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Archontology is a term of reference used to describe the study of historical offices at every level of government, international, political, religious, and other institutions. Some researchers consider it a branch of history, collecting chronological and biographical data of office holders, but there is no universal agreement on the subject.
From the Shumerian King List to the Abydos Table to the works of Manetho comes the tradition of recording the names of kings, queens and officers of state in chronological order. These lists were compiled primarily to assert an unbroken succession of ancient monarchs. In modern time, the chronologies of rulers became a subject of research. In 1649, Giovanni Ludovico Gotofredi published Archontologia cosmica, including the chapters on past and modern rulers from the popes to Chinese emperors. Bibliotheca Britannica or A General Index to British and Foreign Literature (1824) defined archontolgy as a term which "signifies anything that respects the constitution of chief magistrates."