This book presents a systematic, comprehensive study of two imperial systems that were arguably the most complex, broadly influential entities to have arisen in antiquity. This text is designed to offer a comparative introduction to the empires of Rome and Qin-Han China, examining the formation, consolidation, further evolution and disintegration of these two complex states. The two empires were comparably similar in territorial extent, population, and chronological span, and display a wide range of structural similarities. Each also underwent a gradual increase in territory, to emerge as the preeminent political, social and cultural power in its region. Finally, after significant expansion, both empires underwent periods of turbulent internal and external disruption.
This book represents a timely study in terms of the rapidly growing academic interest in macro-historical, comparative assessments of imperial systems, and translates those understandings into an accessible study that will prove valuable to students, scholars and the general public.