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The Dragon and the Eagle 2014: The Rise and Fall of the Chinese and Roman Empires

The Dragon and the Eagle 2014: The Rise and Fall of the Chinese and Roman Empires


By (author) Sunny Y. Auyang

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  • Publisher: M.E. Sharpe
  • Format: Paperback | 256 pages
  • Dimensions: 152mm x 226mm x 25mm | 567g
  • Publication date: 30 April 2014
  • Publication City/Country: Armonk, NY
  • ISBN 10: 0765643707
  • ISBN 13: 9780765643704
  • Illustrations note: black & white illustrations, maps, figures
  • Sales rank: 1,313,375

Product description

This stimulating, uniquely organized, and wonderfully readable comparison of ancient Rome and China offers provocative insights to students and general readers of world history. The book's narrative is clear, completely jargon-free, strikingly independent, and addresses the complete cycles of two world empires. It begins with the births of empire builders, the investiture of the state of Qin in 771 BCE and the foundation of the Roman Republic in 509 BCE. The stories end with the fall of northern China in 316 CE and the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 CE, each to a multitude of barbarian peoples originating from beyond its northern frontier. In between those dates, the author systematically juxtaposes the Realpolitik of ancient Rome and China to demonstrate the parallelism explaining their respective ascents and falls. The topics explored include nation formation, state building, empire building, arts of government, strategies of superpowers, and decline and fall. A companion website ( features illustrated comparisons of dress, housing, leisure activities, writing, and other interesting examples of the two imperial cultures.

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Review quote

"Our age of globalization calls for a new kind of history that transcends conventional boundaries. Auyang's comparative analysis of the largest ancient empires impressively rises to this challenge. Deftly melding a richly textured narrative of rise and fall with incisive insights informed by the social sciences, this pioneering account will be required reading for everyone interested in the nature of imperial rule and the foundations of today's dominant civilizations." Walter Scheidel, Stanford University, USA "In this ambitious labor of love, Dr. Sunny Auyang compares the antipodes of northern Eurasia during 1,200 years, between the State of Qin's rise in 771 BCE and western Rome's fall in 476 CE. Though mindful of the great humanistic traditions of China and Rome, Dr. Auyang looks instead at each civilization's political economy, systematically contrasting statecraft, law, and money management to explain the life spans of world empires. Even newcomers to the histories of ancient Rome and China will enjoy her lucid, engaging, and judicious narrative." Lawrence Okamura, University of Missouri, USA

Table of contents

Foreword, Stanley M. Burstein Introduction: Mirrors from the Deep Past Part I. The Roman Republic and Pre-Imperial China 1. Nation Formation 2. State Building 3. Empire Building 4. Winning the Peace Part II. The Roman and Early Chinese Empires 5. Courses of Empire 6. Arts of Government 7. Strategies of Superpower 8. Decline and Fall