Kingship and the Gods: A Study of Ancient Near Eastern Religion as the Integration of Society and Nature

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University of Chicago Press, 1948 - Social Science - 444 pages
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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Probably the most important book for western civilisation, ever written !

Contents

The Achievement of Menes
15
The Memphite Theology
24
Horus
36
The Kings Rule
51
The Ka
61
The Sed Festival
79
The Royal Ancestors
89
The Transfiguration of the Kings Predecessor
110
MESOPOTAMIA
204
The Historical Forms of Kingship in Mesopotamia
215
The Making of a King
231
Government
251
The Service of the Gods
262
The Gods of Mesopotamia
277
The Deification of Kings
295
The New Years Festival
313

The Mystery Play of the Succession
123
The Gods of the Egyptians
143
Procreation
162
Resurrection
181
The Hebrews
337
Notes
347
Index
415
Copyright

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About the author (1948)

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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