Friday, January 21, 2022

Handbook of Ancient Afro-Eurasian Economies. Volume 1: Contexts, and Volume 2: Local, Regional, and Imperial Economies

Handbook of Ancient Afro-Eurasian Economies. Volume 1: Contexts
Ed. by Reden, Sitta
In coop. with Dwivedi, Mamta / Fabian, Lara / Leese-Messing, Kathrin / Morris, Lauren / Weaverdyck, Eli J. S.
eBook (PDF)
Publication Date: December 2019
Copyright year: 2020
ISBN: 978-3-11-060774-1

Aims and Scope

The notion of the “Silk Road” that the German geographer Ferdinand von Richthofen invented in the 19th century has lost attraction to scholars in light of large amounts of new evidence and new approaches. The handbook suggests new conceptual and methodological tools for researching ancient economic exchange in a global perspective with a strong focus on recent debates on the nature of pre-modern empires.The interdisciplinary team of Chinese, Indian and Graeco-Roman historians, archaeologists and anthropologists that has written this handbook compares different forms of economic development in agrarian and steppe regions in a period of accelerated empire formation during 300 BCE and 300 CE. It investigates inter-imperial zones and networks of exchange which were crucial for ancient Eurasian connections.Volume I provides a comparative history of the most important empires forming in Northern Africa, Europe and Asia between 300 BCE and 300 CE. It surveys a wide range of evidence that can be brought to bear on economic development in the these empires, and takes stock of the ways academic traditions have shaped different understandings of economic and imperial development as well as Silk-Road exchange in Russia, China, India and Western Graeco-Roman history.
book: Handbook of Ancient Afro-Eurasian Economies
In collaboration with: Lara Fabian and Eli J. S. Weaverdyck. Edited by: Sitta von Reden
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: De Gruyter Oldenbourg
  • Copyright year: 2022
  • Pages
    • Front matter: 15
    • Main content: 843
  • Published: December 20, 2021
  • ISBN: 9783110607642
  • Published: December 20, 2021
  • ISBN: 9783110604528
 The second volume of the Handbook describes different extractive economies in the world regions that have been outlined in the first volume. A wide range of economic actors – from kings and armies to cities and producers – are discussed within different imperial settings as well as the tools, which enabled and constrained economic outcomes. A central focus are nodes of consumption that are visible in the archaeological and textual records of royal capitals, cities, religious centers, and armies that were stationed, in some cases permanently, in imperial frontier zones. Complementary to the multipolar concentrations of consumption are the fiscal-tributary structures of the empires vis-à-vis other institutions that had the capacity to extract, mobilize, and concentrate resources and wealth. Larger volumes of state-issued coinage in various metals show the new role of coinage in taxation, local economic activities, and social practices, even where textual evidence is absent. Given the overwhelming importance of agriculture, the volume also analyses forms of agrarian development, especially around cities and in imperial frontier zones. Special consideration is given to road- and water-management systems for which there is now sufficient archaeological and documentary evidence to enable cross-disciplinary comparative research.


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