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Empirical Regularities Across Time, Space, and Culture: A Critical Review of Comparative Methods in Ancient Historical Research

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We present an overview of recent comparative research in ancient history. While this work has provided many important insights, historians of the ancient world have not taken full advantage of the opportunities afforded by rigorous cross-cultural comparison, particularly in identifying causal factors. Ultimately, we argue that scholars of ancient history would benefit from embracing comparative approaches and pursue more rigorous analytical techniques than are currently employed in the field. This can only help ancient studies remain a relevant force in the academic community. We conclude by pointing out some current interdisciplinary projects to act as a roadmap for such engagement.
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Keywords: COMPARATIVE HISTORY; HISTORICAL CAUSATION; HISTORICAL METHODS

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2018

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  • Historia, first published in 1952 by Karl Friedrich Stroheker and Gerold Walser is an international, peer-reviewed journal on Greek and Roman antiquity. Articles are in English, German, French and Italian. It features original articles on Greek history, the Roman Republic and Empire as well as late antiquity. It covers all aspects of political, economic, religious and social life and deals with legal, archaeological, numismatic and epigraphical questions.
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