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Concepts of Kingship in Antiquity

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Concepts of Kingship in Antiquity

Jun-03-2011 at 08:29 PM (UTC+3 Nineveh, Assyria)

Last edited on 06/03/2011 at 08:42 PM (UTC3 Assyria)
Concepts of Kingship in Antiquity
Proceedings of the European Science Foundation Exploratory Workshop. (PDF, full report)
Held in Padova, November 28th-December 1st, 2007

Edited by Giovanni B. Lanfranchi and Robert Rollinger
History of the Ancient Near East Monographs - HANEM 11
S.A.R.G.O.N. Editrice e Libreria, 2010

Report Details

Publisher: S.A.R.G.O.N. Editrice e Libreria
Publication date: 2010
Bibliographic info: 216 pages
Language(s): English
Cover: Paper
ISBN: 8895672011
ISBN13: 9788895672014

1. Executive Summary

The Workshop was held in Padova (Italy), at the Università degli Studi di Padova (Faculty of Let-ters and Philosophy; Rectorate). It lasted two full days and a half (Thursday, November 29th, 2007; Friday, November 30th; Saturday December 1st, morning). Participants numbered 18 individuals plus the convenor, from 9 countries; health reasons forced two additional invited partici-pants to renounce at the last moment.

The Workshop was held in reserved rooms in the historical, ancient University buildings where public was not admitted, except for selected scholars from the Padova University with the permis-sion of the ESF Committed representative. All participants were lodged in the same hotel and had all meals together, both facts enhancing a confidential attitude which helped in making the scien-tific discussion most agréable; moreover, many participants had already met in the past, and some of them had been strictly cooperating in scientific projects, so that informal and confidential discussions were enabled since the arrival in Padova. The general atmosphere was very good and relaxed, and the discussions both at the end of the communications and at the end of the Workshop days were aimed at developing the understanding of each one's specialization methods. Further, the broad chronological and geographical spectrum of the disciplines involved in the Work-shop, extending from the Mesopotamian Protohistory to the Late Roman Age, enhanced and solicited an intense interdisciplinary dialogue, in which approaches and interpretive models were confronted and discussed with the mutual advantage of an increasing methodological self-conscience.

The scientific objective of the Workshop was a full discussion on the ideological, religious and cultural apparatus associated with the concept of divine kingship in the Ancient Near East and in the Classical world; and a deep study on its central function in channelling influences from East to West in the background of an uninterrupted institutional and cultural continuity in the Eastern and Central Mediterranean from the third millennium BC to the end of the Roman empire. More generally, the Workshop main interest was to demonstrate that the background of the transformations which took place in the Central and Western Mediterranean from the IXth century BC onwards and of the spreading of cultural influences from the East to the West was the confrontation with, and the adoption of, the Ancient Near Eastern political and social model of kingship.

The agenda of the Workshop consisted in the critical comparison between the royal ideologies prevailing in the various historical periods under scrutiny. Both overall conceptions and specific ideological, behavioural and communicational elements were discussed in the communications, especially as regards the modern development of scientific discussion on kingship, the meaning and function of specific symbolic constellations and/or elements. The expected advantages of such an apparently fragmented discussion were clearly the singling out of themes and elements otherwise not clearly perceivable as regards to their importance in the cultural diffusion, inspired by the continuous interaction between the various specialists.

The overall conclusion of the Workshop was the general agreement that Near Eastern influences were channelled to the West mainly through the conceptual constellations and symbolisms sur-rounding kingship, although it was possible to single out specific cultural characteristics which were original to some cultural periods and areas, especially as regards the most archaic age of the Greek culture. In this background, the conception of divine kingship was determined as a basic device for the spreading of specific traits of political dominion, aimed at unifying and melting originally different cultural milieus in a higher political and cultural structure. The motivations of the numerous and obstinate resistances to such a special conception, easily detectable in various cultures and areas, were analyzed as elements apt for establishing specific “points of rupture” in the intercultural dialogue, which hit deeply rooted, irremissible cultural identity markers. (PDF, full report)


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Assyria \ã-'sir-é-ä\ n (1998)   1:  an ancient empire of Ashur   2:  a democratic state in Bet-Nahren, Assyria (northern Iraq, northwestern Iran, southeastern Turkey and eastern Syria.)   3:  a democratic state that fosters the social and political rights to all of its inhabitants irrespective of their religion, race, or gender   4:  a democratic state that believes in the freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture in faithfulness to the principles of the United Nations Charter — Atour synonym

Ethnicity, Religion, Language
» Israeli, Jewish, Hebrew
» Assyrian, Christian, Aramaic
» Saudi Arabian, Muslim, Arabic
Assyrian \ã-'sir-é-an\ adj or n (1998)   1:  descendants of the ancient empire of Ashur   2:  the Assyrians, although representing but one single nation as the direct heirs of the ancient Assyrian Empire, are now doctrinally divided, inter sese, into five principle ecclesiastically designated religious sects with their corresponding hierarchies and distinct church governments, namely, Church of the East, Chaldean, Maronite, Syriac Orthodox and Syriac Catholic.  These formal divisions had their origin in the 5th century of the Christian Era.  No one can coherently understand the Assyrians as a whole until he can distinguish that which is religion or church from that which is nation -- a matter which is particularly difficult for the people from the western world to understand; for in the East, by force of circumstances beyond their control, religion has been made, from time immemorial, virtually into a criterion of nationality.   3:  the Assyrians have been referred to as Aramaean, Aramaye, Ashuraya, Ashureen, Ashuri, Ashuroyo, Assyrio-Chaldean, Aturaya, Chaldean, Chaldo, ChaldoAssyrian, ChaldoAssyrio, Jacobite, Kaldany, Kaldu, Kasdu, Malabar, Maronite, Maronaya, Nestorian, Nestornaye, Oromoye, Suraya, Syriac, Syrian, Syriani, Suryoye, Suryoyo and Telkeffee. — Assyrianism verb

Aramaic \ar-é-'máik\ n (1998)   1:  a Semitic language which became the lingua franca of the Middle East during the ancient Assyrian empire.   2:  has been referred to as Neo-Aramaic, Neo-Syriac, Classical Syriac, Syriac, Suryoyo, Swadaya and Turoyo.

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