Main Life at Court: Ideology and Audience in the Late Assyrian Palace

Life at Court: Ideology and Audience in the Late Assyrian Palace

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Portuese's study examines architecture, reliefs and inscriptions of Neo-Assyrian royal palaces, and their interdependences guided by the question of audience and admittance to the king: Who was admitted to the king and how was the king presented? The Assyrian king was actually less secluded in his palace than hitherto assumed by the classical tradition originating from Ctesias, and followed by modern scholars. It is clear that his relatively public appearances were regarded as extraordinary events which interrupted his daily royal activities. All the strategies that apparently hamper access to the royal court should be considered as highlighting the extreme privilege of being admitted to the palace and not as ways of emphasising the seclusion of the king. Various circumstances, indeed, led a number of persons to visit the palace and meet the king and, even though this was occasional, each event had to be perceived by the visitor(s) as exceptional. Thus, the whole protocol procedure together with the architectural obstructions were strategically used both to protect the king but also to make the event exceptional. Whatever their complexity, images, texts, and court activities offer an exhibition of kingship. Images, texts, and court activities inform and educate: by presenting the Assyrian perception of the world and the role of the king in human events, reliefs, inscriptions and any activity become a "silent education" in that they raise awareness, influence or inspire consciousness, generate respect, and encourage a mental and physical attitude of obedience and deference. Through the omnipresence of the king and the apotropaic values of some images, together with the royal word, and the performance of rituals and ceremonies they convey blessings; ... and the global harmony creates an atmosphere of order, rationality and grace.
Request Code : ZLIBIO3111373
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Marru Series 11

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