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Princes' mirror
(789 words)

[German version]

The term Prince's mirror (PM), used to describe a literary genre that provides a code of conduct for rulers, originated in the Middle Ages with Godfrey of Viterbo's Speculum regum (c. AD 1180); however, guidelines for rulers - whether explicit in direct address or implicit in the form of idealized portraits of kings and noblemen - are attested in Egypt and Mesopotamia as early as the 2nd millennium BC.

Hesiod's ‘Theogony not only contains myths that resemble their predecessors in the Near East, but also an encomiastic portrayal of the god/king Zeus,…

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Roberts, Michael (Middletown, CT), “Princes' mirror”, in: Brill’s New Pauly, Antiquity volumes edited by: Hubert Cancik and , Helmuth Schneider, English Edition by: Christine F. Salazar, Classical Tradition volumes edited by: Manfred Landfester, English Edition by: Francis G. Gentry. Consulted online on 27 June 2022 <>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510

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