How did hunting become a symbol of the royalty?
Scene of dead lions shot on a hunt by an Assyrian king
For centuries, hunting became associated with kingship, where large tracts of land were preserved for the kings’ pleasure as they would hunt a variety of game and even exotic animals imported from abroad. While on the surface this was merely an excess that kings exercised and may have had little to do with running the affairs of the state, from the earliest development of kingship, and until much later periods, hunting was seen as critical for displaying royal authority. Far more than pleasure or sport, hunting had an important social function in establishing not only the kings’ power but demonstrating the vitality of the state.