Friday, May 19, 2023

Picturing Royal Charisma: Kings and Rulers in the Near East from 3000 BCE to 1700 CE

book cover 

Picturing Royal Charisma assesses how Middle Eastern leaders manipulated visuals to advance their rule from around 4500 BC to the 19th century AD. In nine fascinating narratives, it showcases the dynamics of long-lasting Middle Eastern traditions, dealing with the visualization of those who stood at the head of the social order. The contributions discuss: Mesopotamian kings who cast themselves as divine representatives in art; the relationships between the ‘king of men’ and ‘king of beasts’ – the lion; Akhenaten’s visual conception of a divine king without hybrid attributes; the royal image as guiding movements of visitors in the palace of Nimrud; continuities in the functions and representation of Neo-Assyrian eunuchs that survived in the Achaemenid, Sasanian, Byzantine and Islamic courts; the triumphal arch of the emperor Titus and its reflections in Christian Constantinople; patterns of authority and royal legitimacy in 3rd century AD Palmyra and Rome; the use of the Biblical past in the construction of kingship in 12th century Crusader Jerusalem; and the use of ‘the power of images’ by Islamic rulers, adopting visuals of thrones and throne-rooms despite Islamic opposition to the figurative portrayal of kings.

H 290 x W 205 mm

152 pages

91 figures, 3 tables (colour throughout)

Published May 2023

Archaeopress Archaeology


Paperback: 9781803271606

Digital: 9781803271613

DOI 10.32028/9781803271606


Introduction : Picturing Royal Charisma: The Image of Kings in the Eastern Mediterranean from the Late Fourth Millennium to the Islamic Period (c. 3250 BCE to 1600 CE) – Arlette David, Rachel Milstein, Tallay Ornan ;

Chapter 1: In the Beginning: The First 1200 Years in Mesopotamia – Claudia E. Suter ;

Chapter 2: The Defeat of the Lion: A Visual Trope Promoting Ancient Near Eastern Kings – Tallay Ornan ;

Chapter 3: Hybridism as a Visual Mark of Divinity: The Case of Akhenaten – Arlette David ;

Chapter 4: The Architectural Presence of the Assyrian King in His Palaces – David Kertai ;

Chapter 5: The King’s Faithful Servants: The Eunuch’s Role as Sovereign Attribute with an Emphasis on Assyria – Irit Ziffer ;

Chapter 6: The Arch of Titus: Jerusalem in Rome – Galit Noga-Banai ;

Chapter 7: Basileus basileion: Weberian Approaches to Authority in the roman Near East – Michael Sommer ;

Chapter 8: Royal Sovereignty in Frankish Jerusalem: Davidic Legacy and the Transformation of Jerusalem’s Cityscape in the 12th Century – Anna Gutgarts ;

Chapter 9: Sacred Space and the Royal Seat: Islamic Imagery of Kingship – Rachel Milstein



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