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 A&H 278 - History of Empires


​This course is about great powers, superpowers and even hyperpowers. ‘Empire’ is a powerful and dangerous word. It has a rich and ambiguous history and strong polemical connotations now and in the past. The typical empire is usually presented as oppressive and ruthless, although some of the modern empires are democracies that focus upon the improvements of its society.

This course deals with some of the most important empires in World History. Next to this some of the most important theories on empires will be treated. How is the rise and fall of empires explained? What are the sources of empire and how are great power politics conducted?


Dr. Tobias van Gent​




One of the following courses is required in order to take this course:

  • A&H 171 Early Modern History
  • A&H 172 Modern History
  • A&H 175 World History
  • A&H 185 Introduction to Social History and American Studies
  • A&H 279 Western Way of War
  • SSC 151 Introduction to Political Theory 

Required for

This course is required in order to take the following course:

  • A&H 376 Topics in History (Research seminar: History and Theory)
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