Sally and Alvin V. Shoemaker Chair

Department of Anthropology

University Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

University of Pennsylvania

Teaching: Courses

Empires were the largest political systems of the ancient and early modern world. Empires have "risen" and "fallen" in all parts of the globe over several millennia, yet there has been surprisingly little comparative analysis of them. This book is designed to fill that gap by bringing together distinguished scholars in anthropology, archaeology, history, and the classics. The empires discussed are drawn from Central and South America, the Mediterranean, Europe, the Near East, South Asia, and China, ranging from the first millennium BC to the early modern era.  Papers are based on revised articles discussed at a Wenner-Gren funded conference, so there is a considerable amount of intertextual discussion, despite the diversity of regions and time periods covered. The contents include introductions by all four editors, jointly and singly, that set the papers in context and provide overviews for the each section and for the whole volume.

Sections include (1) Sources, Approaches, Definitions, (2) Empires in a Wider World, (3) Imperial Integration and Imperial Subjects, (4) Imperial Ideologies, and (5) The Afterlife of Empires.

A paperback version was issued in 2009.