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Despotism And Deceit: Yes, But What Happened Before And After?

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Chapter Summary

This chapter offers some examples of the perennial link between despotism and deceit from both before and after the world of the Greeks and Romans, to provide a broader context. One of the most remarkable rulers ever to sit on the throne of Egypt was Akhenaten. He is remarkable for two things: his religious policies which replaced the traditional pantheon headed by Amon with an exclusive solar cult, and his portraiture, a total departure from classical representations both of the king himself and the royal family. Assyrian despotism, at least to enemies and subjects, seems to have produced amentality which could not face reality and so required deceit, tampering with the historical record. In a series of successes in N. Italy in 1796 against the Austrians and Piedmontese, Bonaparte established the Cisalpine Republic; other generals overran Rome and Naples in 1798.

Keywords: deceit; despotism; Greeks; Romans



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