“There has not before been a study specifically dedicated to the periphery as a concept and entity in its own right. Such a study, long overdue, is both highly interesting and highly important. This is therefore a ground-breaking work.”
—John MacGinnis, University of Cambridge
“The book throws a fresh and innovative light on the methodological approach of an important subject in the history of the Ancient Near East.”
—Ariel Bagg, Universität Heidelberg
Though the Neo-Assyrian Empire has largely been conceived of as the main actor in relations between its core and periphery, recent work on the empire’s peripheries has encouraged archaeologists and historians to consider dynamic models of interaction between Assyria and the polities surrounding it. Imperial Peripheries in the Neo-Assyrian Period focuses on the variability of imperial strategies and local responses to Assyrian power across time and space.
An international team of archaeologists and historians draws upon both new and existing evidence from excavations, surveys, texts, and material culture to highlight the strategies that the Neo-Assyrian Empire applied to manage its diverse and widespread empire as well as the mixed reception of those strategies by subjects close to and far from the center. Case studies from around the ancient Near East illustrate a remarkable variety of responses to Assyrian aggression, economic policies, and cultural influences. As a whole, the volume demonstrates both the destructive and constructive roles of empire, including unintended effects of imperialism on socioeconomic and cultural change.
Imperial Peripheries in the Neo-Assyrian Period aligns with the recent movement in imperial studies to replace global, top-down materialist models with theories of contingency, local agency, and bottom-up processes. Such approaches bring to the foreground the reality that the development and lifecycles of empires in general, and the Neo-Assyrian Empire in particular, cannot be completely explained by the activities of the core. The book will be welcomed by archaeologists of the Ancient Near East, Assyriologists, and scholars concerned with empires and imperial power in history.
Contributors: Stephanie H. Brown, Anna Cannavò, Megan Cifarelli, Erin Darby, Bleda S. Düring, Avraham Faust, Guido Guarducci, Bradley J. Parker