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By Lauren Ristvet

During this e-book, Lauren Ristvet rethinks the narratives of kingdom formation by way of investigating the interconnections among ritual, functionality, and politics within the historic close to East. She attracts on a variety of archaeological, iconographic, and cuneiform resources to teach how ritual functionality used to be no longer set except the true perform of politics; it used to be politics. Rituals supplied a chance for elites and traditional humans to barter political authority. Descriptions of rituals from 3 classes discover the networks of signification that expert diversified societies. From circa 2600 to 2200 BC, pilgrimage made kingdoms out of formerly remoted villages. equally, from circa 1900 to 1700 BC, commemorative ceremonies legitimated new political dynasties via connecting them to a shared previous. ultimately, within the Hellenistic interval, the normal Babylonian Akitu pageant was once an get together for Greek-speaking kings to teach that they have been Babylonian and for Babylonian clergymen to realize major strength.

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