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Friendship and Empire
Roman Diplomacy and Imperialism in the Middle Republic (353–146 BC)


  • Date Published: September 2016
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107525726

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About the Authors
  • In this bold new interpretation of the origins of ancient Rome's overseas empire, Dr Burton charts the impact of the psychology, language and gestures associated with the Roman concept of amicitia, or 'friendship'. The book challenges the prevailing orthodox Cold War-era realist interpretation of Roman imperialism and argues that language and ideals contributed just as much to Roman empire-building as military muscle. Using a constructivist theoretical framework drawn from international relations, Dr Burton replaces the modern scholarly fiction of a Roman empire built on networks of foreign clients and client-states with an interpretation grounded firmly in the discursive habits of the ancient texts themselves. The results better account for the peculiar rhythms of Rome's earliest period of overseas expansion - brief periods of vigorous military and diplomatic activity, such as the rolling back of Seleucid power in Asia Minor and Greece in 192–188 BC, followed by long periods of inactivity.

    • Offers a fresh interpretation of Roman imperialism using a constructivist theoretical framework drawn from international relations
    • Expands the terms of the debate over Roman imperialism by placing the ancient Roman concept of amicitia, or 'friendship', at the center of the process of Roman imperial expansion
    • Examines afresh a crucial period of Roman history when Rome expanded her horizons beyond Italy to the rest of the Mediterranean world
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    Product details

    • Date Published: September 2016
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107525726
    • length: 408 pages
    • dimensions: 230 x 153 x 24 mm
    • weight: 0.59kg
    • contains: 1 table
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Discourse, international relations, and international relations theory
    2. Friendship practices and processes
    3. Amicitia incipit: beginning international friendship
    4. The duties of international friendship
    5. The breakdown and dissolution of international friendship

  • Author

    Paul J. Burton, Australian National University, Canberra
    Paul J. Burton is a lecturer at the Australian National University, Canberra. He has published on topics as diverse as ancient international law, the influence of the classics on George Orwell, and the influence of Sophocles' Oedipus the King on Alfred Hitchcock's film, The Birds. His most recent article is a comprehensive study of comparisons of Rome with the United States as global powers in print journalism and current affairs literature in the first decade of the 2000s.

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