African Art and Leadership
Edited by Douglas Fraser and Herbert M. Cole University of Wisconsin Press, 1972 Library of Congress N7398.A35 | Dewey Decimal 709.66
A series of fourteen thought-provoking essays by art historians, anthropologists, and historians analyzes the complex interactions between art and leadership in sub-Saharan Africa. Amply and carefully illustrated throughout.
African Royal Court Art
Michèle Coquet University of Chicago Press, 1998 Library of Congress N7391.65.C66613 1998 | Dewey Decimal 709.67
In this visually stunning work, anthropologist Michèle Coquet presents the power and the brilliance of African court arts. Grounding her analysis in the social and historical context of traditional royalty systems, Coquet examines the diverse roles played by artisans, nobles, and kings in the production and use of royal objects. From the precolonial kingdoms of the Edo and the Yoruba, the Ashanti and the Igbo, Coquet reconstructs from a comparativist view the essential cultural connections between art, representation, and the king.
More than ornamentation, royal objects embodied the strength and status of African rulers. The gold-plated stools of the Ashanti, the delicately carved ivory bracelets of the Edo-these objects were meant not simply to adorn but to affirm and enhance the power and prestige of the wearer. Unlike the abstract style frequently seen in African ritual art, realism became manifest in courtly arts. Realism directly linked the symbolic value of the object-a portrait or relief-with the physical person of the king. The contours of the monarch's face, his political and military exploits rendered on palace walls, became visual histories, the work of art in essence corroborating the ruler's sovereign might.
Richly illustrated and wonderfully detailed, Coquet's influential volume offers both a splendid visual presentation and an authoritative analysis of African royal arts.
"[This] beautiful and exciting book emphasizes the skillful court art of the Benin, Dahomey, and the Kongo. A very interesting and unusual approach to the art of the continent that has been too easily situated 'outside of history.'"—Le Figaro
Nikos Kazantzakis is no stranger to the heroes of Greek antiquity. In this historical novel based on the life of Alexander the Great, Kazantzakis has drawn on both the rich tradition of Greek legend and the documented manuscripts from the archives of history to recreate an Alexander in all his many-faceted images—Alexander the god; Alexander the descendant of Heracles performing the twelve labors; Alexander the mystic, the daring visionary destined to carry out a divine mission; Alexander the flesh-and-blood mortal who, on occasion, is not above the common soldier’s brawling and drinking.
The novel, which resists the temptation to portray Alexander in the mantle of purely romantic legend, covers his life from age fifteen to his death at age thirty-two. It opens with Alexander’s first exploit, the taming of the horse, Bucephalas, and is seen in great part through the eyes of his young neighbor who eventually becomes an officer in his army and follows him on his campaign to conquer the world.
The book, which was written primarily as an educational adjunct for young readers, is intended for the adult mind as well, and like the legends of old, is entertaining as well as instructive for readers of all ages. It was originally published in Greece in serial form in 1940, and was republished in a complete volume in 1979.
Alfred the Great
Daniel Anlezark Arc Humanities Press, 2017 Library of Congress DA153.A55 2017 | Dewey Decimal 942.0164
Alfred the Great is a rare historical figure from the early Middle Ages, in that he retains a popular image. This image increasingly suffers from the dead white male syndrome, exacerbated by Alfred's association with British imperialism and colonialism, so this book provides an accessible reassessment of the famous ruler of Wessex, informed by current scholarship, both on the king as a man in history, and the king as a subsequent legendary construct.Daniel Anlezark presents Alfred in his historical context, seen through Asser's Life, the Anglo Saxon Chronicle, and other texts associated with the king. The book engages with current discussions about the authenticity of attributions to Alfred of works such as the Old English Boethius and Soliloquies, and explores how this ninth-century king of Wessex came to be considered the Great king of legend.
Filled with drama and action, here is the story of the ninth-century life and times of Alfred—warrior, conqueror, lawmaker, scholar, and the only king whom England has ever called "The Great." Based on up-to-date information on ninth-century history, geography, philosophy, literature, and social life, it vividly presents exciting views of Alfred in every stage of his long career and leaves the reader with a sharply-etched picture of the world of the Middle Ages.
To understand the genocide and other dramatic events of Rwanda’s recent past, one must understand the history of the earlier realm. Jan Vansina provides a critique of the history recorded by early missionaries and court historians and provides a bottom-up view, drawing on hundreds of grassroots narratives. He describes the genesis of the Hutu and Tutsi identities, their growing social and political differences, their bitter feuds, revolts, and massacres, and the relevance of this dramatic history to the post-genocide Rwanda of today.
Ashoka in Ancient India
Nayanjot Lahiri Harvard University Press, 2015 Library of Congress DS451.5.L35 2015 | Dewey Decimal 934.045092
In the third century BCE Ashoka ruled in South Asia and Afghanistan, and came to be seen as the ideal Buddhist king. Disentangling the threads of Ashoka’s life from the knot of legend that surrounds it, Nayanjot Lahiri presents a vivid biography of an emperor whose legacy extends far beyond the bounds of his lifetime and dominion.
One of the Ancient Near East’s most important inscriptions is the Bisotun inscription of the Achaemenid king Darius I (6th century BCE), which reports on a suspicious fratricide and coup. Shayegan shows how the Bisotun’s narrative influenced the Iranian epic, epigraphic, and historiographical traditions into the Sasanian and early Islamic periods.
Authoring the Past surveys medieval Catalan historiography, shedding light on the emergence and evolution of historical writing and autobiography in the Middle Ages, on questions of authority and authorship, and on the links between history and politics during the period. Jaume Aurell examines texts from the late twelfth to the late fourteenth century—including the Latin Gesta comitum Barcinonensium and four texts in medieval Catalan: James I’s Llibre dels fets, the Crònica of Bernat Desclot, the Crònica of Ramon Muntaner, and the Crònica of Peter the Ceremonious—and outlines the different motivations for the writing of each.
For Aurell, these chronicles are not mere archaeological artifacts but rather documents that speak to their writers’ specific contemporary social and political purposes. He argues that these Catalonian counts and Aragonese kings were attempting to use their role as authors to legitimize their monarchical status, their growing political and economic power, and their aggressive expansionist policies in the Mediterranean. By analyzing these texts alongside one another, Aurell demonstrates the shifting contexts in which chronicles were conceived, written, and read throughout the Middle Ages.
The first study of its kind to make medieval Catalonian writings available to English-speaking audiences, Authoring the Past will be of interest to scholars of history and comparative literature, students of Hispanic and Romance medieval studies, and medievalists who study the chronicle tradition in other languages.
Winner of the American Society for Ethnohistory's Erminie Wheeler-Voegelin Prize
Scholars have long viewed histories of the Aztecs either as flawed chronologies plagued by internal inconsistencies and intersource discrepancies or as legends that indiscriminately mingle reality with the supernatural. But this new work draws fresh conclusions from these documents, proposing that Aztec dynastic history was recast by its sixteenth-century recorders not merely to glorify ancestors but to make sense out of the trauma of conquest and colonialism.
The Aztec Kings is the first major study to take into account the Aztec cyclical conception of time—which required that history constantly be reinterpreted to achieve continuity between past and present—and to treat indigenous historical traditions as symbolic statements in narrative form. Susan Gillespie focuses on the dynastic history of the Mexica of Tenochtitlan, whose stories reveal how the Aztecs used "history" to construct, elaborate, and reify ideas about the nature of rulership and the cyclical nature of the cosmos, and how they projected the Spanish conquest deep into the Aztec past in order to make history accommodate that event.
By demonstrating that most of Aztec history is nonliteral, she sheds new light on Aztec culture and on the function of history in society. By relating the cyclical structure of Aztec dynastic history to similar traditions of African and Polynesian peoples, she introduces a broader perspective on the function of history in society and on how and why history must change.
On August 4, 1578, in an ill-conceived attempt to wrest Morocco back from the hands of the infidel Moors, King Sebastian of Portugal led his troops to slaughter and was himself slain. Sixteen years later, King Sebastian rose again. In one of the most famous of European impostures, Gabriel de Espinosa, an ex-soldier and baker by trade—and most likely under the guidance of a distinguished Portuguese friar—appeared in a Spanish convent town passing himself off as the lost monarch. The principals, along with a large cast of nuns, monks, and servants, were confined and questioned for nearly a year as a crew of judges tried to unravel the story, but the culprits went to their deaths with many questions left unanswered.
Ruth MacKay recalls this conspiracy, marked both by scheming and absurdity, and the legal inquest that followed, to show how stories of this kind are conceived, told, circulated, and believed. She reveals how the story of Sebastian, supposedly in hiding and planning to return to claim his crown, was lodged among other familiar stories: prophecies of returned leaders, nuns kept against their will, kidnappings by Moors, miraculous escapes, and monarchs who die for their country. As MacKay demonstrates, the conspiracy could not have succeeded without the circulation of news, the retellings of the fatal battle in well-read chronicles, and the networks of rumors and correspondents, all sharing the hope or belief that Sebastian had survived and would one day return.
With its royal intrigues, ambitious artisans, dissatisfied religious women, and corrupt clergy, The Baker Who Pretended to Be King of Portugal will undoubtedly captivate readers as it sheds new light on the intricate political and cultural relations between Spain and Portugal in the early modern period and the often elusive nature of historical truth.
