“Antiquity in Asia and the Mediterranean: A Comparative Approach”

Deadline: March 8, 2024

Organizers: Lorraine Abagatnan and Christopher Waldo

In Rome and China: Comparative Perspectives on Ancient World Empires, Walter Scheidel remarked, “…Only comparisons with other civilizations make it possible to distinguish common features from culturally specific or unique characteristics and developments, help us identify variables that were critical to particular historical outcomes, and allow us to assess the nature of any given ancient state or society within the wider context of premodern world history.” Drawing connections from the ancient Mediterranean to the world beyond has yielded fruitful scholarship and continues to do so, although much work remains for scholars interested in enriching our understanding of this global context.

For our 2025 panel at the annual meeting of the Society for Classical Studies (SCS) in Philadelphia, PA (January 2-5), the Asian and Asian American Classical Caucus invites abstracts for presentations that examine ancient Asia and the ancient Mediterranean from a comparative perspective. Much enlightening scholarship has been published on the parallels between the Roman Empire and Han China (Bang 2009, Edwards 2009, Noreña 2015), and we might similarly benefit from an exploration of other correspondences between the societies of ancient Asia (Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, etc.) and the Greco-Roman world. Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

-State formation, empire, and colonization

-Poetry, theater, and performance

-Philosophy, wisdom literature, and religion

-Historiography and approaches to the narration of historical events

-Metascholarly reflections on these academic disciplines

Abstracts of no more than 400 words should be submitted as a PDF email attachment to [email protected] by Friday, March 8, 2024. The subject line of your email should be “SCS 2025 Abstract.” The text of your abstract should follow the guidelines available on the SCS website and should not mention the name of the author. Abstracts will be evaluated anonymously by the panel organizers. The AAACC is committed to fostering a collaborative and supportive environment for the sharing of innovative ideas; as such, we welcome submissions from students, educators, artists, and activists of all stages and disciplines. Should you have any questions, please contact Lorraine Abagatnan ([email protected]) and Christopher Waldo ([email protected]). Find the SCS web listing here.

Works Cited

Bang, P. F. 2009. “Commanding and Consuming the World: Empire, Tribute, and Trade in Roman and Chinese History.” In W. Scheidel. ed. State Power in the Han and Roman Empires. New York: Oxford University Press, 100-120.

Edwards, R. A. 2009. “Federalism and the Balance of Power: China’s Han and Tang Dynasties and the Roman Empire.” Paris Economic Review 14:1-21.

Noreña, C. 2015. “Urban Systems in Han and Roman Empires: State Power and Social Control.” In W. Scheidel. ed. State Power in the Han and Roman Empires. New York: Oxford University Press, 181-203.

Scheidel, W. 2009. “Introduction.” In. W. Schiedel. ed. Rome and China: Comparative Perspectives on Ancient World Empires. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 3-23.