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[[File:Knossos 07.jpeg|thumbnail|300px|left|Figure 1. Europe's oldest known throne room is from Knossos in Crete, which is reconstructed here.]]__NOTOC__
The throne has been a type of royal furniture that has often been associated with the very nature of monarchy. A monarch's authority is often symbolized through the throne
and how elaborate or sometimes simple the throne may be has come to symbolize the country in which they rule. While modern government in the West has eschewed monarchy, the throne still retains an important symbolic power that also has religious and other cultural connotations.
==Early Thrones and Cultures==
[[File:Teocalli.jpeg|thumbnail|300px|left|Figure 2. The so-called throne of Montezuma. ]]
For deities, they also became associated as seated figures who resided in special houses (or temples). Sometimes these deities were represented as statues placed in a niche but often they were also represented as seated figures who sat on a throne of authority. In particular, deities associated with monarchs, such as the sun god, were more typically seated, where they would be shown imparting wisdom on rulers to govern their people. This concept is also in the Bible, where Yahweh is described as seated on a throne.<ref>For more on how early gods were depicted as seated figures, see: James B. Pritchard & Daniel E. Fleming (eds.) (2011) <i>The ancient Near East: an anthology of texts and pictures.</i> Princeton, N.J, Princeton University Press.
[[File:Taisho enthronement.jpeg|thumbnail|left|300px|Figure 3. The throne used to coronate Emperor Taishō.]]
Taking the idea of royal and religious thrones, when Christianity developed it was seen that both high priests, such as bishops or the pope, had authority to sit on thrones as well as kings. In effect, the close nature and symbolism shared between royal and religious power led to similar displays developed in cathedrals, churches, and palaces. European royal thrones, however, developed into more simple designs in contrast to earlier periods or from the royal thrones in Asia (e.g., China or India). Initially in Europe, kings tried to fashion themselves as continuing the traditions of Rome. Royal thrones became more simple as a sign of respect to religious authority and God.<ref>For more on European thrones in the early Medieval period, see: Collins, R. (2010) <i>Early medieval Europe, 300-1000.</i> History of Europe. 3rd ed. Houndmills, Basingstoke [England] ; New York, NY, Palgrave Macmillan.</ref>
As royal thrones generally became simple in decoration in Europe, religious ones became more elaborate. Bishop thrones in cathedrals or eastern Orthodox thrones, in particular, became gilded with gold and elaborately decorated. The raised platforms, similar to royal thrones, began to symbolize the religious authority figures such as bishops and popes had to teach the masses. In fact, the elaborate nature of thrones became one of the issues that the Reformation decried against.<ref>For more on religious thrones, see: McNamara, D.R. (2009) <i>Catholic church architecture and the spirit of the liturgy.</i> Chicago, Hillenbrand Books.</ref>
Thrones have become symbols of royal power and authority but they are also important symbols for the divine and religious authority. The history of thrones shows a connection to some of the earliest written records, indicating that thrones have been a depiction of power from early history. More recently, the concept of a raised chair has continued, where government heads and leaders of legislation sit on a raised position in English speaking modern democracies, demonstrating some continuity with the idea of a raised throne.