In The Body in Mystery, Jennifer R. Rust engages the political concept of the mystical body of the commonwealth, the corpus mysticum of the medieval church. Rust argues that the communitarian ideal of sacramental sociality had a far longer afterlife than has been previously assumed. Reviving a critical discussion of the German historian Ernst Kantorowicz’s 1957 masterwork, The King’s Two Bodies: A Study in Mediaeval Political Theology, Rust brings to bear the latest scholarship. Her book expands the representation of the corpus mysticum through a range of literary genres as well as religious polemics and political discourses. Rust reclaims the concept as an essential category of social value and historical understanding for the imaginative life of literature from Reformation England. The Body in Mystery provides new ways of appreciating the always rich and sometimes difficult continuities between the secular and sacred in early modern England, and between the premodern and early modern periods.
A volume of essays by Mesoamerican scholars on topics ranging from Zapotec archaeology to Cuicatec irrigation and Mixtec codices to Aztec ethnohistory. Authors use a direct historical approach, the comparative method, or develop models that contribute to ethnological and archaeological theory. Contributors: J. Chance, G. Feinman, K.V. Flannery, F. Hicks, R. Hunt, M. Lind, J. Marcus, J. Monaghan, J. Paddock, E. Redmond, M. Romero Frizzi, M.E. Smith, C. Spencer, and J. Zeitlin.
Johannes Fried Harvard University Press, 2016 Library of Congress DC73.F7513 2016 | Dewey Decimal 944.0142092
When the legendary Frankish king and emperor Charlemagne died in 814 he left behind a dominion and a legacy unlike anything seen in Western Europe since the fall of Rome. Johannes Fried paints a compelling portrait of a devout ruler, a violent time, and a unified kingdom that deepens our understanding of the man often called the father of Europe.
The Chattahoochee Chiefdoms
John H. Blitz and Karl G. Lorenz University of Alabama Press, 2006 Library of Congress E99.M6815B56 2006 | Dewey Decimal 975.801
An overview and model of complex society in the prehistoric Southeast.
Along the banks of the lower Chattahoochee River, the remains of ancient settlements are abundant, including archaeological sites produced by Native Americans between 900 and 350 years ago, and marked by the presence of large earthen mounds. Like similar monuments elsewhere in the Southeastern United States, the lower Chatta-hoochee River mounds have long attracted the attention of travelers, antiquarians, and archaeologists.
As objects from the mounds were unearthed, occasionally illustrated and discussed in print, attention became focused on the aesthetic qualities of the artifacts, the origins of the remains, and the possible relationship to the Creek Indians. Beginning in the 20th century, new concerns emerged as the developing science of archaeology was introduced to the region. As many of the sites became threatened or destroyed by reservoir construction, trained archaeologists initiated extensive excavations of the mounds. Although classification of artifacts and sites into a chronological progression of cultures was the main objective of this effort, a second concern, sometimes more latent than manifest, was the reconstruction of a past way of life. Archaeologists hoped to achieve a better understanding of the sociopolitical organization of the peoples who built the mounds and of how those organizations changed through time.
Contemporary archaeologists, while in agreement on many aspects of the ancient cultures, debate the causes, forms, and degrees of sociopolitical complexity in the ancient Southeast. Do the mounds mark the capitals of political territories? If so, what was the scale and scope of these ancient “provinces”? What manner of society constructed the mound settlements? What was the sociopolitical organization of these long-dead populations? How can archaeologists answer such queries with the mute and sometimes ordinary materials with which they work: pottery, stone tools, organic residues, and the strata of remnant settlements, buildings, and mounds?
In this newly researched and synthesized history of the Cherokees, Hoig traces the displacement of the tribe and the Trail of Tears, the great trauma of the Civil War, the destruction of tribal autonomy, and the Cherokee people's phoenix-like rise in political and social stature during the twentieth century.
A figure of crucial importance to scholarship on western and eastern Europe alike, King Coloman (1208–1241) here receives long-overdue scholarly treatment as a key figure of the thirteenth century. The Árpád prince ruled over a vast area in Central Europe which remained largely affiliated to the Western Church, territories that comprise modern-day Hungary, Slovakia, Croatia, and Bosnia. This study draws on Hungarian and other research that is inaccessible outside the region and places Coloman at the crossroads of Latin Christendom, Eastern Orthodoxy, and the Mongol Empire.
The eighteenth century's critique of privilege and its commitment to the idea of advancement by merit are widely regarded as sources of modernity. But if meritocratic values were indeed the product of the Enlightenment and the French Revolution, how do we explain earlier attention to merit--especially the nobility whose values the Revolution rejected? The Culture of Merit probes this paradox by analyzing changing perceptions of merit among the old nobility from the age of Louis XIII to the eve of the French Revolution.
Jay M. Smith argues that the early modern nobility instinctively drew a correlation between the meaning of merit and an image of the "sovereign's gaze." In the early seventeenth century, merit meant the qualities traditionally associated with aristocratic values: generosity, fidelity, and honor. Nobles sought to display those qualities before the appreciative gaze of the king himself. But the expansion of the monarchy forced the routinization of the sovereign's gaze, and Louis XIV began to affirm and reward new qualities--talent and application--besides those thought innately noble.
The contradictions implicit within the absolute monarchy's culture of merit are demonstrated by the eighteenth-century French army, which was dominated by the nobility, but also committed to efficiency and expertise. Smith shows that the army's continuous efforts to encourage and reward "merit" led to a clash of principles. The ever-growing emphasis on talent and discipline led reformers--the great majority of them noble--to attack the most egregious examples of privilege and favoritism in the army. Smith's analysis of the long-term evolution in conceptions of royal service suggests a new explanation for the shift in values signified by the French Revolution. The transition away from the "personal" gaze of the king toward the "public" gaze of the monarchy and nation foretold the triumph of a new culture of merit in which noble birth would have no meaning.
The Culture of Merit will interest historians and other social scientists concerned with issues of aristocratic identity, state formation, professionalization, and the changing political culture of pre-Revolutionary France.
Jay M. Smith is Assistant Professor of History, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
Darius III ruled over the Persian Empire and was the most powerful king of his time, yet he remains obscure. In the first book devoted to the historical memory of Darius III, Pierre Briant describes a man depicted in ancient sources as a decadent Oriental who lacked Western masculine virtues and was in every way the opposite of Alexander the Great.
Aristocratic women exerted unprecedented political and social influence in Florence throughout the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. During this period, female members of the powerful Medici family governed the city for the first and only time in its history. These women also helped shape the city's artistic life, commissioning works of music, art, and theater that were inscribed with their own concerns and aspirations. Echoes of Women's Voices examines the patronage of individuals and institutions, particularly convents, which have remained, until now, largely neglected by scholars.
Through commissions, patrons sought to promote a vision of the world and their place in it. The unique social norms, laws, educational backgrounds, and life experiences of female patrons meant the expression of a worldview that differed significantly from that of their male counterparts. Joining exceptional archival research with telling analysis of significant examples of music, art, and drama, Kelley Harness challenges the prevailing view that Florence saw a political and artistic decline during this period. She argues convincingly that the female domination of these years brought forth artistic patronage that was both continuous and well-conceived.
Because of their enormous size, elephants have long been irresistible for kings as symbols of their eminence. In early civilizations—such as Egypt, Mesopotamia, the Indus Civilization, and China—kings used elephants for royal sacrifice, spectacular hunts, public display of live captives, or the conspicuous consumption of ivory—all of them tending toward the elephant’s extinction. The kings of India, however, as Thomas R. Trautmann shows in this study, found a use for elephants that actually helped preserve their habitat and numbers in the wild: war.
Trautmann traces the history of the war elephant in India and the spread of the institution to the west—where elephants took part in some of the greatest wars of antiquity—and Southeast Asia (but not China, significantly), a history that spans 3,000 years and a considerable part of the globe, from Spain to Java. He shows that because elephants eat such massive quantities of food, it was uneconomic to raise them from birth. Rather, in a unique form of domestication, Indian kings captured wild adults and trained them, one by one, through millennia. Kings were thus compelled to protect wild elephants from hunters and elephant forests from being cut down. By taking a wide-angle view of human-elephant relations, Trautmann throws into relief the structure of India’s environmental history and the reasons for the persistence of wild elephants in its forests.
Emperor Haile Selassie
Bereket Habte Selassie Ohio University Press, 2014 Library of Congress DT387.7.B47 2014 | Dewey Decimal 963.055092
Emperor Haile Selassie was an iconic figure of the twentieth century, a progressive monarch who ruled Ethiopia from 1916 to 1974. This book, written by a former state official who served in a number of important positions in Selassie’s government, tells both the story of the emperor’s life and the story of modern Ethiopia.
After a struggle for the throne in 1916, the young Selassie emerged first as regent and then as supreme leader of Ethiopia. Over the course of his nearly six-decade rule, the emperor abolished slavery, introduced constitutional reform, and expanded educational opportunity. The Italian invasion of Ethiopia in the 1930s led to a five-year exile in England, from which he returned in time to lead his country through World War II. Selassie was also instrumental in the founding of the Organization of African Unity in 1963, but he fell short of the ultimate goal of a promised democracy in Ethiopia. The corruption that grew under his absolute rule, as well as his seeming indifference to the famine that gripped Ethiopia in the 1970s, led finally to his overthrow by the armed forces that he had created.
Haile Selassie was an enlightened monarch in many ways, but also a man with flaws like any other. This short biography is a sensitive portrayal of Selassie as both emperor and man, by one who knew him well.
