The many theoretical elaborations of the political ideologies developed in order to legitimise and sustain the Medieval Muslim polities can be found in Arabic and Persian political didactic treatises, which show a keen interest in the symbols and discourses that sustained the royal Sasanian tradition, often considered even in Islamic times as the ideal model of sovereignty. A study of the fortune met all over the Islamic world by the notion of complementarity between kingship and religion first found in the Testament of Ardašīr, Arabic rendition of a possibly Middle Persian political work, allows us to frame this continuity between the pre-Islamic Iranian tradition of kingship and the future developments of Islamic political thought, thus showing the inconsistency of the border traditionally drawn between ‘Iranian’ or ‘Pre-islamic’, and ‘Islamic’.
Sasanian Empire. Islamic Caliphate. Middle Persian Literature. Testament of Ardašīr.
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