Ancient Empires is a relatively brief yet comprehensive and even-handed overview of the ancient Near East, the Mediterranean and Europe, including the Greco-Roman world, Late Antiquity and the early Muslim period. Taking a focused and thematic approach, it aims to provoke a discussion of an explicit set of themes supplemented by the reading of ancient sources. By focusing on empires and imperialism as well as modes of response and resistance, it is relevant to current discussions about order, justice and freedom. The book concludes that some of the ancient world's most enduring ideas, value systems and institutions were formulated by peoples who were resisting the great empires. It analyzes the central, if problematic, connection between political and ideological power in both empire formation and resistance. The intricate interrelations among ideological, economic, military and political power are explored for every empire and resisting group.
Eric H. Cline is Associate Professor and the Chair of the Department of Classical and Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at The George Washington University. The author of more than eighty articles, his most recent books include Biblical Archaeology: A Very Short Introduction and From Eden to Exile: Unravelling Mysteries of the Bible. Mark W. Graham is Associate Professor in the Department of History at Grove City College, Pennsylvania. He has published numerous articles in scholarly journals and has contributed chapters to several books including Encyclopedia of Greece and the Hellenic Tradition and Encyclopedia of the Empires of the World. He is the author, most recently, of News and Frontier Consciousness in the Late Roman Empire.
Introduction: what is an (ancient) empire?; 1. Prelude to the Age of Ancient Empires; 2. The rise of the Age of Ancient Empires; 3. Dealing with empires: varieties of responses; 4. Beyond the Near East: the Neo-Babylonian and early Achaemenid Persian empires; 5. The crucible of history: east meets west; 6. Democracy and empire between Athens and Alexander; 7. 'Spear-won' empires: the Hellenistic synthesis; 8. The western Mediterranean and the rise of Rome; 9. Imperium sine fine: Roman imperialism and the end of the old order; 10. The new political order: the foundations of the principate; 11. Ruling and resisting the Roman Empire; 12. Imperial crisis and recovery; 13. Universal empires and their peripheries in Late Antiquity; 14. The formation of the Islamic world empire.