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This Handbook offers a comprehensive survey of ancient state formation in western Eurasia and North Africa. Eighteen experts introduce readers to a wide variety of systems spanning 4,000 years, from the earliest known states in world history to the Roman Empire and its successors. It seeks to understand the inner workings of these states by focusing on key issues: political and military power, mechanisms of cooperation, coercion, and exploitation, the impact of ideologies, and the rise and demise of individual polities. This shared emphasis on critical institutions and dynamics invites comparative and cross-cultural perspectives. A detailed introductory review of contemporary approaches to the study of the state puts the rich historical case studies in context. Transcending conventional boundaries between ancient Near Eastern and Mediterranean history and between ancient and early medieval history, this volume is of interest not only to historians but also to anthropologists, archaeologists, sociologists, and political scientists. An accessible style and up-to-date references make it an invaluable resource for scholars, students, and general readers alike.
Peter Fibiger Bang is Associate Professor at the Saxo Institute of the University of Copenhagen.
Walter Schiedel is Dickason Professor in the Humanities at Stanford University.
Table of Contents
List of Maps Contributors Part I. INTRODUCTION Preface 1 Studying the State Walter Scheidel Part II. NEAR EASTERN STATES 2 Egypt Joseph G. Manning 3 Fertile Crescent City-States Steven Garfinkle 4 Mesopotamian Empires Gojko Barjamovic 5 Anatolian States Trevor Bryce 6 Jewish States Seth Schwartz 7 Iranian Empires Josef Wiesehöfer Part III. AEGEAN STATES AND THEIR EXTENSIONS 8 Bronze Age Greece John Bennet 9 Greek City-States Mogens H. Hansen 10 Greek Multi-City States Ian Morris 11 The Greek Koinon Emily Mackil 12 Hellenistic Empires John Ma Part IV. CENTRAL MEDITERRANEAN STATES AND THEIR EXTENSIONS 13 Carthage Walter Ameling 14 The Roman Empire I: The Republic Henrik Mouritsen 15 The Roman Empire II: The Monarchy Peter F. Bang Part V. TRANSFORMATIONS OF THE ANCIENT STATE 16 The Byzantine Successor State John Haldon 17 The Germanic Successor States Ian Wood 18 The First Islamic Empire Chase Robinson Index