Although both started existing around the same time, Lower Egypt seems to be slightly older, having emerged around 3600 BC, while Upper Egypt first appeared around 3400 BC. Modern day Egypt is very different from Old Egypt. Egyptian civilization is exceptionally old, already existing in a matured form when most modern cultures hadn’t even been born yet. For example, the pyramids of Giza were built from roughly 2550 to 2490 BC. This means that the amount of time that has passed since them being built and Cleopatra (Egypt's last Pharoah) is greater than the amount of time between Cleopatra and the modern days.
1 6500

BC

Ireland


==============================================( Extremely simplified map of the world around the start of the Early Dynastic Period of Egypt.)[edit | edit source]

Geo.jpg

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • This list only includes countries that still exist now.
  • If one does dig down deep enough, the first nation state to come into existance has proven to be Armenia, the first city states were the Sumerian cities of Mesopotamia, while the first complex Empire was the Akkadian Empire, which unified the fertile cresent under one flag and one ruler, Sargon the Great.
  • Out of the six cradles of civilization (the Indo-Gangetic Plain, Nile Valley, Tigris-Euphrates Valley + Armenian Highlands, North China Plain, Andean Coast and Mesoamerican Gulf Coast), only countries from 4 are listed, as the other two have failed to survive in any form resembling their original one.
  • In order for a location to be characterized as a "Cradle of Civilization", complex society needs to have developed there independently from any outside influence.
  • The Tigris-Euphrates Valley + Armenian Highlands seems to be the oldest of such cradles, spawning the first Empires, nation states and city states.
  • Historically, complex civilizations always appeared on arable land, usually close to rivers and with some access to the salt water seas.

Source(s):[edit | edit source]

- FactMonster

- Wikipedia

- My Knowledge!

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