Representations of Political Power
Over the last few days I’ve been reading Representations of Political Power: Case Histories from Times of Change and Dissolving Order in the Ancient Near East. Edited by Marlies Heinz and Marian H. Feldman. Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns, 2007.
This is a wonderful little volume with some amazing essays including “Reestablishment of Order after Major Disruption Emar and the Transition from Hurrian to Hittite Power” by Regine Pruzsinszky, “Changing Order from within the Royal Cemetery of Ur: Ritual, Tradition, and the Creation of Subjects” by Susan Pollock, and “The Divine Image of the King: Religious Representation of Political Power in the Hittite Empire” by Dominik Bonatz.
Most of my research at the moment is focusing on the analogical use of royal ritual in the cult. The essays in this volume attest to the reciprocal relationship between royal and religious usage of shared symbols. Depending on state of the civil leadership viz the cult the borrowing can go in either direction. Hence, the cultic texts that I am working on may be making use of royal rituals that in turn might have had their antecedents in older religious rituals that are no longer attested.
All this makes for quite a Monday headache.