The introductory chapter considers four central problems in regional history and sets out how each will be approached in this book. Firstly, I consider the contribution which historical geography can make as a form of comparative history. Secondly, I lay out how I have defined my region of study and why it is more important to focus on the underlying mechanisms which produce a region than on its precise territorial extent. Thirdly, I argue for the importance of focusing on intra-regional rivalries, resistance to regional integration, and failures of co-operation when writing regional history in addition to the more traditional themes of political solidarity and economic co-operation. Finally, I argue for the importance of regional history for understanding imperialism in antiquity.
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