"Many hundreds. Perhaps more."
Teal'c when asked how many worlds the Goa'uld control.[src]

The Goa'uld Empire, also known as the Goa'uld domain or the realm of the Goa'uld (22,000 BC - 2005 AD), was a hegemonic empire in the Milky Way galaxy, founded by the Goa'uld known as the System Lords, who posed as false gods over countless worlds. Their will was carried out by the Jaffa, a genetically-engineered race to serve the Goa'uld. Territorially, it was the largest power in the galaxy. However, it was politically prone to infighting.


Petty squabbling among the Goa'uld eventually gave way to new leadership headed by Apep, who divided them equally among the strongest Goa'uld and solicited their stewardship, this era became the First Goa'uld Dynasty. Determined to rule the Goa'uld, Anubis made his bid for power as Emperor, utilizing a super weapon, which harnessed enormous amounts of power, forcibly removed Apep's symbiote and devoured it. However the other Goa'uld eventually defeated Anubis and his forces. Ushering in the Second Goa'uld Dynasty. (SG1: "Living Gods: Stargate System Lords")

For many years, Ra was the Supreme System Lord and functioned as the effective leader of the Empire. After a long war with the Asgard and Furlings, Ra quickly enslaved the Human race on Earth and appointed a new hierarchy of rulers and created the genetically engineered race called the Jaffa to be not only their slave race, but also to serve as incubators of their larval Goa'uld. However the Tau'ri learned the truth of their would be rulers and overthrew their Jaffa warriors, killing several Goa'uld, and burying the Stargate. The ongoing war with the Asgard meant Ra never again return to Earth and was slowly forgotten, meanwhile the Empire continued into the Third Goa'uld Dynasty. (RPG: "Living Gods: Stargate System Lords")

However Ra's death, the Tau'ri forever altered the balance of power, and the Empire started to face a Jaffa rebellion as well as increased activity from the Tok'ra. Apophis come to fill the power void, however after his death, the Empire began to destabilized, until the return of Anubis, who became a dominant force in the Empire, however he was supposedly killed by the Tau'ri and Ba'al became it last ruler. When the Replicators invaded the galaxy, most of the System Lords were killed, the Empire quickly began to lose the war, resulting in the Jaffa rising up against the remaining Goa'uld, leading to the collapse of the Gou'uld Empire. (Stargate, SG1: "Children of the Gods", "New Order, Part 1", "New Order, Part 2", "Reckoning, Part 1", "Reckoning, Part 2", "Continuum")


Main article: Supreme System Lord

The Goa'uld Empire was hegemonic empire divided into individual domains ruled by the System Lords, the most powerful of the Goa'uld, and minor Lords. The former held hundreds, if not thousands of worlds each while the latter could hold anywhere from one world to possessing domains large enough to merit becoming a System Lord; such Goa'uld included Camulus and Amaterasu before their election to the rank of System Lord. There were also many Goa'uld who served in ranks of more powerful Goa'uld. Their power differed from one individual to another and depended upon their master's favour or if they had any domain of themselves, these latter Goa'uld not powerful enough to exert their own independence.

The leadership of the Goa'uld Empire was held by the System Lords, while they were constantly fighting and scheming against each other, they would ally against external threats (such as the Asgard, the Tau'ri, and the Replicators) or mutual internal threats (such as the Tok'ra, the Jaffa Rebellion, and rogue Goa'uld such as Sokar and Anubis). The System Lords would occasionally hold a Council for the purpose of discussing subjects of mutual concern and making joint decisions upon them. For many years, Ra was the Supreme System Lord and functioned as the nominal monarch of the Empire. However his death forever altered the balance of power within the Goa'uld Empire, and no Goa'uld was able to achieve his level of power for years. It was also at this point that the Goa'uld began to experience something of a population boom necessitating new host raids.

The Empire was further destabilized in 2001, when Apophis, Heru'ur, and Cronus; the three System Lords who had come to fill the void left by Ra's demise, were killed. The lack of dominant power caused chaos within the Empire until the return of Anubis. For two years, Anubis was the dominant force in the Empire, causing the others to ally in a United Alliance of System Lords. Their efforts were meager until Anubis' fleet was destroyed by the Tau'ri. Ba'al took over most of Anubis' possessions, and began to style himself Supreme Commander of the Goa'uld Domain. When the Replicators invaded the Milky Way, most of the System Lords were killed, and Ba'al assumed control of the rest of their forces, but he quickly began to lose the war. The Goa'uld Empire fell after the Free Jaffa took Dakara from Ba'al, and the rest of the Jaffa rose up against the remaining Goa'uld. (Stargate, SG1: "Children of the Gods", "The Tok'ra, Part 1", "The Tok'ra, Part 2", "Into the Fire", "Fair Game", "Summit", "Last Stand", "New Order, Part 1", "New Order, Part 2", "Reckoning, Part 1", "Reckoning, Part 2", "Continuum")



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