Kingship and the Gods
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Kingship and the Gods

By (author) Henri Frankfort

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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.

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  • Paperback | 512 pages
  • 152.4 x 223.52 x 30.48mm | 612.35g
  • 15 Jul 1978
  • The University of Chicago Press
  • University of Chicago Press
  • Chicago, IL
  • English
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • 0226260119
  • 9780226260112
  • 949,850

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Author Information

The late Henri Frankfort, famed equally as explorer and scholar, was director of the Warburg Institute and professor of preclassical antiquity at the University of London. Frankfort was the author and coauthor of many books, including "The Intellectual Adventure of Ancient Man," published by the University of Chicago Press.

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Back cover copy

A Study of Ancient Near Eastern Religion as the Integration of Society and Nature.

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