This volume, part of a series on the prehistory and human ecology of the Valley of Oaxaca, Mexico, focuses on Cerro Tilcajete, a secondary administrative center below Monte Albán, the capital of the prehispanic Zapotec state.
Roman politics and religion were inherently linked as the Romans attempted to explain the world and their place within it. As Roman territory expanded and power became consolidated into the hands of one man, people throughout the empire sought to define their relationship with the emperor by granting honors to him. This collection of practices has been labeled “emperor worship” or “ruler cult,” but this tells only half the story: imperial family members also became an important part of this construction of power and almost half of the individuals deified in Rome were wives, sisters, children, and other family members of the emperor.
In A Family of Gods, Gwynaeth McIntyre expands current “ruler cult” discussions by including other deified individuals, and by looking at how communities in the period 44 BCE to 337 CE sought to connect themselves with the imperial power structure through establishing priesthoods and cult practices. This work focuses on the priests dedicated to the worship of the imperial family in order to contextualize their role in how imperial power was perceived in the provincial communities and the ways in which communities chose to employ religious practices. Special emphasis is given to the provinces in Gaul, Spain, and North Africa.
This book draws on epigraphic evidence but incorporates literary, numismatic, and archaeological evidence where applicable. It will be of interest to scholars of Roman imperial cult as well as Roman imperialism, and religious and political history.
David Freidel and Linda Schele’s monumental work A Forest of Kings: The Untold Story of the Ancient Maya (1990) offered an innovative, rigorous, and controversial approach to studying the ancient Maya, unifying archaeological, iconographic, and epigraphic data in a form accessible to both scholars and laypeople. Travis Stanton and Kathryn Brown’s A Forest of History:The Maya after the Emergence of Divine Kingship presents a collection of essays that critically engage with and build upon the lasting contributions A Forest of Kings made to Maya epigraphy, iconography, material culture, and history.
These original papers present new, cutting-edge research focusing on the social changes leading up to the spread of divine kingship across the lowlands in the first part of the Early Classic. The contributors continue avenues of inquiry such as the timing of the Classic Maya collapse across the southern lowlands, the nature of Maya warfare, the notion of usurpation and “stranger-kings” in the Classic period, the social relationships between the ruler and elite of the Classic period Yaxchilán polity, and struggles for sociopolitical dominance among the later Classic period polities of Chichén Itzá, Cobá, and the Puuc kingdoms.
Many of the interpretations and approaches in A Forest of Kings have withstood the test of time, while others have not; a complete understanding of the Classic Maya world is still developing. In A Forest of History recent discoveries are considered in the context of prior scholarship, illustrating both the progress the field has made in the past quarter century and the myriad questions that remain. The volume will be a significant contribution to the literature for students, scholars, and general readers interested in Mesoamerican and Maya archaeology.
Wendy Ashmore, Arlen F. Chase, Diane Z. Chase, Wilberth Cruz Alvarado, Arthur A. Demarest, Keith Eppich, David A. Freidel, Charles W. Golden, Stanley P. Guenter, Annabeth Headrick, Aline Magnoni, Joyce Marcus, Marilyn A. Masson, Damaris Menéndez, Susan Milbrath, Olivia C. Navarro-Farr, José Osorio León, Carlos Peraza Lope, Juan Carlos Pérez Calderón, Griselda Pérez Robles, Francisco Pérez Ruíz, Michelle Rich, Jeremy A. Sabloff, Andrew K. Scherer, Karl A. Taube
Told by a colonial governor, a Creek military leader, Native Americans, and British colonists, each account of Acorn Whistler’s execution for killing five Cherokees speaks to the collision of European and Indian cultures, the struggle to preserve traditional ways of life, and tensions within the British Empire on the eve of the American Revolution.
A Medieval King Who Embraced the Arts and Sciences
One of the most remarkable personalities of the Middle Ages, Frederick II of Hohenstaufen was born in 1194. His parents—the reigning Holy Roman Emperor and the heiress to the Kingdom of Sicily—belonged to two of the leading ruling families in medieval Europe. The lands controlled by these two families extended from southern Denmark to Sicily, from modern Belgium to Bohemia. Frederick II eventually ruled the joint kingdom, and the story of how he gained and maintained this status is the primary thread running through his life. As a child in Sicily, Frederick was a ward of Pope Innocent III. When he came of age, he sought to be crowned Holy Roman Emperor but only succeeded in 1220 after many years of negotiations with the Vatican, which was reluctant to give up or share power. Resenting the influence and pressure from the papacy, Frederick became its leading opponent. As a result, the new pope, Gregory IX, condemned Frederick as the Antichrist. However, Frederick believed he was a sincere Christian, and led the Sixth Crusade to the Holy Land while under excommunication.
As a ruler, Frederick was unusually modern in his sensibilities. Sicily was a cultural melting pot in the thirteenth century and Frederick ended up speaking several languages. He protected Jews and Muslims in his realms and prosecuted Christian heretics throughout his thirty-year reign. Frederick was married three times, and had four legitimate and eleven illegitimate children. He was a polymath with interests ranging from sculpture, architecture, and poetry to mathematics and science in many forms, earning him admiration from his contemporaries who called him Stupor mundi, “Wonder of the World.” His lifelong interest in hunting with birds of prey led to the writing of the classic work De Arte Venandi cum Avibus (The Art of Falconry), which is still in print. Based on the latest scholarship and written for the general reader, Frederick II: The Wonder of the World by Richard Bressler provides the complete story of this complex and fascinating man.
Intended as a companion volume to the De multro, the book provides an outline of the Flemish crisis of 1127-28 and summarizes what is known about Galbert. It traces the elaboration of the De multro from a set of wax notes to a nearly completed chronicle.
The titulary of the ancient Egyptian king was one of the symbols of authority he assumed at his coronation. At first consisting only of the Horus name, the titulary grew to include other phrases chosen to represent the king’s special relationship with the divine world. By the Middle Kingdom (late twenty-first century B.C.E.), the full fivefold titulary was clearly established, and kings henceforth used all five names regularly. This volume includes all rulers’ names from the so-called Dynasty 0 (ca. 3200 B.C.E.) to the last Ptolemaic ruler in the late first century B.C.E., offered in transliteration and English translation with an introduction and notes.
In 1492 the island of Hispaniola was inhabited by the Taino, an Indian group whose ancestors had moved into the Caribbean archipelago from lowland South America more than 1,500 years before. They were organized politically into large cacicazgos, or chiefdoms, comprising 70 or more villages under the authority of a paramount cacique, or chief. From the first voyage on, Columbus made Hispaniola his primary base for operations in the New World. Over the subsequent decades, disease, warfare, famine, and enslavement brought about the destruction of the Taino chiefdoms and almost completely annihilated the aboriginal population of the island.
This book examines the early years of the contact period in the Caribbean and in narrative form reconstructs the social and political organization of the Taino. Wilson describes in detail the interactions between the Taino and the Spaniards, with special attention paid to the structure and functioning of the Taino chiefdoms. By providing additional information from archaeology and recent ethnography, he builds a rich context within which to understand the Taino and their responses to the Europeans.
The Taino are especially important in a New World context because they represent a society undergoing rapid sociopolitical change and becoming more complex through time. The early contact period on Hispaniola gives us a rich ethnohistorical glimpse of the political processes of a complex New World society before and during its destruction brought about by the arrival of the Europeans.
Inca archaeology has traditionally been intimately tied to the study of the Spanish chronicles, but archaeologists are often asked to explain how Inca civilization relates to earlier states and empires in the Andean highlands-a time period with little coinciding documentary record. Until recently, few archaeologists working in and around the Inca heartland conducted archaeological research into the period between AD 1000 and AD 1400, leaving a great divide between pre-Inca archaeology and Inca studies.
In How the Incas Built Their Heartland R. Alan Covey supplements an archaeological approach with the tools of a historian, forming an interdisciplinary study of how the Incas became sufficiently powerful to embark on an unprecedented campaign of territorial expansion and how such developments related to earlier patterns of Andean statecraft. In roughly a hundred years of military campaigns, Inca dominion spread like wildfire across the Andes, a process traditionally thought to have been set in motion by a single charismatic ruler, Pachacuti Inca Yupanqui. Taking nearly a century of archaeological research in the region around the Inca capital as his point of departure, Covey offers an alternative description of Inca society in the centuries leading up to imperial expansion. To do so, Covey proposes a new reading of the Spanish chronicles, one that focuses on processes, rather than singular events, occurring throughout the region surrounding Cusco, the Inca capital. His focus on long-term regional changes, rather than heroic actions of Inca kings, allows the historical and archaeological evidence to be placed on equal interpretive footing. The result is a narrative of Inca political origins linking Inca statecraft to traditions of Andean power structures, long-term ecological changes, and internal social transformations. By reading the Inca histories in a compatible way, Covey shows that it is possible to construct a unified theory of how the Inca heartland was transformed after AD 1000.
R. Alan Covey is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Southern Methodist University.
The prevailing view of the lowland Maya during the Postclassic period (A.D. 1050-1500) has been one of an impoverished, "degenerated" society devoid of cultural accomplishment. However, Marilyn A. Masson offers a fresh interpretation of this society as one that represented a complex, sophisticated, extensive organization of semiautonomous units that were closely integrated, yet embraced a decentralized political economy.
