Wang, Zhongxiao 王忠孝
Institute of History, Faculty of the Humanities
This thesis, from a comparative perspective, examines the worldview and its interplay to the frontier and military policies in early periods of the two ancient empires on Eurasian: Rome and Han China. The first part (chapter 1 and chapter 2) concerns the formation and transformation of the world views of Rome and Qin-Han China in their respectively lengthy trajectories of empire-building. It is followed by part two (chapter 3 and chapter 4) in which I shift my focus from ideology to practical issues in attempt to observe how the distinctive world views held by the elite class of Rome and China were manifested and interacted with the actual policy-making and territorial conquests. The last part of the dissertation (chapter 5 and chapter 6) concentrates on the roles of emperors. By highlighting the distinctive roles that the Roman and Chinese emperors had played, it allows audience to have a better understanding in the similarities, and especially the crucial differences concerning the perception of the world and actual policies discussed above. Also, I hope this tentative comparative study sheds some lights on the reflection of the concept of empire in current scholarship of ancient history.