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Jeremy C.A. Smith

sciences. The perception of materiality had origins in scepticism, materialism and idealism in the Mediterranean’s antiquity. Another reference point, ancient kingship, embodies a nucleus of sacred and political power in the historical studies of civilisations that inform Eisenstadt’s theory. But treating the problem of political power in the modern world is a different matter and one that demands a wider span of imaginary reference points. On the whole, as Arnason has more recently argued, the problematic of power as constitutive of civilisations is neglected in

in Debating civilisations