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Rulers and Ruled in Ancient Greece, Rome, and China

$38.99 (F)

Griet Vankeerberghen, Miranda Brown, Zhang Zhongwei, Carlos Noreña, Francisco Pina Polo, Robin Yates, Hans Beck, Moonsil Lee Kim, Alexander Yakobson, Garret Pagenstecher Olberding, David Engels, Rebecca Robinson, Yang Huang, Hyun Jin Kim
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  • Date Published: March 2022
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781108725156

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About the Authors
  • Situated on opposite flanks of Eurasia, ancient Mediterranean and Han-Chinese societies had a hazy understanding of each other's existence. But they had no grounded knowledge about one another, nor was there any form of direct interaction. In other words, their historical trajectories were independent. In recent years, however, many similarities between both cultures have been detected, which has energized the field of comparative history. The present volume adds to the debate a creative method of juxtaposing historical societies. Each contribution covers both ancient China and the Mediterranean in an accessible manner. Embarking from the observation that Greek, Roman, and Han-Chinese societies were governed by comparable features, the contributors to this volume explain the dynamic interplay between political rulers and the ruled masses in their culture specific manifestation as demos (Greece), populus (Rome) and min (China).

    • Captures the political cultures of the two largest civilizations in antiquity
    • Focusses on the relation between political leaders and the masses
    • Fosters a new comparative approach to the ancient world
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    Reviews & endorsements

    ‘The essays … highlight similarities between the manifestations of these topics and adduce specific circumstances that may explain the differences. Recommended.' S. M. Burstein, Choice Magazines

    ‘… a commendable example for those who will venture into comparative studies and will be of great interest to sinologists, classicists, and comparativists alike.’ Mengzhen Yue, Bryn Mawr Classical Review

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2022
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781108725156
    • length: 479 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 25 mm
    • weight: 0.638kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Editors' preface: Introduction. The many faces of 'the people' in the ancient world: δήμος – populus – 民 min Hans Beck and Griet Vankeerberghen
    Part I. Authority and Lifestyles of Distinction:
    1. Of gold and purple: nobles in western Han China and republican Rome Griet Vankeerberghen
    2. A tale of two stones: social memory in Roman Greece and Han China Miranda Brown with Zhang Zhongwei
    3. Private associations and urban experience in the Han and Roman Empires Carlos Noreña
    Part II. The People as Agents and Addressees:
    4. Rhetoric, oratory and people in ancient Rome and early China Francisco Pina Polo
    5. Female commoners and the law in early imperial China: evidence from recently recovered documents with some comparisons with classical Rome Robin Yates
    6. Registers of 'the people' in Greece, Rome, and China Hans Beck
    7. Food distribution for the People: welfare, food, and feasts in Rome and in Qin/Han China Moonsil Lee Kim
    Part III. Inversions of the People: Emperors and Tyrants:
    8. Augustus, the Roman plebs and the dictatorship:
    22 BCE and beyond Alexander Yakobson
    9. Liberation as burlesque: the death of the tyrant Garret Pagenstecher Olberding
    10. Historical necessity or biographical singularity? Some aspects in the biographies of C. Iulius Caesar and Qin Shi Huangdi David Engels
    11. Employing knowledge: a case study in calendar reforms in the early Han and Roman Empires Rebecca Robinson
    Part IV. Identities and 'Others':
    12. The invention of the 'barbarian' and ethnic identity in early Greece and China Yang Huang
    13. Ethnic identity and the 'barbarian' in classical Greece and early China: its origins and distinctive features Hyun Jin Kim

  • Editors

    Hans Beck, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, Germany
    Hans Beck is Professor of Ancient History at the University of Münster and Adjunct Professor at McGill University, Montréal. He has published widely in the field of ancient Mediterranean history, including Consuls and Res Publica (edited with Antonio Duplá, Martin Jehne and Francisco Pina Polo, Cambridge, 2011) and Federalism in Greek Antiquity (edited with Peter Funke, Cambridge, 2015). His recent work on localism in the pre-modern world, including Localism and the Ancient Greek City-State (2020), has garnered significant global attention. He has won the Anneliese Maier Award of the German Humboldt Foundation and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. He is a Co-Director, with Griet Vankeerberghen, of Global Antiquities, a research network dedicated to the study of ancient Greece, Rome, and China.

    Griet Vankeerberghen, McGill University, Montréal
    Griet Vankeerberghen is an Associate Professor in the Department of History and Classical Studies of McGill University, Montréal. She has published on several Western Han texts and their social, political and material contexts, including the Huainanzi, Shiji, and the Four Lost Classics. She co-edited Chang'an 26 BCE: An Augustan Age in China with Michael Nylan (2015). She is currently engaged in a research project on the nobles of Western Han, sponsored by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. She is a Co-Director, with Hans Beck, of Global Antiquities, a research network dedicated to the study of ancient Greece, Rome, and China.


    Griet Vankeerberghen, Miranda Brown, Zhang Zhongwei, Carlos Noreña, Francisco Pina Polo, Robin Yates, Hans Beck, Moonsil Lee Kim, Alexander Yakobson, Garret Pagenstecher Olberding, David Engels, Rebecca Robinson, Yang Huang, Hyun Jin Kim

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