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  • Published: 5 May 2022
  • ISBN: 9780141984469
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 608
Categories:

In the Shadow of the Gods

The Emperor in World History

  • Dominic Lieven


A dazzling history of the world's emperors, spanning the last thousand years

For millennia much of the world was ruled by emperors: a handful of individuals claimed no limit to the lands they could rule over and no limit to their authority. They operated beyond normal human constraint and indeed often declared a superhuman or divine authority.

Dominic Lieven's marvellous new book, In the Shadow of the Gods, is the first to grapple seriously with this extraordinary phenomenon. Across the world peoples, willingly or unwillingly, fell into orbit around figures who reshaped or destroyed entire societies, imposed religions and invaded rivals. Lieven compares the great emperors of antiquity, the caliphs and the warrior-emperors of the steppe before he turns to the Habsburg, Russian, Ottoman, Mughal and Chinese emperors, packing the book with extraordinary stories, astute observations and a sense of both delight and horror at these individuals' antics. The entire breadth of extreme human behaviour is here - from warlords to patrons of the arts, from political genius to feeble incapacity and pathological violence.

As one of the great experts both on empires and on Russian history, Lieven is brilliantly qualified to write a book that brings to life a system of rule that dominated most of human history, as well as some of history's grandest and most dismaying figures.

  • Published: 5 May 2022
  • ISBN: 9780141984469
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 608
Categories:

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