Friendship and Empire

Friendship and Empire : Roman Diplomacy and Imperialism in the Middle Republic (353-146 BC)

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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 gestures associated with the 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 a constructivist theoretical framework drawn from international relations, 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 in Asia Minor and Greece in 192-188 BC, followed by long periods of inactivity.
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Product details

  • Electronic book text | 408 pages
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1 table
  • 1139180223
  • 9781139180221

Table of contents

1. Discourse, international relations, and international relations theory; 2. Friendship practices and processes; 3. Amicitia incipit: beginning international friendship; 4. The duties of international friendship; 5. The breakdown and dissolution of international friendship; Conclusion.
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About Paul J. Burton

Paul J. Burton is a lecturer at the Australian National University in Canberra, Australia. He has published on topics as diverse as ancient international law, the influence of the classics on George Orwell, and the influence of Sophocles' Oedipus the King on Alfred Hitchcock's film, The Birds. His most recent article is a comprehensive study of comparisons of Rome with the United States as global powers in print journalism and current affairs literature in the first decade of the 2000s.
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