ANTH 324 Fall 2012 Empires of Antiquity (W)

Cycles of rise and collapse of civilizations are common in our human past. Among the most fascinating cases are those of empires, conquest civilizations, or states that encompass a number of different ethnicities, polities and peoples. However, their rise and often rapid collapse begs an important question: how stable have empires been in human prehistory? Are they intrinsically unstable political forms? The course will address these questions by examining the major empires of the Old and New World in pre-modern history: Persian; Assyrian; Mongol; Roman; Chinese; Ottoman; Aztec; and Inca empires. Using readings by political scientists, historians, epigraphers, archaeologists and political anthropologists, we will consider the causes of the expansion and collapse of these empires. We will also explore their sociopolitical and economic structures as mechanisms for their maintenance in order to provide a cross-cultural comparison of the differential success and final decline of all these empires.
Class Format: seminar
Requirements/Evaluation: weekly short response papers and a research paper, class presentation and participation
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Prerequisites: none; open to first-year students
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Divisional Attributes: Division II,Writing Intensive
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Enrollment Limit: none
Expected Enrollment: 15
Class Number: 1302
ANTH324-01(F) SEM Empires of Antiquity (W) Division 2: Social StudiesWriting Intensive Antonia E. Foias
TF 2:35 PM-3:50 PM Hollander 158 1302
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