By Achim Mittag, Fritz-Heiner Mutschler
The essays in Conceiving the Empire discover the psychological pictures, principles, and symbolical representations of `empire' which constructed within the strongest political entities of antiquity: China and Rome. whereas the imperative concentration is on historiography, different comparable fields also are explored: geography and cartography, epigraphy, artwork and structure, and, extra often, political concept and the heritage of principles. Written via a collaborative workforce of specialists in Sinology and Classical stories, the quantity focuses the eye of the rising self-discipline of East-West cross-cultural reviews on a necessary function of the traditional Mediterranean and chinese language worlds: the emergence of `empire' and the iconic impact of the `imperial' order.
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Extra resources for Conceiving the Empire: China and Rome Compared
They tried to appear as law-abiding citizens rather than rulers, in spite of the public opinion which placed the emperor above the law. 54 A speech of the Younger Pliny draws such a friendly image of the emperor Trajan,55 which is, to a certain extent, veriWed by the oYcial correspondence between the emperor and his legatus, when Pliny served in a province of Asia Minor. ’56 Few periods in human history can lay claim to such a law-abiding government, and none to an equal inXuence of moral philosophy upon public and private life.
He gave the Wrst rank to Rome’s mixed constitution and stressed the democratic element thereof,40 the stronghold of civic liberty in his view, but also the decisive role of the statesman of outstanding moral qualities. This is reminiscent of Greek philosophy. But Cicero did not believe that such a vast empire demanded the rule of a monarch, as many Greek contemporaries did. The dislike of kingship was deeply rooted in the Roman tradition, and the expulsion of the Etruscan dynasty a much cherished memory.
The people’s assembly, which elected the oYcials every year and voted for or against new laws proposed by the oYcials, guaranteed the democratic participation of free citizens. 30 Polybius believed in the longevity of Roman rule in comparison with other empires, not in its permanence. He shared the moral aspect of traditional political theory and expected that expanding domination and growing wealth would cause envy, greed, and luxury among the citizens and destroy the sense of concord and political responsibility.
Conceiving the Empire: China and Rome Compared by Achim Mittag, Fritz-Heiner Mutschler