Submitted by Taps Coogan on the 24th of Fenruary 2019 to The Sounding Line.
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The following video, by YouTube creator Cottereau, reveals which civilizations have won the most battles in history. The video follows a previous one, also by Cottereau, which shows the location of every one of nearly 12,000 battles referenced on Wikipedia since 2,500 BC.
Here is how Cottereau describes the methodology:
- Battles are included only if they have a Wikipedia article
- Each country can only have one predecessor state at the same time (eg. the UK’s predecessor is England, but not Scotland)
The methodology: I used Wikipedia as a directory of battles. Here is how I built the battle database:
1. I created a query with Wikidata Query to get the list of all articles tagged as “battle” by Wikipedia. This gives me about 12,000 battles
2. I downloaded the data that is included in the top right hand table of every of those Wikipedia article. I did it for the following versions of Wikipedia: English, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Arabic, Chinese, Russian, Greek, Turkish, Serbo-Croatian, Japanese, Danish, Norwegian, Slovakian, Dutch, Polish, Hungarian, Czech, Hindi, Hebrew, Basque, Bulgarian, Romanian, Catalan, Finnish, Swedish, Vietnamese, Persian, Indonesian, Korean
3. I cleaned up the data on Excel to remove double entries and obtained 10,624 unique battles
4. I created an index of countries with their predecessor states:
- France (476 – 2018): Frankish Kingdom, Frankish Empire, West Francia, Kingdom of France, French Empire, French Republic
- UK-England (927 – 2018): Kingdom of England, Commonwealth of England, Great Britain, United Kingdom
- USA (1776 – 2018): American patriots, USA
- Russia (882 – 2018) : Kievan Rus’, Muscovy, Russian Empire, Bolsheviks, USSR, Russian Federation
- Germany (843 – 2018) : East Francia, Kingdom of Germany, Holy Roman Empire, Confederation of the Rhine, German Confederation, North German Confederation, German Empire, Germany• Spain (718 – 2018) : Castile, Spain
- Poland (960 – 2018) : Kingdom of Poland, Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Duchy of Warsaw, Polish insurgents, Poland
- Rome (753 BC – 476) : Roman Kingdom, Roman Republic, Roman Empire, Western Roman Empire
- China (2500 BC – 2018) : Xia, Shang, Zhou, Qin, Han, 3 Kingdoms, Jin, Sui, Tang, 10 Kingdoms, Song, Yuan, Ming, China
- Turkey (1037 – 2018): Seljuk empire, Anatolian Turks, Ottoman Empire, Turkey
While the video has an inevitable bias toward civilizations that kept written historical records that have been preserved and studied, it is fascinating nonetheless.
Here is the corresponding video-map of the location of every battle since 2,500 BC.
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