The term “Empire” as applied today to so different states in known history makes it diffi cult even
to give the defi nition of empire. Historical knowledge begins with critics of the sources, reconstruction of events and
ascertainment of facts. The construction of theory is possible only after the phenomenological description, whereas the
thoughtless use of modern models of social sciences leads to modernization, distorting the evidences by inferences.
Historians deal with totalities which are hardly susceptible to the use of nomothetic science methods. Using the Hegelian
conception of Gestalt, the author demonstrates that the term “Empire” is applicable today to the three different totalities:
to the monarchies that existed for many centuries and vanished as the result of the First World War; the imperialist
powers of the 19th and 20th centuries, and to the superpowers of the 20th–21st centuries.