In the Realm of Nachan Kan opens a window on Postclassic Maya patterns of cultural development and organization through a close examination of the small rural island of Laguna de On, a location that was distant from the governing political centers of the day. Using diachronic analysis of regional settlement patterns, ceramic traditions, household and ritual features, and artifacts from the site, Masson tracks developmental changes throughout the Postclassic period. These data suggest that affluent patterns of economic production and local and long-distance exchange were established within northern Belize by the eleventh century, and continued to develop, virtually uninterrupted, until the time of Spanish arrival.
In addition, Masson analyzes contemporary political and religious artistic traditions at the temples of Mayapan, Tulum, and Santa Rita to provide a regional context for the changes in community patterns at Laguna de On. These cultural changes, she maintains, are closely correlated with the rise of Mayapan to power and participation of sites like Laguna de On in a pan-lowland economic and ritual interaction sphere. Offering a thoroughly new interpretation of Postclassic Mayan civilization. In the Realm of Nachan Kan is a must for scholars of Mesoamerican history and culture.
In the Time of Trees and Sorrows showcases peasants’ memories of everyday life in North India under royal rule and their musings on the contrast between the old days and the unprecedented shifts that a half century of Indian Independence has wrought. It is an oral history of the former Kingdom of Sawar in the modern state of Rajasthan as it was from the 1930s to the 1950s. Based on testimonies from the 1990s, this book stands as a polyvocal account of the radical political and environmental changes the region and its people have faced in the twentieth century. Not just the story of modernity from the perspective of a rural village, these interviews and author commentaries narrate this small rural community’s relatively sudden transformation from subjection to a local despot and to a remote colonial power to citizenship in a modern postcolonial democracy. Unlike other recent studies of Rajasthan, the current study gives voice exclusively to former subjects who endured the double oppression of colonial and regional rulers. Gold and Gujar thus place subjective subaltern experiences of daily routines, manifestations of power relations, and sweeping changes to the environment (after the fall of kings) that turned lush forests into a barren landscape on equal footing with historical “fact” and archival sources. Ambiguous, complex, and culturally laden as it is in Western thought, the concept of nature is queried in this ethnographic text. For persons in Sawar the environment is not only a means of sustenance, its deterioration is linked to human morality and to power, both royal and divine. The framing questions of this South Asian history revealed through memories are: what was it like in the time of kings and what happened to the trees?
Calakmul is a large Maya site in the Yucatán Peninsula of southern Mexico, just north of Tikal and the Guatemala border. In the 1980s, Joyce Marcus sketched and photographed the inscriptions on the monuments of Calakmul, in an effort to understand the nature of Maya territorial organization through the hieroglyphic record. Through the inscriptions, she was able to identify a sequence of rulers and royal couples, and their association with temples and other architecture at the site. Foreword by William J. Folan.
From the Mesoamerican highlands to the Colca Valley in Peru, pre-Columbian civilizations were bastions of power that have largely been viewed through the lens of rulership, or occasionally through bottom-up perspectives of resistance. Rather than focusing on rulers or peasants, this book examines how intermediate elites—both men and women—helped to develop, sustain, and resist state policies and institutions. Employing new archaeological and ethnohistorical data, its contributors trace a 2,000-year trajectory of elite social evolution in the Zapotec, Wari, Aztec, Inka, and Maya civilizations.
This is the first volume to consider how individuals subordinate to imperial rulers helped to shape specific forms of state and imperial organization. Taking a broader scope than previous studies, it is one of the few works to systematically address these issues in both Mesoamerica and the Central Andes. It considers how these individuals influenced the long-term development of the largest civilizations of the ancient Americas, opening a new window on the role of intermediate elites in the rise and fall of ancient states and empires worldwide.
The authors demonstrate how such evidence as settlement patterns, architecture, decorative items, and burial patterns reflect the roles of intermediate elites in their respective societies, arguing that they were influential actors whose interests were highly significant in shaping the specific forms of state and imperial organization. Their emphasis on provincial elites particularly shifts examination of early states away from royal capitals and imperial courts, explaining how local elites and royal bureaucrats had significant impact on the development and organization of premodern states.
Together, these papers demonstrate that intricate networks of intermediate elites bound these ancient societies together—and that competition between individuals and groups contributed to their decline and eventual collapse. By addressing current theoretical concerns with agency, resistance to state domination, and the co-option of local leadership by imperial administrators, it offers valuable new insight into the utility of studying intermediate elites.
Excavations of Maya burial vaults at Palenque, Mexico, half a century ago revealed what was then the most extraordinary tomb finding of the pre-Columbian world; its discovery has been crucial to an understanding of the dynastic history and ideology of the ancient Maya. Over the years, new analytical tools introduced uncertainties regarding earlier interpretations of the findings, and a reanalysis of the remains of the ruler Janaab’ Pakal using contemporary methodologies has led to new interpretations of former accounts of his life and death.
This volume communicates the broad scope of applied interdisciplinary research conducted on the Pakal remains to provide answers to old disputes over the accuracy of both skeletal and epigraphic studies, along with new questions in the field of Maya dynastic research. Contributions by scholars in epigraphy, anthropology, and bioarchaeology bring to light new evidence regarding the ruler’s age, clarify his medical history and the identification of the remains found with him, reevaluate his role in life, and offer modern insights into ritual and sacrificial practices associated with Pakal.
The book leads readers through the history of Pakal’s discovery, skeletal analysis, and interpretation of Maya biographies, and also devotes considerable attention to the tomb of the “Red Queen” discovered at the site. Findings from the new Transition Analysis aging method, histomorphometric analysis, and taphonomic imagery are presented to shed new light on the perplexing question of Pakal’s age at death. Royal Maya life and death histories from the written record are also analyzed from a regional perspective to provide a broad panorama of the twisted power politics of rulers’ families and the entangled genealogies of the Maya Classic period.
A benchmark in biological anthropology, this volume reconsiders assumptions concerning the practices and lives of Maya rulers, posing the prospect that researchers too often find what they expect to find. In presenting an updated study of a well-known personage, it also offers innovative approaches to the biocultural and interdisciplinary re-creation of Maya dynastic history.
Jesper K. Boldseh
Jane E. Buikstra
James H. Burton
George R. Milner
T. Douglas Price
Sam D. Stout
John W. Verano
This is a history of the early days of Uganda. The account has an African focus because it shows the British takeover through the experiences of an extraordinary leader.
“At this spot in the year 1901 the British flag was first hoisted by Semei Kakanguru, emissary and loyal servant of His Majesty the King. He built here a boma which was for a short time the headquarters of the district. From this beginning came the establishment of peace and the development of orderly progress in this part of Uganda.”
Michael Twaddle was shown this plaque in 1963 by a local government official who said “That man created the Uganda we Ugandans are fighting for today.” And yet the local people had had the plaque removed to a bicycle shed.
How do people regard an African who had an active role in the creation of the imperial state? Was this man “a hero,” “a collaborator,” “a warlord”? The reaction of colonial officials was mixed. One considered him “…in point of general intelligence, progressive ideas and charm of manner…far above all other natives in the Protectorate…” Another dismissed him, along with his companions, as “no better than Masai or Nandi cattle lifters.” And yet another viewed him as “undoubtedly…a partial religious maniac.”
The story of this man is an example of the dilemma for a whole generation of East Africans at the turn of the last century. This book has been compared in its importance to Shepperson’s and Price’s Independent African.
The King David Report
Stefan Heym Northwestern University Press, 1997 Library of Congress PT2617.E948K65 1997 | Dewey Decimal 833.914
In this retelling of the biblical story, King Solomon commissions Ethan the Scribe to write the official history of King David. In return for the finest cooking in the land and the wages of a minor prophet, Ethan must write a proper record, full of glory and battles, statecraft and honor--a tribute to David and, of course, to Solomon, his heir. But as Ethan explores the story, he finds another life hidden behind the iron curtain dividing past from present: the story of a David who seduced, lied, bragged, and plundered his way to power. Ethan wonders: which life should be reported in the King David Report?
Written by one of Germany's most acclaimed dissident authors, The King David Report is both an analysis of the writer's obligations to truth, and an astute satire on the workings of history and politics in a totalitarian state.
What can we know of the private lives of early British sovereigns? Through the unusually large number of letters that survive from King James VI of Scotland/James I of England (1566-1625), we can know a great deal. Using original letters, primarily from the British Library and the National Library of Scotland, David Bergeron creatively argues that James' correspondence with certain men in his court constitutes a gospel of homoerotic desire. Bergeron grounds his provocative study on an examination of the tradition of letter writing during the Renaissance and draws a connection between homosexual desire and letter writing during that historical period.
King James, commissioner of the Bible translation that bears his name, corresponded with three principal male favorites—Esmé Stuart (Lennox), Robert Carr (Somerset), and George Villiers (Buckingham). Esmé Stuart, James' older French cousin, arrived in Scotland in 1579 and became an intimate adviser and friend to the adolescent king. Though Esmé was eventually forced into exile by Scottish nobles, his letters to James survive, as does James' hauntingly allegorical poem Phoenix. The king's close relationship with Carr began in 1607. James' letters to Carr reveal remarkable outbursts of sexual frustration and passion.
A large collection of letters exchanged between James and Buckingham in the 1620s provides the clearest evidence for James' homoerotic desires. During a protracted separation in 1623, letters between the two raced back and forth. These artful, self-conscious letters explore themes of absence, the pleasure of letters, and a preoccupation with the body. Familial and sexual terms become wonderfully intertwined, as when James greets Buckingham as "my sweet child and wife."
