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The routinization of charisma: The Timurid patrimonial household state

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Chapter Summary

In accordance with the typological classification developed by Max Weber for the forms of legitimate domination in history, we may characterize the rise and rule of the nomadic warlord Temür, as having been based on charismatic authority. Like other post-Mongol states that adopted Chinggisid political culture, Temür's was organized along patrimonial lines, as the central feature of government was the imperial family or patrimonial household, which was based on notions of personal service to its ruling head and permanent attendance on his person. According to the Weberian paradigm, the transition from one to the other is fluid and takes place once charismatic domination loses its personal foundation and the demands of governing have to be met. Charisma continues to play a role in this transition, but paradoxically, only in legitimating what has now become "traditional".

Keywords: charismatic authority; Chinggisid custom; Max Weber; patrimonial household; Temür; Timurids



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