By Reinhard Bendix

From the Preface:
the realm within which we are living has its roots a ways again in historical past, and as an international energy the United States needs to come to phrases with international locations which have been shaped of their current mould lengthy earlier than the yank, revolution. All these to whom an exploration of this ancient historical past will allure most likely proportion with me a right away empathy with the pain of nation-building all over the world. This booklet is a examine of what that pain intended in instances previous while nations have been first constructing their political associations and after they became extra lately from royal authority to a favored mandate. the issues of constructing such associations are ambitious, then in addition to now. A scholarly predicament with those difficulties needs to contact on many topics in social stratification, faith, political sociology, and the historical past of rules, and the booklet treats those and comparable subject matters of their particular ancient contexts.
This interpretive paintings is addressed not just to scholars of political improvement but in addition to the final reader who's attracted to a wide view of heritage. That reader is supplied with enough aspect and annotation in order that the various various contexts with which this research bargains may be understood. A thematic define of the publication is gifted at the first pages of the creation, which offers in addition with the explanations for my method of ancient sociology.

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Extra info for Kings or People: Power and the Mandate to Rule

Sample text

The unity and married calm of states Quite from th eir fixture! How could communities, Degrees in schools, and brotherhoods in cities, . The primogen ity and due of birth, Preroga tive of age, crowns, sceptres, laurels, But by degree, stand in authentic place ? Take but degree away, untune th at string, A nd, hark, what discord follows! . S HAKESPEARE, Troilus and Cressida, I, iii 2 SAC RE D AND SE C ULAR FO UNDATIONS O F KINGS H I P IN T H E PAST, one ruler stood at the summit of the social hierarchy.

For the true believer, access to the truth of God's word can be h a d only through the Qur'an and the SACRED AND SECULAR FOUNDATIONS OF KINGSHIP 41 sayings o f the prophet. Although these sou rces provide no gu idance concerning the successio n , the true faith and man's fate de pend abso­ lute ly on preserving Muhammad's prophetic c harisma by finding the one right line o f successio n . 34 This is the reason why an "objective" history o f the caliphate (caliph means lieutenant, com pan ion , or successor, at least originally) cannot be written .

What Irfan Shahid said of Southern Arabi a a p plies to Mecca as well : Theirs was a busi ness c u l t u re , and their ideal was materialistic , the acq uisi tion of wealth , w hich they relentlessly pursue d , a s the Carthagi nians did, with sim ilar results. The re ma i n s of their material cultu re are u n inspiring, more interesting archeologically t han artistically , lacking that signi ficant form whic h d i fferen tiates an artefact from a work of art. . B ut the very same isolation which possibly o perate d to their disadvantage i n the cultu ral s phere was their salvation politically .

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