7 Most Powerful Families In History

Over the course of history certain bloodlines have ensured that they shall never be forgotten. They have assumed power be it bloodily or diplomatically and have managed to hold on to it for a considerable amount of time. The list below gives some insight into some families that have produced rulers that history books shall not forget.

most powerful families in the world

The Capetian Dynasty

Simply known as the Capetians, this family has exerted its power on the world like no other family before them. They are descendants of King Hugh Capet of France and have at some point ruled over most of Europe including France, Portugal, Spain and Holland. The dynasty began in 987 and currently has two reigning kings: Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg and King Juan Carlos of Spain.

The House of Medici

This Italian family began to exert its influence in the 15th century when Giovanni di Bicci de' Medici founded the Medici Bank. The bank grew to become the largest financial institution in Europe at the time and made the Medicis so powerful that they began to rule over Florence and Tuscany and even produced four popes. The Medici dynasty ended in the 18th century when Gian Gastone de' Medici passed on without an heir.

The Ptolemaic dynasty

The Lagids, as they are also known, were Greek royalty that ruled over Egypt between 305 BC and 30 BC. Their patriarch was Ptolemy (a general under Alexander the Great) and consequently all the males took on the name Ptolemy while the females were either Berenice, Arsinoe, or Cleopatra. Upon the sudden death of Cleopatra VII, the Ptolemaic dynasty ground to a halt.

The House of Habsburg

Between the 11th and 18th centuries, this royal family of Austrian-Spanish descent was ruling several parts of Europe including the Holy Roman Empire. Founded in the 11th century by Radbot, Count of Habsburg, they did not conquer Europe through bloodshed, they simply married into the right families and the rest was history. In the absence of heirs, the Habsburg reign ended in the 18th century.

The House of Zhu

Zhu Yuanzhang was the patriarch of this family and also the founder of the Ming Dynasty of China. Consequently, the Zhus governed China between 1368 and 1644 when the Shun Dynasty took over the reins of power.

The Julio-Claudian Dynasty

This was a combination of two roman families: the Julians and the Claudians. Their association gave rise to five famed Roman Emperors: Nero, Tiberius, Claudius, Augustus and Caligula (Gaius) who governed the Romans between 27BC and 68AD. Upon the death of Nero, the dynasty fell apart leaving the Roman Empire in a state of disarray.

The Khan Family

Descended from Genghis Khan, the founder of the Mongol Empire, the Khans have been Mongolian royalty since 1206. Theirs was one of the largest empires in the world and although Genghis divided it amongst his sons prior to his death, the family still has a large number of present day descendants.

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