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This book "departs from conventional European and nation-centered perspectives to take a remarkable look at how empires relied on diversity to shape the global order. Beginning with ancient Rome and China and continuing across Asia, Europe, the Americas, and Africa," the authors "examine empires' conquests, rivalries, and strategies of domination, emphasizing how empires accommodated, created, and manipulated differences among populations."--Jacket.
This book "departs from conventional European and nation-centered perspectives to take a remarkable look at how empires relied on diversity to shape the global order. Beginning with ancient Rome and China and continuing across Asia, Europe, the Americas, and Africa," the authors "examine empires' conquests, rivalries, and strategies of domination, emphasizing how empires accommodated, created, and manipulated differences among populations."--Book jacket.
The volume will focus on a comparative level on a specific group of states that are commonly labelled as “empires” and that we encounter through all historical periods. Although they are very successful at the very beginning, like most empires are, this success is very ephemeral and transient. The era of conquest is never followed by a period of consolidation. Collapse and/or reduction to much smaller dimension run as fast as the process of wide-ranging conquest and expansion. The volume singles out a series of such “short-term empires” and aims to provide a methodologically clearly structured as well as a uniform and consistent approach by developing a general set of questions that guarantee the possibility to compare and distinguish. This way it intends to examine not only already well established empires but also to illuminate forgotten ones.
A pioneering volume comparing the great historical empires, such as the Roman, Mughal and Ottoman. Leading interdisciplinary thinkers study tributary empires from diverse perspectives, illuminating the importance of these earlier forms of imperialism to broaden our perspective on modern concerns about empire and the legacy of colonialism.
Nicholas Ostler's Empires of the Word is the first history of the world's great tongues, gloriously celebrating the wonder of words that binds communities together and makes possible both the living of a common history and the telling of it. From the uncanny resilience of Chinese through twenty centuries of invasions to the engaging self-regard of Greek and to the struggles that gave birth to the languages of modern Europe, these epic achievements and more are brilliantly explored, as are the fascinating failures of once "universal" languages. A splendid, authoritative, and remarkable work, it demonstrates how the language history of the world eloquently reveals the real character of our planet's diverse peoples and prepares us for a linguistic future full of surprises.
From the Akkadian Empire to modern-day America, Rise and Fall charts the history of the world through its ten greatest empires. Through these we examine humanity's will to power in forms both infamous and poorly understood, and trace the evolution of the imperial impulse as it moves from the blunt military aggression of the ancient empires to the subtle but far-reaching cultural influence of today's superpowers. We encounter empires in all their contradictions - like the Mongol Empire, the largest land empire the world has ever seen, and yet also the most short-lived. Rise and Fall also reveals striking, often completely unrelated historical parallels: pyramids found not just in Egypt but also in Babylon, Mexico and China; unmistakable echoes of the infant discovered in a basket myth which occur in the Old Testament, the Akkadian origin myth, as well in Hinduism. Above all, we see how the ambition of imperial greatness everywhere - from the Roman emperors to Hitler - is rooted in dreams of utopia and immortality. Every empire contains the seeds of its own destruction: so what precisely is social progress? Who benefits from it, and who suffers? Rise and Fall reminds us that the progress of humankind takes many forms, and that - perhaps - the systems we take for granted today are far from being the only or inevitable course of future civilisation.
This book explores cross-cultural medical encounters involving non-Western healers in a variety of imperial contexts from the Arctic, Asia, Africa, Americas and the Caribbean. It highlights contests over healing, knowledge and medicines through the frameworks of hybridisation and pluralism. The intertwined histories of medicine, empire and early globalisation influenced the ways in which millions of people encountered and experienced suffering, healing and death. In an increasingly global search for therapeutics and localised definition of acceptable healing, networks and mobilities played key roles. Healers’ engagements with politics, law and religion underline the close connections between healing, power and authority. They also reveal the agency of healers, sufferers and local societies, in encounters with modernising imperial states, medical science and commercialisation. The book questions and complements the traditional narratives of triumphant biomedicine, reminding readers that ‘traditional’ medical cultures and practitioners did not often disappear, but rather underwent major changes in the increasingly interconnected world.
Rachel Laudan tells the remarkable story of the rise and fall of the world’s great cuisines—from the mastery of grain cooking some twenty thousand years ago, to the present—in this superbly researched book. Probing beneath the apparent confusion of dozens of cuisines to reveal the underlying simplicity of the culinary family tree, she shows how periodic seismic shifts in “culinary philosophy”—beliefs about health, the economy, politics, society and the gods—prompted the construction of new cuisines, a handful of which, chosen as the cuisines of empires, came to dominate the globe. Cuisine and Empire shows how merchants, missionaries, and the military took cuisines over mountains, oceans, deserts, and across political frontiers. Laudan’s innovative narrative treats cuisine, like language, clothing, or architecture, as something constructed by humans. By emphasizing how cooking turns farm products into food and by taking the globe rather than the nation as the stage, she challenges the agrarian, romantic, and nationalistic myths that underlie the contemporary food movement.
Empires of the Sea brings together studies of maritime empires from the Bronze Age to the Eighteenth Century. The volume develops the category of maritime empire as a specific type of empire in both European and ‘non-western’ history.