European Parliament Library

Shadow Empires, An Alternative Imperial History, Thomas J. Barfield

An original study of empire creation and its consequences, from ancient through early modern timesThe world's first great empires established by the ancient Persians, Chinese, and Romans are well known, but not the empires that emerged on their margins in response to them over the course of 2,500 years. These counterempires or shadow empires, which changed the course of history, include the imperial nomad confederacies that arose in Mongolia and extorted resources from China rather than attempting to conquer it, as well as maritime empires such as ancient Athens that controlled trade without seeking territorial hegemony. In Shadow Empires, Thomas Barfield identifies seven kinds of counterempire and explores their rise, politics, economics, and longevity.What all these counterempires had in common was their interactions with existing empires that created the conditions for their development. When highly successful, these counterempires left the shadows to become the world's largest empires-for example, those of the medieval Muslim Arabs and of the Mongol heirs of Chinggis Khan. Three former shadow empires-Manchu Qing China, Tsarist Russia, and British India-made this transformation in the late eighteenth century and came to rule most of Eurasia. However, the DNA of their origins endured in their unique ruling strategies. Indeed, world powers still use these strategies today, long after their roots in shadow empires have been forgotten.Looking afresh at the histories of important types of empires that are often ignored, Shadow Empires provides an original account of empire formation from the ancient world to the early modern period
Table Of Contents
Introduction. Empires and Their Shadows -- Definitions : Endogenous and Exogenous (Shadow) Empires -- Understanding the Significance of Empires from a Comparative Perspective -- On Structure and Causality -- Book Organization -- Endogenous Empires. Structural Characteristics of Endogenous Empires ; Two Templates for State Authority ; A Tale of Three Ancient Empires : Persia, China, and Rome ; After Endogenous Empires : Aspirational Legacies and Regional Templates -- Shadows on the Seas. Maritime Empires ; The Athenian Empire ; The British in India : Transformation from Exogenous to Endogenous Empire -- Shadows on the Steppe. Steppe Nomadic Empires ; The Xiongnu Empire ; The Mongol Empire : Transformation from Exogenous to Endogenous Empire ; The Demise of Steppe Empires -- Shadows on the Horizon. Empires from the Periphery : Vultures and Vanquishers ; Vulture Empires ; Vanquisher Empires -- Shadows of the Past. Empires of Nostalgia ; The Carolingian Empire ; Nostalgia 2.0 : The Holy Roman Empire -- Shadows in the Forest. Vacuum Empires ; The Kievan Rus' Empire ; Muscovy to Russia : Transformation from Exogenous to Endogenous Empire -- Shadows' End. Death or Apotheosis : Two Paths to Extinction for Shadow Empires ; Empires' Last Stands ; The Legacy of Empires in the Twenty-First Century ; A Few Afterwords -- Appendix: Eurasian and North African Mega-empires in the Historical Record by Region
Literary Form
non fiction
First edition.
Description based upon print version of record
Physical Description
1 online resource (385 pages)
Specific Material Designation
Form Of Item


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