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9 - Problems in the Kingdom and Their Remedies

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

This final chapter explores mirror-writers’ diagnoses of political and social ills, and their proposed remedies for them. They range from kings’ propensities to indulge to excess in food, drink and sex, to the hazards of abandoning well-established and highly regarded practices, to external enemies’ seizing advantage at moments of internal weakness. The three extracts show shared concerns, especially with heterodoxy, portrayed as a mask for political dissent, as well as idiosyncratic concerns. Many of the narratives are presented as cautionary examples. Collectively, the texts convey the precarious nature of royal power and its limits. They are drawn from al-Thaʿālibī, Ādāb al-mulūk; Niẓām al-Mulk, Siyar al-mulūk; and al-Ṭurṭūshī, Sirāj al-mulūk.

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Medieval Muslim Mirrors for Princes
An Anthology of Arabic, Persian and Turkish Political Advice
, pp. 259 - 312
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

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