Cosmopolitanism and Empire: Universal Rulers, Local Elites, by Myles Lavan, Richard E. Payne, John Weisweiler

By Myles Lavan, Richard E. Payne, John Weisweiler

The empires of the traditional close to East and Mediterranean invented cosmopolitan politics. within the first millennia BCE and CE, a succession of territorially huge states integrated populations of exceptional cultural range. Cosmopolitanism and Empire lines the improvement of cultural concepts wherein empires controlled distinction that allows you to identify powerful, enduring regimes of domination. It specializes in the kinfolk of imperial elites with culturally precise neighborhood elites, providing a comparative point of view at the various intensity and modalities of elite integration in 5 empires of the traditional close to East and Mediterranean. If cosmopolitanism has in most cases been studied except the imperial context, the essays amassed right here exhibit that theories and practices that enabled ruling elites to go beyond cultural particularities have been necessary for the institution and upkeep of trans-regional and trans-cultural political orders. because the first cosmopolitans, imperial elites seemed ruling over culturally disparate populations as their vocation, and their means to set up normative frameworks throughout cultural barriers performed an important function within the consolidation in their energy. including an introductory bankruptcy which bargains a thought and heritage of the connection among empire and cosmopolitanism, the amount contains case experiences of Assyrian, Seleukid, Ptolemaic, Roman, and Iranian empires that learn encounters among ruling sessions and their subordinates within the domain names of language and literature, faith, and the social imaginary. The contributions mix to demonstrate the dilemmas of distinction that imperial elites faced in addition to their options for resolving the cultural contradictions that their regimes precipitated.

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Additional info for Cosmopolitanism and Empire: Universal Rulers, Local Elites, and Cultural Integration in the Ancient Near East and Mediterranean (Oxford Studies in Early Empires)

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2900‒2350 bc), we know more specifically that such goods were circulated between courts through gifting, and that other aspects of elite marking had become regular features of political society: the recognition of language for diplomatic contact, foreign travel as a mark of prestige,7 interdynastic marriages, commensality, and so forth. Elite emulation was behind imitative palace architecture at Middle Bronze Ugarit, Mari, and Babylon, and elite emulation was behind the exchange of literature, cult, and scientific knowledge between Late Bronze Age Babylon, Egypt, and Hatti.

Lincoln 2012.  1. ╇ Lincoln 2012: 407.  6. ╇ Kuhrt 2001: 103–╉9. ╇ Henkelman and Stolper 2009: 283, 292–╉3. 60 The ethnic groups the Achaemenians identified existed prior to their incorporation into the empire, but they obtained more clearly defined boundaries through the acts of interpellation and administrative reorganization evident in the Persepolis Archive. In subordinating these peoples, the Persians also recognized the legitimacy of their culture, language, and religion as well as their elites.

These narcissistic injuries, if one may usefully personify states in this way—​Assyria’s perceived manifest destiny as a once-and-future empire and outfitted with imperial chic, juxtaposed with an awareness of geopolitical weakness and cultural inferiority—​these intersections formed the apologetic core and motivating neurosis of the imperial ideology to come, the driving engine to conquer and control. This 350-​word account of five hundred years leads me back to a larger, overall point about cosmopolitanism: by the time the Neo-​Assyrian empire began to actually put these ideological energies into systematic practice, its ruling class had little experience of genuine rule.

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