The Great Empires of the Ancient World

Thomas Harrison


In this highly appealing collection, a distinguished team of internationally renowned scholars survey the great empires from 1600 BCE to 500 CE. In ten comprehensive chapters, from the ancient Mediterranean to China, these experts guide readers through the empires of New Kingdom Egypt, the Hittites, Assyria and Babylonia, Achaemenid Persia, Athens, Alexander the Great and his successors, Parthian and early Sasanian Persia, Rome, India, and Qin and Han China. Each chapter conveys the main narrative of events, their impact on ancient societies, and the dominant rulers who shaped that history, from Ramesses II in Egypt to Chandragupta in India, from Rome’s Augustus to China’s Shi-huangdi.

Exploring the nature of empire itself, The Great Empires of the Ancient World shows how profoundly imperialism in the distant past influenced our contemporary ideas of power.


A remarkable achievement…[A]n excellent introduction to an increasingly popular field of study.

— Contemporary Review


Thomas Harrison