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Counsel for Kings: Wisdom and Politics in Tenth-Century IranVolume I: The Nasihat al-muluk of Pseudo-Mawardi: Contexts and Themes$
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L. Marlow

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780748696901

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748696901.001.0001

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Intermediaries and Networks

Intermediaries and Networks

(p.129) 4 Intermediaries and Networks
Counsel for Kings: Wisdom and Politics in Tenth-Century Iran

L. Marlow

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter explores Pseudo-Māwardī’s treatments of groups beneath the level of kings and their immediate assistants. Offering translations of several passages of Naṣīḥat al-mulūk, the chapter traces Pseudo-Māwardī’s presentation of the khāṣṣa and the ʿāmma, respectively the individuals closest to him and the groups further removed from his person, largely coinciding with categories bound in personal service to the ruler, and categories whose support of the ruler was voluntary. The chapter reads Pseudo-Māwardī’s treatment of social categories, defined in economic and professional terms and including the land-owning dihqāns as well as office-holders, as descriptive of the Samanid amirs’ dependence on networks of intermediaries, who exercised power in local settings and whose co-operation was indispensable to the maintenance of Samanid rule. The chapter concludes with aspects of Naṣīḥat al-mulūk that reflect the multi-confessional society in which Pseudo-Māwardī lived.

Keywords:   khāṣṣa, ʿāmma, networks, intermediaries, dihqān, office-holders, social categories

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