The essays in Conceiving the Empire explore the mental images, ideas, and symbolical representations of `empire' which developed in the two most powerful political entities of antiquity: China and Rome. While the central focus is on historiography, other related fields are also explored: geography and cartography, epigraphy, art and architecture, and, more generally, political thought and the history of ideas. Written by a collaborative team of experts in Sinology and Classical Studies, the volume focuses the attention of the emerging discipline of East-West cross-cultural studies on an essential feature of the ancient Mediterranean and Chinese worlds: the emergence of `empire' and the enduring influence of the `imperial' order.
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