Kings and Prophets: Monarchic Power, Inspired Leadership, by Cristiano Grottanelli

By Cristiano Grottanelli

This selection of essays examines the respective non secular and social services of kings and prophets as they're awarded within the biblical narratives. Biblical kingship is well proven to be a particular example of an old and frequent institution--sacred monarchy--that used to be the pivot of so much country firms all through antiquity; prophetic authority is defined as a customary establishment of historical Hebrew society. the adaptation among monarchy and prophecy is radical, as the former implies a hereditary energy and is upheld via its matters who feed their kings with taxes, whereas the latter derives its authority from allegedly direct divine proposal, and notwithstanding it's also economically based it isn't explicitly awarded as being dependent upon systematic exploitation.Cristiano Grottanelli translates the increase of prophecy because of a predicament of monarchical constructions firstly of the Iron Age, and connects it to comparable phenomena attested in old Greek texts derived from the same concern. even though monarchy ultimately gained the day within the historical Mediterranean in a brand new imperial shape, the recent literatures in Greek and Hebrew consonantic and alphabetic scripts formed nonmonarchic figures to which they attributed many of the features formerly bearing on monarchy. those new literatures, produced by way of cultures that have been either hugely literate and arranged in response to nonmonarchical rules, diverged appreciably of their improvement and ultimate results. within the Hebrew culture, monolatry and an legit canon of sacred writings have been the ultimate consequence; the prophetic precept used to be hence triumph over via a brand new ideological building, headquartered upon encouraged scriptures instead of upon the impromptu performances of encouraged folks. In utilizing the prophetic precept opposed to the monarchic, the canonical texts satirically formed their very own authority above that of dwelling prophets.

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Second, the "royal" aspect of the text is qualified by the fact that the story of Ruth is dated to a period in which Israel did not have a king. " The kingship is, therefore, in the future with respect to the period in which the events unfold, and in the past with respect to the time in which the book was edited. ) It is not a king but an ancestor of David who distributes cereals generously. With one important exception, to which I will return, never again does a Hebrew king other than David distribute cereal grains in the biblical text.

25. Roux, pp. 169-171. 26. Henri Jeanmaire, Dionysos: Histoire du culte de Bacchus (Paris: Payot, 1970), p. 223. 27. On these festivals see the comprehensive and sound book by H. W. Parke, Festivals of the Athenians, Aspects of Greek and Roman Life, ed. H. H. Scullard (London: Thames & Hudson, 1977). 28. On the eiresione and its connection with myths about the disappearing and return of an angry deity, see W. Burkert, Structure and History in Creek Mythology and Ritual (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1979), pp.

Mauss, The Gift: Forms and Functions of Exchange in Archaic Societies (New York: W. W. , 1967) (originally: "Essai sur le don," L'Annee sociologique, vol. 2, no. i [1925]); M. D. Sahlins, "On the Sociology of Primitive Exchange," in The Relevance of Models for Social Anthropology, ed. M. Banton (London: Tavistock, 1966), with much on reciprocity but something on redistribution; and K. A. Wittfogel, Oriental Despotism. : Yale University Press, 1957), with practically no attention to redistribution.

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