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8 - The Practice of Good Governance

from Part II - Texts

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 January 2023

Edited and translated by
Louise Marlow
Affiliation:
Wellesley College, Massachusetts
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Summary

The selections in this chapter discuss the management of the realm and the importance of specific royal practices. Ensuring the prosperity of the rural and urban populations, the productivity of the land, the proper maintenance of the army and sound financial management feature prominently among the king’s responsibilities. Many mirrors emphasise the necessity of constant royal oversight, particularly of the officials involved in the collection of taxes. Strict and consistent oversight, accompanied by swift dismissal when cases of abuse came to light, were the only measures that would protect the revenue-producing categories on whose labour the entire edifice of government depended. In cases of injustice, it was the ruler’s obligation to provide a means of redress, through the practice of listening to the petitions of his subjects and restoring to them any property that had been wrongfully seized. In many instances, the practices of good governance urged upon the wise and virtuous ruler reflect the principle of maṣlaḥa, the common good. The texts are drawn from al-Māwardī, Tashīl al-naẓar wa-taʿjīl al-ẓafar; Niẓām al-Mulk, Siyar al-mulūk; and al-Ṭurṭūshī, Sirāj al-mulūk.

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Chapter
Information
Medieval Muslim Mirrors for Princes
An Anthology of Arabic, Persian and Turkish Political Advice
, pp. 216 - 258
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

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  • The Practice of Good Governance
  • Edited and translated by Louise Marlow, Wellesley College, Massachusetts
  • Book: Medieval Muslim Mirrors for Princes
  • Online publication: 15 January 2023
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108348645.009
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  • The Practice of Good Governance
  • Edited and translated by Louise Marlow, Wellesley College, Massachusetts
  • Book: Medieval Muslim Mirrors for Princes
  • Online publication: 15 January 2023
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108348645.009
Available formats
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  • The Practice of Good Governance
  • Edited and translated by Louise Marlow, Wellesley College, Massachusetts
  • Book: Medieval Muslim Mirrors for Princes
  • Online publication: 15 January 2023
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108348645.009
Available formats
×