Sage kings : wisdom and royal power in antiquity and early christianity
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This book provides for the first time in any language an Ancient and Late Antique Mediterranean-wide vision of the relationship between royal wisdom, royal patronage of learning and the cultural and political changes of civilization. It begins with the political role played by Ancient Mesopotamia sages and ends with the Wisdom theology of the Late Roman Christian Empire.
This book is an exploration of certain areas of civilization related to the genealogy of what we may call sapiential rulership. These areas are sacral kingship, political ideology, court intelligentsia, rulers’ literacy, and royal patronage of learning. The full context and the impact and scope of the key cultural role played by Ancient Eastern, Classical, and Late Antique kingship will be examined together with the political dimension of royal patronage of culture as a vehicle for royal ideology and propaganda.
This is a study in the history of ideas. We will follow through the centuries the origins and development of a powerful idea in its historical context, be it social, political, or cultural. This idea we will dealt with is the relationship between the exercise of royal power, the religious dimension of kingship and the politics of knowledge. In other words, this is a history of wisdom and knowledge as both a sacral and political phenomenon.