King James and Letters of Homoerotic Desire presents a modern-spelling edition of seventy-five letters exchanged between Buckingham and James. Across the centuries, commentators have condemned the letters as indecent or repulsive. Bergeron argues that on the contrary they reveal an inward desire of king and subject in a mutual exchange of love.
Haile Selassie I, the last emperor of Ethiopia, was as brilliant as he was formidable. An early proponent of African unity and independence who claimed to be a descendant of King Solomon, he fought with the Allies against the Axis powers during World War II and was a messianic figure for the Jamaican Rastafarians. But the final years of his empire saw turmoil and revolution, and he was ultimately overthrown and assassinated in a communist coup.
Written by Asfa-Wossen Asserate, Haile Selassie’s grandnephew, this is the first major biography of this final “king of kings.” Asserate, who spent his childhood and adolescence in Ethiopia before fleeing the revolution of 1974, knew Selassie personally and gained intimate insights into life at the imperial court. Introducing him as a reformer and an autocrat whose personal history—with all of its upheavals, promises, and horrors—reflects in many ways the history of the twentieth century itself, Asserate uses his own experiences and painstaking research in family and public archives to achieve a colorful and even-handed portrait of the emperor.
The Kingdom of Rus'
Christian Raffensperger Arc Humanities Press, 2017 Library of Congress DK73.R238 2017 | Dewey Decimal 947.02
As scholarship continues to expand the idea of medieval Europe beyond "the West," the Rus' remain the final frontier relegated to the European periphery. The Kingdom of Rus' challenges the perception of Rus' as an eastern "other" – advancing the idea of the Rus' as a kingdom deeply integrated with medieval Europe, through an innovative analysis of medieval titles. Examining a wide range of medieval sources, this book exposes the common practice in scholarship of referring to Rusian rulers as princes as a relic of early modern attempts to diminish the Rus'. Not only was Rus' part and parcel of medieval Europe, but in the eleventh and twelfth centuries Rus' was the largest kingdom in Christendom.
By reconstructing the history of kings and clans in the Kivu Rift Valley (on the border of today's Rwanda and Zaire) at a time of critical social change, David Newbury enlarges our understanding of social process and the growth of state power in Africa. In the early nineteenth century, many factors contributed to the creation of new social relations in the Lake Kivu region—ecological change, population movement, the expansion of the Rwandan state from the east, the rise of new political units to the west, and the movement of many population groups and their ritual forms through the area. Newbury looks in particular at the role of clans in the establishment of a new kingdom on Ijwi Island in Lake Kivu.
Drawing on detailed ethnographic observations of the social and ritual organizations of Ijwi society, an extensive body of oral data, and evidence from written sources, Newbury shows that the clans of Ijwi were not static formations, nor did the establishment of a royal family on the island emerge from military conquest and internal social breakdown. Instead, clan identities changed over time, and these changes actually facilitated the creation of kingship on Ijwi. Through a detailed examination of succession struggles, of local factors influencing the outcome of such struggles, and of specific clan participation in public rituals that legitimize royalty, Newbury’s study illustrates the importance of clan identities in both the creation of state power and its reproduction over time.
Laura E. Wangerin challenges traditional views of the Ottonian Empire’s rulership. Drawing from a broad array of sources including royal and imperial diplomas, manuscript illuminations, and histories, Ottonian kingship and the administration of justice are investigated using traditional historical and comparative methodologies as well as through the application of innovative approaches such as modern systems theories. This study suggests that distinctive elements of the Ottonians’ governing apparatus, such as its decentralized structure, emphasis on the royal iter, and delegation of authority, were essential features of a highly developed political system. Kingship and Justice in the Ottonian Empire provides a welcome addition to English-language scholarship on the Ottonians, as well as to scholarship dealing with rulership and medieval legal studies.
Scholars have recognized the importance of ritual and symbolic behaviors in the Ottonian political sphere, while puzzling over the apparent lack of administrative organization, a contradiction between what we know about the Ottonians as successful rulers and their traditional characterization as rulers of a disorganized polity. Trying to account for the apparent disparity between their political and military achievements, cultural and artistic efflorescence, and relative dynastic stability, which seemingly accompanied a disinterest in writing law or creating a centralized hierarchical administration, is a tension that persists in the scholarship. This book argues that far from being accidental successes or employing primitive methods of governance, the Ottonians were shrewd rulers and administrators who exploited traditional methods of conflict resolution and delegated jurisdictional authority to keep control over their vast empire. Thus, one of the important things that this book aims to accomplish is to challenge our preconceived notions of what successful government looks like.
Valeri presents an overview of Hawaiian religious culture, in which hierarchies of social beings and their actions are mirrored by the cosmological hierarchy of the gods. As the sacrifice is performed, the worshipper is incorporated into the god of his class. Thus he draws on divine power to sustain the social order of which his action is a part, and in which his own place is determined by the degree of his resemblance to his god. The key to Hawaiian society—and a central focus for Valeri—is the complex and encompassing sacrificial ritual that is the responsibility of the king, for it displays in concrete actions all the concepts of pre-Western Hawaiian society. By interpreting and understanding this ritual cycle, Valeri contends, we can interpret all of Hawaiian religious culture.
This classic study clearly establishes a fundamental difference in viewpoint between the peoples of ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. By examining the forms of kingship which evolved in the two countries, Frankfort discovered that beneath resemblances fostered by similar cultural growth and geographical location lay differences based partly upon the natural conditions under which each society developed. The river flood which annually renewed life in the Nile Valley gave Egyptians a cheerful confidence in the permanence of established things and faith in life after death. Their Mesopotamian contemporaries, however, viewed anxiously the harsh, hostile workings of nature.
Frank's superb work, first published in 1948 and now supplemented with a preface by Samuel Noah Kramer, demonstrates how the Egyptian and Mesopotamian attitudes toward nature related to their concept of kingship. In both countries the people regarded the king as their mediator with the gods, but in Mesopotamia the king was only the foremost citizen, while in Egypt the ruler was a divine descendant of the gods and the earthly representative of the God Horus.
In the third century BCE, the ancient kingdom of Macedon held dominion over mainland Greece, but it was rapidly descending into chaos. After Alexander the Great’s death, several of his successors contended for the Macedonian throne, and amid the tumult the Celts launched a massive invasion, ravaging and plundering Macedon and northern Greece for years. The Celts finally met their defeat at the hands of Antigonus Gonatas, son of one of Alexander’s successors. An exceptional statesman and artful strategist, Antigonus protected Macedon and its Greek territories against aggressors coming from every direction. After almost fifty years of chaos brought on by Alexander’s death, Antigonus stabilized Macedon and Greece and laid the foundation for a long but troubled reign.
In this book, distinguished historian Robin Waterfield draws on his deep understanding of Greek history to bring us into the world of this complicated, splintered empire. He shows how, while Antigonus was confirming his Macedonian rule through constitutional changes, the Greeks were making moves toward independence. Two great confederacies of Greek cities emerged, forming powerful blocs that had the potential to resist the power of Macedon. The Making of a King charts Antigonus’s conflicts with the Greeks and with his perennial enemy, Ptolemy of Egypt. But Antigonus’s diplomatic and military successes were not enough to secure peace, and in his final years he saw his control of Greece whittled away by rebellion and the growing power of the Greek confederacies. Macedon’s lack of firm control over Greece ultimately made it possible for Rome to take its place as the arbiter of the Greeks’ future.
The Making of a King is Waterfield’s third volume about the Greeks in the era after Alexander the Great. Completing the story begun in his previous two books, Dividing the Spoils and Taken at the Flood, it brings Antigonus and his turbulent era to life. With The Making of a King—the first book in more than a century to tell in full the story of Antigonus Gonatas’s reign—this fascinating figure finally receives his due.
Replete with shady merchants, scoundrels, hungry mercenaries, scheming nobles, and maneuvering cardinals, The Man Who Believed He Was King of France proves the adage that truth is often stranger than fiction—or at least as entertaining. The setting of this improbable but beguiling tale is 1354 and the Hundred Years’ War being waged for control of France. Seeing an opportunity for political and material gain, the demagogic dictator of Rome tells Giannino di Guccio that he is in fact the lost heir to Louis X, allegedly switched at birth with the son of a Tuscan merchant. Once convinced of his birthright, Giannino claims for himself the name Jean I, king of France, and sets out on a brave—if ultimately ruinous—quest that leads him across Europe to prove his identity.
With the skill of a crime scene detective, Tommaso di Carpegna Falconieri digs up evidence in the historical record to follow the story of a life so incredible that it was long considered a literary invention of the Italian Renaissance. From Italy to Hungry, then through Germany and France, the would-be king’s unique combination of guile and earnestness seems to command the aid of lords and soldiers, the indulgence of inn-keepers and merchants, and the collusion of priests and rogues along the way. The apparent absurdity of the tale allows Carpegna Falconieri to analyze late-medieval society, exploring questions of essence and appearance, being and belief, at a time when the divine right of kings confronted the rise of mercantile culture. Giannino’s life represents a moment in which truth, lies, history, and memory combine to make us wonder where reality leaves off and fiction begins.
