Kings and Cults contains a selection of articles of H Kulke on various aspects of Ksatra and Ksetra, the interconnected domains of temporal and sacred power in medieval India and South-east Asia. Thematically these papers are intertwined by a study of the quest of medieval rulers for legitimation through religious institutions. Of particular interest in this regard are the changing modes of legitimation of different stages of state formation, ranging from princely patronage of tribal deities by early emerging kings' to the construction of imperial temples by the rulers of great regional imperial' kingdoms. A particularly characteristic feature of India is the great temple cities as centres of regional cults and pilgrimage which became the major focus of later medieval royal patronage. Ather important aspect of Kulke's work is historiography as a means of late medieval royal legitimation, linking legendary history of these sacred places and royal patronage with dynastic claims.
Hermann Kulke is retired Professor of South and Southeast Asian History at Kiel University. He was founder member of the first and coordinator of the second Orissa Research Project and is co-author of A History of India (5th edn. 2010).