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Highways, Byways, and Road Systems in the Pre-Modern World




Highways, Byways, and Road Systems in the Pre-Modern World

Susan E. Alcock (Editor), John Bodel (Editor), Richard J. A. Talbert (Editor)

ISBN: 978-1-118-24430-2 March 2012 Wiley-Blackwell 312 Pages



Highways, Byways, and Road Systems in the Pre-Modern World reveals the significance and interconnectedness of early civilizations’ pathways. This international collection of readings providing a description and comparative analysis of several sophisticated systems of transport and communication across pre-modern cultures.

  • Offers a comparative analysis of several sophisticated systems of overland transport and communication networks across pre-modern cultures
  • Addresses the burgeoning interest in connectivity and globalization in ancient history, archaeology, anthropology, and recent work in network analysis
  • Explores the societal, cultural, and religious implications of various transportation networks around the globe
  • Includes contributions from an international team of scholars with expertise on pre-modern India, China, Japan, the Americas, North Africa, Europe, and the Near East
  • Structured to encourage comparative thinking across case studies
List of Figures and Tables ix

Notes on Contributors xiii

Series Editor’s Preface xvii

Preface xix

Introduction 1
Susan E. Alcock, John Bodel, and Richard J. A. Talbert

1 Overland Shortcuts for the Transmission of Buddhism 12
Jason Neelis

2 The Power of Highway Networks during China’s Classical Era (323 BCE–316 CE): Regulations, Metaphors, Rituals, and Deities 33
Michael Nylan

3 Privatizing the Network: Private Contributions and Road Infrastructure in Late Imperial China (1500–1900) 66
Nanny Kim

Appendix: Chinese Quotations and Glossary 84

4 Linking the Realm: The Gokaidô Highway Network in Early Modern Japan (1603–1868) 90
Constantine N. Vaporis

5 Obliterated Itineraries: Pueblo Trails, Chaco Roads, and Archaeological Knowledge 106
James E. Snead

6 Roads to Ruins: The Role of Sacbeob in Ancient Maya Society 128
Justine M. Shaw

7 The Chinchaysuyu Road and the Definition of an Inca Imperial Landscape 147
Catherine Julien

8 The Sahara as Highway for Trade and Knowledge 168
Pekka Masonen

9 From the Indus to the Mediterranean: The Administrative Organization and Logistics of the Great Roads of the Achaemenid Empire 185
Pierre Briant

10 The Well-Remembered Path: Roadways and Cultural Memory in Ptolemaic and Roman Egypt 202
Jennifer Gates-Foster

11 Roads, Integration, Connectivity, and Economic Performance in the Roman Empire 222
R. Bruce Hitchner

12 Roads Not Featured: A Roman Failure to Communicate? 235
Richard J. A. Talbert

13 Road Connectivity and the Structure of Ancient Empires: A Case Study from Late Antiquity 255
Michael Maas and Derek Ruths

14 Jews and News: The Interaction of Private and Official Communication-Networks in Jewish History 265
Adam Silverstein

Index 276

“Should have wide appeal to academic specialists and programs in history and classics, area studies, anthropology and archaeology, and cultural geography.  Recommended.  All academic levels/libraries.  (Choice, 1 February 2013)