The Medicean Succession
Gregory Murry Harvard University Press, 2014 Library of Congress DG738.17.M87 2014 | Dewey Decimal 945.507092
Cosimo dei Medici stabilized ducal finances, secured his borders, doubled his territory, attracted scholars and artists to his court, academy, and universities, and dissipated fractious Florentine politics. These triumphs were far from a foregone conclusion, as Gregory Murry shows in this study of how Cosimo crafted his image as a sacral monarch.
In 1894 Wisconsin game wardens Horace Martin and Josiah Hicks were dispatched to arrest Joe White, an Ojibwe ogimaa (chief), for hunting deer out of season and off-reservation. Martin and Hicks found White and made an effort to arrest him. When White showed reluctance to go with the wardens, they started beating him; he attempted to flee, and the wardens shot him in the back, fatally wounding him. Both Martin and Hicks were charged with manslaughter in local county court, and they were tried by an all-white jury. A gripping historical study, The Murder of Joe White contextualizes this event within decades of struggle of White’s community at Rice Lake to resist removal to the Lac Courte Oreilles Reservation, created in 1854 at the Treaty of La Pointe. While many studies portray American colonialism as defined by federal policy, The Murder of Joe White seeks a much broader understanding of colonialism, including the complex role of state and local governments as well as corporations. All of these facets of American colonialism shaped the events that led to the death of Joe White and the struggle of the Ojibwe to resist removal to the reservation.
Over the decades a great deal has been written about Shaka, the most famous—or infamous—of Zulu leaders. It may come as a surprise, therefore, that even the most basic facts about his life are locked in obscurity. His date of birth, what he looked like, and the circumstances of his assassination remain unknown.
Meanwhile the public image, sometimes monstrous, sometimes heroic, juggernauts on—truly a “myth of iron” that is so intriguing, so dramatic, so archetypal, and sometimes so politically useful that few have subjected it to proper scrutiny.
Myth of Iron: Shaka in History is the first book-length scholarly study of Shaka to be published. It lays out, as far as possible, all the available evidence—mainly hitherto underutilized Zulu oral testimonies, supported by other documentary sources—and decides, item by item, legend by legend, what exactly is known about Shaka’s reign. The picture that emerges in this meticulously researched and absorbing antibiography is very different from the popular narrative.
Little is known about how Late Postclassic populations in southeast Mesoamerica organized their political relations. Networks of Power fills gaps in the knowledge of this little-studied area, reconstructing the course of political history in the Naco Valley from the fourteenth through early sixteenth centuries.
Describing the material and behavioral patterns pertaining to the Late Postclassic period using components of three settlements in the Naco Valley of northwestern Honduras, the book focuses on how contests for power shaped political structures. Power-seeking individuals, including but not restricted to ruling elites, depended on networks of allies to support their political objectives. Ongoing and partially successful competitions waged within networks led to the incorporation of exotic ideas and imported items into the daily practices of all Naco Valley occupants. The result was a fragile hierarchical structure forever vulnerable to the initiatives of agents operating on local and distant stages.
Networks of Power describes who was involved in these competitions and in which networks they participated; what resources were mustered within these webs; which projects were fueled by these assets; and how, and to what extent, they contributed to the achievement of political aims.
Njinga of Angola
Linda M. Heywood Harvard University Press, 2017 Library of Congress DT1365.N95H49 2017 | Dewey Decimal 967.301
One of history’s most multifaceted rulers but little known in the West, Queen Njinga rivaled Elizabeth I and Catherine the Great in political cunning and military prowess. Today, she is revered in Angola as a heroine and honored in folk religions. Her complex legacy forms a crucial part of the collective memory of the Afro-Atlantic world.
Patricia Riles Wickman University of Alabama Press, 2006 Library of Congress E99.S28O88 2006 | Dewey Decimal 975.900497385909
A bestselling, up-to-date evaluation of a legendary Indian leader. Named Outstanding Book by the Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Human Rights. "Osceola's Legacy is significant for its geneology and archaeological study of this Native American and his interaction with the federal government during the 1800s. The catalog of photographs of Osceola portraits and his personal possessions makes this a worthwhile reference book as well." --Georgia Historical Quarterly
On June 15, 1888, a mere ninety-nine days after ascending the throne to become king of Prussia and German emperor, Frederick III succumbed to throat cancer. Europeans were spellbound by the cruel fate nobly borne by the voiceless Fritz, who for more than two decades had been celebrated as a military hero and loved as a kindly gentleman. A number of grief-stricken individuals reportedly offered to sacrifice their own healthy larynxes to save the ailing emperor.
Frank Lorenz Müller, in the first comprehensive life of Frederick III ever written, reconstructs how the hugely popular persona of “Our Fritz” was created and used for various political purposes before and after the emperor’s tragic death. Sandwiched between the reign of his ninety-year-old father and the calamitous rule of his own son, the future emperor William II, Frederick III served as a canvas onto which different political forces projected their hopes and fears for Germany's future. The book moves beyond the myth that Frederick’s humane liberalism would have built a lasting Anglo-German partnership, perhaps even preventing World War I, and beyond the castigations and exaggerations of parties with a different agenda. Surrounded by an unforgettable cast of characters that includes the emperor’s widely hated English wife, Vicky—daughter of Queen Victoria—and the scheming Otto von Bismarck, Frederick III offers in death as well as in life a revealing, poignant glimpse of Prussia, Germany, and the European world that his son would help to shatter.
Scholars who study peasant society now realize that peasants are not passive, but quite capable of acting in their own interests. But, do coherent political ideas emerge within peasant society or do peasants act in a world where elites define political issues? Peasant Intellectuals is based on ethnographic research begun in 1966 and includes interviews with hundreds of people from all levels of Tanzanian society. Steven Feierman provides the history of the struggles to define the most basic issues of public political discourse in the Shambaa-speaking region of Tanzania. Feierman also shows that peasant society contains a rich body of alternative sources of political language from which future debates will be shaped.
Pedro Pino, or Lai-iu-ah-tsai-lu (his Zuni name) was for many years the most important Zuni political leader. He served during a period of tremendous change and challenges for his people. Born in 1788, captured by Navajos in his teens, he was sold into a New Mexican household, where he obtained his Spanish name. When he returned to Zuni, he spoke three languages and brought with him a wealth of knowledge regarding the world outside the pueblo. For decades he ably conducted Zuni foreign relations, defending the pueblo's sovereignty and lands, establishing trade relationships, interacting with foreigners-from prominent military and scientific expeditions to common emigrants-and documenting all in a remarkable archive. Steeped in Zuni traditions, he was known among other things for his diplomatic savvy, as a great warrior, for his oratory, and for his honesty and hospitality.
More than a biography, Richard Hart's work provides a history of Zuni during an especially significant period. Also the author of Zuni and the Courts: A Struggle for Sovereign
Land Rights and the co-author of A Zuni Atlas, Hart originally wrote the manuscript in 1979 after a decade of historical work for Zuni Pueblo. He then set it aside but continued to pursue research about and for Zuni. Its publication, at last, inscribes an important contribution to Pueblo history and biography and a testimonial to a remarkable Native American leader. In an afterword written for this publication, Hart discusses his original intentions in writing about Pedro Pino and Zuni and situates the biography in relation to current scholarship.
Katherine CRAWFORD Harvard University Press, 2004 Library of Congress DC36.1.C73 2004 | Dewey Decimal 320.444
In a book addressing those interested in the transformation of monarchy into the modern state and in intersections of gender and political power, Katherine Crawford examines the roles of female regents in early modern France.
The reigns of child kings loosened the normative structure in which adult males headed the body politic, setting the stage for innovative claims to authority made on gendered terms. When assuming the regency, Catherine de Médicis presented herself as dutiful mother, devoted widow, and benign peacemaker, masking her political power. In subsequent regencies, Marie de Médicis and Anne of Austria developed strategies that naturalized a regendering of political structures. They succeeded so thoroughly that Philippe d’Orleans found that this rhetoric at first supported but ultimately undermined his authority. Regencies demonstrated that power did not necessarily work from the places, bodies, or genders in which it was presumed to reside.
While broadening the terms of monarchy, regencies involving complex negotiations among child kings, queen mothers, and royal uncles made clear that the state continued regardless of the king—a point not lost on the Revolutionaries or irrelevant to the fate of Marie-Antoinette.
In the medieval period, the monarch was seen as the embodiment of the community of his kingdom, the body politic. And while we've long since shed that view, it nonetheless continues to influence our understanding of contemporary politics. This book offers thirteen case studies from premodern and contemporary Europe that demonstrate the process through which political corporations-bodies politic-were and continue to be constructed and challenged. Drawing on history, archaeology, literary criticism, and art history, the contributors survey a wide geographical and chronological spectrum to offer a panoramic view of these dynamic political entities.
Valuable, original, and difficult-to-find resources on Choctaw history and culture.
This important book comprises two articles that appeared in the 1904 and 1906 volumes of Publications of the Mississippi Historical Society. In "Life of Apushimataha," Gideon Lincecum tells the story of Choctaw chief Pushmataha, who was born in Mississippi in 1764. A fearless warrior, his name literally means "one whose tomahawk is fatal in war or hunting." As a charismatic leader, his foresight in making an alliance with General Andrew Jackson brought the Choctaws into war with the Creek Nation and into the War of 1812 but served to their benefit for many years with the United States government. In 1824, Pushmataha traveled to Washington, D.C., to negotiate the Treaty of Doak's Stand as pressure grew for Choctaw removal to Oklahoma Territory, but he fell ill and died there. He was buried with full military honors in the Congressional Cemetery at Arlington.
