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Conference: Every Inch a King - From Alexander to the King of Kings


22-24 September, 2008
Peterhouse & Pembroke College

An examination of different styles of kingship as a means of negotiating power and legitimating of authority.

Organised by

Iran Heritage Foundation in association with the British Institute of Persian Studies and the Centre for Mediterranean Studies, University of Exeter

Convened by

Dr. Charles Melville
Dr. Lynette Mitchell


The period from Alexander to Machiavelli and the geographical compass of the Middle East and Europe lends itself in particular to the study of the subject because of the many historical, political and intellectual connections and contrasts such a frame represents. European theorists in the medieval period looked back to Alexander and Greek political thought for their models of ideal kingship, just as the Middle Eastern monarchs built on and developed the models of kingship they inherited from Alexander and from the Alexander traditions. The relationship to the divine was similarly important across these periods and places, whether for king as priest, hand of god, or god himself. Likewise, itinerant kingship was found in both the ancient Middle East and medieval Europe.

This conference will examine different styles of kingship as a means of negotiating power and legitimating of authority. By looking at actual kings, theoretical kings and idealised kings in the Middle East, Iran and medieval Europe it will consider the relationships between kingship and the divine, law and justice, examine kingship as a mode of authority created and maintained through war, as well as through nomadism, and reflect on the kinds and importance of image of kingship as a means of expressing and asserting royal power.

Topics include:

  1. Kingship and Justice; Kings and their subjects
  2. Kingship and power; power and legitimacy
  3. Styles off Kingship; absolutism and consultation
  4. Sacral Kingship; Kingship and religion
  5. Kings and warfare; kings and heroes
  6. Mirrors for Princes; the ideals and he realities
  7. Kingly patronage; courtly patronage of art, architecture and literature
  8. The visual image off Kingship


For the conference programme click here

Abstracts and biographies

For abstracts and biographies click here

Information for participants

For the map of location click here
For accommodation, lunch-time meal and conference dinner, held in Peterhouse on Tuesday 23rd September (at 7.30 pm, for 8 pm), bookings can be made through registration form.


To download registration form, click here

Publication of Proceedings

The conference papers will be published as an edited volume.


Dr. Lynette Mitchell, Department of Classics & Ancient History, University of Exeter, Amory Building, Rennes Drive, Exeter EX4 4JR, Tel: 01392 264203, email:

Dr. Charles Melville, Department of Middle Eastern Studies, University of Cambridge, Sidgwick Avenue, Cambridge CB3 9DA, Tel: 01223 335131, email:

... Payvand News - 09/01/08 ... --

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