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Edited by Thomas Harrison
A team of internationally renowned scholars surveys the major imperial powers of the ancient world, from 1600 B.C. to A.D. 500, and ranging geographically from the ancient Mediterranean to East Asia. The authors investigate the nature of empires—including Egypt, Rome, Babylonia, Persia, India, and China—and their legacies in the modern age.
Highlights include fascinating character profiles of great rulers such as the warrior pharaohs Thutmose and Rameses of Egypt, the self-obsessed First Emperor of China, who desperately tried to cheat death, and the brilliant Roman emperor Augustus, who created the most powerful empire the world had ever seen. Special illustrated sections, called "Witness to Empire," bring these civilizations to life in the words of their leaders and inhabitants.
Not only will this book appeal to scholars and students, but its accessible text and wealth of illustrations also will feed the popular interest in this subject matter reflected in the success of films, television series, and museum exhibitions showcasing ancient cultures.
Thomas Harrison is Rathbone Professor of Ancient History and Classical Archaeology at the University of Liverpool and the author of Greeks and Barbarians.
“The strength of Great Empires. . . lies in its ability to highlight the varied conception and implementation of the idea of empire, enabling the reader to understand the complexity of the term ‘empire’ depending on its application to disparate ancient societies.”
—Ancient West and East
"Presented in a hardbound volume and with high quality images, Great Empires... appears, at first glance, to follow the conventions of numerous books that have appeared over the years summarizing the character of empires that dominated the continents of Eurasia and Africa throughout history. However, this book differs from typical overviews of ancient civilisations in that it discusses politics, militarism, and state management as conceived and put into practice by each respective empire in their endeavor to maintain and augment their power. ...the strength of Great Empires... lies in its ability to highlight the varied conception and implementation of the idea of empire, enabling the reader to understand the complexity of the term 'empire' depending on its application to disparate ancient societies."
—University of Melbourne
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