Centre and Periphery in the Ancient World

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2009-04-09
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press

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This collaborative volume is concerned with long-term social change. Envisaging individual societies as interlinked and interdependent parts of a global social system, the aim of the contributors is to determine the extent to which ancient societies were shaped over time by their incorporation in - or resistance to - the larger system. Their particular concern is the dependent relationship between technically and socially more developed societies with a strong state ideology at the centre and the simpler societies that functioned principally as sources of raw materials and manpower on the periphery of the system. The papers in the first part of the book are all concerned with political developments in the Ancient Near East and the notion of a regional system as a framework for analysis. Part 2 examines the problems of conceptualising local societies as discrete centres of development in the context of both the Near East and prehistoric Europe during the second millennium BC. Part 3 then presents a comprehensive analytical study of the Roman Empire as a single system showing how its component parts often relate to each other in uneven, even contradictory, ways.

Table of Contents

Theoretical Perspectives
Centre and periphery: a review of a concept
Regional Systems and the Genesis of Dependency
The ancient economy, transferable technologies and the Bronze Age world-system: a view from the north-eastern frontier of the Ancient Near East
Cedar forest to silver mountain: social change and the development of long-distance trade in early Near Eastern societies
On tracking cultural transfers in prehistory: the case of Egypt and lower Mesopotamia in the fourth millennium BC
Regional Interaction and Crisis
Commercial networks in the Ancient Near East Mogens
Aspects of ceremonial exchange in the Near East during the late second millennium BC
The collapse of the Near Eastern regional system at the end of the Bronze Age: the case of Syria
Centre and periphery in Bronze Age Scandinavia
Imperial Expansion and its Hinterland: zonal contrasts
Imperial expansion under the Roman Republic
Culture process on the periphery: Belgic Gaul and Rome during the late Republic and early Empire
Empire, frontier and the barbarian hinterland: Rome and northern Europe from AD 1-400
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