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A Global History of Power, 1300–1800


  • Date Published: October 2015
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107060685

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About the Authors
  • For thousands of years, societies have fallen under the reign of a single leader, ruling as chief, king, or emperor. In this fascinating global history of medieval and early modern dynastic power, Jeroen Duindam charts the rise and fall of dynasties, the rituals of rulership, and the contested presence of women on the throne. From European, African, Mughal, Ming-Qing and Safavid dynasties to the Ottoman Empire, Tokugawa Japan and Chosŏn Korea, he reveals the tension between the ideals of kingship and the lives of actual rulers, the rich variety of arrangements for succession, the households or courts which catered to rulers' daily needs, and the relationship between the court and the territories under its control. The book integrates numerous African examples, sets dynasties within longer-term developments such as the rise of the state, and examines whether the tensions inherent in dynastic power led inexorably to cycles of ascent and decline.

    • A vibrant and richly-illustrated history of dynastic power in the late medieval and early modern world
    • Explores a wide range of dynastic communities from the European, African, Mughal, Ming and Safavid dynasties to the Ottoman Empire, Tokugawa Japan and Chosŏn Korea
    • Examines the rise and fall of dynasties, rituals of state and the role of the court
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'An extraordinarily learned comparative study of early modern dynasties all over the world … a trove of information … Summing up: highly recommended. Graduate students/faculty.' F. E. Baumann, Choice

    'Dynasties is a work of tremendous ambition and interest, full of fascinating detail and insight, and the clarity of purpose with which it is framed means that focus is never lost … a rich and deeply rewarding book, both in the detail and the overall analysis.' Michael J. Braddick, The Times Literary Supplement

    'The networks that established dynasties and kept them going have long been obscured behind simplistic notions of 'absolute' monarchy, notions first popularized by royal propaganda and later reinforced by Enlightenment opposition. Duindam, however, looks past these assumptions to show us the up close complexities of dynasties; and in the end, one cannot help but conclude that premodern dynasties, like modern democracies, were more a series of variations on a common theme than they were a uniform system of government. They were about complex and far reaching relationships, not just individual rulers.' Ethan Hawkley, World History Connected

    'This book is an instantly enjoyable read, a sprightly tour which takes the reader from Constantinople to Kyoto, from Benin to Versailles. It is written with clarity and elegance, packed with highly quotable sentences. Its scope is so big that anyone picking up the volume will glean from it new information and memorable nuggets … The book is an evocative, bright patchwork.' Natalia Nowakowska, The English Historical Review

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    Product details

    • Date Published: October 2015
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107060685
    • length: 435 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 158 x 24 mm
    • weight: 0.82kg
    • contains: 8 b/w illus. 60 colour illus. 3 maps
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. Rulers: position versus person
    2. Dynasty: reproduction and succession
    3. At court: spaces, groups, balances
    4. Realm: connections and interactions

  • Author

    Jeroen Duindam, Universiteit Leiden
    Jeroen Duindam studied history and anthropology at the University of Utrecht, and was appointed to the Utrecht History Department in 1991. While Duindam taught cultural history, Cold War studies, international relations and political history, his research remained focused on the early modern European court and on the connections between rulers and elites. In 2008, he became Chair of Early Modern History at Groningen University, and since 2010 has held the Chair for Early Modern History at the University of Leiden. He is the author of numerous articles and two monographs: Vienna and Versailles: The Court of Europe's Dynastic Rivals (Cambridge, 2003) and Myths of Power: Norbert Elias and the Early Modern European Court (1995). Duindam recently edited a number of global comparative volumes and is editor of the book series Rulers and Elites. In 2011, he was awarded a prestigious Dutch research grant (NWO Horizon) on 'Eurasian Empires', a project with eight researchers based at three universities.

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