Mirrors for Princes: Slavs and Tatars

NYU Press, 2015 | EDITOR

A form of political writing often called advice literature shared by Christian and Muslim lands, during the Middle Ages, mirrors for princes attempted to elevate statecraft (dawla) to the same level as faith/religion (din). These guides for future rulers- Machiavelli’s The Prince being a widely known example- addressed the delicate balance between seclusion and society, spirit and state, echoes of which we continue to find in the US, Europe and the Middle East several centuries later.

Today, we suffer from the very opposite: there’s no shortage of political commentary but a notable lack of intelligent, eloquent discourse on the role of faith and the immaterial as a valuable agent in society or public life.

Mirrors for Princes brings together the writing of pre-eminent scholars and commentators using the genre of medieval advice literature as a starting point to discuss contemporary politics in Turkey, Indian television dramas, fate, fortune and governance, and advice for female nobility.

The illustrated essays are accompanied by an interview with Slavs and Tatars.

Mirrors for Princes is edited by Anthony Downey, Editor-in-Chief of Ibraaz, and is published on the occasion of Slavs and Tatars’ exhibition at NYU Abu Dhabi.

ISBN 978-3-03764-407-2

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