This course introduces students to the history of four major urban areas: ancient Rome, early-modern Tokyo (Edo), revolutionary Boston, and imperial London. In the course students will be exposed to a range of city types, urban histories, metropolitan cultures, and scholarly approaches to the city, and will learn how to think comparatively about cities through analysis of the connections, similarities, and differences between the four cities under investigation. Central themes include urban economies (population, food and water supply, the generation of wealth, labor), city government and power (forms of authority, urban admininstration, zoning and urban space), and urban cultures (cultural production and cultural connections, leisure, entertainment, and urban sociability), all of which will show the many different ways in which cities are always connected to, and embedded within, wider networks of persons, material goods, and ideas. Requirements include attendance at weekly discussion section, one short writing exercise, one paper (6-8 pp.), a midterm examination, and a final examination.