Welcome to the Empires Project

Welcome to The Empires Project,

Too often considerations about ongoing events, history and the many possible paths ahead are considered from a narrow perspective, myopic about the events of the past and the experiences of others. However, with over 3000 years of recorded history, it is unlikely that anything we face is completely new. Surely, the technological, institutional, societal and moral constrains facing us are not the same as those faced by the Egyptians, the Assyrians, the Chinese, the Mauryans, the Greeks, the Persians, the Romans, the Visigoths, the Huns, the Abbasids, the Japanese, the Mongols, the Russians, the Mayas, the Aztecs, the Songhai, the Ethiopians, the Beninese, the Ghanaian, the Zulus, the Portuguese, the Dutch, the Spanish, the French, the British or the Americans. But once these differences are taken into account, it may still be possible to learn from their experiences, their victories and struggles. Perhaps if we can understand these underlying processes we might be spared the trouble of repeating their mistakes and the suffering that so often ensues.

To this effect, this website is dedicated to the study and understanding of Empires, how they rise and how they fall. Whether in Africa, America, Asia, Europe, Oceania this website’s purpose is to consider, describe, analyse and evaluate those political entities that emerged over time and to understand their evolution from one of many regional players all the way to hegemony.

Too often history and social sciences (be it economics, politics, sociology or anthropology) do not speak to each other. As a result, the powerful tools of the latter are too seldom applied to the study of the first and the facts of the (not-so-distant) past too often are not used to inform and test the theories of the latter. Although it is not its intended purpose, if in any way this project can help bridge that gap that will be its own reward. However, that is not the goal.

The goal is for such an approach to facilitate a better understanding of those features that empires share, on their way up and on their way down, as well as those features that distinguish them. The hope is that in the long-term the exhaustive (albeit inevitably  somewhat idiosyncratic) analysis that covers the wide range of paths taken by these many polities will allow us to understand what underlying features, institutions and policy decisions contributed to their rise, their continued hegemony and inevitably to their fall.

However, the Empires Project is not a full-time project. At its inception, it is not funded, so it is a side project, a hobby. But it is long-term project. It is a means for to study a specific aspect of the human experience and to record facts, questions, theories, comparisons, data and studies relevant to these inquiries. It may take years, but more likely it will take decades before this platform has enough relevant content to even coming close to its intended purpose. Entire regions of our planet and entire periods are likely to be left completely blank for a very long time. No particular schedule or calendar for posting is anticipated. The website may go months without being updated only to then be updated extensively in a very short period of time. Articles will be added as pages only in final form, although subsequent editorial changes are likely. But slowly, step-by-step, content will be posted, insights will hopefully be uncovered and conclusions should become apparent.

If you have any contribution, suggestion, comment or criticism you wish to make, you are welcome to use the comments as well the contacts section for those purposes. Your participation is welcomed and greatly appreciated.

I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy writing it.

Yours faithfully,

RDO

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