The League of Universal Monarchies: Global History, Ancient History and a World History of Pre-colonial Societies
Prof. Peter Fibiger Bang (U Copenhagen)
|Date||Wednesday, 17 May 2017, 5:15 pm – 6:45 pm|
|Location||SFB 1199 | Strohsackpassage | Nikolaistraße 6-10 | 5th floor | 04109 Leipzig|
Global history must become ancient history! This is a simple claim and it is the claim of this talk. As a discipline, world history has gone through an explosive development since the 1980s. Old interpretative models, developed during the heyday of European colonialism, have become increasingly inadequate to make sense of our present world order and new ways of understanding have been explored. As part of this process there has been a rush to the study of global connections in order to overcome Eurocentrism. Yet, most of what is studied under this agenda depends, paradoxically, on the global web of linkages produced by European imperialism. This talk advocates a different strategy. The universal monarchies, spanning their power across Eurasia from the Achaemenids till the dawn of colonialism, offer an alternative framework and a vision of history which goes well beyond an experience essentially shaped by European predominance. The task of world history should not so much be to write European domination out of existence, but to place it in context and reveal just how short-lived the era when Europe could claim to control the world and looked like the centre of historical development was. But before that time, history converged on other things. One of the most significant of these convergences was the trend towards the formation of vast universal empires. To become truly global, world history needs an ancient and precolonial history.
Prof. Peter Fibiger Bang (U Copenhagen, Denmark)
Peter Fibiger Bang is an associate professor at the Saxo Institute, University of Copenhagen. His research is situated at the interface of ancient and world history. He focuses his research on exploring historical comparisons between the Roman and other pre-colonial land-empires, especially the Mughal Empire of India, looking for new ways of conceptualizing the anatomy of Roman power. Topics include taxation and tribute, patrimonial lordship and the notion of Universal Empire, cosmopolitan high-culture, as well as trade and economy.
Image source: Berlingske, Link (9 May 2017)