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Reaping the Rewards: How the Governor, the Priest, the Taxman, and the Garrison Secure Victory in World History

Saturday, June 2, 2018 - 5:00pm
Pembroke College, Oxford
Pichette Auditorium

Francis Bacon once opined: "Augustus Caesar would say, that he wondered that Alexander feared he should want work, having no more worlds to conquer: as if it were not as hard a matter to keep as to conquer."  Many societies have found that the process of converting military success into a consolidated conquest was harder than they expected.  Oddly, historians have not spent that much time on the problem either, preferring to focus more on the battles than the ensuing garrisons.  In this sweep through world military history, strategy, and logistics, Lee explores the "four pillars" of conquest (the titular governor, priest, tax man and garrison) and he then compares how those same pillars worked in non-state societies on the Eurasian steppe and in the Native American woodlands.

Wayne E. Lee is the Dowd Distinguished Professor of History at the University of North Carolina, where he also chairs the Curriculum in Peace, War, and Defense. He is the author of Waging War: Conflict, Culture, and Innovation in World History (2016), Barbarians and Brothers: Anglo-American Warfare, 1500-1865 (2011), and Crowds and Soldiers in Revolutionary North Carolina (2001) as well as two edited volumes on world military history and many articles and book chapters.  Lee has an additional career as an archaeologist, having done field work in Greece, Albania, Hungary, Croatia, and Virginia, including co-directing two field projects.  He was a principal author and a co-editor of Light and Shadow: Isolation and Interaction in the Shala Valley of Northern Albania, winner of the 2014 Society for American Archaeology's book award. In 2015/16 Lee was the Harold K. Johnson Visiting Professor of Military History at the U.S. Army War College.

All welcome. Registration essential. For further information and to register, please contact There will be a drinks reception following the lecture.

This event is organised by the Centre for Global History and the Changing Character of War Centre, and hosted by Pembroke College.

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