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.
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.
Table of contents
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,
Alexander the Great: Divinity and the Rule of Law,
Seleucus I, Zeus and Alexander,
Machiavelli and Xenophon’s Cyrus: Searching for the Modern Conceptions of Monarchy,
Ruling ‘Virtually’? Royal Images in Medieval English Law Books,
The Anomalous King of Conquered England,
Telling Tales of Adulterous Queens in Medieval England: From Olympias of Macedonia to Elizabeth Woodville,
Royalty Reflected in the Chronicles of Froissart,
Breaking and Making Tradition: Æthelstan, ‘Abd-ar-Rahman III, and their Panegyrists,
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,
‘On the Road Again’: Kings, Roads, and Accommodation in High Medieval Germany,
Ruling from the Outside: A New Perspective on Early Turkish Kingship in Iran,
The Royal Image in Mongol Iran,
Architecture and the Representations of Kingship During the Reign of the Safavid Shah ‘Abbas I,
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.