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Kingship: The Politics of Enchantment by Francis Oakley

By Francis Oakley

From despots to powerless figureheads, and from the Neolithic period to the current, this ebook strains the heritage of kingship world wide and the tenacity of its reference to the sacred.

  • Considers the various varieties that kingship took in this interval, together with: the Pharaohs of historic Egypt; the emperors of Japan; the Maya rulers of Mesoamerica; the medieval popes and emperors; and the English and French monarchs of early sleek Europe
  • Explores the panoply of governing roles that kingship concerned – administrative, army, judicial, fiscal, spiritual and symbolic – yet focussing on its reference to the sacred.
  • Draws at the insights of cultural anthropology and comparative faith, in addition to the at the assets supplied via historians.
  • Content:
    Chapter 1 Gate of the Gods: Archaic and worldwide styles of Cosmic Kingship (pages 10–43):
    Chapter 2 Royal Saviors and Shepherds: Hellenistic, Roman, Biblical, and Islamic perspectives of Kingship (pages 44–67):
    Chapter three The Eusebian lodging: Christian Rulership in Imperial Rome, Byzantium, and Russia (pages 68–86):
    Chapter four The Carolingian lodging: Christian Rulership within the Germanic Successor Kingdoms of Western Europe (pages 87–107):
    Chapter five The Sacrality of Kingship in Medieval and Early smooth Europe: Papal, Imperial, nationwide (pages 108–131):
    Chapter 6 The Fading Nimbus: smooth Kingship and its destiny in a upset global (pages 132–157):

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    Extra info for Kingship: The Politics of Enchantment

    Sample text

    6 46 Royal Saviors and Shepherds That being so, the ease with which during the Hellenistic era a return was made, albeit in more philosophical guise, to something roughly akin to the archaic pattern of sacral kingship hardly calls for the type of elaborate explanation which historians have frequently felt obliged to proffer. With the triumph of the Macedonian king Alexander the Great (336–323 BCE) over the Persian empire and its incorporation along with other territories into a vast Hellenistic empire, belief in the divinity or sacrality of emperors and kings came to exert a profound influence over the whole late classical world.

    And yet, in the context of the history of kingship, at least, and despite any affinity we may well feel for their republican way of life, it would be improper to regard the Greek city-states of the classical era as having marked any truly decisive break with the archaic sacral pattern so deeply ingrained in the ancient Near East and in greater or lesser degree throughout the eastern Mediterranean world. By the third millennium BCE a complex civilization had emerged on the island of Crete, which was linked commercially not only with the Greek mainland but also with Egypt and Asia Minor.

    31 The ancestral Hero Twins also figured large in the Temple of Inscriptions which Pacal, the great, long-reigning king of Palenque, constructed in the last decade of his life, and which remains one of the most celebrated of the many extraordinary monuments surviving in the Mesoamerican region. 32 Many of those royal ancestors are depicted on the richly decorated lid of the great sarcophagus which Pacal had himself provided for. And the central image on that lid represented Pacal’s fall at death down the great trunk of the World Tree into the open jaws of the Otherworld.

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