In "Choctaw Traditions about Their Settlement in Mississippi and the Origin of Their Mounds," Lincecum translates a portion of the Skukhaanumpula—the traditional history of the tribe, which was related to him verbally by Chata Immataha, "the oldest man in the world, a man that knew everything." It explains how and why the sacred Nanih Waya mound was erected and how the Choctaws formed new towns, and it describes the structure of leadership roles in their society.
Reading Inca History
Catherine Julien University of Iowa Press, 2002 Library of Congress F3429.J85 2000 | Dewey Decimal 985.019072
At the heart of this book is the controversy over whether Inca history can and should be read as history. Did the Incas narrate a true reflection of their past, and did the Spaniards capture these narratives in a way that can be meaningfully reconstructed? In Reading Inca History,Catherine Julien finds that the Incas did indeed create detectable life histories.
The two historical genres that contributed most to sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Spanish narratives about the Incas were an official account of Inca dynastic genealogy and a series of life histories of Inca rulers. Rather than take for granted that there was an Inca historical consciousness, Julien begins by establishing an Inca purpose for keeping this dynastic genealogy. She then compares Spanish narratives of the Inca past to identify the structure of underlying Inca genres and establish the dependency on oral sources. Once the genealogical genre can be identified, the life histories can also be detected.
By carefully studying the composition of Spanish narratives and their underlying sources, Julien provides an informed and convincing reading of these complex texts. By disentangling the sources of their meaning, she reaches across time, language, and cultural barriers to achieve a rewarding understanding of the dynamics of Inca and colonial political history.
Monarchical presidential regimes in the Arab world looked as though they would last indefinitely—until events in Tunisia and Egypt made clear their time was up. This is the first book to lay bare the dynamics of a governmental system that largely defined the Arab Middle East in the twentieth century, and the popular opposition they engendered.
Monarchical presidential regimes in the Arab world looked as though they would last indefinitely—until events in Tunisia and Egypt made clear their time was up. This is the first book to lay bare the dynamics of a governmental system that largely defined the Arab Middle East in the twentieth century, and the popular opposition they engendered.
A fresh exploration of apologetic material that pushes beyond form criticism
Andrew Knapp applies modern genre theory to seven ancient Near Eastern royal apologies that served to defend the legitimacy of kings who came to power under irregular circumstances. Knapp examines texts and inscriptions related to Telipinu, Hattusili III, David, Solomon, Hazael, Esarhaddon, and Nabonidus to identify transhistorical common issues that unite each discourse.
Compares Hittite, Israelite, Aramean, Assyrian, and Babylonian apologies
Examination of apologetic as a mode instead of a genre
Few compositions provide as much insight into the structure of the Hittite state and the nature of Hittite society as the so-called Instructions. While these texts may strike the modern reader as didactic, the Hittites, who categorized them together with state treaties, understood them as “contracts” or “obligations,” consisting of the king’s instructions to officials such as priests and temple personnel, mayors, military officers, border garrison commanders, and palace servants. They detail how and in what spirit the officials are to carry out their duties and what consequences they are to suffer for failure. Also included are several examples of closely related oath impositions and oaths. Collecting for the first time the entire corpus of Hittite Instructions, this accessible volume presents these works in transliteration of the original texts and translation, with clear and readable introductory essays, references to primary and secondary sources, and thorough indices.
"The king is dead. Long live the king!" In early modern Europe, the king's body was literally sovereign—and the right to rule was immediately transferrable to the next monarch in line upon the king's death. In The Royal Remains, Eric L. Santner argues that the "carnal" dimension of the structures and dynamics of sovereignty hasn't disappeared from politics. Instead, it migrated to a new location—the life of the people—where something royal continues to linger in the way we obsessively track and measure the vicissitudes of our flesh.
Santner demonstrates the ways in which democratic societies have continued many of the rituals and practices associated with kingship in displaced, distorted, and usually, unrecognizable forms. He proposes that those strange mental activities Freud first lumped under the category of the unconscious—which often manifest themselves in peculiar physical ways—are really the uncanny second life of these "royal remains," now animated in the body politic of modern neurotic subjects. Pairing Freud with Kafka, Carl Schmitt with Hugo von Hofmannsthal,and Ernst Kantorowicz with Rainer Maria Rilke, Santner generates brilliant readings of multiple texts and traditions of thought en route to reconsidering the sovereign imaginary. Ultimately, The Royal Remains locates much of modernity—from biopolitical controversies to modernist literary experiments—in this transition from subjecthood to secular citizenship.
This major new work will make a bold and original contribution to discussions of politics, psychoanalysis, and modern art and literature.
This collection brings a transnational perspective to the study of early modern women rulers and female sovereignty, a topic that has until now been examined through the lens of a single nation. Contributors juxtapose rulers from different countries, including well-known sovereigns such as Isabel of Castile and Elizabeth Tudor, as well as other less widely studied figures Isabeau of Bavaria, Jeanne d'Albret, Isabel Clara Eugenia, Juana of Portugal, and Catherine of Brandenburg. Several essays also focus on the representations of foreign rulers such as Catherine de' Medici in England and Elizabeth I in France.
Contributors are Tracy Adams, Anne J. Cruz, Éva Deák, Mary C. Ekman, Catherine L. Howey, Elizabeth Ketner, Carole Levin, Sandra Logan, Magdalena S. Sánchez, Mihoko Suzuki, and Barbara F. Weissberger.
Drawing on the records of nearly 100 bishops' councils spanning the centuries, alongside royal law, edicts, and capitularies of the same period, this study details how royal law and the very character of kingship among the Franks were profoundly affected by episcopal traditions of law and social order.
Ever since its emergence in colonial-era Cuba, Afro-Cuban Santería (or Lucumí) has displayed a complex dynamic of continuity and change in its institutions, rituals, and iconography. In Santería Enthroned, David H. Brown combines art history, cultural anthropology, and ethnohistory to show how Africans and their descendants have developed novel forms of religious practice in the face of relentless oppression.
Focusing on the royal throne as a potent metaphor in Santería belief and practice, Brown shows how negotiation among ideologically competing interests have shaped the religion's symbols, rituals, and institutions from the nineteenth century to the present. Rich case studies of change in Cuba and the United States, including a New Jersey temple and South Carolina's Oyotunji Village, reveal patterns of innovation similar to those found among rival Yoruba kingdoms in Nigeria. Throughout, Brown argues for a theoretical perspective on culture as a field of potential strategies and "usable pasts" that actors draw upon to craft new forms and identities—a perspective that will be invaluable to all students of the African Diaspora.
American Acemy of Religion Award for Excellence in the Study of Religion (Analytical-Descriptive Category)
Ponder questions of the united monarchy under Saul and David in light of current historical and archaeological evidence
Reconstructing the emergence of the Israelite monarchy involves interpreting historical research, approaching questions of ancient state formation, synthesizing archaeological research from sites in the southern Levant, and reexamining the biblical traditions of the early monarchy embedded in the books of Samuel and Kings. Integrating these approaches allows for a nuanced and differentiated picture of one of the most crucial periods in the history of ancient Israel. Rather than attempting to harmonize archaeological data and biblical texts or to supplement the respective approach by integrating only a portion of data stemming from the other, both perspectives come into their own in this volume presenting the results of an interdisciplinary Tübingen–Tel Aviv Research Colloquium.
Essays on Israel's monarchy by experts in biblical archaeology and biblical studies
Methods for integrating archaeology and biblical traditions in reconstructing ancient Israel's history
New research on the sociopolitical process of state formation in Israel and Judah
Denmark of the twelfth to thirteenth centuries was a place of transitions, and this volume analyzes that period through the lens of the <i>Gesta Danorum </i>of Saxo Grammaticus and other sources. The <i>Gesta</i> defends not only hierocratic conceptions but the Danish hegemonic project in the Baltic - which was grounded in the crusade movements. Such movements are presented through complex language and imagery about a glorious past brought to bear on the projects in the thirteenth century while internal tensions strengthen the monarchic and ecclesiastical institutions.
A critical resource for students and scholars of the ancient Near East and the Bible
Josette Elayi’s Sennacherib, King of Assyria is the only biography of Sargon II’s famous son.
Elayi traces the reign of Sennacherib in context in order to illuminate more fully the life and contributions of this warlord, builder, innovator, and social reformer—a unique figure among the Assyrian kings. Elayi offers both an evaluation of this royal figure and an assessment of the Assyrian Empire by interpreting the historical information surrounding the decisive events of his reign.
Exploration of why Sennacherib did not seize Jerusalem or remove Hezekiah from the throne
An extensive investigation of annals, royal inscriptions, letters, palace reliefs, clay tablets, and excavation reports
In The Shape of Inca History, Susan Niles considers the ways in which the Inca concept of history informed their narratives, rituals, and architecture. Using sixteenth-century chronicles of Inca culture, legal documents from the first generation of conquest, and field investigation of architectural remains, she strategically explores the interplay of oral and written histories with the architectural record and provides a new and exciting understanding of the lives of the royal families on the eve of conquest.
