The Century of Warfare in Eastern Eurasia, c.1550-1683

The Century of Warfare in Eastern Eurasia, c.1550-1683: Repositioning Asian Military Technology in the “Great Divergence” Debate

Time:            4:30pm, Mar. 18, 2014

Location:      Candler Library 121

This lecture is part of Sun Laichen’s ongoing book project, which examines warfare in Eastern Eurasia during the period of 1550-1683 (the “long seventeenth century”). It aims to reconstruct the history of Eastern Eurasia from a military historical approach by identifying a “century of warfare” based on frequency, scale, and social impact of war and military innovation, arguably the most warlike era in pre-modern times, and perhaps for all of recorded history. In the process, it intervenes in the “Great Divergence” debate by repositioning Asian military technology in the early modern period. Sun Laichen’s unprecedentedly comprehensive reconstruction of Eastern Eurasian warfare and military innovation allows a deeper assessment of the position of Asian military technology vis-à-vis European military technology. The result is a much more nuanced perspective, one which departs from the positions of the various sides in the Great Divergence debate: orthodox, revisionist, or even middle-grounder.

See event flyer.