Friendship and Empire

Book Details

Author  Paul J. Burton
Publisher  Cambridge University Press
Publication Date   December 26, 2011
ISBN  0521190002
Pages  408

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In this bold new interpretation of the origins of ancient Rome's overseas empire, Dr Burton charts the impact of the psychology, language and gesture associated with the ancient 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 an international relations constructivist theoretical framework, 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 from Asia Minor and Greece in 192-188 BC, followed by long periods of inactivity.

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