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Decadence was not a word used by the historians of ancient Rome during classical antiquity, but the concepts, anxieties, and fears encapsulated by it are without question present in their works. Ancient historians such as Livy, Sallust, Tacitus, and Appian describe an idealized past in order to draw a contrast with an immoral, inferior present. Spurred on by literary accounts from antiquity, Enlightenment authors such as Montesquieu, a political theorist, and Edward Gibbon, a historian and Member of Parliament, were particularly interested in studying Rome to learn the symptoms of imperial decline. Thus, this chapter explores the language of decadence in the early histories of the Roman Empire, up to the fall of Constantinople in 1453, including why later historians such as Niebuhr and Mommsen wished to challenge this language (present from antiquity) and disentwine decadence from Roman imperial history for good.
The Romans had a difficult relationship with the kind of luxury and excess that we think of as indicators of moral and social decadence. But in many ways they revelled in such luxury. Readily accepting the financial rewards of empire, they spent huge sums on their own benefits. Whether in the colossal public games in the amphitheatre and the circus, in the opulent imperial bath complexes, or in extravagant private villas, Romans of all social levels delighted in the very best that life was thought to offer. Chapter 1 examines how far the evidence supports this somewhat melodramatic view of Rome by looking at the ways in which luxury spread in the Roman world. It also looks at the ways this growth in luxury compelled the Romans to create new concepts to understand the phenomenon. Luxury was almost never seen as a simple index of increased wealth. Rather, it raised all manner of moral issues among Rome’s ruling classes, many of which long outlived the end of the Roman empire itself.
The Introduction describes the basic arguments and scope of the book. It gives a survey of the secondary scholarship on the subject, with the contention that scholars had focused mostly on historiographical texts and neglected to study ideas of the past across the broader corpus. Moreover, it argues that there is a culturalist bias in their readings that reduces the early Chinese engagement with the past to a matter of cultural attitude. On the basis of this survey of secondary scholarship, the Introduction describes the specific perspective and methods of this study. First, it will engage with a variety of materials, both historiographical and non-historiographical; second, it will approach early Chinese narratives about the past not as expressions of cultural beliefs but as argumentative utterances in the broader political and ethical debates.
In this last chapter, I focus exclusively on the monumental work of history the Shiji, by Sima Qian, the Grand Archivist at the court of Emperor Wu of the Han empire. Out of the 130 chapters of the Shiji, I focus on the two, namely the “Huozhi Liezhuan” and the “Pingzhun shu,” that primarily deal with the economic history of the entire civilized world, up to the time of the Han empire. I argue that Sima Qian mobilized historical narratives to offer a sharp critique of what he perceived to be the problems with Han imperialism as it developed under Emperor Wu. The Shiji, in this sense, was a critical deployment of the field of the past; Sima Qian engaged with the past less to advance a new political order than to deconstruct an existing one. The Shiji was a critique all the way down.
The Epilogue summarizes the key findings of each chapter, and reflects on some of the larger implications of the basic argument of the book, namely that engagements with the past in early China were less a matter of cultural attitude than they were deliberate ideological mobilization towards various political ends.
An overview of the historiography of the Arthaśāstra, beginning with a presentation of the text's formal and informal features. This chapter then goes on to explore the traditional history of the text, which assigns it to a figure called Cāṇakya who probably lived in the late fourth/early third century BCE. A critique of this account is offered based on a preliminary examination of the text's features. Rules out the possibility that the extant text could have been produced at one time by a single author.
This article offers the first study of the Cahiers d’Histoire Mondiale, the Journal of World History published under the auspices of UNESCO from 1953 to 1972 as a by-product of the ‘History of mankind’ project. Drawing on material in the UNESCO archives, it delves into what Lucien Febvre, the first editor of the Cahiers, called his ‘kitchen’, in order to understand world history as a practice. Data on author origin and article subject matter point to the journal’s mitigated success in overcoming Eurocentrism. The article ultimately contends that the Cahiers was at once a laboratory that experimented with new forms of relational history, and a forum where the very nature of world history was discussed by scholars from around the world (mainly from the West, but also from the East and the South). It suggests that today’s epistemological discussion on global history might benefit from the reflection offered by this now largely forgotten experiment.
To analyze the development of disaster medicine and to identify the main obstacles to improving disaster medicine research and application.
A topic search strategy was used to search the Web of Science Core Collection database. The 100 articles with the highest local citation scores were selected for bibliometric analysis; summarizing informetric indicators; and preparing a historiography, themes network, and key word co-occurrence map.
The 100 articles with the highest local citation scores were published from 1983 to 2013 in 9 countries, mainly in the United States. The most productive authors were Koenig and Rubinson. The lead research institution was Columbia University. The most commonly cited journal was the Annals of Emergency Medicine. The development of disaster medicine could be separated into 3 consecutive periods. All results indicate that the development of disaster medicine faces some obstacles that need to be addressed.
