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Visiting Speaker: Dr Vasileios Syros, Academy of Finland

Palaces of Cards: Consultation and Good Government in Islamic and Italian Advice Literature

This presentation is a preliminary attempt to look at the evolution of early Islamic and Renaissance Italian advice literature in a comparative perspective, by focusing on some of the major works produced in the 8th century Abbasid Empire and 16th century Italy. I will undertake a comparative analysis of Ibn al-Muqaffa’s (d. ca. 140/757) Adab al-Kabīr and Baldassare Castiglione’s (1478-1529) Il Libro del cortegiano (The Book of the Courtier) and canvass a shared set of themes that inform early Islamic and Renaissance Italian political discourse on the complex relationship between the ruler and his courtiers, the qualities of the ideal adviser and the dynamics of the decision-making process and consultatation. The presentation will also identify new modes of exploring the development of Abbasid and Italian court cultures within a comparative framework and revisiting their relevance in the context of current debates on effective leadership and delegation of authority.

Event details


Vasileios_Syros_A4_Poster.pdfVisiting Speaker Dr Vasileios Syros (704K)


IAIS Building/LT1