Title: "Why (only) Rome?"
Abstract: “The fact that nothing like the Roman Empire ever again emerged in Europe was the single most important precondition for modern economic growth, the Industrial Revolution, and worldwide Western domination much later on. But if empire on a Roman scale remained a unique phenomenon in that part of the world, why was there a Roman Empire at all? And why did nothing like it ever return? I will address these questions by talking about Chapters 2, 3 and 4 of my book in progress, http://web.stanford.edu/~scheidel/Escape%20from%20Rome.pdf”