Group identities are fostered by two main aspects: inner cohesion and clear delineation against the outside. While in the case of Mesopotamian cities walls clearly demarcate an in- and outside for the city dwellers, Empires usually cannot use walls to draw this line. Therefore, techniques that are more sophisticated have to be developed in order to create an Imperial Identity. The king's role in expanding, defending, and marking the borders of the Empire has been studied rather well, while his significance for the inner cohesion of the Empire and the establishing of Imperial identities seems to still deserve more attention. In order to get a complete picture and to broaden our understanding of the king’s multifaceted role, all these aspects have to be studied together on different levels and by using various approaches.
Three sessions are scheduled: "The King and the Elites", "The King and the People" and "The King and the Enemies". All sessions will focus on notions of identity mechanisms and effects of inner cohesion and delineation against the outside.
The workshop is open for all interested scholars, appealing especially to scholars of the Ancient Near East, the Old Testament, Semitistics, Antiquity Studies and related subjects. The workshop has enlisted renowned and esteemed international scholars from the field of Neo-Assyrian studies, and promises to provide new insights into the mechanisms of imperial identity building and maintenance.