Kingship

Author(s): 
Oakley, Francis
ISBN: 
0631226958
Date published: 
January 2006
Hardback
Price: 
£50.00

In this book, Francis Oakley argues that kingship may be the most common form of government known to humankind. He traces its history from the time of the Neolithic revolution and the spread of agrarian modes of subsistence around the eastern Mediterranean (c.8000- 5000 bce) down to its widespread loss of legitimacy in the modern industrial world. The author considers the many forms that kingship took during this period, including: the Pharaohs of ancient Egypt; the emperors of Japan; the Maya rulers of Mesoamerica; the medieval popes and emperors; and the English and French monarchs of early modern Europe. While acknowledging the panoply of governing roles that kingship could involve - administrative, military, judicial, economic, religious, and purely symbolic - his central focus is on its intimate connection with the sacred.