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Classics in Post-Colonial Worlds$
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Lorna Hardwick and Carol Gillespie

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199296101

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199296101.001.0001

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The Empire Never Ended

The Empire Never Ended

(p.329) 18 The Empire Never Ended1
Classics in Post-Colonial Worlds

Ika Willis

Oxford University Press

This chapter analyses the use of the Roman empire as a metaphor or analogy for global sovereignty, and compares the ways in which imperial sovereignty was conceptualised in Latin literature with modern global formulations. It discusses how modes of historicisation of the Roman empire have made it synonymous with history itself, and develops an analogy with the trans-temporal force of modern telecommunications technology, against which all resistance might be equally impossible. Since ‘empire’ connects political sovereignty, cultural continuity, and information technology, this chapter explains how this connection has begun to be thought about in the work of Jacques Derrida.

Keywords:   empire, imperialism, sovereignty, Latin literature, classical literature, resistance, Jacques Derrida, telecommunications technology, metaphor

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