Ancient Iraq: Third Edition (Penguin History) by Georges Roux

By Georges Roux

The e-book offers an creation to the background of historic Mesopotamia and its civilizations, incorporating archaeological and old unearths as much as 1992.

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In this totum pro parte relation between the empire and its “metropole,” satrapy and center emerge co-constitutively rather than dichotomously. g. Cohn 1996: 4; Comaroff and Comaroff 1997; Stoler and Cooper 1997). How did early political thought lose hold of the richly nuanced understanding of imperial sovereignty contained in the semantic field of xšaça? How did a word that captured the notion of imperial sovereignty as conditional and co-constituted in principle and practice devolve into the banal and sordid sense of “satrapy” that has come down to us today—a technical term to denote a province of empire conscripted into the dirty work of imperial dominion?

Empires are critically shaped by a vast world of things. But they are not themselves things. In using the term “empire” throughout this book I do not mean to call up the old sense of the term as an ontologically solid entity that is fixed and bounded in space and time. Rather, empires are contingent and unfolding processes, ultimately grounded in structured violence, whose directions are critically shaped by the practical entailments of human–thing relations. I use the terms “empires” and “imperial formations” in this book to capture both the powerful institutions and ideologies of dominance and what Stoler and McGranahan (2007) have called the “blurred genres of rule” that account for imperialism’s partial sovereignties.

The Lie is what necessitated the God-given imperial prerogative of the Achaemenid kings, who were tasked by Ahuramazda with the eschatological struggle to see to its eradication.  . to make [its history] appear as History” (Coronil 2007: 245). Achaemenid thinkers might not have been prepared “to abandon sovereignty as an ontological ground of power and order,” but they might nevertheless have begrudgingly recognized “a view of sovereignty as a tentative and always emergent form of authority” (Hansen and Stepputat 2006: 297).

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