From despots to powerless figureheads, and from the Neolithic era to the present, this book traces the history of kingship around the world and the tenacity of its connection with the sacred.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 Explores the panoply of governing roles that kingship involved administrative, military, judicial, economic, religious and symbolic but focussing on its connection with the sacred. Draws on the insights of cultural anthropology and comparative religion, as well as the on the resources provided by historians.

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