Chapter

The Mesopotamian ‘Rod and Ring’: Icon of Righteous Kingship and Balance of Power between Palace and Temple

Kathryn E. Slanski

in Regime Change in the Ancient Near East and Egypt

Published by British Academy

Published in print April 2007 | ISBN: 9780197263907
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734687 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5871/bacad/9780197263907.003.0003

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

The Mesopotamian ‘Rod and Ring’: Icon of Righteous Kingship and Balance of Power between Palace and Temple

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This chapter examines the so-called ‘rod and ring’, the identified symbol of the balance of power between the two premier institutions of ancient Mesopotamia, the palace and the temple. It proposes an identification of the ‘rod and ring’ that is rooted in the indigenous Mesopotamian conceptualization of justice. It suggests that the ‘rod and ring’ scene in royal monuments also signified righteous kingship sanctified by the gods and it communicated an aspect of the enduring relationship between the palace and the temple which served to secure the institutional continuity that endured throughout more than three millennia of regime change.

Keywords: rod and ring; palace; temple; ancient Mesopotamia; justice; kingship; God; institutional continuity; regime change

Chapter.  8428 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Classical History

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