Conceiving the Empire: China and Rome Compared

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The essays in Conceiving the Empire explore the mental images, ideas, and symbolical representations of 'empire' which developed in the two most powerful political entities of antiquity: China and Rome. While the central focus is on historiography, other related fields are also explored: geography and cartography, epigraphy, art and architecture, and, more generally, political thought and the history of ideas. Written by a collaborative team of experts in Sinology and Classical Studies, the volume focuses the attention of the emerging discipline of East-West cross-cultural studies on an essential feature of the ancient Mediterranean and Chinese worlds: the emergence of 'empire' and the enduring influence of the 'imperial' order.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199214648
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 4/25/2009
  • Pages: 512
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Fritz-Heiner Mutschler is Professor of Classics at Dresden University. Achim Mittag is Professor of Chinese Studies at Tübingen University.

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Table of Contents

I. The Birth of the Imperial Order
A. The Idea of 'Empire': Its Genesis before and its Unfolding after the Emergence of the Empire
1. City and Empire, Albrecht Dihle
2. Interlude: Kingship and Empire, Zhu Weizheng
3. The Rhetoric of 'Empire' in the Classical Era in China, Michael Nylan
B. Historiography and the Emerging Empire
1. Imagining the Empire? Concepts of 'Primeval Unity' in Pre-Imperial Historiographic Tradition, Yuri Pines
2. The Emergence of Empire: Rome and the Surrounding World in Historical Narratives from the Late Third Century BC to the Early First Century AD, Huang Yang & Fritz-Heiner Mutschler
II.The Firmly Established Empire
A. Imperial Grandeur and Historiography à la Grande
1. The Problem of 'Imperial Historiography' in Rome, Fritz-Heiner Mutschler
2. Forging Legacy: The Pact between Empire and Historiography in Ancient China, Achim Mittag
B.The Spatial Dimension of the Unified World: Imperial Geography and Cartographical Representations
1. Mapping China. The Spatial Dimension of the Unified World: Imperial Geography and Cartographical Representations in Early Imperial China, Helwig Schmidt-Glintzer
2. Text and Image: Mapping the Roman World, Katherine Clarke
C. Self-Image and the Formation of Imperial Rhetorics
1. Announcements from the Mountains: The Stele Inscriptions of the Qin First Emperor, Martin Kern
2. The Res Gestae Divi Augusti and the Roman Empire, Christian Witschel
D. The Power of Images: Imperial Order and Imperial Aura as Represented in Art and Architecture
1. Image and Empire: The Shaping of Augustan Rome, Rolf Michael Schneider
2. Imperial Aura and the Image of the Other in Han Art, Michèle Pirazzoli-t'Serstevens
III. The Waning of the Imperial Order
A. History-Writing in the Face of Crisis
1. The Impact of the Empire's Crises on Historiography and Historical Thinking in Late Antiquity, Hans Armin Gärtner & Ye Min
2. Empire on the Brink: From the Demise of the Han Dynasty to the Fall of the Liang Dynasty. Notes on Chinese Historiography in the Wei-Jin-Nanbeichao Period, Achim Mittag & Ye Min
B. When the Imperial Order Disintegrates: Rethinking the 'Empire' under Religious Auspices
1. New Tendencies, Religious and Philosophical, in the Roman Empire of the Third to Early Fifth Centuries, Gerard O'Daly
2. New Tendencies, Religious and Philosophical, in the Chinese World of the Third through Sixth Centuries, Thomas Jansen

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