For over five hundred years, empires have been a feature of the political landscape, and today, many contemporary conflicts resonate with issues tied to colonial conquest and the uneasy situations they produced. Empires evoke potent images: Henry Morton Stanley, David Livingstone, and the gallery of colonial explorers; the Spanish conquistadors’ quest for gold and silver; and the Dutch heritage of trade in the East Indies. These legacies still pose major issues for historians who study their key role in the foundation of today’s global civilization.
The Age of Empires frames the era of empires with maps of explorations, chronologies of voyages, records of settlers and administrators, the balance sheets of commerce, and other records that made up the Age of Empires. This account incorporates research from across the globe and vivid illustrations to tell a story full of conflict, cruelty, great journeys, and influence.
Robert Aldrich is professor emeritus of history at the University of Sydney. He is the author of The Seduction of the Mediterranean, The Age of Empires, and Colonialism and Homosexuality, and the editor of Gay Life and Culture: A World History.