Comparative World History: Comparative Empires

History 2

Spring 2012
3106 Etcheverry
Day & Time: 
TuTh 3:30-5

How do empires happen? This course examines world empires in comparative perspective, with a focus on the empires of ancient Rome and modern Japan. Students will be introduced to the rise, perpetuation, and disintegration of the ancient Roman and modern Japanese empires, and will then build on these two case studies, with the help of some classic and contemporary studies on the nature and functions of empire, to learn to think critically and comparatively about empires in world history. Central themes include warfare and conquest; economics, finance, and the distribution of resources; administration, governance, and strategies of rule; relations between center and periphery; imperial time and space; culture and cultural change; and the aftermath and legacies of empire.