Research works have provided a solid foundation for disaster medicine, but its development has been in a slow growth period for a long time. Obstacles to the development of disaster medicine include the lack of scientist communities, transdisciplinary research, innovative research perspectives, and continuous research. Future research should overcome these obstacles so as to make further advances in this field.
This chapter examines the uses of academic approaches to history in discussing energy policy. It sets out a case that the value of history is not simply in the past as a source of empirical data on policy and behaviour (which is accessible to any discipline), but a style of synthetic thinking and evaluation particular to the study of History as a disciplines. History may provide analogue situations for current dilemmas, and a long-term view on change, but does not necessarily work in large-scale or long-term phenomena. Rather, it is the blending of perspectives and the assumption of causal complexity, as opposed to methodological and explanatory parsimony, that marks the value of historical approaches. This is exemplified in the history of prediction, asking not whether predictions were accurate (generally they were not), but why demand for them arose and how they were constructed so as to be plausible to actors.
Political science does not offer a distinct subdiscipline to address the subject of energy. Insofar as political science has addressed energy, it has focused on issues often neglected by other disciplines, notably the role of geopolitics and international relations, and the domestic politics of resource-rich states. Apart from the different subfields, we examine different approaches including realism, constructivism, liberalism and Marxism. The rise and fall and rise again of academic articles on energy in leading political science journals is reviewed and linked to exogenous forces such as the price of oil. Two distinct energy topics which have received attention are nuclear power and the oil crises of 1973–79 because of their wider geopolitical ramifications. Perhaps the most prominent or consistent thread through studies of the politics of energy is the question of energy security or energy independence. Finally, in recent years, energy has increasingly emerged as a focus for study in environmental politics and climate change politics in particular.
Studies of Indo-Persian historiography tend to focus on the monumental compositions created at the behest of the Mughal court. This has unfortunately led to the neglect of texts from “regional” settings. The present article intends to expand the field of inquiry by studying Mir Muhammad Maʿsum's Tarikh-i Maʿsumi (completed c. 1600) which was the first Mughal-era Persian history of Sindh. I will argue that the author used the new the literary models developed by Mughal chroniclers in order to both facilitate and contest imperial domination.
The concept of a prosperous late antique eastern Mediterranean has become well-established in scholarship. Lycia (Turkey) is considered to be one such prosperous region in particular. This article questions the notion of ‘prosperity’ and its application to the Lycian region and argues that only certain coastal areas experienced what might be considered ‘prosperity’ in this period. Moreover, it is argued that some settlements, specifically those of the interior, did not experience ‘prosperity’, but may have even declined. Thus, a generalized application of ‘prosperity’ should be approached with caution as it masks nuances in the settlement development and economy of micro-regions.
This article explores the relationships between memory, history and fiction in the Fourth Gospel. The first section is dedicated to the Johannine conception of the memory, taking into consideration recent research in the theory of social memory. The epilogue of the Gospel (John 21) considered as a paratext and the function attributed to the beloved disciple make it possible to specify the characteristics of this memory. The second section deals with the problem of the relationship between history and fiction in the context of ancient historiography. This includes observing how Johannine historiography follows the rules of ancient historiography, how it goes beyond them in its conception of space, time and characters, and how it offers a complete recomposition of the life of Jesus.
This article examines how historians have approached the history of poverty in Africa before European colonisation. From an earlier focus on the emergence of class difference to more recent studies on the emergence of poverty, scholars have demonstrated the longevity of economic inequality in Africa. This historiography counters a linear view of the growth of economic inequality and the idea that poverty is a necessary corollary of wealth. The article then considers how historians have studied the meanings of poverty within particular societies to the nineteenth century allowing us to move beyond the inadequacy of quantitative data. It ends by arguing for more longue durée studies of poverty in Africa with a focus on the qualitative and on the internal dynamics of particular societies. This will improve our knowledge about how colonial rule changed the experience and reality of poverty for people across the continent and form a basis for comparative studies.
Modern Spain has remained largely absent from the debates and narratives of global history. In sharp contrast to the early modern period, the case of Spain in the nineteenth century has been overwhelmingly studied from regional and national perspectives. Fortunately, valuable efforts to integrate this country into wider frames of analysis have emerged in the last decade. Building on these writings, this article will argue that connections and entanglements represent two valuable perspectives, which allow the insertion of the Spanish experience into contemporary narratives of global history. The article has two aims. First, it seeks to ‘decentre’ modern Spain, by moving beyond its territorial borders within the Iberian Peninsula, and by examining its global dimensions, through connections with territories, colonies, and nations on several continents. Second, it aims to reveal valuable insights for current debates on global history, which arise from a focus on a country that is usually considered to have been both marginal and peripheral.