This stimulating, uniquely organized, and wonderfully readable comparison of ancient Rome and China offers provocative insights to students and general readers of world history. The book's narrative is clear, completely jargon-free, strikingly independent, and addresses the complete cycles of two world empires. The topics explored include nation formation, state building, empire building, arts of government, strategies of superpowers, and decline and fall.
Table of Contents
Foreword, Stanley M. Burstein Introduction: Mirrors from the Deep Past Part I. The Roman Republic and Pre-Imperial China 1. Nation Formation 2. State Building 3. Empire Building 4. Winning the Peace Part II. The Roman and Early Chinese Empires 5. Courses of Empire 6. Arts of Government 7. Strategies of Superpower 8. Decline and Fall
"Our age of globalization calls for a new kind of history that transcends conventional boundaries. Auyang's comparative analysis of the largest ancient empires impressively rises to this challenge. Deftly melding a richly textured narrative of rise and fall with incisive insights informed by the social sciences, this pioneering account will be required reading for everyone interested in the nature of imperial rule and the foundations of today's dominant civilizations."
Walter Scheidel, Stanford University, USA
"In this ambitious labor of love, Dr. Sunny Auyang compares the antipodes of northern Eurasia during 1,200 years, between the State of Qin's rise in 771 BCE and western Rome's fall in 476 CE. Though mindful of the great humanistic traditions of China and Rome, Dr. Auyang looks instead at each civilization's political economy, systematically contrasting statecraft, law, and money management to explain the life spans of world empires. Even newcomers to the histories of ancient Rome and China will enjoy her lucid, engaging, and judicious narrative."
Lawrence Okamura, University of Missouri, USA
The comparative study of empires has been a burgeoning field of study for the past two decades, and Auyangâ€™s book is a worthy addition to the field. The author examines the rise and fall of both the Roman Empire and the Han Dynasty of the Chinese Empire by means of a clever chronological parallel structure.As a work of comparative history of both, it is a striking piece of scholarship. - J. Tucci, School of Advanced Air and Space Studies