Niles focuses on the life of Huayna Capac, the Inca king who ruled at the time of the first European incursions on the Andean coast. Because he died just a few years before the Spaniards overturned the Inca world, eyewitness accounts of his deeds as recorded by the invaders can be used to separate fact from propaganda. The rich documentary sources telling of his life include extraordinarily detailed legal records that inventory lands on his estate in the Yucay Valley. These sources provide a basis—unique in the Andes—for reconstructing the social and physical plan of the estate and for dating its construction exactly.
Huayna Capac's country palace shows a design different from that devised by his ancestors. Niles argues that the radical stylistic and technical innovations documented in the buildings themselves can be understood by referring to the turbulent political atmosphere prevalent at the time of his accession. Illustrated with numerous photographs and reconstruction drawings, The Shape of Inca History breaks new ground by proposing that Inca royal style was dynamic and that the design of an Inca building can best be interpreted by its historical context. In this way it is possible to recreate the development of Inca architectural style over time.
Bill Yenne Westholme Publishing, 2008 Library of Congress E99.D1S267228 2008
An Acclaimed Biography of the Greatest American Indian Leader
Sitting Bull's name is still the best known of any American Indian leader, but his life and legacy remain shrouded with misinformation and half-truths. Sitting Bull's life spanned the entire clash of cultures and ultimate destruction of the Plains Indian way of life. He was a powerful leader and a respected shaman, but neither fully captures the enigma of Sitting Bull. He was a good friend of Buffalo Bill and skillful negotiator with the American government, yet erroneously credited with both murdering Custer at the Little Big Horn and with being the chief instigator of the Ghost Dance movement. The reality of his life, as Bill Yenne reveals in his absorbing new portrait, Sitting Bull, is far more intricate and compelling. Tracing Sitting Bull's history from a headstrong youth and his first contact with encroaching settlers, through his ascension as the spiritual and military leader of the Lakota, friendship with a Swiss-American widow from New York, and death at the hands of the Indian police on the eve of the massacre at Wounded Knee, Yenne scoured rare contemporary records and consulted Sitting Bull's own "Hieroglyphic Autobiography" in the course of his research. While Sitting Bull was the leading figure of Plains Indian resistance his message, as Yenne explains, was of self-reliance, not violence. At the Battle of the Little Bighorn, Sitting Bull was not confronting Custer as popular myth would have it, but riding through the Lakota camp making sure the most defenseless of his tribe--the children--were safe. In Sitting Bull we find a man who, in the face of an uncertain future, helped ensure the survival of his people.
Preston Holder, a brilliant iconoclast, excavated these mounds in 1955. Decades later, the excavation still stands as one of the best-documented major excavations of the Cahokia area. This volume, meticulously researched and written, is the book Holder never completed. Pauketat also includes the massive research and theoretical developments that have emerged since 1957.
For generations the debate has continued: can politicians, or mid-level administrators, speak freely and say what they think, or must they describe their superiors in purely flattering ways and abandon any philosophy of independent thought? The politician and philosopher Themistius faced these same issues in the later fourth century, in composing and delivering his panegyrics for several Roman emperors.
John Vanderspoel examines the relationship between Themistius and the emperors whom he served, and assesses realistically how philosopher and emperor interacted. Themistius' speeches cover a range of periods and topics, and offer an important body of evidence for governmental affairs in the later fourth century.
Themistius and the Imperial Court includes chapters on Themistius himself, as well as on his relations with the emperors Constantius, Julian, Jovian, Valens, and Theodosius. Appendices discuss Themistius' philosophical works and extant speeches, present translations of selected sections of his Orations, and offer a chronology of Themistius' speeches, among other topics.
Themistius and the Imperial Court will be of interest to ancient historians, classicists, students and scholars of the ancient Near East, and all those interested in power politics within governing classes.
John Vanderspoel is Associate Professor of Ancient History, University of Calgary. He has written numerous articles and reviews on late antiquity.
In the spring of 1868, people from several Ojibwe villages located along the upper Mississippi River were relocated to a new reservation at White Earth, more than 100 miles to the west. In many public declarations that accompanied their forced migration, these people appeared to embrace the move, as well as their conversion to Christianity and the new agrarian lifestyle imposed on them. Beneath this surface piety and apparent acceptance of change, however, lay deep and bitter political divisions that were to define fundamental struggles that shaped Ojibwe society for several generations.
In order to reveal the nature and extent of this struggle for legitimacy and authority, To Be The Main Leaders of Our People reconstructs the political and social history of these Minnesota Ojibwe communities between the years 1825 and 1898. Ojibwe political concerns, the thoughts and actions of Ojibwe political leaders, and the operation of the Ojibwe political system define the work's focus. Kugel examines this particular period of time because of its significance to contemporary Ojibwe history. The year 1825, for instance, marked the beginning of a formal alliance with the United States; 1898 represented not an end, but a striking point of continuity, defying the easy categorizations of Native peoples made by non-Indians, especially in the closing years of the nineteenth century.
In this volume, the Ojibwe "speak for themselves," as their words were recorded by government officials, Christian missionaries, fur traders, soldiers, lumbermen, homesteaders, and journalists. While they were nearly always recorded in English translation, Ojibwe thoughts, perceptions, concerns, and even humor, clearly emerge. To Be The Main Leaders of Our People expands the parameters of how oral traditions can be used in historical writing and sheds new light on a complex, but critical, series of events in ongoing relations between Native and non-Native people.
Michael Kulikowski traces two hundred years of Roman history during which the Empire became ungovernable and succumbed to turbulence and change. A sweeping political narrative, The Tragedy of Empire tells the story of the Western Roman Empire’s downfall, even as the Eastern Empire remained politically strong and culturally vibrant.
The Triumph of Empire
Michael Kulikowski Harvard University Press, 2016 Library of Congress DG270.K85 2016 | Dewey Decimal 937.06
Michael Kulikowski takes readers into the political heart of imperial Rome, beginning with the reign of Hadrian, who visited the farthest reaches of his domain and created stable frontiers, to the decades after Constantine the Great, who overhauled the government, introduced a new state religion, and founded a second Rome.
The grand palaces and princely villas of the Bavarian Wittelsbach dynasty—Nymphenburg, Schleissheim, the vast Residenzschloss in Munich, and others—impress visitors with their great halls and intimate cabinets, dramatic stairhalls and seemingly endless rows of sumptuously decorated rooms. But these dazzling residences did not exist solely to delight the eye. In The Utility of Splendor, Samuel John Klingensmith discusses how, over the years, successive rulers reshaped the internal spaces of their residences to reflect changes in the elaborate ceremony that regulated daily life at court.
Drawing on a broad range of sources, including building documents, correspondence, diaries, and court regulations, Klingensmith investigates the intricacies of Bavarian court practice and shows that Versailles was only one among several influences on German palace planning. Klingensmith offers a cogent, detailed understanding of the relations between architectural spaces and the ceremonial, social, and private life that both required and used them. Handsomely illustrated with photographs and plans, The Utility of Splendor will appeal to anyone interested in how life was lived among the nobility during the last centuries of the old regime.
Samuel John Klingensmith (1949-1986) was assistant professor of art history at Tulane University.
Warriors Without War takes readers beneath the placid waters of the Seminole’s public image and into the fascinating depths of Seminole society and politics.
For the entire last quarter of the twentieth century, the Seminole Tribe of Florida, a federally recognized American Indian Tribe, struggled as it transitioned from a tiny group of warriors into one of the best-known tribes on the world’s economic stage through their gaming enterprises.
Caught between a desperate desire for continued cultural survival and the mounting pressures of the non-Indian world—especially, the increasing requirements of the United States government— the Seminoles took a warriorlike approach to financial risk management. Their leader was the sometimes charming, sometimes crass and explosive, always warriorlike James Billie, who twice led the tribe in fights with the State of Florida that led all the way to the US Supreme Court.
Patricia Riles Wickman, who lived and worked for fifteen years with the Seminole people, chronicles the near-meteoric rise of the tribe and its leader to the pinnacle of international fame, and Billie’s ultimate fall after twenty-four years in power. Based partly on her own personal experiences working with the Seminole Tribe of Florida, Wickman has produced an in-depth study of the rise of one of the largest Indian gaming operations in the United States that reads almost like a Capote nonfiction novel.
When the King Took Flight
Timothy Tackett Harvard University Press, 2003 Library of Congress DC137.05.T33 2003 | Dewey Decimal 944.035092
On a June night in 1791, King Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette fled Paris in disguise, hoping to escape the mounting turmoil of the French Revolution. They were arrested by a small group of citizens a few miles from the Belgian border and forced to return to Paris. Two years later they would both die at the guillotine. It is this extraordinary story, and the events leading up to and away from it, that Timothy Tackett recounts in gripping novelistic style.
The king’s flight opens a window to the whole of French society during the Revolution. Each dramatic chapter spotlights a different segment of the population, from the king and queen as they plotted and executed their flight, to the people of Varennes who apprehended the royal family, to the radicals of Paris who urged an end to monarchy, to the leaders of the National Assembly struggling to control a spiraling crisis, to the ordinary citizens stunned by their king’s desertion. Tackett shows how Louis’s flight reshaped popular attitudes toward kingship, intensified fears of invasion and conspiracy, and helped pave the way for the Reign of Terror.
Tackett brings to life an array of unique characters as they struggle to confront the monumental transformations set in motion in 1789. In so doing, he offers an important new interpretation of the Revolution. By emphasizing the unpredictable and contingent character of this story, he underscores the power of a single event to change irrevocably the course of the French Revolution, and consequently the history of the world.