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Kingship in ancient civilized societies, what was it

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Cosmic Philosopher

Cosmic Philosopher

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 Kingship, especially the sacred aspects of the office of a king, has for a long time fascinated scholars in a variety of fields such as history, religious studies, or area studies. Kingship (or any kind of absolutist power) and its close relationship to and use of religion for the purpose of legitimizing power seem an almost universal concept in human history. Frazer’s famous work The Golden Bough: A Study in Religion and Magic has been highly influential on the topic of sacred or divine kingship and continues to be so until today (e.g. Quigley 2005).The application of Frazer’s study to the civilizations of the ancient Near East is, however, problematical. His interpretation of sacred kingship was strongly influenced by Christian imagery (Feeley-Harnick 1985). Frazer made a certain form of regicide in which the divine king is sacrificed to ensure continued fertility and prosperity for the community a central element of divine kingship. This form of regicide, however, does not seem to play an important role in all of the societies that exhibit the phenomenon of divinization of the king.

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