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Author Cotesta, Vittorio, 1944- author

Title Kings into gods : how prostration shaped Eurasian civilizations / by Vittorio Cotesta ; translated by Matthew D'Auria
Published Leiden ; Boston : Brill, ©2015
Online access available from:
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Description 1 online resource
Series International studies in sociology and social anthropology ; 127
International studies in sociology and social anthropology ; 127
Contents Introduction -- Proskynesis in Herodotus's histories -- An enquiry on Alexander : apotheosis, multicultural empire -- The great divergence between East and West -- Proskynesis at the centre of the clash of civilizations -- Proskynesis in the Euroasiatic continent : unity and diversity -- Conclusion -- Dialogue between the old oligarch and the neo-illuminist -- A short glossary of the main terms and the main characters
Summary "One might be surprised, astonished or indignant seeing men and women prostrating themselves in front of other men and other women. Or one might feel it is right to bow down before God, Allah, the saints, the Holy Virgin or the gods. Kings into Gods: How Prostration Shaped Eurasian Civilizations investigates the reasons why men prostrate themselves before deities or before powerful men. Through an in-depth historical and cultural analysis, this book highlights the connection between rituality and royalty within the Eurasian civilizations. The narrative and iconic documentation gathered and analyzed concerns the Greek and Roman world, the Mongolian civilization during the Middle Ages, the Hindu and Chinese civilizations, the Islamic civilization in India in the fourteenth century, the Mughal civilization and European civilization in the late Middle Ages. The different forms of the rituals in the courts of kings and emperors are tightly connected with the concept of royalty. The prostration is an act of humiliation of defeated enemies, a means to establish an abysmal distance between powerful elite and the people, a way of creating hierarchies within the elite itself"-- Provided by publisher
Notes "First published in Italian by Bevivino Editore as Prosternarsi: Piccola indagine sulla regalita divina nelle civilta euroasiatiche, Milan, 2012."
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and index
Notes Online resource; title from PDF title page (EBSCO, viewed September 25, 2015)
Subject Communication and culture
Gesture in worship
Kings and rulers -- History
Monarchy -- History
Posture in worship
Rites and ceremonies
Communication and culture.
Gesture in worship.
Kings and rulers.
Posture in worship.
Rites and ceremonies.
Genre/Form History.
Form Electronic book
Author D'Auria, Matthew, translator
ISBN 9004288422 (electronic bk.)
9789004288423 (electronic bk.)
Other Titles Prosternarsi. English