This volume presents a collection of symposium papers originally presented at the Getty Villa in 2010. Grounded in art history, history, and archaeology, the symposium, organized in conjunction with the exhibition The Aztec Pantheon and the Art of Empire, brought together a range of specialists who examined the arts and material cultures of the Romans, Spanish, and Aztecs. Questions concerning imperial organization, expansion, worldview, and social identity, including the roles of monumental architecture, sculpture, and performance in processes of imperial consolidation, guided the case studies presented.

Walter Scheidel opens the volume from the point of view of the comparative historian, from which he identifies the common assumptions, methods, and analytical frameworks found in the study of empires. Scheidel underlines that empires are normally studied in relation to five historiographic traditions: the ancient Near East and Mediterranean empires, Islamic empires of the...

You do not currently have access to this content.