State Power in Ancient China and Rome

Hardcover | January 15, 2015

EditorWalter Scheidel

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Two thousand years ago, the Qin/Han and Roman empires were the largest political entities of the ancient world, developing simultaneously yet independently at opposite ends of Eurasia. Although their territories constituted only a small percentage of the global land mass, these two Eurasianpolities controlled up to half of the world population and endured longer than most pre-modern imperial states. Similarly, their eventual collapse occurred during the same time. The parallel nature of the Qin/Han and Roman empires has rarely been studied comparatively. Yet here is a collection of pioneering case studies, compiled by Walter Scheidel, that sheds new light on the prominent aspects of imperial state formation. This essential new volume builds on the foundationof Scheidel's Rome and China (2009), and opens up a comparative dialogue among distinguished scholars. They provide unique insights into the complexities of imperial rule, including the relationship between rulers and elite groups, the funding of state agents, the determinants of urban development,and the rise of bureaucracies. By bringing together experts in each civilization, State Power in Ancient China and Rome provides a unique forum to explore social evolution, helping us further understand government and power relations in the ancient world.

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Two thousand years ago, the Qin/Han and Roman empires were the largest political entities of the ancient world, developing simultaneously yet independently at opposite ends of Eurasia. Although their territories constituted only a small percentage of the global land mass, these two Eurasianpolities controlled up to half of the world po...

Walter Scheidel is Dickason Professor in the Humanities and Professor of Classics and History at Stanford University. He is the author, editor, or co-editor of fourteen books, including Rome and China and The Oxford Handbook of the State in the Ancient Near East and Mediterranean.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:328 pages, 9.21 × 6.5 × 1.3 inPublished:January 15, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0190202246

ISBN - 13:9780190202248

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Table of Contents

ContributorsChronologyMapsWalter Scheidel: Introduction1. Peter Fibiger Bang and Karen Turner: Kingship and elite formation2. Corey Brennan: Toward a comparative understanding of the executive decision-making process in China and Rome3. Dingxin Zhao: The Han bureaucracy: its origin, structure and development4. Peter Eich: The common denominator: late Roman imperial bureaucracy from a comparative perspective5. Walter Scheidel: State revenue and expenditure in the Han and Roman empires6. Carlos Norega: Urban systems in the Han and Roman empires: state power and social control7. Mark Lewis: Public spaces in cities in the Roman and Han empires8. Michael Puett: Ghosts, gods, and the coming apocalypse: empire and religion in early China and ancient RomeBibliographyIndex