Every Inch a King

Comparative Studies on Kings and Kingship in the Ancient and Medieval Worlds


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The role of kings, the source of their authority and the nature of the practical restraints on their power have exercised political and religious philosophers, historians, competing candidates for rule and subject populations from the time of the earliest documented human societies. How the kingly image is created and presented and how the ruler performs his or her function as the source of justice are among the topics addressed in this volume, which also covers the role of queens in maintaining dynastic succession yet being the target of tales of adultery. This volume is of particular interest in bringing together studies of kingly power from Cyrus the Great and Alexander in the ancient world to Shah Abbas in the seventeenth century, and covering the European Middle Ages as well as Iran and the Muslim world.

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Pages: 399–412
Charles Melville, Ph.D. (1978) in Oriental Studies, University of Cambridge, is Professor of Persian History at Cambridge and Director of the Cambridge Shahnama Project. He has published extensively on the history and historiography of Mongol and Safavid Persia, including recently Epic of the Persian Kings: the art of Ferdowsi’s Shahnameh, with Barbara Brend (London, 2010).

Lynette Mitchell, Ph.D. (1994) in Greek History at the University of Durham, is Associate Professor in Greek History and Politics at the University of Exeter. She has published widely on Greek history political thought in the archaic and classical periods, and is currently completing a monograph on kingship in archaic and classical Greece.
Note on Contributors
List of Illustrations

“Every Inch a King”. Kings and Kingship from Antiquity to the Medieval World, Lynette Mitchell and Charles Melville

Defining the Divine in Achaemenid Persian Kingship: The View from Bisitun, Margaret Cool Root

Xenophon’s Cyropaedia: Fictive History, Political Analysis and Thinking with Iranian Kings, Christopher Tuplin

Alexander the Great: Divinity and the Rule of Law, Lynette Mitchell

Seleucus I, Zeus and Alexander, Kyle Erickson

Machiavelli and Xenophon’s Cyrus: Searching for the Modern Conceptions of Monarchy, Waller Newell

Ruling ‘Virtually’? Royal Images in Medieval English Law Books, Anthony Musson

The Anomalous King of Conquered England, Laura Ashe

Telling Tales of Adulterous Queens in Medieval England: From Olympias of Macedonia to Elizabeth Woodville, Joanna Laynesmith

Royalty Reflected in the Chronicles of Froissart, Peter Ainsworth

Breaking and Making Tradition: Æthelstan, ‘Abd-ar-Rahman III, and their Panegyrists, Shane Bobrycki

The King as Subject, Master and Model of Authority: The Case of Alfonso X of Castile, Antonella Liuzzo Scorpo

God and Caesar: The Dynamics of Visigothic Monarchy, Andrew Fear

‘On the Road Again’: Kings, Roads, and Accommodation in High Medieval Germany, John Bernhardt

Ruling from the Outside: A New Perspective on Early Turkish Kingship in Iran, David Durand-Guédy

The Royal Image in Mongol Iran, Charles Melville

Architecture and the Representations of Kingship During the Reign of the Safavid Shah ‘Abbas I, Kishwar Rizvi

All those interested in the office of kingship in the ancient, medieval and early modern world, the history of Iran and medieval Europe, and the relations between Church and State.
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