Escape from Rome: The Failure of Empire and the Road to Prosperity

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Princeton University Press, 2019/10/15 - 670 ページ
"In this book, Walter Scheidel provides a unique take on the perennial debates about the rise of the west. His main argument is straightforward and provocative: the fact that nothing like the Roman Empire ever again emerged in Europe was a crucial precondition for modern economic growth, the Industrial Revolution and worldwide conquest much later on. Contra Ken Pomeranz's classic thesis about the "Great Divergence" of the 18th/19th centuries when northwestern Europe pulled away from China and the rest of world in terms of economic performance and overall power, Scheidel argues there was a much more significant "first great divergence" in late antiquity which set the stage. Scheidel argues that it wasn't until the West "escaped" from the dominance of the Roman empire did it flourish economically (unlike China, comparison which will be explored in this book, which despite transformations and setbacks remained a "universal empire" for much of it's 2,200 year history). Scheidel approaches this "first great divergence" via a new take on some central question concerning the life and fate of the Roman Empire: How did the Roman Empire come into existence - did its rise depend on unique conditions that were never repeated later on? Was its fall inevitable? Why was nothing like the Roman Empire ever rebuilt? And did this matter for (much) later developments? He concludes by arguing that the fall and lasting disappearance of the Roman Empire was an indispensable precondition for later European exceptionalism and therefore for the creation of the modern world we now live in. From this perspective, the absence of the Roman Empire had a much greater impact than its previous existence and its subsequent influence on European culture, which is of course well documented in many domains and often accorded great significance. Scheidel does concede that a monopolistic empire like Rome's which first created a degree of shared culture and institutions but subsequently went away for good was perhaps more favorable to later European development than a scenario in which no such empire had ever existed in the first place. But, in answer to the question, ""What have the Romans ever done for us?" Scheidel replies: "fall and go away."" --
 

目次

Patterns of Empire
31
Core
51
Periphery
89
Counterfactuals
110
From Justinian to Frederick
127
From Genghis Khan to Napoleon
174
From Convergence to Divergence
219
and Qing empires
229
New Worlds
420
its axis at 75E
460
Understanding
472
What Have the Romans Ever Done for Us?
503
Glossary
529
Notes
537
References
603
Index
647

million km2 at 100year intervals 5001500 CE
274
Institutions
337

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著者について (2019)

Walter Scheidel is the Dickason Professor in the Humanities, Professor of Classics and History, and a Kennedy-Grossman Fellow in Human Biology at Stanford University. His many books include The Great Leveler: Violence and the History of Inequality from the Stone Age to the Twenty-First Century (Princeton). He lives in Palo Alto, California. Twitter @WalterScheidel

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