Barbarism and Religion, Volume 4: Barbarians, Savages and Empires

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This fourth volume in John Pocock's great sequence on Barbarism and Religion focuses on the idea of barbarism. Barbarism was central to the history of western historiography, to the history of the enlightenment, and to Edward Gibbon himself. As a concept it was deeply problematic to enlightened historians seeking to understand their own civil societies in the light of exposure to newly-discovered civilizations hitherto beyond the reach of history. The troubled relationship between philosophy and history is addressed directly in this fourth volume.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'This book's challenging combination of Gibbonian study with history, historiography and philosophy carries Prof. Pocock's work onto a new level and one that will deepen the reader's understanding of all four.' Contemporary Review
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521856256
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 3/30/2006
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 9.02 (h) x 0.98 (d)

Meet the Author

Born in London and brought up in Christchurch, New Zealand, J. G. A. Pocock was educated at the universities of Canterbury and Cambridge, and is now Harry C. Black Emeritus Professor of History at the Johns Hopkins University.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements; List of abbreviations; Introduction; Part I. The History and Theory of Barbarism: 1. Introducing the barbarian: problems of barbarism and religion; 2. Anquetil-Duperron: despotism and prophecy in Sassanid Persia; 3. Antoine-Yves Goguet: the Confusion of Tongues and the origins of civility; 4. Thomas Carte: Japhetic settlers in the western islands; 5. The first Germans: lethargy and passion in a transhumant culture; Part II. Joseph de Guignes and the Discovery of Eurasia: 6. Gentile history in the further Asia; 7. The many faces of Fo: the problem of religion in Eurasian history; 8. Hans, Huns and Romans: the rhythms of barbarism and empire; Part III. The New World and the Problem of History: 9. The invention and discovery of savagery; 10. Robertson's America: the Scottish theoretical encounter with the New World; 11. The universe of savagery and the search for history; 12. Ancient history for modern settlers: the response to Robertson; Part IV. The Crisis of the Seaborne Empires: 13. European history and the global ocean; 14. The antiquity of Asia: legislators, priests and the tragedy of history; 15. American savages and European barbarians: the invasion of the natural world; 16, Slaves and settlers: the sugar islands in the new geopolitics; 17. Utopia and revolution: the northern continent in history; Conclusion; 18. Gibbon and the Empires; Envoi; Bibliography of works cited; Index.

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