The Key to Power? The Culture of Access in Princely Courts, 1400-1750

Sebastiaan Derks (Editor), Dries Raeymaekers (Editor)

Research output: Book/ReportBookScientificpeer-review


Proximity to the monarch was a vital asset in the struggle for power and influence in medieval and early modern courts. The concept of ‘access to the ruler’ has therefore grown into a dominant theme in scholarship on pre-modern dynasties. Still, many questions remain concerning the mechanisms of access and their impact on politics. Bringing together new research on European and Asian cases, the ten chapters in this volume focus on the ways in which ‘access’ was articulated, regulated, negotiated, and performed. By taking into account the full complexity of hierarchies, ceremonial rites, spaces and artefacts that characterized the dynastic court, The Key to Power? forces us to rethink power relations in the late medieval and early modern world.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLeiden-Boston, MA
Number of pages352
ISBN (Electronic)9789004304246
ISBN (Print)9789004274839
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Publication series

NameRulers & Elites. Comparative Studies in Governance
ISSN (Print)2211-4610


  • European History
  • Kings and rulers
  • Power
  • Political culture
  • Courts and courtiers
  • Dynastic rule


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  • Introduction: Repertoires of Access in Princely Courts

    Derks, S. & Raeymaekers, D., 2016, The Key to Power? The Culture of Access in Princely Courts, 1400-1750. Raeymaekers, D. & Derks, S. (eds.). Leiden-Boston, MA: Brill, p. 1-15 15 p. (Rulers & Elites. Comparative Studies in Governance; vol. 8).

    Research output: Chapter in book/volumeChapterScientificpeer-review

    Open Access

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