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Medieval Empires and the Culture of CompetitionLiterary Duels at Islamic and Christian Courts$
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Samuel England

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781474425223

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474425223.001.0001

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Conclusion: The Ministry of Culture

Conclusion: The Ministry of Culture

(p.177) Conclusion: The Ministry of Culture
Medieval Empires and the Culture of Competition

Samuel England

Edinburgh University Press

Considers the book’s findings on medieval literary culture by considering modern re-enactments of the Middle Ages. The conclusion inspects Baathist Iraq under Saddam Hussein, and the medieval nostalgia the Iraqi government ministries tried to promote. The book surveys the political uses for nostalgia, especially statements of longing for a functional, competitive court. From Dante’s anguished praise of past kings to modern military dictatorships’ cultural festivals, the spectacle of medieval performance animates our ideas and institutions.

Keywords:   Iraq, Saddam Hussein, Mirbad, Dante, Courts, Orientalism, Babylon, Praise Poetry

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